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-   -   [Guide] Smashing Good Times (http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=113394)

Kodoku 05-14-2010 09:54 AM

[Guide] Alistar - Smashing Good Times
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Last Updated: October 23/2010
Note: This guide is significantly outdated. Should be removed from the list of current guides.
Competitive level Alistar build for Summoner's Rift for those who prefer an aggressive style.

Highest rating in ranked solo using this build so far: 1933

Roles: Hard initiator, early game harasser, heavy support for ganks/anti-ganks, ward/oracle-bot, crowd control.

This build attempts to abuse the early damage of headbutt early-mid game, and the item-independent nature of his ultimate to tank without items. By minimizing survivability to what is strictly needed, you'll often have enemy mages/carries trying to focus you down in a team fight - the ideal situation for a tank.

Core Information

Masteries: 9/0/21, non-negotiable

Highest cooldown reduction possible, greatest uptime for summoner spells, extra mana regen, and even movement speed, spell penetration, and crit chance.

Summoner Spells: Ghost/Flash, highly recommended.

Flash is pretty much a must-have. Ghost can be replaced with teleport, clairvoyance or even exhaust (consider doing so if you're up against Twitch with no exhausts on your team), but ghost/flash is standard.

Skill Order: Unbreakable Will > Headbutt > Triumphant Roar > Pulverize (R>W>E>Q)

Level each skill by level 3. Recommend taking Pulverize first, then Headbutt, then Triumphant Roar. Take Triumphant Roar before Headbutt if you're taking significant damage. Once you have level 5 Headbutt, the order can be mixed around - I prioritize Triumphant Roar to avoid being forced to use Unbreakable Will early.

Items: Highly variable. Standard fare is sheen, boots (mobility, treads, or swiftness), as much survivability as strictly necessary, and generous wards/oracles.

For survivability, get something either with an aura or CDR. Aegis is strongly recommended if no one else is getting it; spirit visage, frozen heart, randuin's omen, shurelya's reverie, and banshee's veil are all options. (Frozen Heart if physical carries are getting out of control, banshee's veil if casters are getting out of control).

If your survivability is sufficient and you're covered on wards/oracles, then consider movement speed + offensive power. Alistar with some attack speed will wreck a squishy carry, giving them additional incentive to focus you or run from you, allowing you to zone them during a team fight. Zeal, triforce, and even a ghostblade can be considered (triforce is the standard option for me).

Runes: Health Quintessences, Attack Speed Marks, Dodge Seals, CDR Glyphs. Many alternatives.

There are a few important alternatives here. One is to swap dodge seals for mana regen. Another is to swap for MPen or ArPen marks. Finally, health quints can be swapped for either movement speed or more CDR. These changes won't dramatically affect your viability, so go with what's convenient or what works for you.

Abusing this Build

First a clarifying point - your role on a team is that of a hard initiator. To ensure in team fights that your team enganges or is engaged with the positional advantage. The obvious way to do this is stunning a high value target in place for your team to kill it. This is standard to all Alistar builds and discussed at length in other guides.
Important: Avoid taking unnecessary killing blows. Others have much greater need of that gold.

Sheen: At max level, headbutt does 300 damage with a 1:1 AP ratio. With sheen, a simple headbutt+autoattack will do 500 pre-mitigation damage when you're level 9. While laning, headbutting some into a wall, autoattacking, then stunning them will not only deal a substantial amount of damage (without requiring summoner spells) but will lock the target in place to be wailed upon by your teammate. See the attached pictures for ideal positions when doing this - the idea is similar to how Poppy sets up her stun.

Ghost: Keep an eye on middle lane. If he pushes too far or their jungler tries ganking it while you're laning, enter the river brush near your lane (so they don't know if you're leaving the lane or not), and head straight for middle. Use ghost roughly halfway there and you'll get there before anyone expects it, even with a prompt mia call. Like a certain inquisition, no one expects roaming Alistar ganks. This doesn't work as well on those with built-in flash mechanisms, such as Ezreal or Tristana, especially if they also have flash.

Wards: This is not specific to Alistar, but given his item-independence it makes sense to expect Alistar to maintain wards. Dragon, Baron (in middle game and beyond), Lizard/Baron (certain junglers, such as Udyr, rely absolutely on having golem buff) are all valuable positions. Additionally, warding their jungle in the mid-late game can let you know where they are at all times. A ward north and south of the lizard, and west/east of the golem (in the respective brushes, and this applies to both teams' jungles). It's costly (360 gold per round) but can pay great dividends. If you're opting for this strategy, boots of mobility will greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to move around.

If you're going heavy on wards and they start using oracles, go easy on the wards until their oracle carrier is dead.

Harassment: At level 1, look to use Q to stun both opponents, take a whack, then back off. Try to time this when an allied creep is nearly dead, so that backing off will mean losing creep kills for them. Not recommended against durable healers, such as Shen/Sona/Taric. Once you hit level 4 you can start using headbutt for damage. If they have a lot of healing, or substantial passive regen, you'll either have to reserve your spells for when you (and your lanemate) can get a lot of damage in, or simply focus on farming until you have sheen. If they're intent on avoiding your harassment, walk between them and their creeps, denying xp/gold and letting your lanemate farm.

In the side lanes, there is a total of four sweet spots where you can headbutt someone from a brush and into a wall, and walk up to them for a pulverize before they have a chance to run or use flash. These are perfect for setting up ganks and don't require any summoner spells. See the attached images.

Anti-Gank: A very easy mistake is leaving both Q and W on cooldown when there's any possibility of their jungler hiding just outside your lane. The three most common times for a jungler to gank are at level 2 with red rune (Shaco's the biggest culprit of this), at level 4 with both runes (Udyr or Warwick), and at level 6 with ultimate (Warwick). Against Katarina, Nunu, or Warwick, ensure you have Q or W ready to interrupt an ultimate (i.e. avoid leaving them on cooldown). Against Fiddlesticks you need W, but watch where you punt him.

In general during laning, note that enemies will run past you to attack your teammate. If you wait until they're just out of range of your turret and THEN W them, you can flip the gank around. If they're going to eat turret fire (guaranteed if they have lizard buff) you can then use flash+Q to make sure they're stuck there after your W. With Sheen this is pretty much a guaranteed kill on most champions, even if they have flash.

Omniscience: Now that summoner abilities are listed, memorization is no longer needed. Check the summoner spells of your laning opponents, and then of high value targets during mid-late game. You need to know who has cleanse/flash/ghost before punting them around, and sending someone with exhaust/ignite into your mage/carry during the laning phase can get ugly if you're not aware they have it.

Anti-initiation: Be aware of what your enemy initiator is doing. If their Amumu catches your team with a good bandage toss, a quick headbutt can prevent a really ugly setup against your team. Alternatively, a comp might be designed to split your team's CC from your squishies. This is common with natural flashers, such as Kassadin and Shaco. In these cases, it can be best to simply camp on your squishies with your abilities on hold.

Timing Unbreakable Will: General philosophy I recommend is to use it as late as possible while still having it run its full course. As the initiator, Alistar will often be pressured by ranged carries to force him to commit either to an attack or retreat (as opposed to posturing for position). If you use it early you run the risk of them disengaging before you can expose an opening, OR they'll just switch to a squishier target. By using it relatively late you'll often have opponents keep attacking you instead. This is especially likely with this build, as your lack of tank items will give the illusion of being squishy. Though you're more likely to die this way, it will give your carries and mages more time to wreak havoc on their team before they get focused.

Alternatively, use it when eating a long or important CC mid-fight. Amumu's ultimate is a good example, as long as you have something useful to do with the freedom you purchase.

Get in the Way: There are many skillshots in the game. Walking in the way of a cleaver, Nidalee's spear, Ashe's ultimate etc. can save a teammate. Do it. If they're being chased, try to get inbetween them and stay that way to block line of sight.

Additionally, carries/mages will often stay well away from you during teamfights. One option is to get between their ranged and their melee without using your abilities. Thus your team can have a field day on their melee while their ranged are attacking you, waiting for you to use your CC so they can help their teammates. If it gets ugly you can either buy more time with R or W their melee further into your team, getting yourself away from their ranged.

: It's possible to autoattack someone in the window between headbutting a target and them flying off. This is invaluable in harassing when your opponent doesn't do you the favor of standing in front of a wall.


  • Trying to headbutt someone through a wall (i.e. with you on one side, them on the other side) will likely result in both the damage and knockback being negated but the spell going on cooldown.
  • Unbreakable Will does not mitigate Ignite, Feast, or other true damage such as Olaf's reckless swing.
  • Unbreakable Will can be used while silenced, but there is a bug that may result in the spell having no effect (mana and cooldown apply). This usually occurs if you try to ult just as you get silenced.
  • Due to a bug, headbutting/pulverizing someone into a wall can result in them being stunned for longer than intended. Sometimes they'll stay in the air for several seconds. You can still attack them using attack-move.
  • Headbutting someone who's running in your direction can result in them being punted behind you. Be wary of this.

Eppa 05-14-2010 02:01 PM

Headbutt doesn't actually stop nunu ulti most people however cancel the cast :/
Also put alistars name in the title.

Kodoku 05-14-2010 03:51 PM


Originally Posted by Eppa (Hozzászólás 1296939)
Headbutt doesn't actually stop nunu ulti most people however cancel the cast :/
Also put alistars name in the title.

Changing the title name doesn't actually change the title name.

Knocking Nunu away is good enough, nine times out of ten.

Eppa 05-14-2010 03:58 PM

I'm not 100% but i think his ulti stays in the same place :V

Kodoku 05-14-2010 04:02 PM


Originally Posted by Eppa (Hozzászólás 1297815)
I'm not 100% but i think his ulti stays in the same place :V

The circle clearly changes location. If the effect stayed in the same place it would mean either a visual bug or a mechanical bug. Though personally I think it should just get interrupted.

Eppa 05-14-2010 04:20 PM


Originally Posted by Kodoku (Hozzászólás 1297853)
The circle clearly changes location. If the effect stayed in the same place it would mean either a visual bug or a mechanical bug. Though personally I think it should just get interrupted.

It's indeed very silly.

Kodoku 05-15-2010 07:12 PM

Added section on cake.

Eppa 05-15-2010 07:14 PM

This is a solid guide but where the **** is my cake?

Exothermic Kiwi 05-15-2010 07:37 PM

The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie

Kodoku 05-15-2010 07:40 PM


Originally Posted by Thwu (Hozzászólás 1307420)
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie
The cake is a lie

You lie.

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