Alistar: Principles for Udder Ownage

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skyspyke

Member

01-15-2010

Traditional guides are full of text that you don't read. Here are a few principles on how to play Alistar like a pro. These are principles that should guide your item and spell choices. For kicks, I'll add my two cents on Items and Spell Choices at the end, but that's not the meat of this guide. It's the principles that matter. Play with principle.

1) SPAM ROAR. Think of roar as HP regen rather than a heal. Just keep pressing it. There's no reason not to. Oh, and you only need two ranks of it to take you to the end of the game. 50 hp per use isn't effective enough around level 8, but the second rank of roar is surprisingly efficient through the end of the game (or until you can't get anything else).

2) INITIATE. You're a huge cow. You're beefy. You're massive. You're swol. You're the biggest guy on the field (unless there's a mad Cho'gath running amok with Leviathan's or Warmog's). Your job is to run in head first into all five the enemy team and click the "win" button (your ult). Don't be a wuss. Run in there and Pulverize everyone on the enemy team senseless.

NOTE: You do need a team you can trust to initiate properly, but do it often enough and people will realize that when you go in first, things work out better.

3) USE FLASH. Initiating is an artform. Flashing in, pulverizing, and headbutting the right target completely jacks up the entire enemy team's attack rotation. If you flash in to five guys, I guarantee they will all unload on you and try to burst you down as fast as they can. That's why you ult and sit back while your team jumps in and owns.

4) MAX COOLD DOWNS. Because initiating and tower pushing are your strongest points, you are most valuable to your team while unbreakable will (your ult) is up. Max your cool downs as quickly as possible. The CD hardcap is 40%. You can get 9% CD from masteries, 5.85% from straight CD Glyphs (not counting Quints) or 8.1% from CD/lvl glyphs (not counting Quints). Quints are better used on other things unless you've got a really good reason you want to use them on CDs (like a particular item build tailored for an arranged team).

Items that Alistar is interested in with CD:
Soul Shroud (15%)
Glacial Shroud/Frozen Heart (20%/25%)
Brutalizer (10%)

Work with your runes, masteries, items, and team memebers (if in an arranged team) to max your CDs.

5) DON'T USE HEADBUTT TO LAST HIT. I cannot tell you how many times I've made an ass of myself trying to headbutt for a last hit and helping an enemy get a way. It's embarrassing. It's demoralizing. It's not worth it. Unless you know exactly how much life they have, and exactly how much damage you're going to do with their level of magic resist and your added AP (if you have any)... DON'T DO IT. Let someone else on your team get the last hit. You're a tank. You don't need items to own.

6) DON'T PULVERIZE A SINGLE TARGET. Use your AOE stun to do AOE - not single target damage. Granted there will be times when you will pulverize a single target, but when there is a team fight going on, never waste your pulverize on one single retreating or lagging hero. Get into the middle of the fight and pound the mess out of everyone. The last thing you want is to pulverize a lagging hero, then run into the middle of the fight to realize you still have six seconds of CD left to pound everyone...

7) ITEMS. Again, guiding principles. You want to max CD. That alone will enhance your survivability tenfold. After that, you need to assess the situation and decide what your team needs. Offense? Defense? Auras? Tower pushing? That's how you decide what to get next. Yes, that means you'll have to know the items in the game to play well.

Lower Level Summoners with little CD reduction in masteries/runes:
Mana Manipulator to start ------> Soul Shroud
Boots
Glacial Shroud ----> Frozen Heart (when/if you need)
Damage/Defense item as dictated by situation

Higher Level Summoners with more CD reduction in masteries/runes:
Sapphire Crystal to start (and a pot or two if you want it) ----> Sheen
Boots
Damage/Defense item (you'll be popping your Ult more during later game so mid game the CD reduction is not as important I would argue as in later game)
Max your CD


8) CHAMPION SPELLS. Max Pulverize, get two ranks of Roar, and then go as needed. Of course, max Unbreakable Will whenever you can. Pulverize and Headbutt do roughly the same damage per mana point on a single target, but pulverize hits everyone. Need I say more? The two ranks of Roar will sustain you throughout the game, so after two ranks there go for Headbutt.


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The Detective

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Member

01-15-2010

I've recently converted to Alistar, after only like psuedo-tanks (Cho-gath, Mundo). I am a steadfast convert now. One thing I've noticed, which I see you've put in your guide, is far too many Alistar players getting the max of Roar right off the bat, and losing a lot of mana for it. It is probably the most efficient spell in the game at rank 1 or rank 2.

Question for you, though. What spells do you usually go? I'm becoming a fan of clarity, with the Support mastery for it, as a healer and mana-y tank, with the standard flash. For every time I could get a gank with Flash, though, there is a time I want a Rally for a big fight. Which do you prefer>


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BORF

Senior Member

01-16-2010

These are all incredibally good points, and will be very very helpful to people. My friend and I have been playing Alistar very well on and off and we play almost exactly this same way. Usually start with a Doran's ring then get sage's ring, boots, sage's into frozen heart, then w/e.

My only problem with your build is the soul shroud. If you go 9/0/21 and have blue cool down runes then frozen heart alone will max our cool downs.

As for summoner skills flash is a must have no matter what. The second one can be up to you, although being good with clairvoyance can be very useful for your team.

But yeah, this guy really knows what he is talking about, I'm surprised to see how accurate this guide is.


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Espionage

Member

01-16-2010

I enjoy reading this guide.


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Judah the Lion

Senior Member

01-16-2010

Yep, Ali's a monster, and this "guide" is fun to read.

In a couple ways I find him absolutely OP, being not only one of the best healers in the game, he's probably the best tank by a good margin. That coupled with his many combos and tactics, while not even needing to bother with defensive anything (you don't need def. runes or even masteries to be the best tank/support/CC'er in the game), yeah, he lends himself to be very strong.

I personally run Clarity+mastery buff (HUGE recovery method late game), and Flash, or course.

I have this uncanny knack for killing a lot of people with my Alistar, and not really my intention too.

Besides just typing random riff-raff, I'd like to point out some things, that may or may not have been pointed out in Bait's guide, which I highly recommend reading through btw:

  • Get Sheen, it help pan out your damage throughout the match, and compliments your passive for folding towers.
  • Lure your opponents near your tower for early ganks to instill fear throughout the laning phase--counter attacks like this are very strong with Alistar. If successful, even if not, you can just walk widely around your opponents and push them back to their tower in fear of your CC.
  • Learn all the combos with him: Flash 1-hit-roar-hit-2 towards tower, 2-1, "mini-force" (I made a little thread on this), Headbutt-sheen proc hit, etc. . .


cheers


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Wisewind

Senior Member

01-16-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah the Lion View Post
Yep, Ali's a monster, and this "guide" is fun to read.

In a couple ways I find him absolutely OP, being not only one of the best healers in the game, he's probably the best tank by a good margin. That coupled with his many combos and tactics, while not even needing to bother with defensive anything (you don't need def. runes or even masteries to be the best tank/support/CC'er in the game), yeah, he lends himself to be very strong.

I personally run Clarity+mastery buff (HUGE recovery method late game), and Flash, or course.

I have this uncanny knack for killing a lot of people with my Alistar, and not really my intention too.

Besides just typing random riff-raff, I'd like to point out some things, that may or may not have been pointed out in Bait's guide, which I highly recommend reading through btw:

  • Get Sheen, it help pan out your damage throughout the match, and compliments your passive for folding towers.
  • Lure your opponents near your tower for early ganks to instill fear throughout the laning phase--counter attacks like this are very strong with Alistar. If successful, even if not, you can just walk widely around your opponents and push them back to their tower in fear of your CC.
  • Learn all the combos with him: Flash 1-hit-roar-hit-2 towards tower, 2-1, "mini-force" (I made a little thread on this), Headbutt-sheen proc hit, etc. . .
cheers
I agree with this, makes you much more dangerous if you pick Sheen first. You will have an edge on most hero combos during the laning phase.


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kalris

Senior Member

01-16-2010

Whats a good rune selection for Alistar and mastery set up? I feel like the defense tree is underwhelming in some points and good in others. He seems like a very offensive tank in terms of his melee damage so is it good to boost that beyond sheen?


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Prospero

Member

01-16-2010

I go with mostly utility tree to get the cooldown reduction and the flash boost. The move speed increase doesn't suck either.

As to runes, I have armor penetration, scaling magic resistance, and scaling cooldowns the normal runes, and move speed for the quints. This setup lets you hit harder, take more abusing from annoying casters, stun more often, and run like hell when it all goes south.


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Pylat

Junior Member

01-17-2010

I too play Alistar, and im a total fan. He have all relevant skills, and is really one of those heroes you can build a solid team around.

My build is usually Chalice into boots (tabi or mercurial depending on enemy)
And then straight for mass sunfire capes.
I find sunfire cape to be the ideal item since it complements alistars role very well.
Massive armor.. Check
Massive HP boost.. Check
AOE damage aura for when you are in the middle of a team fight.. Check
Sunfire cape also enable you to clear a minion waves very fast with pulverize and a few hits.

I have often been tempted to make sheen, but when I do, I just feel like I'm not doing enough for the team. I need armor to stay alive and protect my allies. I dont need to do an additional 100 damage to a target. thats what carries are for.

Frozen heart is another item that is just straight up awesome. too bad its so expensive, and comes with a next to useless improved max mana stat.

the skills of choice is Flash + Ghost. both improved by mastery. With the mana regeneration masteries, i feel that chalice is all you need to keep up your mana for the rest of the game. I played some with clarity. but i found i only really used it once or twice in my matches. And thus i found it was better just to conserve your mana a bit, instead of wasting a whole skill slot.

Move speed is FTW. when i get to level 30. I will definitely max out my quints and masteries to have this stat. I find this very useful overall. If you are getting into a teamfight, you are often able to escape if things go bad.

I totally agree with the headbutt for last hit comment. Many times i have humiliated myself with saving an enemy.
To this date. i find the best use of headbutt to be in the very beginning of a teamfight, if you can manage to knock an enemy carry over an edge out of combat. or ofc. when you do flash + headbutt + stun shenanigans.


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unentschieden

Senior Member

01-17-2010

Im also a Alistar player but I find CD items (not the stat itself!) subpar on him thus I slot CD Runes.
Frozen Hearth is a nice item IF you have attackspeedependent Enemys, otherwise its overpriced. Outside the Elexir this goes for pretty much any CDitem unfortunately.

Sheen and Chalice are both great but I usually go Sheen first - the AP makes Roar more effective, the unique effect lasthitting easier and at that point in the game youre usually not that agressive anyway. Chalice comes just right once the abilityspam beginns/you can reliably Towerdive.
Sunfire Im no fan of. Its incredibly inefficient and relies on "backfarming" with its AoE damage wich is ignorable for champions.


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