[2.1] Full in depth alistar guide
Full in depth alistar guide
Best Build Guide for Alistar
Item Build Description
Additional information on the items
For starting item, I would go for either a Cloth Armor or a Null-Magic Mantle first depending on your match up. If you are against a Braum/blitz or supports that are usually weak in lane like Soraka, I would go for a cloth armour to tank up damage against the ADCs. However, if you are playing with supports like lux, Seraphine, Sona or even an aggressive Janna, it's smarter to go for magic resist to tank up some of their pokes as you are very weak at lvl 1-3 when they can easily poke you down. As opposed to some supports that will rush boots first, I won't recommend it as Alistar is a sitting duck at lvl 1-3 and any additional pokes/damage to him will actually cause him to fall behind if he get zoned out of the exp range. Also, sometimes your adc or you might get into a really sticky situation when either of you get caught out at level 1-2, so it is always safer to buy some defensive gear to bail out from those fights and prevent them from getting first blood. By getting some raw defensive stats, most of the time you can tank up some messy engage which could prevent an early back and stay in lane longer to hit your power spike at 3 or 5.
Always rush your T3 boots first, and in my opinion, Ionian Boots of Lucidity is the best T2 boots on Alistar. Rarely i will rely on Mercury's Treads or [Ninja Tabi] simply because the CDR is too good on Alistar. As boots is your first item to rush, CDR can be a game changer to a certain extend in laning phase because of how often you could engage more. Besides, with how strong the damage reduction is on alistar ult, most of the time you could easily soak up the damage by using his [alistar:ult]. Having more CDR also helps you to use your ulti and skills more often which is honestly something that alistar needs as he is very skill reliant.
Why not tabi or treads? Tabi is very strong when its a full AD team comp but with how most item you build has armor in it, the additional bits of tankiness from boots does not aid you that much, especially when you have your ultimate active. Treads is strong against AP reliant but what most people are looking out in it is its Tenacity, which imo alistar does not need it. Alistar has a in build cc cleanse when he proc his ult so timing when to use it is actually very important. When you master this, you realised that the bits of tenacity that Merc treads give is marginal.
After building both items, build Zeke's Convergence and Protector's Vow respectively. Zeke is actually a huge power spike due to the cdr it gives and also the ability to stick on the enemy. By having your adc near you, you could not only stick against your enemy, but also allow your adc to deal extra burn damage. This is a very strong item which spike your whole laning phase so always get this 2nd. Protector vow is strong simply because it gives more shield and protection to your ad when you are diving backline and they might be unprotected.
After that most item can be situational. Dead Man's Plate is a very strong item for catching people who are out of position while Randuin's Omen is a strong counter to ADC and champion who rely on Auto attacks. One thing I would like to note to all player is that while I choose Adaptive Helm > Spirit Visage , this is because most champions that are dominating the rift right now is Kennen, eve and most of the assasins. By building this, you can actually tank up more as opposed to spirit visage as you take less damage from their engage. Also, most mages will build Morellonomicon to deny your healing so spirit visage heal will not be useful. While Visage is good against conventional mage like Ahri or maybe seraphine, it isn't useful against asssasins champions (eve, fizz, kennen) or poke champions (Ori,ziggs) who are constantly using skills.
Best Runes for Alistar
As for runes, Alistar benefits alot from aftershock after you use your combo. It helps you to tank up while also dealing a small amount of damage to your opponent. This helps you to trade more favourably as you are less likely to take damage while also dealing more damage. Weakness is strong simply because you are a crowd control monster and the additional damage marked is useful for your other teammates. The other two runes are simply useful as Alistar shines with a team and those 2 runes are one of the best ones that is used with a team.
How to distribute skill points
When to take which summoners
Alistar Matchups & Counters
Detailed information on how to play matchups and counters
Soraka is one of the easiest to deal with simply because she does not have strong disengaging tools against Alistar.
Alistar actually counters blitzcrank REALLY hard. But a good blitzcrank that can hook your adc is something to be fearful of. Always keep an eye on blitzcrank's movement so he doesn't catch your adc. If you can do that you can easily win the lane.
Honestly, I think nami is easier than janna simply because she has fewer disengage tool than Janna. If you can engage on a nami that uses her Ebb And Flow to poke, you win. She doesn't do that well against hard engage and she only has her ult to disengage which alistar can counter with his ultimate. You still have to respect her poke but I feel that its much easier than Janna due to Janna ultimate being a huge counter on a hard engage.
Lux is easy because lux skills are mostly used for poking. As long as she use her Light Binding to catch or try to poke. You can easily engage the very next second. You will rarely lose against a lux after 5 because your ultimate counters her Light Binding and can soak out most of the burst she has for her combo. Typically if you respect some of her pokes and engage when her cc is down, you will always win lane.
Ehh... malphite is basically an alistar except his combo comes at 5. You will always win this lane because your ultimate counters his and you can engage way earlier than him. As long as your adc doesn't int you generally will win this match up. If he go full ap, you will win all the way because he cant soak any damage but if he go full tank you will also win in mid-late game because you are tanking too and you provide more for the team with your cc than he does which is only his Unstoppable Force .
Sona is actually easy to counter because Sona does not have any hard cc except for her Crescendo . As long as you can engage her after she use her Aria Of Perseverance and the shield is gone, you will always win trade. At level 5, every engage you do will usually be on your side because your ultimate counters her by cleansing her ultimate stun. Just like Raka, she is quite easy to counter but she is definitely stronger in a teamfight which she could provide heals and movement speed. Catch her team or her offguard with a strong initiation and you will always win the fight.
Janna is annoying. She can poke you, disengage with her Monsoon and basically be a nuisance. But Janna has a huge weakness, she is squishy. When a Janna starts to use his skills to poke you esp when she use her Howling Gale , engage immediately after that. As janna does not have any disengage tool after that except for her Monsoon , she will always lose trade if she does not respect you. Also, when she use her Eye Of The Storm , engage on the adc after the shield wears off as that means her adc is very vulnerable during this time. Do not go too hard tho as she can still kite you with her Howling Gale and Zephyr with her adc but sometimes you can easily burn a summoner or two if your adc reacts well enough. As long as you come out with burning either their summoners or her ultimate, you win trade because her ultimate cool down is way longer than your Pulverize Headbutt combo
Why is Annie medium you would ask? Simply because a strong annie and a strong adc is a very scary thing. When they hit 5, annie power spike is one of the strongest in game as a support and if she can pair with a strong ADC that can chain cc together, your adc will melt within seconds. An alistar is useless if your adc is going to die everytime an annie ultimate is up, so how do you counter that? Just engage on annie and the adc once you hit lvl 2. Annie is a strong sp but annie cannot take any damage pre 5 or she will feel very weak. In order to not let her spike, engage on both annie and/or the adc but also respect her poke at lvl 1 so you will always win trade after that. If you could apply enough pressure, you can easily zone out both of them and hit your level advantages first and whenever you had a level advantage spike like level 3 or 5, engage immediately and apply even more pressure so that she doesn't become strong. If annie and the adc does not get ahead in laning phase, you generally won the game because you will be way stronger than annie support in late game.
Seraphine is a lane bully against you. A good seraphine can easily zone you out at lvl 1 and prevent any hard engage if she respects you at lvl 2 onwards. But all champion has a weakness and that is when Stage Presence is down. When her passive is down when she use her skill, she will always be weaker than you who has your combo up. Be it her High Note or Beat Drop that she used, her damage source will be much weaker than you and your ad and you can easily win trade against your laners. In teamfights, respect seraphine as she can start poking and healing whenever she have to and always watch out for her ultimate to get ready with your ultimate counter. ALWAYS engage first if you can find a crucial target (adc, mid or even her) because when you do the initiation first, you are controlling the tide of the fight. Waiting around her and letting her team and her poke is suicidal because she can heal back and support his team whereas you cant and when she finds an opportunity to engage on your team, most of the time you will find that you are too late to react to save your teammates. As long as you can initiate first, you would apply all the pressure on you and elevate more breathing space for your team to kite around and play around you.
Braum is actually a hard match up because Braum can easily babysit his AD with his Unbreakable . And when you hard engage on the opponent, a single Unbreakable from braum will easily counter both you and your laner's damage and you can lose easily. However, that does not mean that this lane is a lost cause because alistar can actually win braum at certain point of time. You have to bait out his Unbreakable in order to win and that has to come with your ADC applying pressure for you. Braum is a strong peeler but he cant engage at all. So when your adc is applying pressure, sometimes braum will be forced to use his Unbreakable to protect his adc. That is when you HARD engage during this short window to win trade. Also, after laning phase it is important to catch players because you are a strong engager. By catching players off, you will always have a strong headstart in objective fights because it will be 5 v 4. However, never over engage and chase a braum as you will always lose out when they start kiting against you.
Lulu is annoying. Like really annoying. She is worst than braum because she can babysit the adc alot. However, you can always exploit a bad lulu player easily. Whenever lulu uses Help, Pix! on adc to apply pressure or just shield for fun, engage after that as you will always win trade. If she starts to apply alot of pressure at level 1-2 because a good lulu player will do that, respect her and dont get poke. As long as you don't get poke and somehow get some exp, you will always come up ahead. When a lulu uses her Help, Pix! and poke you with her Glitterlance that's the best time to engage because she only have her Whimsy polymorph left which is useless against an alistar who has combo and his Trample still stacks on champion when polymorph. Dont chase too hard as lulu can easily punish you for that with her ult and kite you back. Respect her and play safe at laning phase while also catching her if she get out of position or the ad is out of position and she is nowhere near to help (went to ward etcetc). In teamfights, as long as you can catch her off guard and force her ultimate on herself, you win. If your team has very strong ultimates like malp,kennen ori and you can combo, you easily win because lulu sucks at teamfights which are very heavily stack with cc. She is also less tankier than braum so this is one thing you can exploit her for when she is out of position to ward. Same idea as braum but respect her more because she can poke more.
Combo and advices.
Generally most combo is Headbutt into Pulverize but never be too fidget with your skills. You can easily disengage a player with you Headbutt and sometimes that might be the key to winning game. For example, if a kennen started using Lightning Rush into your team, its smarter to headbutt him away and that will actually lead to a way better teamfight outcome for you. In laning phase, if someone starts to overextend, you can also use you Pulverize then knock him backwards towards your turret and you will always come out on top of the trade. Sometimes even using flash then Pulverize to push them back can turn an unfavourable outcome to a favourable one because of how painful turret damage is at early games.
As an alistar, always find the opportunity to engage first. When engaging, look for key skills that were being used and if a Crowd control was randomly used by the opponent, the fight will be more favourable for you because you can stick on to your enemies more. Engaging first is key to winning for alistar because the pressure is on you and you could tank up easily with your ultimate. When diving backlines, the most favourable outcome is when your adc and mage is not taking damage and have alot space to kite and deal damage but that's not usually the case. Sometimes, enemies might dive your backline in retaliation and its up to you to think what is the best outcome for you. If you believe that your carries can sufficiently hold the divers, then help your brusiers and continue to be a nuisance to the backlines. If not, turn back and help your carries. You have already used your combo and its way better to help them kite by using your Trample to stun those that are hitting your backline. Remember, you are a support. Not a tank, not a bruiser. You cannot excel without your team and its always better to keep your teammates alive. So never overchase a low hp for your KDA or for securing kill. By protecting your carries while also messing up their team composition that is how you roll as an alistar, or should I say.. Moooove as alistar.