420SnoopLion is back on the scene to bring to you a guide for playing Alistar in Season 6. I know what some of you may be thinking, Alistar? Why would I ever want to play that cow when I could play with my favorite champion? Shush now child and revel in the wondrous tank that can smash and pass the enemies around. Alistar is one of the oldest champions in League of Legends, however he is also one of the most difficult as well, with moves that could turn the tide of battle and effectively win or lose the game for your entire team. Alistar has not been seen often in the current meta, and for good reason: he used to be a jungler, but ever since his passive got halved nobody has dared to play him in that role, he used to be a top laner, but then sheen was nerfed from 125% to 100%, and support, there are so many other option right now in the current meta that synergize better with the marksman i.e. Braum. With that being said, Alistar is not for the weak of heart, you will need to be ruthless and strategic with your mana usage in order to stabalize the game, and successfully change the tide of the game. This Guide offers a way to play Alistar again in his old glory of the top lane, with a balance between tank and offense [center][big]Pros:[/big] Great sustain Split push capabilies Turret diving Crazy CC Great base damage AoE heal A Combo that is practically [img=skills/malphite/r.png] Great potential to secure kills Can become one of, if not the tankiest champion (right up there with sion and maokai) Can fill several roles [big]Cons:[/big] Learning curve on skills Early game poke can be hard to deal Your harass is weak until post level 6 Long Cooldowns Low base mana Prone to harassment Low base movement Low damage output after skills are used[/center] Now this is not the end all be all guide for Alistar, like I will say in my conclusion, I am always looking for ways to improve my guide, please don't just downvote and leave, if there is any information lacking be sure to let me know that way I can make this guide as professional as possible.
The reason to grab your [img=skills/alistar/e.png] first is simple to sustain. You never know how aggressive the enemy top laner will be, so its nice to have a heal to keep you in the lane. Next grab your [img=skills/alistar/w.png] then [img=skills/alistar/q.png] , You will not need to use your combo until either your jungler is ganking, or a turret dive. The reason to grab [img=skills/alistar/w.png] 2nd in case the enemy starts getting aggressive, then you can just push them away. A skilled Alistar can even deny the enemy farm by [img=skills/alistar/w.png] them away from last hitting minions. The most crucial part of playing Alistar is the early game! Max Q first for lower cdr, idealy you want your Q and W to have as close to the same cooldown as possible. That way you can harass the enemy team at maximum efficiency.
In Season 5 the only changes made to Alistar are visual In patch 4.15 Riot officially removed the ability to land an additional basic attack on and enemy you are headbutting as they fly away. RIP OP sheen skills. As of Patch 4.12 Alistar has taken serveral nerfs in order to prevent him from jungling. Riot seems like they want to bring Alistar back to support level instead of Jungler, because they are worried about the potential [img=champ/malphite.png] ultimate [img=skills/malphite/r.png] starting at level 2 in every lane. However this should not effect Top lane besides the [img=skills/alistar/p.png] debuff. [center]Passive - Trample[img=skills/alistar/p.png] REMOVEDJUNGLE COW No longer deals double damage to monsters Q - Pulverize[img=skills/alistar/q.png] STUNNING LANDING Pulverize now correctly matches its visuals by applying a 1.5 second knockup ⇒ 1 second knockup followed by a 0.5 second stun (functionally should remain the same) COST 70/80/90/100/110 mana ⇒ 65/70/75/80/85 mana W - Headbutt[img=skills/alistar/w.png] COST 70/80/90/100/110 mana ⇒ 65/70/75/80/85 mana R - Unbreakable Will[img=skills/alistar/r.png] YOU CAN'T MILK THOSE Damage reduction now applies instantly, rather than after the spell animation DAMAGE REDUCTION 50/60/70% ⇒ 70/70/70%[/center]
The key to mastering any champ is to learn when to use their abilities, Alistar is no different, he has powerful abilities that can either help or hurt his team. [vid=https://youtu.be/2OImcrptFKc?t=46] This great video above by Swiplington (go check him out on youtube he has guides and gameplay) demonstrates how to effectivly use the Alistar combo. -skip to 46 seconds for the tutorial- The key principle is to first Headbutt and enemy, then as soon as you are traveling during your headbutt you pulverize. Another idea if you do not feel confident in landing your combo, you could always headbutt to a minion near your target then pulverize, this is a wimpy way and will do less damage, however it will still force you to travel and cover greater distances.
In Early game it is PARAMOUNT that you sustain until you hit 6/get your [img=items/catalyst-the-protector.png] after that you can start playing like the aggressive bull you are. Be sure to heal up with [img=skills/alistar/e.png] and land your [img=skills/alistar/w.png] [img=skills/alistar/q.png] combos to lower enemy and kill. As soon as you get your [img=items/catalyst-the-protector.png] start looking for gank potentials bot lane, be sure to keep your [img=summoners/teleport.png] ready for such an occasion. A well timed Teleport and combo can make bot lane snowball into a victory. Against most laners you are going to want to be passive, however in the few instances I listed above, you can be aggressive. This phase the most paramount to the games and your success.
This is the time where you start to look to roam the most, keep [img=summoners/teleport.png] ready, and start to make the plays to carry your team. Laning phase should be if not is close to being over by now. And once it is, the fun really starts, team fighting. I will go into more detail of this in the following chapters. However imagine yourself (No matter what role you originally chose) to be a roaming support champ at this point in the game, almost like what bard was supposed to be. Help other lanes get kills, no need to be selfish Alistar is amazing at helping other champions snowball. Also a rule for any champion you play, assume that your team mates will not keep track of timers, post reminders in the chat to help your team out. It is paramount that you start to roam here if you didn't early game. To help your team and assure that you get more gold for your build. remember your [img=skills/alistar/w.png] [img=skills/alistar/q.png] combo is effectivly a [img=skills/malphite/r.png] with a shorter cooldown, you can cause major havoc and confusion in any lane by using these skills.
The late game focus is either on Team Fighting or clearing lanes. you can most likely 1v1 anyone but you are needed to be the beacon of light to the rest of your team. This is when you make a distraction in a lane with a few team mates and let someone split push / back door, you should be able to maintain aggro in a team fight at any moment. Now I understand how tempting it is when a large minion wave is pushing for you to go clear it. BUT STOP, before you rush off to the wave, check to see what you do and dont have vision of. Remember how important you are to your team, without visions of primary objectives you are almost guaranteeing a lose of baron or perhaps dragon. By this time dedicate your wards to baron in the case of a team fight YOU NEED to be there. Also remember that your ultimate [img=skills/alistar/r.png] negates 70% of incoming damage for 7 seconds. That being said you need to be right in the middle of the enemy team for that time frame. Also if your team is not fighting don't be afraid to split push a little bit, your [img=skills/alistar/p.png] allows you to effectivly clear waves with a single [img=skills/alistar/q.png] if a fight happens try to keep [img=summoners/teleport.png] up to run in and cause some damage and distraction to the enemy team.
In team fights as alistar there are two roles to fill The first is to initiate fights, and the second is a protector. As an initiator land a combo in a group of people to throw off the enemies plans, alternatively walk in then [img=skills/alistar/w.png] someone away to split up the threats. Don't forget to [img=skills/alistar/r.png] To make sure you are taking only baby d*ck damage. Basically cause chaos to confuse their team. As the primary tank/bruiser of your team you need to stay in the front lines of the fights. You are 9 times out of 10 going to either be the initiator or follow up. Therefore you need to be prepared to react at a moments notice whenever an enemy is caught out from the group. I recommend that you single out the stray ones that way its an easy kill for your team, alternatively if you and your team are confident in your focusing abilities, [img=skills/alistar/w.png] into the group of enemies and [img=skills/alistar/q.png] to knock them all up. As the protector you are also the judge of how situations are running during the fight. If there is an adc that is destroying your team during a fight [img=skills/alistar/w.png] them away, allowing time for your team to get their focus back together and neutralizing a threat.
In conclusion, Alistar is a very versatile champion that can change the direction of a game at any time. Be sure to land your combos, and you should have no problems against most champions top lane. Alistar has became a increasingly popular choice for top lane after seeing the pro players of LCS and Worlds use him. With this guide and a little bit of common sense in lane, you can easily turn into an unkillable machine that with laugh at an adc trying to hurt him. If you like this guide, have any comments or concerns, be sure to leave a comment. I am constantly looking for advice on how to update and improve the guide.