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Yellow: Dodge; Plays an important role and I consider it better than hp per level. With
the nimbleness mastery, it gives you a consistant increase in movespeed.
Blue: Cooldown Reduction.
Quints: Toss up between Dodge and Movespeed, I perfer dodge but both are good.
Flash and Ghost. Alistar is all about bridging the gap and these two summoner spells help with that immensely. I take ghost over cleanse because his ulti is pretty much a free cleanse in itself.
Pulverize (http://completelol.com/wiki/Pulverize) (Active) Alistar smashes the ground, tossing all nearby enemies into the air. On landing, enemies take damage and are stunned. Alistar smashes the ground, dealing 80 / 125 / 170 / 220 / 270 (+1 per ability power) magic damage and tossing all nearby enemy units into the air, stunning them for the duration.
70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 Mana
*The duration of the stun is 2.2 seconds currently. This is a great skill and makes life for melee carries hell. Though enemies almost have to be in melee range to be affected by it, there are ways to make closing the gap easier.
Headbutt (http://completelol.com/wiki/Headbutt) (Active) Alistar rams a target with his head, dealing damage and knocking the target back.
Alistar charges at an enemy and rams them dealing 90 / 140 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+1 per ability power) magic damage and knocking them back (does not stun).
80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 Mana
*This is the skill that separates the good Alistars from the bad. Knowing when to use this skill is crucial and can easily decide the outcome in team battles. Ulting fiddle just flash over terrain into your team? Headbutt him back the way he came. Master Yi rocking your Ashe? Headbutt that mofo away. While it does good damage and can be used as a "finisher" you really need to make sure your math adds up, there's nothing worse than punting an enemy who was about to die to safety.
*While it can't "stun" I've noticed that if you headbutt someone into a solid wall, they stutter in place for a few moments, allowing you to catch up and pulverize if you wish. Make sure you know which walls are solid and which you can pass through because you might just send them into their jungle or even their base.
Triumphant Roar (http://completelol.com/wiki/Triumphant_Roar) (Active) Alister lets out a commending war cry, instantly restoring health to all nearby friendly units. Can be cast more often if nearby enemies are dying.
Instantly restore 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+0 per ability power) health to all nearby allied units. Cooldown ticks down by 4 seconds each time a nearby enemy unit dies.
20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 Mana
*An excellent laning skill, you only need to take one level of this until lategame. Useful for getting easy sheen procs.
Unbreakable Will (http://completelol.com/w/index.php?title=Unbreakable_Will&action=edit&redlink=1) (Active) Alistar lets out a wild roar, gaining bonus damage, removing all debuffs on himself, and reducing incoming physical and magical damage for the duration.
Alistar gains 60 physical damage, and takes 70% reduced physical and magic damage for 6 / 8 / 10 seconds.
*Your ult is as close to a godmode button as there is in this game. It essentially makes you indestructible for 6/8/10 seconds. Proper use of this lets you never have to buy a single tank item. You can also use this as a cleanse, its useable when you're stunned/silenced/feared.
*There is a bug currently, where if Alistar tries to use his ult while silenced it will use the cd and show the animation but you gain none of the benefits, be careful when using it around a well played fiddle or soraka.
*Meh, probably the weakest tank passive, but combined with Sheen it makes you hit towers really hard I guess.
Pulverize--->Headbutt: Get close to them with flash/ghost, Pulverize and hit them once while they're in the air, position yourself behind them and Headbutt them into your teammates/friendly tower.
Headbutt---->Pulverize: Sort of tricky at first but devastating when you can consistantly pull it off. Its very useful for when your summoner skills are on CD and you need to initiate. Get into Headbutt range and as soon as or right before you make physical contact with your Headbutt target, press Q for Pulverize. This lessens the knockback somewhat and knocks them into the air. If done right it functions as a mini Malphite ult you can do every 12 seconds or so.
Early Game: Buy a Meki Pendant, pick Pulverize as you first skill and go bot or top, if you have a jungler, let someone else solo. If possible lane with someone with a stun/slow and high burst damage. I like to play passively, until level 2/3 only getting last hits if possible. If you or your teammate if being harassed heavily take Triumphant Roar as your second skill, if you think you can land a kill early, take Headbutt. Play agressively but dont Rambo. When you hit level 5/6 you can check mid to see if you can pull off a gank on their solo. On your first trip back to town buy normal boots, wards and if possible, an entire Sheen. Place the wards in front of the dragon and their blue and red creeps.
Sheen ups Alistars offensive power by quite a bit because of his high base damage and short cd spells. Timing your hits between skills is important as it can really add up the damage. Sheen also provides a decent ap/mana boost w
Which boots you buy depends heavily on your enemies. I almost always go Ninja Tabi for the dodge bonus but if more than 3/5 of them are casters and have heavy cc Mercury Treads are a good option too.
Mid-Late Game: Now is when you want to set up teamfights. Roam around in packs and watch your wards for good oppertunities for ganks. When venturing into enemy territory you want to be first in line so you're in a good position to flash/ghost and unwary enemy. In teamfights you want to knock enemy squishys into your team if possible. Once your abilities are on cd, head straight for the enemy carry and procede to repeatedly punch him/her in the face. While roaring every few seconds and with your ult up you can do some pretty impressive damage not to mention its pretty intimidating to get crit for 200+ damage from a tank. Pick up an Aegis so you're not totally squishy when your ult isnt up and you provide a useful aura to your team. When you finish Aegis, you get a Phage and then a Zeal and finish your Trinity Force. Trinity Force makes you a serious force to be reckoned with. I usually sell the Meki Pendant at this point or turn it into a chalice. Most of my games end by this time but if it keeps going get an Atma's Impaler for even more damage and 400+ damage crits/sheen procs.
VS Stealthers: Get a ward for your lane asap, if not for you then for your teammate. Mid game you can get an oracles if you feel like it which not only intimidates stealthers but allows you to roam around killing enemy wards. In teamfights, they often come in late and go right for your squishies. Keep an eye on likely targets and have a Headbutt ready. the last thing you want to be doing is attacking a tank going "durp da durp" whilst your casters are getting killed. By nature, most stealth players are cowards and will run away/be less likely to attack if you babysit your casters with a Pulverize and a Flash ready.
VS Tanks: Ignore them. Seriously. The main flaw with tanks is that once they use their initiation abilities most dont have much to offer teamfights, with some exceptions (rammus/amumu). You're a different breed of tank, one that rocks face and you cant do that vs high armor opponents. Watch out vs Cho'gaths because their ulti will kill you if you're low enough regardless of whether your ult in on.
VS Casters: Capable of some crazy burst damage and snowballing with Soulstealers, they are often squishy and go down easy when caught in bad positioning, like say, being headbutted into an enemy team. Their burst is tied to cooldowns and sometimes its beneficial to activate your ult sub 50% if they use their first round of abilities on you, this leads them to think they migh have a chance to kill you and focus you for the rest of the teamfight. Be careful when doing this because while 70% damage reduction is quite a bit, its not 100%. and therefore you are killable.
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You can get sheen faster if you go blue gem + health pot to start instead of meki pendant. If your blue/yellow runes are all MR and you have util masteries, you should have no problem.