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Leona/Strategy

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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Gameplay

By Ryan 'Morello' Scott [1]

Greetings Summoners!

We wanted to give you a glimmer of insight into the mechanics of our newest champion, Leona, the Radiant Dawn.

Leona Leona is a bit special because she’s our answer to a pretty popular fan request; a female tank! I think a good place to start is to answer “what exactly does ‘tank’ mean to us at Riot?”

  • Starts and initiates teamfights (usually via CC).
  • Soaks up damage.
  • May peel dangerous attackers off other vulnerable team mates.
  • Presents itself as an attractive target by causing long-term “threat” as the fight continues.

Leona does this by providing a low-cooldown, low-duration, Shield of Daybreak.png single-target stun with a Zenith Blade.png skillshot gap-closer to start. After she closes the gap to the enemy, she’ll be performing regular Shield of Daybreak.png single-target stuns that really disrupt the fight or peel off a target from an ally once a fight has begun. Additionally, she has a Eclipse.png defensive stance that allows her to soak up punishment pretty effectively and also discharges a wave of sunlight outward that causes significant damage. This mechanic acts as a sort of “soft taunt” that causes her to have some threat when she’s about to unleash a big chunk of damage, and makes her an attractive target.

Finally, her passive, Sunlight.png Sunlight, causes all of Leona’s spells to debuff the target, causing the next attack from an ally to do additional damage. This really encourages Leona to mark high-priority targets and let her set up opportunities for her teammates. Her power increases with the length of the fight, a common tank trait (like Singed Singed’s Poison Trail.png Poison Trail or Amumu Amumu’s Despair.png Despair, for example).

We’re excited to be able to deliver something we’re really proud of to meet our players’ requests and expectations. Keep letting us know what you want – we do take your feedback seriously.

Champion Spotlight
Leona Champion Spotlight06:09

Leona Champion Spotlight

Recommended Items
Summoner's Rift
Starting Health Potion item3 Relic Shield item Warding Totem item
Early Sightstone item Targon&#039;s Brace item Boots of Speed item
Essential Face of the Mountain item Locket of the Iron Solari item Boots of Mobility item
Aggressive Zeke&#039;s Harbinger item Righteous Glory item Sunfire Cape item
Protective Locket of the Iron Solari item Mikael&#039;s Crucible item Frozen Heart item
Consumables Health Potion item Vision Ward item Elixir of Iron item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Doran&#039;s Shield item Boots of Speed item Health Potion item
Essential Boots of Mobility item Locket of the Iron Solari item Frozen Heart item
Aggressive Righteous Glory item Talisman of Ascension item Banner of Command item
Protective Mikael&#039;s Crucible item Randuin&#039;s Omen item Banshee&#039;s Veil item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Iron item
Howling Abyss
Starting Targon&#039;s Brace item Doran&#039;s Shield item Health Potion item2
Essential Frozen Heart item Locket of the Iron Solari item Ninja Tabi item
Offensive Zeke&#039;s Harbinger item Righteous Glory item Sunfire Cape item
Defensive Dead Man&#039;s Plate item Banshee&#039;s Veil item Randuin&#039;s Omen item
Consumables Oracle&#039;s Extract item Health Potion item Elixir of Iron item

Tips

Playing As Leona Leona
  • Lead the charge and mark your foes with Sunlight.png Sunlight before your allies deal damage.
  • Shield of Daybreak.png Shield of Daybreak and Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade from a powerful offensive combo.
  • You can absorb a huge amount of damage using Eclipse.png Eclipse, but you must stay near enemies to gain the bonus duration.
Playing Against Leona Leona
  • When Leona activates Eclipse.png Eclipse, you have three seconds to get away from her before she deals damage.
  • Only foes in the center of Solar Flare.png Solar Flare get stunned, so you can often avoid this if you're quick.

Tricks

Ability Usage
  • Leona Leona is primarily played as a support and her strength as a champion comes from her incredible amount of hard CC from Shield of Daybreak.png Shield of Daybreak, Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade, and Solar Flare.png Solar Flare, the team damage potential from Sunlight.png Sunlight, and her natural durability from her stats and Eclipse.png Eclipse.
  • Maximize Sunlight.png Sunlight's potential by timing your skills in a way that gives your allies an opportunity to consume each mark.
    • Sunlight.png Sunlight can be activated by any damage so long as she is not the source, including a DoT like Despair.png Despair.
  • Shield of Daybreak.png Shield of Daybreak can be used to help Leona Leona destroy towers or get last-hits as it resets her attack timer and deals bonus damage, even to structures.
  • With high natural CC, Leona can set up kills for her jungler even if they lack it themselves, such as Shyvana Shyvana.
  • Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade can be relatively easy to land during the early laning phase when ADCs do not have very much attack speed and thus have a long enough attack animation to close in on them.
  • If Leona Leona is hit by a knock-back while Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade is in flight, she will be knocked back, but then immediately blink to the last enemy hit by the skill even though she has been knocked farther away.
    • Against champions with knockbacks or blinks, it is generally better to save Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade until after they expend their distance-creating ability whenever possible.
  • A standard combo would be to activate Eclipse.png Eclipse at a distance and then use Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade to dash to an enemy champion, activating Shield of Daybreak.png Shield of Daybreak in mid-flight.
  • Leona Leona lanes well with aggressive teammates with powerful early-game harassment skills such as Graves Graves, Tristana Tristana and Varus Varus, however many ADCs can easily take advantage of her kit.
  • When unable to directly communicate with a lane-mate, activating Eclipse.png Eclipse can be a good signal to them that you are about to initiate your combo.
    • Likewise, it can also tell your enemies that you're about to engage on them. Be quick or hide in the brush to prevent the enemy from disengaging.
  • Solar Flare.png Solar Flare can be used to steal Dragon Dragon or Baron Nashor Baron Nashor from significant range. However, its small delay and low damage requires good timing.
  • Place Solar Flare.png Solar Flare where it will hit as many enemies as possible, not only for the stun and 80% slow, but also to maximize Sunlight.png Sunlight's bonus damage.
    • The cooldown on the ability is fairly low, so don't be afraid to use it to set up kills or to save teammates.
  • It is a good idea to prioritize skill points into Eclipse.png Eclipse. It deals the most damage of any of your skills, and has the most significant bonuses upon level-up.
    • It is important to get a point in Shield of Daybreak.png Shield of Daybreak early to complete Leona's combo, but extra points in the ability aren't particularly noticeable.
    • Maxing Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade after Eclipse.png Eclipse is the best way to help Leona overcome her lackluster wave clear, enabling her to kill minion waves with one combo by level 9.
    • Eclipse.png Eclipse does not need to be taken until level 3 as a Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak.png Shield of Daybreak combo will allow you to exchange harass damage against enemy lanes.
  • Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade can be used even against enemies you cannot see, making it good for chasing enemies who become invisible or flee into brush or over walls.
  • Spell shields, such as that from Banshee&#039;s Veil item.png Banshee's Veil, will prevent her abilities from applying Sunlight.png Sunlight, but they will not stop Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade from pulling Leona Leona to her target or prevent Eclipse.png Eclipse's defense bonus.
  • Aim Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade so that the desired target is the last enemy hit by the skill.
  • Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade and Eclipse.png Eclipse can be used to mark minions with Sunlight.png Sunlight to make it easier for your lane partner to last-hit large waves, especially if they have AoE skills.
  • Beware when casting Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade near enemy towers; you can be pulled under it and take aggro.
    • On a similar note, Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade can potentially put you in a bad position and out of range of your teammates.
  • Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade's projectile does have a travel time, so it is generally unwise to use the spell at the tip of its range since the enemy champion has time to dodge.
  • When laning, control the brush whenever possible as her ability to set up kills gives her excellent zoning.
  • Using Flash.png Flash while Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade is winding up can result in the range of the ability being extended and harder for the enemy to dodge.
  • If Leona Leona's lane partner is fed enough, and/or they are able to handle a 1v2 lane, she can begin roaming as soon as she purchases movement speed and a gold generating item.
    • Her massive CC allows her to set up kills easily, especially when Solar Flare.png Solar Flare is available.
    • When coordinating a roaming gank with your team's jungler, Leona Leona's ganking ability is more potent.
  • Leona Leona's abilities have a decent amount of base damage, especially Eclipse.png Eclipse. Use this to your advantage to kill fragile characters who underestimate your burst damage.
  • Leona Leona has the ability to clear enemy wards just after their placement. Deal a basic attack, activate Shield of Daybreak.png Shield of Daybreak for another, and immediately attack again to kill it.
  • Note that Leona Leona will still dash behind a champion even if Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade deals the killing blow.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage
  • Leona can be built in multiple ways with the most favorable being a supportive tank. Less common builds include more offense, while utilizing her natural crowd control and tankiness.
    • With defensive items, Leona Leona can be very hard to kill. Armor, magic resist, and health help her to make a very strong front line. Leona Leona can not only provide initiation, but can also lock down targets with her numerous stuns and immobilizes in the middle of the fight.
    • Since Eclipse.png Eclipse provides Leona a high amount of armor and magic resist, she will generally gain more of a survivability boost from building health as opposed to more armor or magic resist, although the bonus does scale with extra defense.
    • Relic Shield item.png Relic Shield or Ancient Coin item.png Ancient Coin are great starting choices for Leona Leona depending on how you want to play her.
      • Relic Shield item.png Relic Shield will allow her to help sustain herself and her partner during the laning phase and builds into Face of the Mountain item.png Face of the Mountain, which can provide a decent shield and possible nuke depending on who you use the active on.
      • On the other hand, Talisman of Ascension item.png Talisman of Ascension's active will allow her to engage easier and quicker with her team. The choice can be made based on team composition and the needs of the team.
    • The more team oriented items that Leona Leona favors include Locket of the Iron Solari item.png Locket of the Iron SolariSightstone item.png Sightstone, and Talisman of Ascension item.png Talisman of Ascension, granting herself a good handful of stats and team beneficial actives.
    • Iceborn Gauntlet item.png Iceborn Gauntlet, while somewhat expensive and uncommon, will allow you to keep targets locked down for much longer due to the slowing field in addition to providing good defensive stats. Though you won't be able to take advantage of the proc as frequently as other champions, the utility it provides may be just enough.
  • Leona Leona has very high base defense and utility. Using the right build and combination of items, she can dive into the enemy backline and be a major threat to their damage dealers. While being played as a solo laner or jungler, she can use this build to accomplish this. The best choices for this role contain a mix of damage, cooldown reduction and some defenses.
  • With excellent CC and tankiness, and with all of her abilities scaling AP, Leona Leona has good capabilities of being a bursty AP offtank. Between building the right defenses and AP items, she can easily handle a squishy lane-combatant, as well as pick off squishy AD carrys in teamfights whilst supported by her team.
Countering
  • In lane, Leona Leona will attempt a combo of Eclipse.png Eclipse immediately followed by Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade to jump to you and Shield of Daybreak.png Shield of Daybreak to stun and ensure Eclipse.png Eclipse's damage.
    • This combo is especially dangerous from the brush. Keep track of her.
  • Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade has small width and slightly short range, so staying back or sidestepping can help you dodge it.
  • If Leona Leona uses Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade to farm minions, it can sometimes be advantageous to make it hit you and force her into a bad position.
  • Stay mobile in order to make it harder for her to effectively initiate with Solar Flare.png Solar Flare and her combo.
    • Spread out to minimize how many people will be hit by the stun from Solar Flare.png Solar Flare, and possibly the entire ability.
  • Catch Leona Leona alone whenever possible, as she cannot make use of Sunlight.png Sunlight without a teammate.
  • Any damage from her lane partner will proc Sunlight.png Sunlight, notably damage-over-time, greatly increasing damage taken. Try to force her to use most of her skills before her teammate can activate the marks.
  • Leona Leona is hard to finish off in combat due to the bonus defensive stats from Eclipse.png Eclipse. Only commit to killing her if you are sure of victory.
  • Leona Leona's largest source of personal damage comes from Eclipse.png Eclipse, which also provides her the most defense. Try to keep your distance from her when you see her activate it.
  • It is difficult to disengage from Leona Leona, but if you can dodge another Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade, which has a small hit area and a notable casting time, you can cripple her ability to chase. Coupled with her low base movement speed, it is possible to escape from her by simply running in a straight line away from her.
  • When laning, Leona is most effective when she can surprise her foes from the brush; warding your lane's brush can be a very effective way to diminish her zoning ability.
  • Be careful about using knockback abilities such as Condemn.png Condemn or Buster Shot.png Buster Shot on Leona Leona when she uses Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade. If you fire before Leona Leona starts her dash, she will be able to dash to the last enemy champion hit regardless. Instead, try to time the shot to hit just as she starts to dash, which will break her dash and knock her back, effectively canceling her gap closer.
  • Remember that Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade places Leona Leona behind her target with respect to her point of view on using Zenith Blade.png Zenith Blade. This can be exploited by knockback abilities to either throw her into one of your turrets, into your team, or to Condemn.png Condemn her into a wall with proper positioning.

References

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