Since I have a little experience under my belt, I’ve decided to start writing up some guides here for people like me, similar to what they do around the web, but maybe with a more interactive feel to it. League is extremely overwhelming to new people, and for those who join realize that playing with humans is borderline toxic and they tell you to learn on bots, but we as more experienced players know that bots aren’t like humans at all.
The way I see it happening is talking about your builds, your strategies, and what you’ve seen as you’ve played, and so forth. Keep in mind that as of writing this guide I’m not level 30 yet, nor do I have insane amounts of IP, so some of my earlier write ups are theoretical, but shouldn’t be too far off in terms of application.
So to start, I’ve mentioned that I’m a huge fan of the support role, so I’m going to give this a go and kind of wing it from here. I’ll talk to you about the build first, the idea behind it, and how it’s performed so far. I might come back and actually put images in here.
Masteries: 21 Defense (geared towards Armor), 9 Utility (getting at least the biscuit for health recovery)
Runes: 9 Marks of Armor, 9 Seals of Health, 9 Glyphs of Magic Resist, 3 Quints of Armor
Summoner Spells: Exhaust, Flash (unless ADC chooses something other than Heal, then take heal).
Skills: You want to start with Eclipse, Shield of Daybreak, Eclipse, and Zenith Blade. Once you’ve done that, you want to Eclipse first (getting your Ult as it’s available), then Shield, and finally Zenith.
@teh_ninjaneer’s Alternate Skill Options: League of Legends Champion Guide - Leona Tank Support
Always - Face of the Mountain, Warding Trinket (turned Sweeper after Sightstone), Start with Biscuits, but by mid/late game, stop buying them. Ruby Sightstone (only upgrade to sightstone unless you have excess gold).
For Armor - Frozen Heart OR Thornmail, Randuin’s Omen, Sunfire Cape, Ninja’s Tabi
For Magic Resist - Locket of the Iron Solari OR Aegis of the Legion (most builds recommend always getting this, but I think it’s situational), Banshee’s Veil, Orb of Winter, Mercury’s Treads.
Boot Enchant: Alacrity or Distortion
Strategy: I play very aggressively as a support, especially with Leona and her gratuitous amounts of heath and armor. The Runes I start with supplement her already beefy Armor growth, which makes MR buying easy early game if you find out you need it. The majority of the games I play have at least two people fighting with AD, so she should be able to hold her own against them early game while working on the painful MD that will be coming your way early game. As a support, your focus is of course supporting your AD, but you cannot do that dead. Make full use of any charges from Face of the Mountain (and earlier iterations) to score some gold for yourself as well as healing your ADC.
When laning, you’re going to want to be on the opposite side of the minions using your Eclipse as much as possible. Eclipse not only damages units in it’s explosion, but also increases your Armor and Magic Resist temporarily. If you can, hit champs or minions to extend the effect a few extra seconds. The auto attack and most skills from early level champs won’t even phase Leona unless the bottom champs are going hard on you together (it doesn’t happen often). Most people panic when they see you charging in because they have no idea what is happening at first. A lot of games tell you that if a champ charges recklessly, there might be a gank on the way. This also helps desensitize them to that fear for when ganks actually happen. They’ll get used to that, and the smaller damage output, but what they don’t know is that changes tremendously as you begin to put points in that Eclipse, too. Make sure that while you’re harassing early, your ADC is farming as much as possible. I know that seems self explanatory, but they sometimes get greedy and want to help you fight champs. Not this early. One thing you should always pay attention to is your ADC and what they want to be doing. If they want to try and hold lane steady, try not to let Eclipse hit any minions. If you want to push, then allow that spell to explode onto everyone.
As you progress, and your ADC gets stronger, you can start really pushing hard to work in combos. Light up your Eclipse, use Zenith to get close, and stun. You hit with three different skills, and stop the opposing champ from getting away, giving your ADC a chance to pick up the kill.
If you’re doing well early/mid game, focus on boosting that armor/MR (whatever is needed) as much as you can. The less damage you take, the longer you can harass. The more you can harass, the more you either weaken the champs for your ADC to pick up, or allow your ADC to farm. It is imperative though, especially if you run low health like I do, to keep eyes/vision everywhere as much as possible. Always always always ward, especially if your opposing support champ has a hook.
As late game comes along, you’ll hopefully be in a solid place to start providing support to other lanes/champs as you need it. Same rules apply: Eclipse, Zenith, Shield to allow others to pick off champs, and use your ult in team fights to spook or to catch stray champs. Remember that Dragon should always be a number one focus when possible, and Baron should only ever be done if your opponents are trying to take him, or if you are doing really well but cannot seem to push through to inhibitors.
Also, don’t be like me and remember to use Exhaust to save your ADC. It could be the difference between life and death.
Exceptions/Flaws: As with any strategy in LoL, there are things I’ve found that make life difficult. I’m still working out how to successfully play against units that have hooks (Thresh and Blitzcrank, specifically). The high armor helps, but with the right combo between them and their ADC, it could make short work of Leona.
@GuardianX’s Strategy to Mobility Champs: League of Legends Champion Guide - Leona Tank Support
@ghosthog’s Strategy to Mobility Champs: League of Legends Champion Guide - Leona Tank Support
The other exception is Shaco. Fuck you, Shaco. I don’t know how to play against him as a jungler with ANY champs.
@DrizztDo_Urden69’s Strategy to Shaco: League of Legends Champion Guide - Leona Tank Support
That’s it. I’ll edit this as I find the need to, but feel free to pick this apart and ask questions. If it’s worthwhile, I’ll push it into this guide. Thanks for reading and all of the feedback in advance.