Alistar - The Moo Caboom!

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nicosharp

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Senior Member

01-25-2010

I have a fairly extensive guide for Alistar, but wanted to do a fresh quick and dirty update for everyone trying to play the cow:

This is for a gentle balance between tank/aggressor/team support that a lot of people like to see me running when I join a game:

Masteries:
9/0/21
ability power,cooldown,spell pen for offensive, and max out utility taking exp gain, and improved flash+ghostwalk, movespeed/cooldown/greed etc.

Runes: This is important to this build:
Red - Armor pen - you will hit everything harder, especially nice for tower pushes
blue - clairty
gold - toss up, but i'd say clarity (potentially static armor)
quints - movespeed!

1st - Skill build
lvl 1 - pulverize (q)
lvl 2 - roar (e) if getting harrassed hard (headbutt (w) otherwise)
lvl 3 - whatever you didn't get at lvl 2
lvl 4 - pulverize
lvl 5 - pulverize
lvl 6 - unbreakable will (r)
lvl 7 - pulverize
lvl 8 - roar
R > Q > E > W

As you get good with Ali, you typically only use headbutt for positioning. If you can get a mini stun with it by sending someone into a wall, knock someone away from chasing you, or knock someone back to your carries for a kill, thats what you want it for. Keeping it low keeps the mana cost low for a nice positional move.

Item Build:
Start: Sapphire Crystal + 2hp pots
Slot 1: upgrade to Sheen
Slot 2: Boots
Slot 3: Aegis of the Legion (buy all parts slowly as you make trips back)
Slot 2: Upgrade to Boots of Swiftness (exception is super slowdown/stun teams, in which you want mercury treads)
Slot 4: Stinger (this item gives you a nice bit of attack speed, mana regen and CD reduc, all great!)
Slot 4: Upgrade to Nashor's Tooth (the AP and Cooldown will make you scary now in lategame fights, the regen also helps, pulverize's now nearly 1shot minion waves)
Slot 5: Zeal or Brutalizer - This is a choice between extra movespeed or maxing CD reduction. I typically go for the Brutalizer
Slot 1: Upgrade to Trinity Force if you are still in the game.

This makes you a DPS tank. Alistar does not need much to tank, just his Ult on Cooldown. Getting reduced Cooldown after Aegis improves your effectiveness as a initiator tank in many ways. Try it, you may like it!



To answer a few quick questions before they are asked:
Why Ghost walk instead then Clarity or Exhaust?
Alistar's most important role is initiating, Flash takes a while to recharge, and now with your movespeed build and hopefully swiftness boots, you can make great use out of ghostwalk, offensively or defensively. It is great for getting slightly ahead of someone to headbutt them back to your team, or to catch up to a team mate about to die, and stun their chaser, etc. Not having clarity can sometimes be tough, but building the runes the way I do, and using my spells effenciently has not been an issue for me.

Runes and Masteries:
Why armor pen instead than mag pen reds?
Armor pen will primarily hurt towers and enemies more with sheen proc. attacks. Its also a bit easier to last hit early game with them.
Blue and Gold Clarity runes are just awesome and scale very well. Especially when you are neglecting mana regen until much later.
Movespeed quints just pair well with the item build and focus as a dps initiator.

Why max pulverize?
Creep kills mainly, and to make your initiations vs the enemy team hurt as much as possible.

This build is stupid, I die too fast!?
I think you need to learn how to use your skills to save your hide, and also make sure you are feeding kills to your carry so you get assists, and hitting enemies with sheen proc attacks when you engage after every spell.

Things are going bad! What should I do!
Alternate your item build in game.. Are they caster heavy, and you think your lane is going to be a pain.. Build a Chalice right after Sheen, and get Merc Treads, up roar a bit before maxing out pulv.
Took much DEEEPPPSSS! Make a Thornmail, and stack HP. More then likely, dps heavy teams will get a executioner's calling to deal with you. To counter, buy HP items, and things like Guardian Angel, Frozen Heart. maybe even a quicksilver sash. Warden;s Mail also helps. I still suggest going sheen first to assure you can farm minions when you do have a chance to hit them. Keeping roar low allows you to charge sheen for a relatively low mana cost. (20-40 depending on lvl)

Game changing situational purchases: If you are building your Aegis, try to start with the Ruby Crystal or the MP reduction armor. This allows you to make a choice.. Are you ahead, or are you behind? If you are ahead and can validate the purchase, build a phage instead than a Aegis and complete a Trinity Force Early. If you are behind, perhaps build a Chalice first, then work towards an Aegis to improve your short term survivability and staying power.

My Live Stream:
www.livestream.com/nicosharp <-- Volume NSFW (F-bombs and NC-17 humor)

Other Guides:
Ryze'in above the rest [Guide]:
http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...428#post681428
The Many Faces of Alistar (Extensive Guide):
http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...ad.php?t=36784


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Degini

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Senior Member

01-26-2010

What appeals to me about this is that it has the same core starters as the tankish build (sheen,boots,aegis). Basically the same rune and mastery setup as well (can easily go 9/0/21 for a tank build). This allows for a serious amount of versatility, especially in a solo queue. After your core items, do you need more damage? Go nashors. Need more tankish? Plenty of options there (see Bait's guide or nico's original).

Biggest reason why I like Alistair. Your choices are straight forward so you can focus on building skill through gameplay, not itemization.


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Degini

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Senior Member

01-26-2010

I also wanted to support the idea of building aegis by starting with the magic resist cloak. This is exceptionally important if you are passing on merc treads, or aren't getting a chalice.

Also, you may be wondering when to follow the damage build, and when to follow the tankish build. Here is how I choose (solo/duo queuing):

- If there is a hard tank already on the team (rammus, cho, possibly singed) or no tank but 2 support chars (ex. soraka and taric. leaving only 2 hard dps), then I will focus on a more damage oriented build.

- If there is no tank or only 1 support, then I nominate myself (this is the situation that I expect to happen most)

- If there is a soft tank (one which balances dps and tank) like mummy, kayle or blitz, I will go tankish build.

I am of the opinion that a team needs 3 dps to be effective in solo/duo queue. I find players in solo queue games are not sufficiently aggressive to succeed in any form of push strategy, so having late game dps is critical.

BTW (for those reading this guide), don't use clarity runes as a crutch for bad mana management. Learn when to use your mana, and you may be reduce the need for regen runes in 2 color slots, allowing for some CD to complement your nashor's. There is almost always someone on the team that can benefit more from golem buff than you can, so don't assume you will have it at any point in the game.

(lol at Chrome or this forum not having "golem" in the dictionary)


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nicosharp

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Senior Member

01-26-2010

Thanks for your comments Degini. I can't really elaborate more on gameplay then I did on my second post of my original guide:
http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...ad.php?t=36784

Alistar is just a beast. I find that the above build is the very best for Solo Queue. There are many other better ways to teamplay Alistar based on Team comp, and the strategy, but this seems to work the best for overall solo queue owning. I can often times lead my team in kills with this build, which is scary to say the least.

I also had a friend build this similiarly last night that has never played Alistar. He got first blood, and another 2 kills in the first 3 minutes of the game. (I must say I told him to go Meki pendant first, cause he wasn't runed, but otherwise) We didn't win cause he couldn't initiate well late-game (it was his first game as a tank (typically plays teemo), but he had 10-12 kills with the build, and carried us quickly through the first 2 sets of towers, in every lane.

Alistar doesn't get buffs from destroying Golem or Lizard, he gets them from killing opponents that farm Lizard and Golem.

Clarity runes are best at gold, but gold has so many other great choices. Most of the time you will be fine with efficient mana management and blue clarities, but It is sexy when you have gold clarity too, you can spam sheen procs a bit more to quickly last hit.


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PurpleShock

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Junior Member

01-07-2011

Quick question, are combos with Alistar important in gameplay? Or should I just stick with normal flash Pulverize Headbutt. (combos such as W>Q sheen proc, E, sheen proc)


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Mezmrick

Senior Member

01-07-2011

Back to playing Ali Nico?
Whats your take on the CDR boots? I'm loving them personally and combined with runes gives me 30% with my second item.


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newborn1

Junior Member

01-08-2011

Used this build in the last four games, it is AMAZING!

Really makes Alistar's ultimate shine. The only downside is that he is extremely dependent on the ultimate to survive, but he usually can down opponents faster than he will fall. Also, it allows him to 1v1 against other champs, amazing build, nico!