support

[8.21.1]The carrying cow of S8 | Alistar Support guide

by SirArthurVlade

(Last updated on October 26, 2018)

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Builds

Summoner Spells

Hide Notes
  • Flash
  • Ignite

Runes

  • resolve
    RESOLVE
  • Aftershock
  • Font of Life
  • Second Wind
  • Overgrowth
  • inspiration
    INSPIRATION
  • Future's Market
  • Cosmic Insight
Bonus :

+130 Health

Resolve is the most suited treeline for Alistar thanks to Aftershock. Aftershock is perhaps THE best rune for Alistar and it was this rune that plunged Alistar into the meta. Since three of your abilities are hard CC, Aftershock would be triggered on most occasions. Apart from that, when engaging on a somewhat hard lane, It helps alot by negating damage. I myself have never taken anything apart from Aftershock on Alistar apart from when I bloody forget to change my runes

Bone Plating: I usually take this against lanes such as Caitlyn. If you've taken relic shield, You will be poked by Caitlyn and if its a headshot, you will be forced to think twice before engaging.

Font of Life: This works extremely well with Alistar due to his hard CC. I recommend this against bruiser match ups when you not only need defenses but some source of sustain aswell

Overgrowth: Overgrowth provides significant amounts of health. In a 30 minute game, It can provide 400+ health. Near me, the other two alternatives of Overgrowth dont exactly have much use on Alistar so I just take Overgrowth


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Inspiration

Future's market: For most supports, future's market is highly recommended as you will always have a gold disadvantage even with a good game of Relic shield or Ancient coin. For a support, A fully upgraded item has a worlds difference between a still being upgraded one. Aegis of the legion may be a good item, but 200 gold deficiency can ruin the game for you as you wouldn't be able to buy Locket of the iron solari. These minor differences cause a major turn up during a team fight where it may perhaps save the day.

Cosmic Insight: I usually take this when I have a lane advantage. Against ADC's like MF, I take CDR. Fair warning, do check who is your ADC aswell. If its Ezreal, He might not be able to do enough damage to secure the kill and the opposing support may destroy you both.

Items

Start

  • Ancient Coin
  • Health Potion
  • Health Potion

The reason I recommend ancient coin instead of relic shield is because ancient coin is proven to provide more gold then relic shield. Even when both of them are upgraded, I have compared my end game stats to which I found that with remnant of the ascended, I sat on 1500 gold from the item alone in a 40 minute game compared to the 780 gold from the remnant of Aspect ( Upgraded relic shield ). Also, since early game Alistar faces some mana problems, ancient coin can solve that by providing mana coins every so often. With relic shield, you get poked out whenever you try to execute a minion so its a safer and much efficient gold income item. Remember to upgrade it on first back and if possible, grab boots of mobility aswell.

Core

  • Remnant of the Ascended
  • Locket of the Iron Solari
  • Knight's Vow
  • Mikael's Crucible
  • Righteous Glory
  • Boots of Mobility

Other Options

  • Frozen Heart
  • Spirit Visage
  • Adaptive Helm
  • Redemption
  • Warmog's Armor

Frozen heart: I go Frozen heart when the enemy has atleast three hyper carries for example, ADC vayne, jungler yi etc. It provides an excellent amount of armor, a dreamy 20% CDR and a ton of mana to solve your mana issues allowing you to spam your abilities.

Spirit visage: This is my standard item against heavy AP laners such as Brand, zyra support. It provides magic resist, health and CDR. Although I find that this must be coupled with Locket to provide a boost

Adaptive helm: For all your yordle problems

Redemption: For when your team keeps getting them poked or when you need to negate the initial damage taken from a team fight/ Baron fight or just need to help that sole survivor to make sure to not get Ace'd

Warmogs armor: HEAVILY situational. Provides alot of health and CDR along with massive health regen if coupled with righteous glory and frozen heart to rid myself of mana issues. I take this item against assassins such as Zed, or pokers such as Pantheon.

Example full build

  • Remnant of the Ascended
  • Frozen Heart
  • Righteous Glory
  • Redemption
  • Boots of Mobility
  • Mikael's Crucible

Against heavy AD

  • Remnant of the Ascended
  • Frozen Heart
  • Righteous Glory
  • Thornmail
  • Boots of Mobility
  • Warmog's Armor

Against heavy AP

  • Remnant of the Ascended
  • Locket of the Iron Solari
  • Spirit Visage
  • Boots of Mobility
  • Adaptive Helm
  • Mikael's Crucible

Ability Sequence

  • Triumphant Roar

    Triumphant Roar(Passive)

  • Pulverize
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Headbutt
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Trample
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Unbreakable Will
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Pulverize
    Headbutt
    Trample
    Pulverize
    Pulverize
    Unbreakable Will
    Pulverize
    Headbutt
    Pulverize
    Headbutt
    Unbreakable Will
    Headbutt
    Headbutt
    Trample
    Trample
    Unbreakable Will
    Trample
    Trample

Passive: Heals your ADC and yourself whenever 7 minions die near you or you hard CC an enemy and gives some sustain in Lane. Do note that the healing is very minuscule and is only to alleviate poke.

Q- Pulverize: melee-range knock-up that can potentially knock up the entire enemy team if grouped. Used in conjunction with Headbutt for a long range engage using the WQ combo. Do note that this ability does have a wind-up animation so enemies are able to Flash away before your W lands mid-animation. This is best for surprising enemies in brush camps or with other gapcloses like your Flash or the other combos. Generally speaking, the more people you hit with Pulverize, the better.

W-Headbutt: Ranged targeted knock-back ability that pushes an enemy away. Most often used for the W-Q engage but is also great for disengaging and peeling when need be. Definitely be cautious when using this ability in a fight or skirmish as the last thing you want is for an easy target to get knocked away into safety.

E- Trample: Slight AOE damage around you for a few seconds and builds stacks if this spell damages an enemy. At 5 stacks this makes your next auto a short stun. This is generally used with your Q and W as when the enemies are knocked into the air you only have to stick to the target for 1.5s longer to get the stun-auto proc off.

R- Unbreakable will: Breaks CC and grants a huge damage reduction for a few seconds. Perfect for tanking after you engage or from running away when need be. You can use this to tank big spells like an Ashe Enchanted Crystal Arrow by using your R to break the CC, or you could use it right before burst damage like Veigar's Primordial Burst to mitigate incoming damage.

Vs. Champions

  • Blitzcrank
  • Soraka
  • Miss Fortune
  • Brand
  • Zyra
  • Morgana
  • Braum
  • Pyke
  • Sona
  • Nami
  • Difficulty
  • Champion
  • Notes
Easy
BlitzcrankBlitzcrank

Let him hook you, and then focus his ADC. Do take note that he has received some significant damage buffs and if coupled with a strong ADC like caitlyn, you wont make it out pre-6. Also remember to take note of your own ADC such as if its Ezreal, he might not be able to out damage them.

Easy
SorakaSoraka

Ideal enemy support for Alistar. Watch out for her Q's which may be repetitive. If he gets in a bad position within your WQ range, do not hesitate to engage keeping the enemy jungler position in mind.

Easy
MissFortuneMiss Fortune

Alistar is extremely " miss-fortunate " enemy support as he has hard CC and a gap closer to ruin her day. I personally find myself to win most lanes against MF and the only thing that does stop me is a hard poke support.

Normal
BraumBraum

Braum in general is a safe pick, who can disengage and engage in the most fashionable manner possible. Becareful of his utility and stun

Normal
PykePyke

In a weak lane, pyke can be focused for free kills. In a strong lane, after 6, he destroys Alistar since his ultimate ignores all defenses and shields and directly executes. I'd recommend health rather than armor if Pyke is troubling you.

Normal
SonaSona

Her poke is annoying early game and in many occasions will force you to reconsider engaging without your Junglers help. In case the enemy team has one or two more AP champs excluding Sona, you should take the Heavy AP build provided. I would highly recommend a Locket in places where Sona is able to Ult more then 2-3 persons.

Normal
NamiNami

She does have an advantage by being ranged and can poke you down, but she has to get in range of your W+Q combo to poke you down. If you can predict her poke and land her WQ combo, you will show her the hell of damage and CC that Alistar can unleash on her.

You will benefit from Relic shield in this scenario taking into note the enemy ADC as you don't have to fear too much poke and need that extra health/beefiness to engage on her.

Hard
BrandBrand

My nightmare. He is a built-in tank destroyer and his kit is made to give you cancer. Get ancient coin and ignore relic shield as he will poke you whenever you go near to execute a minion. Play safe and wait for ganks. Get locket of iron solari and spirit visage for desperate measures.

Hard
ZyraZyra

Her latest buffs poke down the ADC crippling you from engaging and waiting to get yourself poked too. Same as brand, get Locket and spirit visage and play safe.

Hard
MorganaMorgana

Depends highly on the player playing Morgana or the enemy ADC. If you make it too obvious you're going to engage on her ADC, She will shield her. In response, you may decide to engage on Morgana instead but if the enemy ADC is a strong laner such as Caitlyn, you wont make it out alive and perhaps not your ADC either.

I would recommend a Mikaels against Morgana due to the long duration of her Q and a Locket for " ADC Protection ". Look for when she doesn't has her E shield optimally as it has a long CD.

The God-Tier Support

Alistar is listed as a God-tier support in the current meta while Braum is considered a safe pick. Alistar is a beefy engage support that has a very powerful ranged aoe initiate and a ton of cc, which allow him to always be a relevant threat in setting up picks or teamfights for his team. In lane, he provides great all-in potential but suffers greatly when dealing with ranged supports that outrange him as they can simply neutralize Alistar's engage. Outside of lane is where Alistar excels best - Alistar is most effective when the player is being active across the map.


If you like Alistar and would enjoy talking about him, come participate in /r/AlistarMains on Reddit.



















Mechanics and Fundamentals

Fundamentals:



Combos

 + 


W: Headbutt     +   Q: Pulverize



The most useful and practical combo - what you essentially do is cancel the knockback from your W spell with your Q's aoe knockup by using your W on a target, then the moment your W animation comes out, use your Q. This essentially just applies your Q damage and range to all enemies around the target you W. Perfect for engaging and setting up plays. I also can't stress enough that this is a somewhat hard to master combo where even a slight difference in ping may decide you being reported or not.



Combo

   +  

Q: Pulverize + Summoner Spell: Flash


This helps apply your Q AOE knockup at the location that you want to flash to. To use this combo you want to Q and then  Flash as you see the Q animation start. This is great for when you want to save your W to knock them back after you get an engage on the enemies.


Combo

  + 

Q: Pulverize  +  W: Headbutt


You can surprise a lot of people if you wait in an unwarded brush and the enemies facecheck that brush, where you can then Q, then go behind them and W someone towards your team. Great in concept, but not really that practical aside from brush camps.


Extended Mechanics:



Combo + Auto

   + 

E: Trample + W: Headbutt + Q: Pulverize


Great in lane when you have the time to activate your E before the enemies get out of range. This helps setup to get E stacks so you can stun someone upon them landing from your Q knockup. Great for sending an unsuspecting enemy into your turret


A small piece of advice, Besure to not always perform the WQE combo. Although that is great for gap closing, if you want to truly SECURE a kill, Q W E or E W Q Would be much better as it displaces the enemy in the position you want, giving you a window of opportunity to deny the enemy of any flash over wall chances or combo with another champ such as poppy or vayne by knocking them near a wall, allowing them to stun them and THEN using your Q.


Combo

   + 

Summoner Spell: Flash + W: Headbutt + Q: Pulverize


Using  Flash allows you to apply your W-Q Combo from a much further distance, and essentially acts just like a  Malphite Ultimate. Great as an instant engage with little room for enemies to react to.


Combo

  +  + 

Q: Pulverize + Summoner Spell: Flash + W: Headbutt


Combines the Q+Flash Combo to achieve the same effects as the Q-W. Does a mid-range gap close with your Flash and applies the Q-W at the location you end up  Flashing to. Can be used to push an enemy into an allied turrent or inside your base to secure a


Combo

  +  + 

W: Headbutt + Q: Pulverize + Summoner Spell: Flash


Combine the W-Q Combo and the Q-Flash Combo. You want to W-Q a target and flash as your Q animation is coming up. This will allow you to engage on enemies if they are split up with a target close to you. Alternatively you could W+Flash-Q, but this results in the enemy targeted by the W getting knocked back.

You can also technically use your E before your Flash+W-Q Combo and your Q-Flash combos, but it becomes somewhat anticipated by the enemies if they see you activating your E.


Core Items explanation


 Relic Shield: Best starting item for melee supports that grants more beefiness and some sustain in lane. The other support items don't directly benefit your laning power that much, and since Alistar is focused on finding favorable 2v2 fights in lane, having the extra HP directly helps. Sadly, during the current meta, it is inferior to Ancient coin.


 Locket of the Iron Solari: Huge AOE shield to protect against burst or damage. Typically bought second or third for better teamfighting but is definitely core in a support build to mitigate large amounts of AOE burst or just simply protect your teammates from extra damage.



 Righteous Glory: Great tanky item with a bunch of cheap components that helps you engage even better by enabling more chasing distance. This is great when you are doing well in lane and need more engage power to snowball the game. The item components are also great for lane as it provides armor and health which are perfect for tanking and trading.



 Redemption: Very versatile delayed AOE heal / damage that can be used during teamfights on teammates for healing or enemies for damage, while sieging, while doing objectives, etc. Very powerful but has a learning curve in maximizing its effectiveness as it is a targeted spell with a delay.



 Knight's Vow: When binded to your ADC, helps heal from their damage and also grants them more damage reduction. This is great for providing additional protection (typically) on your ADC, which can be extremely beneficial for passively helping the ADC survive in fights just by having the item.



 Mikael's Crucible: CC removal and a MS buff when you need to peel your ADC from threatening CC. This is great when playing versus champions like  Sejuani or  Morgana who have long duration CC abilities that can pick off your teammates / ADC. Having the item essentially just provides another layer of protection.


Roaming

Alistar has a point to stun ability ( W )  which can be chained with his Q and E to secure kills around the map. As such, his true potential lies in outside his lane.

Outside of lane you'll want to be managing vision, primarily placing your wards and denying enemies vision around the next objective. If you've come out ahead you'll want to take the lead and rotate around the map, working with lanes that have priority (waves shoving in enemies) to invade and get vision while denying the enemies farm.
You can also threaten dives or pick off straggling enemies, which helps you deny further resources and get more kills / towers, which you can transition into more items and more objectives. If you've come out behind, your team's strength will determine what you should do next. Generally speaking, your first priority when behind is to ensure that minion waves in all lanes that are pushed to your team are properly caught and and your towers are properly defended.

However, if your team is stronger than the enemy then you can look for plays that can turn around the game through creative pathing around vision (especially with Hextech Flashtraption) to find ways to pick favorable fights. If you are weaker, then you will want to be weathering the storm and picking up whatever you can while only making plays that have low risk and medium-high reward.

In teamfights you should either be engaging, following up on a teammates engage, or peeling your carries from threatening assassins / burst. The determining factor is on the enemy team composition and positioning and the strength of your carries.


If the enemy team has assassins like  Zed or  Kha'Zix and your ADC is strong, you should be sitting on your ADC ready to Q the enemy assassin or knock them away to prevent them from getting their burst damage off your carry so your carries can focus down the other members of the enemy team.

If the enemy have no assassins and your ADC is in no threat or your team simply has good wombo burst, you can consider engaging a favorable fight or following up on engages to get more damage off while the enemies are CC'd. Typically, the more enemies you are able to knock-up the better. However, definitely make sure your team is in a position to followup.

Control the map, setup picks, and work your way to the enemy nexus!


Practical Examples for Mechanics

As I stated earlier, WQE combo is great for engaging, but for truly securing a kill, the QEW or QWE combo is more advised. Here's an example




Here, it was the first fight of botlane and both teams had all summoner spells up. I had E'd Soraka to bring her down to which Yasuo was forced to Heal. I knew Soraka had her Flash up so I flashed behind her, W'd her into my team and waited for her to Flash back into me and ended it with a Q to secure a kill for my team. 

Below is another example of securing kills as Alistar. I had started with a WQE combo to engage, and further Flash > EQ and then W into my ADC to pick up the kill



As Alistar deals alot of damage to squishies because of his base damage, Kaisa had to only auto attack Morgana once to get the kill. 

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Due to your displacement abilities, You can secure kills solo aswell. I have previously stated you can use the QEW, EQW,  QWE or E/Q Flash W combo to displace the enemy into the turret or even your nexus to secure a kill. Here is a example.



In this video, I started off with a standard WQE combo. I made a mistake here and could've just pushed Renekton through the wall with my W and save Master Yi, but in the ongoing fight, I baited the Renekton near me, E'd him and then flash W him into the turret to secure a kill.

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Due to your displacement abilities, You can displace enemy behind walls as I have stated earlier. Below is a prime example of how to take a high priority target such as a Fed Tristana out of the fight by head butting her when she is in a bad position towards your team.




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Even as a support, you should not underestimate your damage as a peeling, beefy engage support. Here's a video of me 1vs1'ing a Lissandra.


I had stored up a Q to finish her off, sadly it was a kill steal with a smite by Kayn but goes on to show your damage. 

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