--Added "How not to play Alistar" section
--Updated general layout of the guide.
--Edited "Introduction" section.
[number]--Edited item build
--Added item build route examples
--Updated "Introduction" section
--Updated "Summoner Spells" section
--Updated "Masteries" section
--Updated "Runes" section
--Added "Why Mana Regeneration Seals/Glyphs?" section
--Updated "Skills" section
--Updated "Item Builds" section
--Added new rune page suggestion
--Updated a few items and arrangement of item build
01/02/2013 (UK) Update:
--Updated for Season 3
--Updated early game information.
--Corrected spelling mistakes (quick read through, might still be some).
--Updated more detail for item builds.
Hey there people, Blue Hwyaden here with a guide on one of my favourite champions to play as support; Alistar.
AS THE GUIDE NAME SUGGEST, IT'S A GUIDE FOR NEW PLAYERS WHO MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH THIS CHAMPION
Why is he one of my favorite champions? Well his laugh is pretty funny to me, plus he's a tanky champion and I prefer tank-like champions (unless I play ).
Alistar can be described as a tank support; he can take tons of damage even without the use of his ultimate, plus he has a decent amount of CC that it's hard for the enemy to initiate without being knocked back and knocked up into the air.
This guide should teach you how to go 0/0/20 in most games as well as teach you to protect your ADC if they're decent enough.
When should I choose Alistar?
It's hard to say when because there are a few other champions that support a lot better than Alistar ( for example), but Alistar excels most in team fights; if your team lacks initation or tankiness, pick the bull.
Why should I pick Alistar?
+ AoE CC.
- Weak heal/sustain.
- Hard to be consistant.
- Easily taken down by true damage.
- High cooldowns early on.
Standard spells to take as a support; allows you to weaken the enemy ADC if a fight breaks out.
If your AD carry doesn't take ignite, I would suggest taking it - can secrure the kill and provides extra damage.
Allows more sustain and potentially bait the opposite bot lane while fighting.
This page allows you to take more damage while trading or while going in for the kill. As well as early tankiness, this page gives Alistar reasonable utility while in lane.
Gives up early tankiness for more utility (more experience, more cooldown, more movement speed). I sometimes use this if I'm up against a "non-lethal" bot lane (soraka, sona, nami) and/or if my team has tanky champions already (e.g. Top and Jungle).
This is only for when you're maybe the only tanky champion on the team, play more agressive in lane if you use this page.
Armour marks allows you take hits more often without taking too much damage.
Although you don't build ability power, you still do magic damage with your abilities.
Since Alistar is a melee champion, you can have attack damage marks to harass more if you are planning play aggressively.
Same as marks - one of the better options for seals since you get a lot of armour.
Due to the high mana costs of Alistar's abilities, taking mana regeneration seals can't hurt.
Gold Per 10
High utility build on Alistar, very rarely do I run gp10 seals on tanky supports but still viable.
Magic Resistance (Flat or Scaling
Since a lot of the items you will be building won't have magic resistance, it's best to use scaling magic resistance for mid-late game.
Since Alistar has high cooldowns in early-mid game, you can use cooldown glyphs; however this does mean you will need to build 1-2 magic resistance items.
Same as seals.
Gold Per 10
Ideal for any support - since you are not killing minions you need help to gain gold to be able to scale into late game.
Allows you to be more aggressive early on.
Rune Page Examples:
(Yes, I stole this page from Xpecial pretty much, however I already added a page a while ago including mana regen which you'll see later on in this section, but I had a different set up; but this page is much better than what I came up with).
Why Use Mana Regeneration Seals/Glyphs?at level 4 costs 100 mana while costs 70 mana at level 1 - 100+70 = 170 mana.
Alistar has 215 base mana; assuming you are level 8 Alistar will have approximately 519 mana depending on items: 519-170 = 385.
Now assuming you have 0 mana regen seals and 0 mana regen item and don't use , then you will have approximately 413 mana by the time you have back up, by now you are level 9 and now costs 110 mana - You use again = 110+70 = 180 : 413 - 180 = 233 : Then you use your ultimate and heal = 233 - 100 - 50 = 83 mana.
So within a 1 minute 30 second phase you now have no mana to cast any essential abilities ---- alot of math and probably worthless information, but this is later on in the game, it's worse at earlier levels.
Not too useful to you when playing support, does AoE damage so more useful in teamfights.
Great AoE CC, whether you're using it to escape or engaging; if you land this you have a good chance of securing the kill or forcing flash.
The W-Q combo; the best of Alistar; great for initating. W is useful for keeping away potential dangers from your team as well as putting an enemy out of position.
This got a buff in the recent patch, you can't make an excuse to not pick Alistar now.
Try and knock them into the wall when using this - it adds more stun.
E: Triumphant Roar
The sustain you give to your lane isn't too strong since you only get 50% to your ADC, however if you're laning against Blitzcrank, Leona, your heal will be the main reason if you win the lane.
R: Unbreakable Will
Allows Alistar to be very tanky, and gives him extra attack damage to do more damage in team fights / trades. Can also be used to bait a team - if you get snared or stunned use Unbreakable Will to free yourself and knock all of the enemy team into the air.
Skill OrderI put 2 or 3 points into before level 6 just for extra sustain in my lane.
I max first and then max next.
The reason why you max and leave only one point in until level 14 is because of the cooldown: At max level has a 13 second cooldown and has a 14 second cooldown, which makes it perfect to use since you use Q not long after you see your W start to animate.
Faerie charm to sustain your mana in lane.
For an early
Keeps you in lane longer because you have vision for longer.
For an early .
For early movement speed to be aggressive.
For extra sustain (as long as you remember to use the flask).
Gives you extra health when upgraded (can be seen as a replacement for heart of gold), saves you a lot of gold with wards. Get this item as soon as you can.
Standard support item, best to pick this up before 10-12 mins, if you don't build it by 10 minutes, don't bother purchasing it.
Aegis is needed in every team. The benefits to gold cost is very much in your favour.
Gives you health, cooldown, armour, health regeneration and a shield to save you and/or your AD carry.
When should I get Aegis and/or Locket?
You can discuss with your jungeler on who gets what. If you have an AP jungeler who doesn't build either, then I suggest purchasing both.
- - - - - -
Runic Bulwark quite expensive considering the benefits you get. Only get this if you're up against a lot of magic damage.
Mikael's Crucible is a pretty good item for protecting your ADC if they get jumped on or if they are on low HP. Also gives Aslitar a lot of mana regen and magic resistance.
Shurelya's Reverie helps your team engage or disengage and some sustain.
Zeke's Herald had some changes to it, for the worst I'm afraid (costs more with less benefits). It's a decent item for the current meta of top and mid ADs.
Twin Shadows is similar to Shurlya's but mainly used to engage rather than disengage. Alistar benefits more from Shurelya's however you can build this for a magic resist item that will benefit you and your team.
Will Of The Ancients is similar to zeke's in the sense of; if you have an ap top and mid then this would be a decent item to pick up.
Banner Of Command is only good for split pushing, otherwise no need for it.
Boots of mobility
Lets you roam easier as well as being able to rush back to lane easier.
I usually pick up with the enemy has slows or taunts that will stop me from engaging as well as a form of magic resistance.
I usually pick up if we are losing bot lane, and I pick them up early and hope that they focus me.
Ionian boots of lucidity
I get these more often since it gives the extra cooldown towards Alistar's W-Q combo.
These are all situational and you will eventually learn what you need at what times.
Early GameEarly game is quite boring really, unless you've already agreed to play aggressively.
With warding you want to be warding the river bush or between the tri bush and river bush as your first ward; this will allow you to see if their enemy jungeler is coming down river or through the tri-bush.
If you're against supports like or then you need to be warding your enemies lane bush to keep sight on them.
You want to be making sure that your ADC doesn't get jumped on too early; even if this means dieing to save them (sorry, but that's the support life). Of course you should avoid dying at all costs, but your ADC needs to stay alive more than you in the early game.
Alistar doesn't have any real harass but you can fool the enemy into thinking you're going in for a W-Q combo and make them step away from farm for a second.
You should be looking to zone your lane opponents, to put them in a position where going to farm can lead to an easy kill for you. Have an agreement with your ADC to back each other up and and wait for their minion count to go down before engaging.
Mid GameBy now you should have at least or and a few assists behind you.
Your warding should now be tri-bush and dragon (if no towers are taken yet).
If you and your ADC are behind, then let them push to your tower and call down your jungeler and hopefully pull something off.
If the laning phase is still going on then you should be aiming your W-Q comno at their ADC so your ADC can go to town on their support while you keep their ADC occupied. Use and if it means getting a kill or 2, it will hlep in the long run.
Late GameDepending on your build; you should be a full bull mode by now.
You should be placing wards in their jungle, baron and dragon.
If your team needs an initiater then be at the front of your team, leading them on; otherwise just stand by your ADC and follow your jungeler or top.
Try not to wander off by yourself unless you know where the enemy is.
Your main job now is to tank and/or protect your ADC and hopefully should do it successfully.
If your team isn't focusing on objectives, then tell them to, if they don't listen and you lose, then you know yourself that you were right. Never try and cause arguement at any moment during the game, you want all of your team to stay focused and not rage type at each other.
Team FightsDepending on your build you will be useful for 1 of 2 things;
As the tank you want to be taking all the damage and absorbing the enemy into focusing you; along with your CC initiation, the enemy won't have much time to think by the time you're in the middle of them. Don't chase their ADC or APC, if they run away from the fight, then good; they're not doing anything to contribute so your job is done, return back and help the rest of your team. Don't get too cocky though; your ultimate will wear off and you will be open to more damage once that happens.
Very rare that you will be the sole tank, so this may not be needed.
Protect the carry
You will still likely be tanky, but you will not be running into the enemy team and fight; instead you will be protecting and assisting your ADC and APC, knocking up or knocking away anyone who comes near them.
You should always look to be protecting your ADC (depending on how fed they are).
Overall you should be engaging the enemy with your ultimate and then moving back to protect the ADC.
ReplaysHere are links to watch my replays of ranked games as Alistar.
Here is a good example of why to pick vs a blitzcrank;
While here is a good example of why Ali is a decent support;
SEASON 3 REPLAYS COMING SOON
Final CommentsFeedback is appreciated; good or bad. If you feel I've missed anything important feel free to leave a comment and I will edit accordingly.
Feel free to follow me on twitter, to ask me any questions or if you just want me to write more guides on champions I enjoy playing: https://twitter.com/LoLBlueHwyaden
You can also add me in game (EU West server): BLUE HWYADEN