Leona: Comprehensive Discussion
I've been playing Leona recently and I must say, she is hands-down amazing in certain situations. Many have said Leona has unrivaled single-target lockdowns in laning phase and team fights. However, I really do think she is very underwhelming in many situations. 1) She does not fit very well in the current meta, and 2) her damage really sucks.
Now, I know that some people say that since she is described as "pure tank", she should not be doing much damage at all. However, if we take a look at other common tanks such as Volibear, Blitzcrank, Amumu, and Nautilus, Leona really pales in comparison. I will be using Amumu and Nautilus in comparison to Leona because they are the most similar to her and her playstyle.
- (Passive) Reduces auto-attacked enemy unit's magic resistance by a flat amount, scaling at 1, 7, and 13.
- (Q) Self-pull to target with a stun, 8 seconds base cooldown at rank 5, 1:1 AP ratio, very long range.
- (W) Toggled constant point-blank AoE that also deals percentage of max health damage to enemies each second, scaling with AP (+0.01% per ability power)
- (E) Passive physical damage reduction, instant point-blank AoE damage with 0.5 AP ratio and very low mana cost. Cooldown reduction on this ability every time Amumu is hit by an auto-attack.
- (R) Point-blank very large radius AoE entangle (differs from snare because enemies also cannot auto-attack) with a 1:1 AP ratio. High base damage values, medium-long cooldown.
- (Passive) On-hit effect snare and bonus damage with 12 seconds internal CD on same target, but not on different targets. Snare duration also scales at 1, 7, and 13.
- (Q) Self and target pull-together that stuns, medium base damage, 10 seconds base cooldown at rank 5. Has medium-long range and also a very large hit-box.
- (W) Self-shield that scales off 10% of maximum health, also gives his auto attacks a splash DoT on-hit effect that has a 0.4 scaling off AP, DoT ticks over 2 seconds.
- (E) AoE point-blank advancing slow that can repeatedly deal damage with 50% damage reduction for the targets hit by multiple "waves" after the first one. Medium-short radius, scaling slow, 1:1 AP ratio.
- (R) Chasing, targeted knock-up preceding a stun, with a path during the chasing that also knocks up and deals damage to enemies (if I am not mistaken I don't think it can be escaped). Pass-through damage on 0.4 AP ratio, final explosion on 0.8 AP ratio.
- (Passive) Marks targets with a debuff that triggers to deal bonus damage (scaling every 2 levels). Can only be triggered by allied champion.
- (Q) Attack modifier that makes next auto attack deal bonus magic damage and stun target for 1.25 seconds (stun duration unchanged through all ranks). Medium-low base damage values and 0.3 AP ratio.
- (W) Self-cast buff that gives self flat bonus magic resistance and armor for 3 seconds. After 30 seconds, point-blank instant AoE damage, and if damage hits target, magic resistance and armor buff duration renewed another 3 seconds. Instant AoE damage on shield-pop on 0.4 AP ratio. Medium-high-ish base damage values.
- (E) Linear skill-shot that deals damage to enemy units in a line. After animation, Leona snares last enemy champion hit for 0.5 seconds and dashes to them. Mediocre base damage values and 0.4 AP ratio.
- (R) AoE, circular slow that deals damage and can be cast at range, medium radius. Small internal radius that stuns targets instead of slows. Short delay before spell takes effect. Medium cooldown.
So now we can see the three "tanks" together and their abilities compared, where does this bring us?
First, we see that Leona's pull deals less damage, has lower range. Only advantages it has over Amumu and Nautilus' Q is that it hits multiple enemies, and it has 1 second lower CD than Nautilus' Q, as well as having a flat mana cost throughout the entire game.
Second, to the tanks' non-ult AoE damage. Nautilus and Leona have bursting AoE damage (Nautilus E and Leona W), while Amumu has a constant, toggled AoE. All are pointblank. Comparing, we notice that Nautilus has a slow built into it, whereas Leona and Amumu do not. However, Amumu more than makes up for it with AP-scaling percent-maximum-health damage that deals damage every second, as well as a permanent passive physical reduction to the ability. Leona gets a 3/6 second flat magic resistance and armor buff only for a short duration, not even half the ability's cooldown. In comparison to Nautilus, it has lower AP ratio, less base damage values (if all three "waves" of Nautilus' E hit), has no built-in CC, and a longer cooldown.
Third, we compare their tankiness. Nautilus has fairly long cooldown auto-attack enhancing damage absorbing shield lasting for 10 seconds, scaling off 10% of maximum health. Amumu has permanent 10 physical damage reduction at max rank. Leona has flat 70 magic resistance and armor buff for 6 seconds (if the damage component hits enemies, which should be no problem in team fights). Tankiness is one aspect where Leona is on par with the other two tanks.
Fourth, we compare the amounts of CC they have, to single targets.
-Nautilus has a 0.5 snare in his passive, stun on his E with about 1 second duration (casting animation and landing time), 1 second knock-up and max-rank 2 second stun on his R, and a max-rank 50% slow on his W. 3 second stun, 0.5 second snare, 1 second knock-up, 2 second 50% diminishing slow ---- 4 second hard-CC, 1 second which cannot be reduced by Tenacity and other effects; 0.5 seconds of medium-CC, 2 seconds of soft-CC.
-Amumu has single target stun on his Q, for 1 second, and an entangle for 2 seconds in his R. Since the main focus in battles is to kill the ranged AD carry, and Amumu's ult renders the AD carry almost useless in team fights due to their auto attacking nature (most of them, anyways), we will consider Amumu's ult a hard-CC. This brings Amumu to 3 seconds of hard-CC.
-Leona has auto-attack modifying stun for 1.25 seconds on her Q, a snare for 0.5 seconds in E, and stun/slow for 1.5 seconds in her R. This brings Leona to 2.75 seconds of potential hard-CC and 0.5 seconds of medium-CC.
What does this tell us? It tells us that essentially, Nautilus has more CC. And that he actually has more single-target lock-down than Leona, which was considered her strength, yes, 3 seconds of that comes from his ult, but 1.5 seconds comes from Leona's ult too. Regarding locking down a single target without ultimates (this includes hard-CC and medium-CC, but not soft-CC), Leona reaches 1.75 seconds with her Q and E, and Nautilus reaches 1.5 with his Q and Passive. Leona only has 0.25 seconds more than Nautilus. Amumu has a 3 seconds in total, 0.25 seconds more than Leona, but without ultimate he has 1 second.
The analysis above presents the fact that Leona does not, in fact, have all the CC people say she has, it is mediocre. Amumu has the "least" in the combo if his ultimate is considered to be a medium-CC, if the AD carry was useless anyways and the APs were super fed, so they could continue to use abilities. However, Amumu makes up for it with superb damage for a tank. Just take his ultimate. Has the same base damage values as Leona, same mana costs, but 0.2 more AP ratio. Nautilus has the same AP ratio on his ult as Leona, but it chases its target(s) and has sickly strong base damage values.
Judging from all this, I can see scarce benefits in choosing Leona over these two tanks, besides the fact that she is unique and fun and cool, if one is in the mood for that. You want a jungler? Play Amumu and clear those jungle creeps fast with blue buff, and Nautilus can jungle fine too; also, both have amazing ganks with their Q and R. Need a support? Nautilus does that fine also, with Blitzcrank-like zoning power from the bot lane bushes. Only benefits that Leona MAY have over Nautilus in bot support is that two of her spells have flat mana values of 60 in all ranks, and has higher base mana pool and mana regeneration than Amumu and Nautilus. Amumu and Leona have same mana pool increase each level, but Nautilus has more, and at level 18, Nautilus has a higher mana pool than Leona. Leona also has a bit higher health regeneration.
After all this, we look at the meta. Leona can only be classified as the type of support-tank down bot. Aggressive support, to be exact. Other aggressive supports are Blitzcrank and Nautilus, and previously we just discussed how Nautilus and Blitzcrank are both superior (Blitzcrank has the exact same AP ratios as Amumu on his Q and ult, and the two other abilities from Blitzcrank don't scale off AP). Solo-top? Leona doesn't match up with the damage. Jungling? Leona cannot match the creep-clearing speed. Her passive is useless when she is solo anyways, so she can only really go bot anyways. So, this gives Leona a very awkward spot in the current meta, especially since Leona wasn't particularly designed to be played this way.
So how can we help Leona? There are many options, and I have some suggestions listed here:
- Allow Leona to proc her passive only on minions and jungle minions, for 50-75% depending on modified values to prevent her from becoming OP in the jungle with superior wave-clearing speeds. In my honest opinion I don't even think full passive damage values with Leona would make her jungling OP anyways, considering she will take her W at level 1 for the armor and AoE damage. It gives her 1 passive proc on each monster at Wolves and Wraiths, possibly 2 at Small Golems, and about 3-5 at the Blue and Red buffs. Considering Eclipse's cooldown, it won't make her jungle extremely fast in any way, but it would only make her viable for jungling.
- Buff Eclipse's AP ratio/buff scaling. Meaning, give Eclipse some more damage so she can play tanky AP DPS better with higher AP ratios as currently Eclipse is really Leona's main source of damage. Or, have her magic resistance and armor gain from the spell have flat values and scale off AP, the specific damage reduction stats themselves, and/or maximum health. If they buff her resistances from the spell, she can build a bit more AP and still be tanky. The damage buff could also make her jungling a bit better. AP ratio should be buffed to around 0.6-0.75
- Lower Eclipse's cooldown.
- Increasing the internal stun radius of Solar Flare because at the moment it's awfully small, maybe by about 200 units.
- Changing Leona's E to a stun.
- Increasing Leona's Q stun duration to 1.5 seconds.
- Have Leona's Q stun duration scale (1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2). This results in weaker early-game advantages but buffs Leona's late game.
- Buff Leona's Q AP ratio to maybe about 0.5-0.6
- Give Zenith Blade 2 parts of damage, similar to Lee Sin's Q. So upon casting, Leona will extend her blade and deal damage to enemies in a line. Upon hitting an enemy champion she will dash to them, snaring them and dealing additional damage. If this was so, no AP ratio buff would have to be given to Leona, except maybe buffing it from 0.4 to 0.45.
- Give Eclipse a slowing percentage of a value around 20% the instant it explodes (similar to Jarvan's shield), or a scaling slow (10/15/20/25/30%)
- Have Leona's ult work similar to Lux's ult, in that if they are debuffed with Sunlight, Solar Flare will trigger the debuff and re-apply it again. Or, just have her ultimate place a 7 second debuff on targets if, when the ultimate hit them, they were debuffed with her passive, that they will take 8% increased damage from Leona, and 4% increased damage from allied team members of Leona.
- Give Leona some more health and health regeneration per level to make her really, really, tanky late game, to make up for her lackluster damage.
- Make Leona's passive similar to Shyvana's, because after all they are all sun-based and would fit with the theme. Leona is unable to proc the passive, but for example, if the target is debuffed with her passive, and his hit by another stun, there is an additional effect.
All these numbers are only hypothetical numbers, and can be changed if they EVER will be implemented. Please do reply, don't just downvote because you hate long walls of texts or just simply don't agree with me, this is intended as a discussion. Other suggestions for changes to Leona to make her better are welcome too. Let's hope we can catch Riot's attention.
EDIT 1:Leona has further been nerfed due to the new penetration changes. The new penetration changes have made her W less useful in tankiness, and if she builds a lot of health (which she used to) the new percentage health items will rip her apart. Riot please help Leona.
I actually read this. And I like this, especially the part about the Sunlight being triggered and reapplied if a pre-debuffed target is hit by Solar Flare. It still doesn't change the one fundamental flaw about Leona though; she's providing a reverse incentive for attacking her, since Sunlight can only be detonated by teammates. Oh, and after she applies the initial round, she's a sitting duck.
Maybe, have all other abilities besides Solar Flare also trigger Sunlight, but at half capacity, that would be a complete fix.
And thanks for upvoting and chiming in with your thoughts, greatly appreciated, I hope everyone gets a say in this and Riot will take notice.
yeah she just sort of derps when her abilities are on cool down :(
( took me a long time to get those arrow codes working on my keyboard)
Good to see I'm not the only one who is willing to harp on this. Leona's basically "adequate" at the moment, she's not particularly spectacular.
Honestly, shes fine. She can initiate a fight from afar and be safe, then blink to the carry and lock them down,as well as protect herself while doing it. Honestly, theres no problem with her, but shes only a support, not a tank. Shes a tanky support, but not a tank.
I've been playing leona a lot lately, and I really enjoy her. I don't have too much experience with tanks prior to her, and only really experimented with nautilus when he was free. I have to say she does seem really limited when she doesn't have a strong laning partner. If played right she can still be effective, but she certainly could use a minor buff to either make her more viable as a jungler, or a solo laner. Both of which would increase her late game viability.
Leona CAN get buffed because she can't solo top because her passive would be useless except on ganks but she has no disengage mechanism making her a bad solotop beside she has pretty poor dmg overall.
On jungle she is outclassed by some champions that can gank lvl 2(she would need at least lvl 3 and she would mostly contribute to a single stun, she have a slow clear speed even if she can proc her passive on minions.
My point is Leona is pure support no other role fits her so they shouldn't be afraid of buffing her like lulu that is better ap mid because of high ratios and low cooldowns.
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