Alistar Build Guide

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AP/Tank Alistar - Guide to Successful 5v5

written by Enoch Khufu

Alistar Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Passive which deals magic damage similar to Sunfire Cape, need to be really careful not to draw aggro turret damage during laning phase. However if used properly with Unbreakable Will, can draw the turret fire to Alistar vs. Carry to help finish off an Enemy hiding under tower.

    Favourite skill with Alistar. Use to stun Enemies during a team fight. Perfect for setting up a Headbutt to teammates or slowing chasing enemies.

    When used in combination with pulverize can be deadly! Headbutt to team than pulverize to stun, or pulverize and headbutt to team for clean up.

    Currently Headbutt and Pulverize in one foul swoop is disabled, but this might be re-instated at another time. This was useful in nuking low health carries or finishing off retreating champs.

    Triumphant Roar
    Decent heal, perfect for pushing minion waves to enemies towers and for proc'ing sheen, lichbane and trample.

    Unbreakable Will
    Use with trample underneath an enemey tower to draw aggro turret so that friendly can finish off enemy without fear.

    Use in team fights as a cleanse! To remove all CC and become tankier and draw enemy fire while protecting team mates.

  • Introduction

    With the latest changes and rarely seeing any Alistars or guides describing how I play him. I decided to try my hand at writing one up. I will update this as I go and learn, but currently I've played over 100 games with Alistar and I'm sporting a 60:40 4L normal unranked solo que record.

    I wanted to write this guide because whether its Alistar pre-patch or post patch: he is a force to reckon with in Normal Unranked and can determine the tide of battle. If you play him well even in a 5v4 situation your team can win.

    The goal of this guide is for the player who wants to win and doesn't mind going 0/1/19 or something.
    My favourite thing playing Alistar is winning a successful team battle, than if not that at least: reading the other team write: "So lucky! Alistar Saved your ***"

    Lets begin...

  • Runes, Masteries and Summoner's Spells

    This is a work in progress and I'm always trying to figure out how successful runes are. At the moment I'm only lvl 19 so I'm just going to post my build. I'll update it as I level up and game new masteries and runes.

    Mark of Desolation x6 - I don't really know how to justify this one, I feel like I autoattack more than use spells so my logic is these runes see more use. However when I review my matches I'm dealing 3:1 magic dmg vs. physcial dmg. So I guess the main reason I haven't switch it to Magic Pen is because I like the versatility is offers, when combines with Sheen and Lichbane late game.

    Seal of Clarity x 6 - Mana regen helps, Alistar always runs out of mana it seems, the worst feeling in the game is havint to type: "sry, no mana" because I wasn't able to save a teammate performing a headbutt to a chasing enemy, or pulverize a chasing enemy group and instead had to keep running back.

    Glyph of Celerity x 6 - Cool downs are very important for Alistar, it means the difference between performing your abilities once or twice during a team fight. I'm looking forward to being able to upgrade this to a Tier 3 so that I can max CDR with one 20% item!

    Quintessence of Swiftness x 1 Movement to get around and position well for combos and team fights.

    Masteries for me are as follows:
    ATM I got 0/0/19
    I don't put anything into Defense since I feel Alistar is pretty good tank with just a couple items, and being able to cast his spells and summoner spells makes the difference between an effective Alistar and an Alistar the other team can ignore.

    Summoner Spells
    1. Teleport I find this is the ultimate for getting around and helping out with ganks or defending teammates. Very useful to teleporting to Vision Wards for Ganks.
    2. Flash Second best skill in my opinion, however I use it less than Teleport thats why I put it second. Typically I use it to save me from dying, but about the quarter of the time I can use it to initiate a team fight when the other team just doesn't want to commit anyone, this is typically while in mid lane.

    Note: I used to run cleanse since as the tank I was getting CC'ed alot, but it doesn't have as game changing an affect as Teleport or Flash I think. What would be awesome if as well as removing all CCs it also improved CDR, so that Alistar could perform his abilities twice in a team fight - Just a thought.

  • Skill Ordering

    Once you have all 3 skills, start putting points into Pulverize since you'll be using this the most against enemy champs in the laning phase. Always level up Unbreakable Will when yo can, then pump points into Pulverize than Headbutt.

    Leave Heal alone at Lvl 1, you're going to be spamming it so might as well keep the mana costs down to save mana which is needed to perform the heabutt and pulverize combos.

    NOTE: VERY IMPORTANT, you NEED to watch your mana! Dont get stuck only having enough to pulverize and not to headbutt, how embarrassing. Make sure you're aware of the costs and that you have enough to perform the combo. VERY IMPORTANT for early lvl summoners since your runes aren't going to be providing enough regen.

  • Full Build Items

    This is probably where everyone rushed too.

    Here is my full build:


    What I like to do is tell teammates at beginning of game I plan on getting Rylais and Aegis, to make sure no one else gonna get one, incase someone says it's part of their build, if someone says they plan on getting one of these items or both I'll do the following subs:
    - Rylais for an or
    - Aegis and Morello's Evil Tome for a and .

    Note: I've only done it once for a Rylais since Fiddle wanted it.

    Typically the Deathcap only comes into play for games that are over the 55min mark. I like to leave this slot open for Vision Wards

    Timeline of Purchases:

    By 25mins have the Meki, Boots, Scepter and Aegis or atlest 2/3 of Aegis

    By 45mins have the Tome, Aegis and Lichbane

    Notes: The focus of this build is to increase Alistar nuking capabilities which reduce the health on squishies significantly enough that his teammates can quickly finish them off, while at the same time providing critical support and staying power to his team.

  • Buying Order and Strategy

    I numbered buying order and anything after NOTE: is for the strategy.

    1. I suggest starting off with [item_icon=Meki Pendant] to spam heal at lvl 2, proc tample and help with regenerating mana which improves staying power in the lane for Alistar.

    2. At this point I lane until I can afford , and , Cost: 1,535

    NOTE: Upon returning I place the ward in the river to watch for ganks, as I'm usually either top or Bottom lane.

    3. Now I'm laning until I have enough gold (2,070) to purchase and another . Sometimes if I'm short, instead of over extending into the lane, I'll jungle for remaining gold.

    NOTE: I rush the Scepter because it will be proc'ed by my trample and the slow has a bigger impact early in helping your teammates finish enemies in team fights. I place the ward in our river either top or bottom, which ever lane doesn't have a ward or still has an enemy turret standing. This is to prevent ganks when attacking turrets and also as something to teleport too to protect friendlies.

    4. Now I focus on saving up enough (1,500) to buy: , , and 2 x

    NOTE: I need the speed to help out in positioning. I don't get boots of mobility because typically I need the movement during a battle, getting from point A to B is nice but I find I need the +3 more in a fight.

    NOTE: I also get armor and magic resist to improve staying power as the enemy is now starting to significantly scale their abilities and without my ult up I am pretty fragile.

    NOTE: You'll notice I haven't started on any CDR yet, because by now its still early-mid game and even at a 30% cooldown reduction I'd only be able to get my abilities off once in a team fight, and then maybe later when we're either retreating or chasing, so I'm focusing on rushing an Aegis to help my allies stay alive in a team fight meaning they can help get me my assists.

    NOTE: As for the wards, I'll jungle, in the jungle of the side with the most turrets down, and place wards by Red or Blue to watch for ganks or protect when over extending. When I jungle I typically leave blue for another teammate unless its an enemies blue.

    5. Usually after placing wards and helping team in fights, i save up 1,375 to buy and 2 x

    NOTE: Aegis is built now I focus on staying with large groups and following carry, typically carry knows what he's doing and this is a good bet. If the carry is clearly experimenting or unsure what to do I'll find the best player on our team and support him. I place the wards on the remaining blue and red or place them to continue monitoring the other teams jungles, but at this point I'm placing wards on a situational basis.

    6. I rush and try to farm up 930 gold to buy the and another

    NOTE: At this point I need CDR since battles are lasting long enough to use spells twice, and since I have no CDR other than runes and masteries I rush this item as soon as I have enough to buy it. I also get a ward for good measure.

    7. Once I have 1180, I rush back to upgrade my Fiendish Codex to a [item_icon=Morello's Evil Tome] and buy another

    NOTE: Now my CDR is up to a respectable amount, without getting blue buff, as well as my mana regen so I can afford to be a sizable force within team fights, also with the AP gained from the Tome, my Trample is doing the same dmg as a Sunfire Cape and I can clear creep waves likes a baws. However I stick with team to try and push tower and draw aggro turret fire and enemy CC's so that I can ult and teammates can come in and take down tower or enemy champs nearby. If we're defending I've warded our jungle to catch enemies who went off on lonesome to pick up buffs so that we can gank and turn the tide.

    8. I watch until I have 1410 gold so that I can now FINALLY buy a and 2 x

    NOTE: Why do I wait so long for Sheen? Well before patch it was good for tower bashing but because of trample I dont usually spend much time hitting towers anymore since I'll draw aggro fire due to trample affecting an enemy nearby and my fists arent much of a treat anyways pre-lvl 18. But by this point almost all champions are lvl 18 and I've maxed out my ability to CC enemies as well as bought the items necessary to help my team win in team fights, so now its some Alistar time, and getting sheen late game really ups Alistar contributions in team fights, especially with the Armor pen runes.

    By Now will have spent: 10,390 and placed 10 wards.

    9. Sometimes in a long game its satisfying to upgrade to a , then even and really do all kinds of damage while using Spells and autoattacking. But if I do that, than it's for me, or my Carries really arnt able to carry during the late game phase. I hate foregoing wards on buffs to get the deathcap, and I'll typically only do this if the best player on the team happens to be another tank or support character and because he/she needs some help killing people due to our alleged "carries" having tapered off late game.


    TL;DR: Alistar is the baws! I'd love to hear discussion on items and runes. The versatility in nuking power, support and tankyness allows for Alistar to really carry a game from mid to late phase.

  • Change Log

    29-4-11: Inaugural Guide
    29-4-11: Updated to include links, builder and skill set.

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Submitted by Enoch Khufu

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