Leona Build Guide

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My Ap/Initiator/Offtank Build "-Leona the Female Jarvan"

written by polo2005

Leona Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Who am I?
    Hello I'm [email protected] from Sweden and I'm a dyslexics, so please point out if there is some spelling or grammer that isn't correct.

    I'm not close to as active as I once was, my highest elo I ever reached was around around ~1800 (but who cares about the elo? its broken anyway). I got about1000 wins/800loses and I think I'm atleast at average/decent skill level.
    The type of champions that I play the most, would be junglers. But I tend to not "maining" any specific champion, so I'm playing most of the champions atleast decent.

    I may not be at the "pro" level (I'm playing way to little lol for that), but I have been around since the start of open beta (and a bit of closed beta on US) so I would say I know decent about the game. =)

    My thoughts about Leona:
    Leona is Riots newest hero that is incredible fun to play and require decent of skill to play.
    My first impression was that she was very underpowered compare to all other champions in the same genre. She had AP scaling on every spell, which make a non-synergistic with Atma's/hp stacking for a decent damage output (tanky dps build), not to mention farming was a pain in the ass without AD ratios.
    Trinity build was to expensive for Leaona to be effective for my taste.
    Full AD or AD/Tank wasn't my cupe of tea.

    Tested some games with Full tank build, smart teams kind of just ignored me and keeped runnig for my team mates. Leona lacks "that thing" that other tanks have that makes her a threat as full tank.

    Jungling with Leona works great (could be a bit faster though), but I didn't felt like playing her as a jungler as the only choice, so I tried to find a playstyle that worked for me.

    A pure Ap build didn't work for varius reason as her low ap ratios and that shes FAR to squissy as full ap to be able to use her Q or E's full potential for my taste.

    So here is my version of a Leona build filling the roles as Ap/Initiator/Offtank:

  • Abilities

    Leona's damaging spells affect the target with Sunlight for 3.5 seconds. When allied champions deal damage to those targets they consume the Sunlight debuff to deal additional magic damage. Bonus damage is 20/35/50/65/80/95/110/125/140 (upgrades every 2 levels).

    Leona is unable to activate the additional damage herself.

    Own thoughts:

    This is the skill that makes Leona shine as a good ganker early, a great duo laner and an awesome damage buff in team fights

    It scales of really great eary mid game.
    Decent duration
    All her spells short/decent CDs synergy great with this.

    Since Leona herself cant activate the effect of her passive, its useless for solo laning.
    Though its great use for duo lanes, I fell like it doesn't really fit the current metagame (support/carry).

    Shield of Daybreak
    Leona uses her shield to perform her next autoattack, dealing bonus magic damage and stunning the target.

    Cost: 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 mana

    Cooldown: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 seconds

    Magic Damage: 40 / 70 / 100 / 130 / 160 (+0.3 per ability power)

    Own thoughts

    A decent skill that theoretically could be a monster with maxed CDR. (which would cost to much gold and you would lose to much to change out your item build to gain it)

    Works as your "safecard" stun.
    Scales great with CDR.
    Decent base damage.
    Low mana cost.

    Low Ap ratio.
    A ripoff and nerfed version of udyr bear stance passive. (well not really a con)

    Leona raises her shield to gain Armor and Magic Resistance. When the duration first ends, if there are nearby enemies she will deal magic damage to them and prolong the duration of the effect.

    Armor & Magic Resist Bonus: 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70

    Magic Damage: 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+0.4 per ability power)

    Cost: 60 mana

    Cooldown: 14 seconds

    Own thoughts

    Despite her crappy ap ratio, this skill works great as main farming skill and early game zoning enemy champions.

    Definitely my favorite of all her skills!

    IMO the best defensive selfbuff ingame due its high gain of BOTH mres armor.
    Decent AoE range.
    Low mana cost and decent/high base damage.

    Bit to low ap scaling compare to other AoE skills.
    Cant oneshot ranged creeps for farming purpose.

    Zenith Blade
    Leona projects a solar image of her sword, dealing magic damage to all enemies in a line. When the image fades, the last enemy champion struck will be briefly immobilized and Leona will dash to them.

    Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 mana

    Cooldown: 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 seconds

    Magic Damage: 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+0.4 per ability power)

    Own thoughts

    Reminds me alot of Jarvans flag charge. The maon reason why Leona is a viable pick.

    The skill passes truh creeps
    Combined with Eclipse, it helps farming alot.
    Low CD at max level.
    Decent Aoe damage output.

    Cant find any real cons with it.

    Solar Flare
    Leona calls down a beam of solar energy, dealing damage to enemies in an area. Enemies in the center of the area are stunned, while enemies on the outside are slowed.

    Cost: 100 / 150 / 200 mana

    Cooldown: 105 / 90 / 75 seconds

    Magic Damage: 150 / 250 / 350 (+0.8 per ability power)

    Own thoughts

    This is her Ace of spade, with her really long casting range, it gains so many ways it can be usefull in.

    Extremly long range compare to big aoe.
    Combined with passive it deals alot of damage in team fights.
    Decent CD at max level.
    Good Ap ratio.


  • Summoner Spells

    Summoner spells:

    First summoner spell:
    Best Choice:
    Secondary/Working spell:

    Why pick Flash over Ghost?
    Ghost is great for long distance running from/to the enemies compare to flash, but then again...
    Why did you overextend or was away farming another lane when your team needed you the most?

    Second summoner spell:
    Best Choice:
    Ignite IMO Alot easier to pickup assist/kills than exhaust.
    Second Best Choice:
    Exhaust Works basicly as ignite but I found ignite better for chasing down/solo killing enemies.

    Working Choice:
    Heal Some people like it as an ace to survive.
    Teleport Solo/toplane split pushing (i'm not recommend this playstyle for Leona since other champions tends to do it better)
    Smite Obv for junglnig :)
    Clairvoyance Theoretically she could be like Alistar role as roamer/ganker/counter-jungler and she would pretty much burst down any squissy support/ad range early at a duo lane even without ignite/exhaust. (with a decent setup ofc)

    Should not pick spells:
    Clarity She doesn't have mana problems.
    [spell=Rally] I can see no use in the current meta game for this.
    [spell=Fortify] Same as above.
    Revive Some heores works great with revive, Leona simple dont.

    Flash + Ghost?
    Flash and Ghost would surely boost your survival and utiliy by far, but you would have a great time harder to pickup kills, so I dont recommend it.

  • Masteries

    I Tried many cominations of Masteries, but i found to like the normal spellcaster masteries.
    It gives her mana regen, movement speed shorter CDR, spell pene, and makes her more agile with lower flash/ghost CD, overall incressing the efficiency in battle.

    9/0/21 standard caster build

    Note. Change out [mastery=Cripple] to [mastery=Deadliness] if you aint using Exhaust, same goes for [mastery=Mystical Vision] to [mastery=Utility Mastery].

    Pros/Cons with diffrent mastery setups:

    Ranking NR 1: 9/0/21
    -Gives the most stable CC and damage output due to the high CDR gain.
    -Magic penetration.
    -Movement speed.
    -Mana regen.
    -Extra gold per 5.
    -Option to increase Flash/Ghost/Clairvoyance/Teleport/Exhaust.
    -Shorter summoner spels.
    -Improved experience gain.
    -You lack toughness compare to other defensive speced builds.
    -Since you dont have the dodge procs speed increase, dodge runes and boots wont be as cost efficiency as a defensive spec.

    Own thoughts:
    The most stable mastery build for Leona as offtank, she gets decent survivablity mid/lategame due to her W spell even without defensive masteries. And as an offtank you have a full tank too that can jump in right after to soak up the damage instead of you, since you just have to survive the initiation damage.

    Ranking NR 2: 9/21/0
    -Magic penetration.
    -High ability to survive through the whole game.
    -Dodge boots and runes becomes a more viable chocie.
    Option to improve Exhaust.
    -No gold per 5.
    -If you have a bad/shitty/early deaths at the start, you tend to fall after with the lack of increased experience mastery.
    -Missing option to lower CD on Flash/Ghost/Clairvoyance/Teleport.

    Own thoughts:
    Pretty stable mastery setup. Works more like a "safecard" then main option.
    You get decent damage output from spells but your CC will have slightly longer CD compare to utily speced. Though your AP will be slightly higher than the utility spec.

    Ranking NR 3: 0/21/9
    -Improved experience gain.
    -Option to increase Ghost/Teleport.
    -Extra gold per 5.
    -High ability to survive through the whole game.
    -Dodge boots and runes becomes a more viable chocie.
    -No magic penetration.
    -No CDR.
    -Cant Improve Exhaust.

    Own thoughts:
    The worst of the three mastery versions IMO.
    With your lacking CDR and no magic penetration, your damage output is abit under acceptable compare to the other specs.

  • Runes


    Best Choice:
    9x Greater Mark of Insight
    Magic Pen scales better IMo since half of your ap ratios are realtive low.

    9x Greater Mark of Force OR 9x Greater Mark of Potency
    You scales a bit better early and in endgame against people that odesn't get MR.


    Best Choice:
    9x Greater Seal of Clarity
    This will pretty much erase all traces of manaproblems combined with items/masteries.

    Greater Seal of Evasion
    You wont benefit as much as a tank speced Leona, since you dont have the dodge mastery.
    Greater Seal of Regeneration
    I LOVE this runes for solo laning.
    Greater Seal of Resilience


    Best Choice:
    Greater Glyph of Shielding
    By building Leona A bit Ap leaves her Magic Res relative low to midgame, this runes actaully saves you from alot of aoe and burst even in lategame.

    Greater Glyph of Force OR Greater Glyph of Potency
    Same as the red version of this rune.
    Greater Glyph of Celerity OR Greater Glyph of Focus
    Q and all the other spells benefite alot from Lower CDR.
    Greater Glyph of Clarity
    If you didn't pick up Yellow Mana regen.


    Best Choice:
    Greater Quintessence of Insight
    Same as the red verson of this rune.

    Greater Quintessence of Vigor
    Pick one or 2 of these runes if you used the yellow hp regen runes.
    Greater Quintessence of Focus OR Greater Quintessence of Celerity
    Same as the blue version of this rune.
    Greater Quintessence of Evasion
    Same as the yellow version of this rune.
    Greater Quintessence of Potency OR Greater Quintessence of Force
    Same as the red version of this rune.
    Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
    Only pick 1 (at maximum 2) of movement speed runes. they actualyl help alot running away/to from enemies.
    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
    Personally i dont like HP runes, but some people tends to not be able to play without them.

  • Skilling Order

    Skill order based on Survival/Farming/Zoning based playstyle

    This one is my "main skill order". it works best imo for almost all kind of situations.

    Skill order based on Offensive/Chasing based playstyle

    This setup works best for a duolane setup with another offensive champion.
    Only Recommended for CDR builds. (not recommended by me)

  • Items and item order

    Since boots tends to be a big issue in Lol i will start with it:

    What boots should I use??

    There is actually three pair of boots that is "recommended" for Leona (by me).
    Ionian Boots of Lucidity
    Mercury's Treads
    Sorcerer's Shoes

    Sorcerer's Shoes works great for obv reasons but Leona actaully benefit alot from CDR, so i would say that Ionian Boots of Lucidity is the most effective boots on Leona for teamfights.

    But up against a Heavy CC/ap team I would choose Mercury's Treads over Ionian Boots of Lucidity, however Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Sorcerer's Shoes combined with [item=Eleisa's Miracle] would work too.

    Philosopher's Stone + Boots of Speed + Sunfire Cape + Rod of Ages

    Why a Philosopher's Stone?
    Passive gold effects really early on helps pretty much every character (maybe except carries) to scale better to endgame. In this case since Leona is melee and is below average in farming skills, it almost vital for her laning phase. Not to mention combined with masteries and runes, a Philosopher's Stone will erase all traces of mana need.

    Why a Sunfire Cape?
    I wouldn't even be thinknig about playing Leona without Sunfire Cape, even though she may not need that much creep kills early to be of any use, she still need to farm to have any use in mid/lategame. An early Sunfire Cape lifts up where Leonas "crappy" AP ratios fails her without leaving her as a glasscanon.

    Why a Rod of Ages? And why getting it so late?
    Rod of Ages is a really great item, but I found it leaving me with alot lesser survival and farming skills compare to an early Sunfire Cape would give me.
    Then why getting one at all?
    By getting a Rod of Ages you will roughly end up with about 3k hp at level 18. Comparing it with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, I found the Catalyst the Protector in the Rod of Ages more usefull than a Giant's Belt.

    AP Damage items:
    Best Choice:
    Abyssal Scepter
    Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    Deathfire Grasp

    Why is Abyssal Scepter a good item for Leona?
    By building Leona more damage oriented, she tends to lack MR compare to a full tank even with her W buff, this gives you a nice amount of MR, AP and lowering the enemies MR. Which just doesn't boost your own damage output, its even helps your team too! How sweet! Not to mention the good synergy between Sunfire Cape and Abyssal Scepter.

    What about Rylai's Crystal Scepter?
    Not really much to say about this item... its increases your survivability by adding tons of HP and gives a nice slow effect that make it easier to chase down enemies. (I'm not finding the slow effect THAT needed for Leona)

    What about Dea..
    Deathfire Grasp Gives pretty much EVERYTHING you would lack and need for an AP carry, CDR, AP and an extra nuke.

    Heavy AD team:
    Randuin's Omen Gives an "by-demand" aoe slow, armor, CDR and attack/movement speed slow if they would focus you.

    Glacial Shroud Is a relatively cheap item and can be upgraded to Frozen Heart for the same price as Randuin's Omen later when you need it.

    Heavy CC/debuff/AP users team:

    Quicksilver Sash is probably one of the most underrated item at normal/mid elo games, it helps alot in many situations.

    Start items:

    Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion
    Leona have great potential early as a laning harass champion, however since she is melee-fighter, she tends to soak up alot of harass and spill damage while laning, so I found Regrowth Pendant more optimal combined with a Health Potion versus a Doran's Shield not to mention lesser gold before your Philosopher's Stone.

    Why wont you recommend dual Gold per 5 items

    By getting 2 diffrent items of Philosopher's Stone[item=Heart of Gold] or [item=Kage's Lucky Pick] your delaying your sunfire cape (unless you get like FB or some early kills assist before 5-6min) I wouldn't recommend going for dual gold items IF you ain't plannig on going for an Randuin's Omen.

    Sheen is a item that I found having a great potential for early midgame damage output, but couldn't fit into my item build, without losing to much survival (unless I went like crazy fed early). It could possible be put in somewhere between the Giant's Belt in Sunfire Cape and the Catalyst the Protector.
    Due to her decent low CD spells (and that she got zero passive spells) she cna get the Sheen proc alot, and since Sheen is based on the BASE damage of the character it doesn't do that much early mid if you lack +AD items (just take a look at AD Evelynn before the stealth nerf).

    Lichbane VS Trinity as last item:
    Lets say you picked Sheen earlier in the game and wants to upgrade it (hopfully the game have ended before this), I made a list of the Pros/Cons with the items:

    Trinity Force
    -Auto attack chance to slow.
    -Movement speed.
    -AP & AD.
    -HP & MP.
    -Improved Sheen effect.
    -You dont have any armor penetration.
    -Attack speed are useless stats for you.
    -Since you wont have any high amount crit chance or any AD to scale it off with, the crit is useless.
    -Expensive item, specially when you dont have any real use for three of the stats.

    Lich Bane
    -High AP gain.
    -Movement speed.
    -Adds a high Pysical burst to the next attack after a spell (it fuse with "add damage spells on next attack" as Q).
    -Cheaper and more cost efficiency compare to Trinity Force.
    Only Con I could see is that if you iddn't go for the Rylai's Crystal Scepter, you would lack slow, but I highly doubt that the slow will be needed at this stage of the game. Though, stil need to be tested in practice. :)

    Build example:

    Gold cost: 10295

  • Basic Playstyle-Concept and shortage

    What is the Concept of an offtank?

    An offtank in lol is pretty misleading, since offtank basically means a secondary/"stand in" if the tank dies, but in lol its more like a fihter class that got high survivability but doesn't have high enough to be concidering a full tank. An offtank job is more about sabotage the enemies positioning in team fights, while a full tank is more about protecting your team than charging right into the enemies (of course this doesn't mean that a full tank and an offtank cant act virsaversa based on the situation).
    Some good example champions for offtanks:
    -Farmed Sion
    -Every HP stacking/Atma's build

    What is the Concept of an initiator?

    An initiator is the role for a champion that tries to force a fight, often charges right into the enemy team and stun/slows them, trying to keep them immobilized so your team can catch up with the victim(s).
    Some good example champions for initiators:

    What is the Concept of an AP?

    AP stands for Ability Power, which basically means a damage dealer that rely on ability power to deal damage, often magicial damage as core damage type.
    Also goes under the name spell casters.
    Some good example champions for ability power:

    CC = crowd control
    CD = cool down
    CDR = cool down reduction
    MR = magic resisten
    AD = attack damage

  • Laning as Leona

    Why not solo laning?

    -She is relative weak compare to other solo lane heroes as Jarvan/Irelia/Warwick/Xin etc etc.
    -Her passive wont synergy with anything exept ganks from mid/jungle since she cant proc it herself.
    -She doesn't really have enough "burst" with her skill combo to actually get kills alone early game.
    -Except her shield she doesn't have any escape spells, which makes her a passive/tower hugger early and is easily zoned by a stornger solo champ.
    -Due to her passive and lacking early farming skills, I think its waste to put her on a solo lane.

    So IMO Duolane is the best choice for Leona.

    Attack Combos

    Basic attack skill combo with E, without ulti:

    Pop Eclipse charge in with Zenith Blade and since it stuns the target for a short time, auto attack/positioning yourself before using Shield of Daybreak to prolong the stun. This doesn't just adds more effective damage output, it also gives your team more time to catch up to your target.

    Basic attack skill combo with E, with ulti:

    Pop Eclipse charge in with Zenith Blade throw Solar Flare right above the target before using Shield of Daybreak to keep the target stunned to give your ulti bigger hit chance.

    An alternative is to Start with Solar Flare to easier alnd your Zenith Blade+ Shield of Daybreak combo.

    The uses of Leonas ulti

    Solar Flare is truly amazing, with its long range/big aoe and stun/slow, its IMO one of the ultis with the most usage.
    You can use it for:
    -Stop a group of enemies that are chasing you or anyone else in your team without leaping a big risk of getting killed.
    -Combined with Q and E, you basicly got three interrupts that can be used to keep a target CC'ed or cancel out channel effects.
    -Gives good burst damage combined with your other skills.
    Including all these points, its also add your passive ability effect on EVERY target it hits, which basicly adds an additionally ~100+- damage in teamfights based on your level..

    How to play Leona on duolane:

    Basiclly you play passive the first 1-3 levels, throwing of a stun whenever you can if your enemies comes too close and hoping that your duo parter is smart enough to throw away atleast 1 auto attack to pop your passive.
    After level 3-4 you can start trying to harass/engaging with your "Basic attack skill combo" and run back again if the enemy got to high hp to kill.
    ASAP you get gold for your Philosopher's Stone bluepill back to base and buy it (useless the enemies are hardcore butching your tower or that your duo parter have dropped too low to stay).
    When you have your Philosopher's Stone ready you get a steady gold gain even if you dont tend to grab alot of creeps. (if your giving them to your carry so to speak, basic support tacts). And you can pretty much charge in with your shield buff attack combo, taking damage and pulling out to auto regen back the hp really fast before engaging again.

    Duolane setup

    Support and Leona
    Leona and any support with any kind of heal or CC works really great as laning early/mid game untill the lanig phase is over.
    You wont make a pure "carry" even if you win oyur lane compare to an AD range, (mainreason why metagame doesn't work well with Leona) but you work more like an "anti-carry/support" setup.
    You just got to play passive until you reach 3-4 in level.
    Some good example champions that works good as support with Leona:
    -Karma (works surprisingly good)

    Burst damage dealer and Leona

    This is the setup that I found working best at duo lane, by laning up with an early hgih damage champion its really easy to shut down, zoning or grabbing kills without leapnig any nig risk of dying.
    At 3-5~ish combined with your CC and the damage from your high damage dealer parner, you can pretty much burst down anyone 50%-80% of thier hp instantly and finish them of with iginte if you cant chase them down without it.
    Some good example of champions for early high damage:
    -AP sion
    -Captain Jacksparrow

    Comparing Leona with supports and playing her:

    You could basiclly compare Leona with Alistar while roaming but Lee sin difficulty with landing skills (both rely on their charge skill, alistar is way easier).

    But as a laning support, Leona could basicly be compared to Lux, both needs abit farm to be able to do anything in mid/lategame even as support, both are decent/good at grabbing kills at duo lanes with another offensive champion (for example MF/cait), they both rely on the mistakes the enemies positioning and your laning partner.
    Some good example champions that works well with Leona as support:
    -Miss fortune
    -Basically every offensive ranged AD(haven't tested anything else)

    How to play Leona on sololane, and why it tends to fail:

    When sololaning with Leona its all about harassing and zoning, you first have to lend your spell combo, then pulling back without taking to heavy damage, before trying to zone him/her with W, it may work extremely early levels (as before level 6) but almost all other solo laners are stronger at level 6. HOWEVER this wont work facing a stronger harasser or overall stronger laner, if you CANT get back out without taking to much damage, he/him can just go for a kill instead of getting zoned.

    Lets say you HAD a decent/good early game, and your team does bad/decent in game performance. Leona isn't a gamebreaking champion with feed/farm compare to Irelia/Jarvan etc etc, there is simple better choices for a top lane.
    She cant carry a game compare to other champinos with lesser farm/feed, a smart team would just ignore her in teamfights if gonig full tank, since she would have nothing except her ulti as full tank.
    Some bad match-up champions on sololane:
    -Basically any offtank or early high survivability champions


    Leona isn't really fit for current metagame as duolaner in "high skilled/high elo" games. But works great in normals/low/mid elo.
    And she is quite weak top sololaner comapare to the "mainstreams" top champions, so Leona isn't really fit for a sololane either.

    IMO she needs a slightly buff to be able to lane, but will be hard to not make her to overpowered if they try to do it, since she is close to a balanced laner. Not to mention that she works good/great as a jungler.

  • Changelog/Finsihing

    2011-07-16: Guide created and up-to-date with Patch:
    2011-07-17: Fixed some spelling/grammar. Guide Published.
    2011-07-17: Tweaks and adding some more stuff.


    Thank you for taknig time reading my guide, feel free to leave feedback and opinions about it.

    Note: Everything I write is obv based on my own gaming experience, and is just my opinions of things. I'm not saying that what I'm writing is 100% correct, so feel free to leave any comment about your opinion about Leona. I might even change my mind :)

    I wish you luck on the fields of justice.

    //[email protected]

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