Alister: The mobile, indestructible health fountain
Anyone who has played Alister has likely noticed that he has the potential to be an amazing healer if he wasnt such a mana sponge. This makes the solution fairly obvious i think: Alister needs more mana regen. With this in mind, this guide is really intended for people who are at least somewhat familiar with the character.
Seems silly for a tank, but stacking mana regen runes and going into utility masteries really will make you stand a cut above the rest amongst other alisters.
Masteries: (in order by level attained)
1/1 menders faith (this will be the only one in def. the rest go to utility)
1/3 good hands
another 1/3 into good hands (making it 2/3)
max good hands
1/1 presence of the master
as i am currently only SL 18, i havent figured the masteries any further than that. Will update another time if i figure it out.
all the +MP regen/5 per level that you can get your grubby hands on. Blue/Red dont have these runes so you can stack whatever you like in those (I personally went nuts and filled the whole board in normal mana regen and mana regen per level, and it seems to work pretty well oddly enough)
Heal + Promote
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS start with the meki pendant, and follow it up by upgrading to the chalice of harmony when you need to port back, or accidentally get killed. This will give you the little bit of early magic resist that i find alister needs, plus the ability to drop pretty much unlimited heals as the game progresses.
second, I usually go for the warden's mail, and if you dont have the money for it, grab the chain mail/ cloth armor that you need to build it first. This early on, alister having this much armor and magic resist makes him more dangerous than people realize. Ninja tabi is also a good second buy, or you can do it third.
after these 3 it should be easy enough to figure out where to go. My 4th item is usually Phage -> Frost Mallet, but i have recently taken a liking to using the thorn mail. (Alister at level 12+ with these items starts taking so long to kill that your opponents normal attacks will end up going back and ripping them down 25 to even 50% of their health (especially effective against ashe and teemo in my experience and really anyone who does a lot of focus on normal attacks and attack speed)
First and foremost, you are a tank, so you should really never go soloing. This build for alister is really meant to enhance your teammates, and while you can handle things alone, youll find that when youre the only one doing damage that you leave something to be desired.
Spell order -
First skill i reccomend you get is mighty roar. Coupled with your summoner spell heal, this will give you a huge advantage at the start of matches, especially when your opponent is trying to put small dents in you and your teammate with quick ranged attacks or attempted hit and run melee attacks. With so much healing and mana regen, you will very quickly notice that while you stay at full health and mana, and your teammate stays at full health, you opponents health bars will be slowling dwindling, giving you a very easy gank opportunity at level 2 or 3 for anyone who is just a tad too aggressive.
At level 2, grab your ground slam, and then level 3 grab headbutt. Once you have all 3 ablities i would reccomend getting mighty roar to at least level 3 before you start beefing up your other stuff.
Play strategy (Really youll find with this build and strat that you may not get many kills, but i typically walk out of matches with 4 or fewer deaths (usually 0-2) and upwards of 15-20 assists, and 3-6 tower kills per game.)
Play strategy is very heavily based off of mighty roar. By keeping your units up for extended times, you can build up 2, 3 or even 4 waves of minions behind you. Tossing a promote on one of the units when you get a huge group makes you a tower crushing machine.
When you get these huge groups to a tower, go in and start bashing the tower. Most opponents in this situation will make the huge mistake of thinking that youre vulnerable because youre in front of their turret. What they wont realize is that with these 2-4 mob groups (promoted unit optional) when they decide to tap you, will will be drawing the anger of all of these mobs onto themselves. it only takes a second or 2 for someone to start getting very worried about the 15 odd minions ripping them up, forcing them back. Meanwhile, you, healing constantly, and being a tank in general, can stand there and take the beating from 2 people for a while and not responding, and just ripping down their turret.
Even if their reaction is to go after your minions, mighty roar AOE heals, which makes taking the minions down very hard. Once you have this going it is really a lose lose situation. This is usually the part where people start raging at me and my partner, getting overly aggressive, and eventually dying.
(Another great part about AOE healing minions so often and building up such huge groups is that you will continue to make normal exp, meanwhile noticably slowing your opponents leveling.)
some important things to remember when doing this strat
1. Cast Mighty Roar a lot. You will regenerate the mana you spent on it in no time at all, so dont be stingy.
2. Youre a tank. A healing tank even. If youre not playing extremely defensive, youre doing it wrong.
3. Rely on your teammates and minions for damage. Thats not to say that you shouldnt sieze any opportunity to help move the damage along when you can, but really, stunning someone with groundslam and then positioniong yourself so that you can push them into an army of minions and allies will kill them substantially faster than anything you could do.
4. Alister is an escape artist. With so many heals, stuns and knock backs you can save so many lives. See that teemo over there running from 4 enemies? Run over and ground slam them, giving him time to escape. See that (anyclass) fleeing with almost no life from that guy? Push that guy back, and keep him away until you can heal. You should be easily durable enough and have enough heals to be able to make to a tower or other teammates even with a bunch of enemies beating on you.... most of your allies cant. I get thanks from usually at least 1 person on my team at the end of a match for saving their life 4 or 5 times.
thats pretty much it for now. ill update occaisionally if i come up with stuff, but after you start playing like this, getting into the groove is pretty easy and you will be able to figure it out.
Alistar really doesn't suck up that much mana unless you use Headbutt/Pulverize a lot. With a Mana Manipulator -> Innervating Locket, you can sustain Roar almost indefinitely. This is also a much greater asset to your team than Chalice.
When suggesting builds for a tank, you also shouldn't make a definite build. Tank builds are mainly dependant on whether the enemy line-up is physically stacked (get armor) or magically stacked (get magic resist).
Warden's and Thornmail are both very situational items. Thornmail is useless against a team that doesn't have auto-attacking carries, since those are the only ones that Thornmail damages. Ninja Tabi is the same point. Sometimes it's more beneficial to get Mercs or Boots of Swiftness or Travel.
Warden is useless unless you're facing a team dependant on auto-attacks and with few slows or stuns, otherwise the slow isn't of much use to you. Most people will contend that Warden's is never a good item. It doesn't see much use, in any case.
Spell Order: You didn't mention spell order past level 3. You also didn't make any mention of headbutt strategies or ganking strategies.
i should also note that this works best when coupled with another non healing tank. That tank should focus a little more on damage since with all the heals- armor/magic resist/health are not as important. Also works great with katrina since neither of you will ever run out go juice- less downtime = more money and exp = easier wins.
i reckon this startergy is awsome because its been used on me
i think sheen should be put on alistar, since it helps you knock down those towers while spamming roar, and makes harassing/killing champions alot easier since you and stun them, smack them, punt them back, smack them on the way back, while roaring.
but i disagree on chalice. i always get chalice and mana manipulator on him (whether i go for the locket or not) because _this_ allows you to (kind of) spam all of his spells when coupled with glacial shroud/frozen heart (cooldown reduction) and -cd runes. it's really amazing how much you can contribute to longer team fights and escapes when pulverize and headbutt are on lower cooldown with great mana reg and an increased manapool. also chalice + frozen armor + MR or AR boots is usually enough defense for alistar for a whole game. he's tough to kill by nature.
There are a ton of ways to play Alistar. Not one is best, they are depending on your team composition, and your playstyle.
Most recently I've been going for a hybrid Alistar, running
0/15/15 in masteries for quickness and cleanse specs
Summoner skills: Cleanse and Ghostwalk (until they nerf cleanse, then possibly back to flash)
Runes - All Mana Regen /per level + 2 Quickness Quints + 1 Dodge Quint (3 quickness when I can get the 3rd)
Meki Pendant = 1st trip
Chalice of Harmony & Ninja Tabi Boots = Second Trip
Sheen = Third Trip
4th Trip it depends - I either go Frozen Heart, or Aegis, or Start on Tri-Force.. Depends on how the games going.
I agree completely with cooldown reduction, as well.
My build is usually:
Boots of Travel
Aegis if no-one else is getting one.
Turn Mana Manip to Locket or Soul Shroud, depending on team composition.
Frozen Heart or Spirit Visage
Of course, it's all situational. I find Locket isn't as good late-game, so if I've been having a bad time getting kills or last-hits and take too long to get to it, I'll go Soul Shroud instead. Usually if I'm getting Aegis, I'm not getting Locket.
yeah i more often than not i skip locket. it's expensive and most likely does not pay off. since alistar is not exactly a farming machine either i often have to decide for one major higher tier item and most often end up with frozen heart.
soul shroud sounds like a reasonable upgrade for manipulator though.
The absolute best thing Alistar can do for his team is feed the carry. You are one of if not the best champion in the game to help feed a teammate. This Item build is by far the best way to do that. The chalice and ninja tabi give you all the defense and mana regen you need. Sheen is INCREDIBLE on Alistar. Why you ask?
Very simply, if you right click an enemy champion in order to move to them, and activate your pulverize or headbutt BEFORE you make an attack, you will get the attack (with the sheen bonus) immediately after your skill.
YES it works with headbutt and is rather funny as you get a sheen powered whack in while they are flying through the air. Same for pulverize.
If you practice doing this, your set up combo of Pulverize, sheen attack, headbutt, sheen attack does a rediculous amount of damage and almost always guarantees that your carry will get a kill.
Everything else you mentioned is all well and good, but there is no replacement for intentionally giving your carry 10-15 kills during a game. I play a lot of Alistar and I honestly feel this is by far the best way to play him.
Now of course, this play style with Alistar requires skill as you are actively engaging enemy heroes, but you can always heal creep waves and bring them to a tower with just a chalice. Taking down the tower will be faster however as your sheen attacks will be doing 200+ to the towers.
In any case, my problem with your guide is, it focuses WAY to much on healing. You dont need anything other then a chalice and one set of mp/5 runes in order to spam gheal as much as youll ever need. The cooldown can be handy, but again, alistar doesnt need it. Its far more beneficial for him to spec into defense as it gives you the cleanse buff (necessary) but more importantly, between them, the tabi and yoru heal, you can ignore creep waves almost completely. This is important as when yuo combo someone, you will often draw a large amount of creep agro.
Alistar is MUCH MUCH MORE then a walking fountain. This play style may work in very low ELO, but your team will need a lot more from you when you arent playing against noobs (the higher your ELO gets, the less effective heals over time are. And yes, due to the small heal amount and how often you can use it, Roar is more like a heal over time then anything else).
Do your team a favor and get your carry 5 kills before level 6 and watch them faceroll the enemy team for the rest of teh game.
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