This is a primal Alistar build, the one that I used (it seems like) way back when he still had his tower-wrecking passive and AP ratios that would silence the current outburst of Alistar OP threads. He wasn't considered enough of a threat to be a tank in a metagame with Malphite, Shen, Amumu, Rammus and Galio running rampant. Although those tanks were all amazing at what they did, Alistar was always the underdog. Strats and metagames went into countering said tanks, and Alistar was a prime tanky DPS champion nobody cared about. He would wreck your turrets in seconds, destroy your carries in milliseconds, and he was still considered underpowered. He needed a super strong early game to even get to that point, but when he did he was very very powerful. Whatever, my point remains - Alistar has ALWAYS been a viable pick in MANY team comps, and has ALWAYS been a tank with sufficient CC and damage. I can dwell more on the past and my opinion that his pre-remake state was far more balance-able and balanced than his current state, but I won't, because we didn't come here for history lessons! [highlight]So what is this guide?[/highlight] My Alistar playstyle and thought process was completely transformed when I randomly stumbled across Reep; he was offering 30-40 minute Alistar lessons at the time. I had never before seen someone with such mastery of a champion before; and that inspired my attempt to approach a similar understanding. Alistar has so many nuances and hidden capabilities, it will amaze you. In this guide I will highlight a whole lot of underused combos, techniques and tricks that will DEFINITELY take your Alistar play to the next level. I will be going through the build that best compliments his huge potential, and will share as much insight as I can. I'll try and cover as much of his jungle and support aspects as I can; though I do play him as a jungler more often than otherwise. [highlight]Update[/highlight] I was very taken aback after Alistar's nerf many patches ago. Essentially, it was the Unbreakable Will nerf; causing it to scale with level and being really poor at lower levels. Since I mainly played Alistar as a bot lane support, I rarely got to the higher level tankiness and therefore got thrown off a lot. Now, after the jungle remake and quite a few buffs and nerfs in the right direction, I feel that Alistar, although not the crazy monster he used to be, is still quite a crazy monster. Learning him does indeed have its rewards; and I decided to update this guide (read:almost a complete overhaul) to facilitate the learning of both newer and slightly experienced Alistar players. www.own3d.tv/reep : Watch Reep's archived videos or catch him live: this IS his smurf account, but this enables him to demonstrate the many things I discuss in the guide; you'll also learn many many more things from watching him play. [imgext=http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj593/Felorien/Screenshot2012-05-11at123850AM.png] I'm a 1600 ELO player with more than 200 Ali games in this season alone; I've had many in normals and season 1 too; so that's a lot of Alistar experience. [imgext=http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj593/Felorien/Screenshot2012-05-02at25838PM.png] [imgext=http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj593/Felorien/Screenshot2012-05-06at52944AM.png]
[highlight]MOVEMENT SPEED QUINTESSENCES[/highlight] These are core on Alistar. When jungling it allows you to get in more autoattacks than you could without them; which is crucial to his ganks considering after your Headbutt and Pulverise, your only source of damage is your autoattacks. But that really isn't the only reason. Alistar is extremely position reliant; and getting into position quicker is a huge benefit. With a 0/21/9 or 0/15/15 mastery build, and movement speed quintessences, you get 389 movement speed with level 1 boots. With Janna, it's 399. This is higher than all your gank targets who will also, most likely, start boots. You need to be faster than them. So yeah, absolutely core. The only other substitutes I would use would be either Attack Damage, Attack Speed or Armor Penetration, but I really wouldn't recommend using them over Movespeed. [highlight]Jungling Runes[/highlight] [imgext=http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj593/Felorien/Screenshot2012-05-06at81914PM.png] [number]Attack Speed marks[/number]: Again, more autoattacks in a gank = more damage in a gank. More attack speed in jungle = faster clear times (Alistar's weakest point). Armor pen and Attack Damage are good too; haven't done the maths since it's really difficult to calculate how much extra damage you get in ganks from this choice of runes; but basing it off feel, attack speed quints are awesome. [number]Armor seals[/number]: Self-explanatory. You will die to blue without them. You will not be able to dive without them. You basically can't play jungle Alistar viably without them. [number]3 Cooldown Reduction glyphs + 6 Flat Mana glyphs OR Magic Resist/Level glyphs[/number]: I used to run the magic resist setup, and it does allow you to get tankier, but Reep's setup is much more efficient. With Shurelya's, Zeke's, the Cooldown Reduction mastery in offense and these 3 cooldown reduction glyphs, you hit 40.00% CDR. As you will learn later in this guide, CDR is Alistar's primary stat. It allows him to CC more, position himself more, heal more and most importantly, BE A TANK MORE. The Flat Mana blues help you in the jungle when you give away your blue, and it also gives you that extra heal when you dive that will save you very often. [highlight]Support Runes[/highlight] [imgext=http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj593/Felorien/Screenshot2012-05-06at81941PM.png] [number]Armor Penetration marks[/number]: You don't have sustained damage in lane. You need to rely on your combo burst to win trades. Armor Pen lets you do more damage in bot lane than any alternative, especially since the enemy will have runed for armor anyway. Your Sheen combos hurt a lot more with some armor penetration, and yeah, it's really the best in the slot. You could run Flat Armor marks, and they aren't terrible, but you just won't be doing any damage. [number]Armor seals[/number]: Again, self-explanatory. You will take far too much damage during trades without these. Trades win bot lane. [number]Flat Magic Resist glyphs[/number]: You COULD run the same setup as you do for jungle Alistar, but I doubt it would pay off more than these. Since you won't be getting much farm at all, you'll need as much tankiness as you can get for free. Now, the reason I choose flat magic resist over magic resist/level would basically, again, be because of trades. Many supports deal magic damage; and these help reduce the damage you take. Furthermore, many junglers also have some form of magic damage, which will also be reduced with these. The main reason, however, is dragon fights. Magic resist/level equate to flat magic resist glyphs at level 11. Since their mid laner will most likely be present during a dragon fight, having just base magic resist will cause you to die really quickly. And since first dragons control the flow of the game as well and usually occur before level 11, flat magic resist glyphs would be the best in slot.
[item=trinity-force] [img=items/boots-of-mobility.png] [img=items/shurelyas-reverie.png] [img=items/zekes-herald.png] [img=items/aegis-of-the-legion.png] [img=items/last-whisper.png] [title] Justification: [/title] [number] Why AD/CDR/Tank? [/number] In this section I will describe why I choose to run this build over the AP Alistar and the complete Tank Alistar builds. As I describe, you will see how each role has great synergy with the other on Alistar. [number] AD over AP? [/number] Yes, and the main reasoning I have for this is that Alistar STILL retains a LOT of his burst even if you don't build him AP. When he had 1:1 ratios, they might have been a bit closer, but now that it has been nerfed severely to [number]0.5[/number] and (I think) [number]0.6[/number] for Pulverise and Headbutt respectively, there is almost no comparison. It seems a bit counterlogical that Alistar would still have burst without the Rabadons, but the Triforce procs paired with the crit chance you have from the Phantom Dancers gives you as much burst as an Alistar with Deathcap. Now the most obvious next point that could be raised is that an AP Alistar with Lichbane still gets procs for even MORE burst. And here is where I think the build has its strongest argument: [.] AP Alistar, and any champion really, requires SKILL USAGE to get Sheen/Lichbane procs. The problem with AP Alistar is you don't itemize for CDR. So, while your ult is on, which is when you are scariest and most useful, you only get ONE cycle of procs. What does this mean? It means that while your spells are on cooldown, you are wasting a whole lot of potential burst damage just running around and absorbing some damage. But this isn't all, you aren't absorbing as much damage as you could be, which leads to my next point. [.] Alistar's ult is what makes him item-independent. While your ult is on with this build, you gain [number]+90[/number] attack damage. TWO BF SWORDS' worth of damage. On AP Alistar you cannot be in their face smacking them when your ult is on because when it wears off you just instantly die. When you build the slightest bit of tankiness and your ult is on, you become much harder to kill due to you getting 70% worth of resistances. This DIRECTLY translates to SUSTAINED BURST damage. You can AFFORD to make use of the +90 damage because you aren't TAKING that much damage at all. When you crit with your ult on, it HURTS. It's a form of burst damage. The extra HP allows you to be in the fight for that little extra time. BUT, the REAL reason these items are so good on Alistar is the fact they give you CDR. [.] Alistar, besides his ult, doesn't have anything that boosts his ability to tank. No armor steroids, no magic resist or HP conversions, nothing. So, in order for Alistar to be in the fight as much as possible, you itemize CDR, and with this build at level 18, your ult will be up every [number]48[/number] seconds. Scrape 8 off for the duration, and it is up every [number]40[/number] seconds. Fights at this time rarely last more than 10-12 seconds, and the interval between them is pretty large - since people will be clearing minion waves, grabbing buffs, and grouping up for objectives. You SHOULD have your ult up every fight, and this makes you a HUGE force late game. [.] But that's not it, the CDR actually gives you more damage too! You can get TWO headbutts off in the duration of your rank 3 ultimate, and when paired with Triforce procs, crits, and the +90 damage, this actually makes you a DPS MACHINE. And as I said earlier, unlike AP Alistar, in between spellcasts, you will STILL be bursting with constant crits and the +90 damage. HUGE. So, to recap, building CDR > more frequent ultimates > more damage, damage you can capitalise on because you are innately tanky > more tankiness, allowing you to be in the fight longer doing MORE damage > more spellcasts since you are in the fight longer (also because of CDR) > more Triforce procs > more damage.
In this section I'll go through the order of purchase, at least for early game - anything happens later on. Starting items: [img=items/boots-of-speed.png] [imgsmall=items/health-potion.png] [imgsmall=items/health-potion.png] [imgsmall=items/health-potion.png] [.] I don't think there's any other starting items that give you as much for Alistar's early game than these. Mobility is key for Alistar, since his early camp clearing is decent without cloth armor after you get blue. What you need to do is almost ALWAYS pressure both top and mid as soon as you finish blue, and boots allow you to do this quickly. If you get a successful gank off, try and push the lane so that the enemy loses experience to the tower and so that you can leech level 3. With your heal and blue buff, you really don't need cloth armor to jungle healthily, and again, since jungle Alistar is all about the ganks, 389 movement speed at level 1 is nothing to ignore. First trip back: [item=sheen] OR [item=boots-of-mobility] [.] The priority for your early game is Sheen. However, unless you get really good ganks early and/or something weird happens, it's more common to find yourself being able to afford the Boots of Mobility first. When you get your Boots 5, you become a HUGE threat to every lane Early game core: [item=sheen] [item=boots-of-mobility] [item=philosophers-stone] [imgsmall=items/sight-ward.png] [imgsmall=items/oracles-elixir.png] [.] This is the IDEAL build to have completed by the early game, which is kinda hard to define. Mostly I would classify the end of early game by the time a couple of towers go down, but it could also be defined by towers or items, or just people randomly starting to force teamfights. It's not too farfetched as most of this core comes in small increments. I would also include Shurelya's in the early game core; but I find that I tend to do fine at this point of the game with just the Philo, and I'm going to remain at the lower limit of the early game build. What this early game core does for you is provide you gold income as security from the roaming/ganking, significant damage as Alistar has one of the highest base damages in the game, and global presence due to your immense movement speed. You'll be able to manage your mana quite efficiently without blue buff if you are careful about it, and the extra AP on your spells is nice. [.] You will have to manage buying wards at this point in the game, since you WILL BE COUNTERJUNGLED (by a proficent jungler). Make sure you try and time every single buff you can and keep an eye on where the enemy jungler is. Losing buffs creates a massive experience gap. The only other way to counter counterjungling is to exert huge pressure on other lanes while the enemy is counterjungling. An early Oracle's is good as well, especially as you are approaching level 6. This allows you to remove the enemy's vision of your jungle if they are counterjungling you as well as to put huge pressure on lanes since not knowing where an Alistar is makes you want to play like a sissy. Furthermore, an Oracle's is decent on Alistar since you can disengage really well with your CC, and are innately tanky without many items. [.] However, getting an early Oracle's puts pressure on you as well, since dives become that much more risky. Losing your Oracle's sets you back a LOT and gives the enemy team a lot more control. So be weary and play situationally. Generic core: [item=trinity-force] [item=boots-of-mobility] [item=shurelyas-reverie] [item=zekes-herald] [.] This is the item build I often end my games with. Considering the improbability of getting a full build unless it's a really long game, coupled with the fact that you will be getting a lot of wards, you too will notice that this is where most games end. And it's a perfectly fine place to end - you get your CDR, a LOT of HP, attack speed, critical strike chance, and the Triforce procs, as well as having a few auras and teamfight presence. [[imgsmall=items/sheen.png][imgsmall=items/boots-of-mobility.png][imgsmall=items/shurelyas-reverie.png]([imgsmall=items/zekes-herald.png]/[imgsmall=items/trinity-force.png]) ([imgsmall=items/trinity-force.png]/[imgsmall=items/zekes-herald.png]) [.] The priority for this is Sheen -> Boots of Mobility -> Shurelya's -> Either Zeke's or Triforce depending on whether you have game control or not -> Triforce or Zeke's, depending on which one you didn't pick up earlier. Pick up Zeal before Phage because the movement speed benefits Alistar way more than the extended HP - just because of his ult, which greatly increases the effectiveness of attack speed and crit chance. You already get a ton of AD, the extra AD is not worth the trade off. Being able to utilise the huge AD you have currently will increase your overall DPS. And, as I said, the movement speed helps you get to your target faster, helps you stay on him, and generally enhances the process of positioning. [.] If you get to this point in the game fairly early, you should be in the lead or it should be a pretty even game. This build makes gives you huge presence since you have a LOT of damage as well as tankiness. You should be able to reach their carry and keep them zoned or even kill them with this build. Remember, using your ultimate for damage is very ideal if you do reach the carry, since if they start focusing you to peel you off the carry with your ult on, they lose a LOT of damage. Zeke's just gives your team a lot of objective control as well; since you'll be able to take it a lot faster and stay healthier. Objectives are one of Alistar's other weak points since he is extremely slow and does nearly no damage to dragon by himself. Luxury items: [item=infinity-edge] / [item=atmas-impaler] / [item=last-whisper] / [item=phantom-dancer] / [item=maw-of-malmortius] / [img=items/aegis-of-the-legion.png] [.] Ah, you got this far. If you manage to finish your build, you will go where you please. No questions asked. Nobody can catch you, nobody can run from you, nobody can do ANYTHING to you. Except Cho'Gath. But even his annoyance is reduced by a factor of a billion. High priority target? Jump into their face and show them a bull's teeth.. You hurt and can barely be hurt. You are such a threat at this point, it is worth targeting you. IF they don't try to kill you, you kill them while reducing their ability to kill your allies. Simple as that. [.] Okay, so when do I get which item? To be honest, my USUAL balanced build looks like this: [imgsmall=items/boots-of-mobility.png] [imgsmall=items/shurelyas-reverie.png] [imgsmall=items/zekes-herald.png] [imgsmall=items/trinity-force.png] [imgsmall=items/aegis-of-the-legion.png] [imgsmall=items/last-whisper.png] Aegis gives you huge tank stats for you and your team, and with Zeke's and Shurelya's, you are giving your team so much that it's worth bringing you down. Which they can't do, of course. But yeah, this build makes you a Tanky DPS to be reckoned with, since it is almost impossible to win a teamfight if you are focused. The problem with Tank Alistar and Support Alistar is that it's fine if you aren't focused; but not as AD Alistar. You can easily 1v1 or 1v2 an AD Carry and their support, or their jungler; depending. [.] If you can afford to go beastmode AD Alistar, then get Infinity Edge after Zeke's. It's crazy how much damage you can do while still maintaining a viable build. Those [imgsmall=items/bf-sword.png][imgsmall=items/bf-sword.png] that [imgsmall=champ/graves.png] bought after spending 30 minutes last hitting each and every minion? Yeah, you get them for free. Get Last Whisper after that, and you can 1v1 pretty much anybody. [.] For resists, during an even game that you have the advantage over, get [imgsmall=items/atmas-impaler.png] or [imgsmall=items/maw-of-malmortius.png] or both. Atma's gives you a ton of damage since after Zeke's, Shurelya's, Trinity Force and Alistar's amazing base health stats, you will be getting 45-47 AD at level 18. And if you use [imgsmall=skills/alistar/r.png] when you are low, with [imgsmall=items/maw-of-malmortius.png] and [imgsmall=items/zekes-herald.png], you will not die. You will be doing CRAZY damage and lifestealing a lot of it back. [.] If you are doing really well in your game, skip everything above, and build just: [imgsmall=items/trinity-force.png] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-mobility.png] [imgsmall=items/zeal.png] [imgsmall=items/zeal.png] [imgsmall=items/zeal.png] [imgsmall=items/zeal.png]. Note that you need to be like 7-0-5 or something for this to work, and your team needs to be doing well too. Basically, when you are pubstomping, it's hilarious.
Support items you should be buying all the time: [item=sight-ward] [item=vision-ward] [item=oracles-elixir] [.] Alistar can use Sight Wards aggressively. MAINLY because, to execute your Wall Combo when your opponent is in a brush, you need vision. This is very important on Jungle Alistar too. If you are ganking a lane and they retreat to a bush and just flash away in a direction you can't predict due to the fact that you can't see them, you wasted a kill potential. I'm not saying burning their summoner is a bad thing, I'm saying it is if it could have been a kill. Another way you can use wards aggressively is to ward behind Dragon or Baron when your flash is up. If the enemy jungler tries to smite it, you flash over, pulverise, and headbutt them through the wall into your team; your team kills him, free dragon. If it's a Baron fight, this act could win you the game. [.] You need to ward bot lane anyway, to keep your AD carry from being ganked. You need dragon control, and you need brush control. You're a support. You support by warding for your team. If you have to delay gold items for wards, you delay gold items for wards. No questions asked. [.] Vision wards are extremely important on Alistar. You need to be playing aggressive and if your brush gets warded, you NEED to retain control over your brush by counterwarding it. Furthermore, if you wish to make plays with Alistar, you can't afford to be SEEN going to another lane or to the jungle; then your enemy bot lane will just jump on your AD carry. You need map control. You need vision and you need to deny their vision. Starting items: [item=boots-of-speed] [item=sight-ward2] OR [item=boots-of-speed] [item=sight-ward] [item=health-potion] [item=mana-potion] [.] I don't recommend the second option unless you're against a weak early jungler like Warwick or something. You need at least two wards to maintain lane and river control; but if you feel you aren't going to get ganked before your first back, you can get away with one ward. [.] The reason I start Boots over Faerie Charm+100 wards is because if you pick Alistar as a support, you are looking to make plays. If you want to just sit in lane and be passive, play Soraka. To make plays you need to be quicker than your opponents in order to position yourself and displace them. You need to get to other lanes quicker. You need to set up ganks and escape ganks since you will be playing aggressively. Maybe I've mentioned enough times that movespeed is core on Alistar. First trip back: [item=sheen] / [item=boots-of-mobility] / [item=philosophers-stone] [.] Basically, whichever of these you can afford; but remember to act situationally. If your lane partner can manage a lane while you gank and if he can respond quickly to your decisions, pick up a Boots of Mobility first. If it's a passive lane and you need to stay even with the enemy support who has 100 gold/10 and 200 wards, get a Philo Stone. If you're winning your lane, go Boots 5 to impact other lanes, BUT if you are winning your lane and your other lanes don't need impacting, get Sheen and ggnoobs(TM) them. You can even end the game with just this build and wards. If you only need to peel in teamfights, you only need your skills and a little bit of damage. Early game core: [item=sheen] / [item=boots-of-mobility] / [item=kindlegem] / [item=philosophers-stone] [.] Kindlegem is the best thing ever. No, really. HP and CDR? Yes please. Don't build two together though, the passives don't stack. Upgrade one, then get the other. You'll be getting both Shurelya's and Zeke's later on, and you can come really close to capping your CDR with these items. If you want to build [imgsmall=items/randuins-omen.png] later, you DO cap your CDR, and get lots of tank stats. The active is great, and if you want to get Heart of Gold earlier, get it! Generic core: [item=sheen] [item=boots-of-mobility] [item=shurelyas-reverie] [item=zekes-herald] [.] Shurelya's gives you a decent way to close distance when your Flash is down. Even when your Flash is up, actually. You can catch out of position carries by Shurelya+Flash+Pulverise and they won't even expect the distance you can close with that combo. Best part is, it allows your team to catch up with your initiate too. Great, great item. Situational, allows you to make clutch plays, allows you to outplay and even just run your ass off. Builds from a gold/10 item, gives you cooldown reduction, HP and regeneration. What's not to love? [.] Zeke's allows your AD carry to survive that much more when you are near them. As support Alistar, you should preferably have another initiator so you can stay near your AD carry and peel. I've won many many games just by the marginal amounts of HP that my AD carry has after their tank zergs them that then allows them to carry the teamfight. I'm not exaggerating. This is a crazy good item that gives you a lot of presence, damage for yourself too, and much quicker objectives. Plus, [number]COOLDOWN REDUCTION AND HEALTH!!![/number]. Situational core: [item=frozen-heart] [item=spirit-visage] [.] Kindlegem builds into a third item! But yeah, Frozen Heart and Spirit Visage are what I used to build earlier. It's still a great combination of items; You get all the stats you need; however, you sacrifice HP and damage which are the stats that synergise with your ult. You build Frozen Heart and Spirit Visage when it's a bad game and you desperately need the stats they give. In many losing cases, the earlier build is really strong. Luxury items: [item=trinity-force] [.] Trinity Force, best item for Alistar.
[title][img=skills/alistar/p.png] Passive: Trample[/title] [number]Whenever Alistar casts a spell, he gains Trample for 3 seconds ignoring unit collision and dealing 10-23 (+10% ability power) area damage per second (double damage to minions and monsters) [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This passive has a few cool uses, as I will demonstrate in the "Harassing" section of the guide. You'll get some pretty lulzy killsteals with it, but yeah, it's just a little source of added DPS, and will help only the tiniest bit when pushing towers, but it's nothing great if you're playing support bot lane. Any damage is damage though. If you're jungling, it allows you to clear small camps quite quickly, it's really noticeable. Space out your spells when you're jungling so that you get full procs of Trample! [title][img=skills/alistar/q.png] Q: Pulverize[/title] [number]Alistar smashes the ground, dealing 60/105/150/195/240 (+50% of ability power) magic damage and tossing all nearby enemy units into the air and stunning them for 0.5 seconds. Cooldown 17/16/15/14/13 seconds Cost 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 mana Range 365 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Some people call this an Ultimate at level 1. While I do disagree, it's certainly a huge spell, and can actually turn games. It is a knockup followed by a stun, and knockups are the best form of CC in this game as they are uncounterable. Anyway, in the "Standard Combos" and "Flash Combos" sections, you will see how this skill can be used in a large variety of ways. Try and get this on as many enemies as you can, BUT when you have a high-priority target who most likely will be positioned away from the majority of the team, getting to them might be more worth it. The reason I max this first is for the cooldown reduction you get by leveling it up. Even though Headbutt has a higher AP ratio and base damage, it is still single-target. Furthermore, it is important to have Headbutt and Pulverise on similar cooldowns as they are more often than not used in conjunction with each other. You will just be wasting Headbutt as it will be off cooldown a lot without being able to be used effectively. If you are in a solo lane though, you might want to max Headbutt first for more damage and Headbutt-autoattack (explained later) harass. [title][img=skills/alistar/w.png] W: Headbutt[/title] [number]Alistar charges at an enemy and rams them dealing 85/130/175/220/265 (+70% of ability power) magic damage and knocking them back (does not stun). Cooldown 14/13/12/11/10 seconds Cost 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120mana Range 650 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Ah, Headbutt <3. This skill is usually what people use to distinguish good Alistars from bad Alistars. This is not entirely correct, but once you read this guide you will know there is so much more to Alistar than just Headbutting someone into your team. For me now, the appropriate use of this spell in the many ways outlined distinguishes good Alistars from bad ones. In fact, sometimes messing up Headbutt-Pulverise and Headbutting someone away, or Headbutting someone through a wall gets more leeway for me because they are at least AWARE of using Headbutt in more than the one-dimensional displace people think of it. For example, take a look at this video: Almost nobody uses Headbutt as shown here, even though it can effectively serve as a displace as good as Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab: [youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwoRSdublH0 [/youtube] I only level Headbutt once because its increased mana cost incredibly hurts your sustain in lane. And not only because of that, along with the reasons outlined earlier, Headbutt is used mainly for the utility and displacement it provides - to cancel channeled spells, force your enemy out of position, set up combos, and to (sometimes) escape. You get all of these advantages at level ONE, and since you are not building AP, the damage will not serve fully. More Pulverise is more set up for your lane partner, and more combos are more Sheen procs, and with your Armor Penetration set up, you will be doing a whole heap of damage anyway. [title][img=skills/alistar/e.png] E: Triumphant Roar[/title] [number]Instantly restore 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+20% of ability power) health to himself and half of that value to surrounding allied units. Cooldown ticks down by 2 seconds each time a nearby enemy unit dies. Cooldown 12 seconds Cost 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 mana Range 200[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] A mini-heal, which in the presence of minions, is almost always off cooldown. This is what adds to Alistar's incredibly strong laning phase. When you are winning your lane, it helps you win it harder by never being low HP, and when you are losing your lane, it allows you to stay in it for as long as possible. [number]Beware, however, it also acts as a mini-push as it heals your minions, so be careful where you use it. You will get used to its range in time, and if you can, try and heal only your ally and yourself. Prevent the Trample procs from hitting the enemy minions as healing yours and damaging them pushes your lane. Pushing your lane doesn't help you set up combos, which are vital for his early game.[/number] However, this can work to your advantage, as I detailed in the small "Split-Pushing" section under "Teleport". This is one of the reasons I max Triumphant Roar before Headbutt. You will automatically be a huge pushing machine when this is leveled up. Not to mention, if you are to keep pace with Taric, Sona and Soraka, as this metagame dictates, you will need to have a decent heal to sustain your lane as well as them. You actually have a LOT of sustain if your lane partner is clearing creeps quickly. Even though it isn't a huge chunk of heal, it is significant over time. [title][img=skills/alistar/r.png] R: Unbreakable Will[/title] [number]Alistar gains 60 / 75 / 90 physical damage, and takes 75% reduced physical and magic damage for 6 / 7 / 8 seconds. Cooldown 120 / 100 / 80seconds Cost 150mana Range 1[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Dat ult. This is what makes Alistar the HUGE threat that he is. 75% damage reduction is HUGE. But wait, +90 PHYSICAL DAMAGE. The reason we play him AD (apart from the other bazillion reasons). You get tankiness, you get DPS. What could be better than that? Huge amounts of tankiness and DPS. You are UNSTOPPABLE for 8 seconds. If your enemy decides to get you off their carry with CC, your REAL carries start destroying them. If they decide to CC your real carries, you BECOME a REAL, CARRY. What's more, at level 6, if you harassed your opponents (which you should have), you get a free kill because you can tower dive while being tickled by it, for 6 seconds. What's not to love? And with the rest of your skillset, you have 1,001 different ways to dive your opponent without them guessing. Get it when it's available. This skill is even MORE useful because when you are split pushing, it's a natural deterrent for your enemy to gank you. They will NEED to send at LEAST two people to try and kill you because you have Pulverise and Headbutt. What does this mean? a 4v3 for your team. Free turrets. Obviously in solo queue this doesn't work as effectively, but if you have a vaguely co-ordinated team, you are really powerful when it comes to split pushing. Oh and guess what ... just to be even more annoying, your ult has an inbuilt Cleanse. Learn to use this ult, learn to love it. There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind though. I see too many Alistars (including myself) ult either too early or too late. You need to time it keeping a few things in mind: [.] You are in the middle of the enemy team and they have no choice but to focus you: use your ult. [.] You catch a high-priority squishy. Sometimes using your ult for the damage just to take him out is a very efficient thing to do (I use it more often than not), and you will most likely get out alive as well. [.] Don't use it late, or the effectiveness of it is diminished by a huge margin. You NEED to be reducing damage, when you are low, the 25% damage not reduced is often enough to kill you. [.] When you see true damage on the opponent's team, (Vayne, Cho'Gath, Corki, Ignite), be prepared to want to rip your hair out. True damage is the #1 counter to Alistar, and so is CC that breaks your combos. That's why Cho'gath's knockup and silence are the two worst things to happen to Alistar. To make it worse, his true damage nuke and the probability that he has ignite is enough for an Alistar to rage-quit. However, something funny that happens at my ELO is that the Cho'Gaths either have their ult on cooldown, or want to last hit with it. Either works for me! Not to mention, they often miss their Rupture. So, TRY and use it when most of the true damage and Ignites are on cooldown. [.] To make MOST use of it, use it in combination with the other points, but TRY and get a cleanse off as well. Wait for them to stun you, and then ult. This is also an extended reason for using this build. When an AP Alistar ults, you don't need to fear him since his AP nukes are on cooldown, Trample lasts for only 3 seconds, and he is just running around waiting for his long cooldowns since he hasn't itemized for CDR. Even if he has, he's still useless in between casts, which is pretty much during his ult, since an AP Alistar combo looks like [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/r.png]. So in that last part, his ult, he can't use [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] or [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] for a while. When you build AD Alistar, you have crits during your ult that can instagib squishies. When you build CDR Alistar, you can use Headbutt twice in your ultimate. When you build Tank Alistar, you can absorb damage even without your ult and even more damage with your ult. When you build AD/CDR/Tank Alistar, well you get the point. In this video, I don't even get to use my skills the second time! My enemy is dead by then! (Note: This is just a demonstration; expect other teammates in game!) Also, (yes I blame my FPS), I stall a lot. Don't do this! I was lagging a LOT while running my screen recorder. [youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_WaBCWZ8Iw [/youtube]
[imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] : [number]Pulverise-Headbutt[/number] [.] Bread and butter. The most intuitive uses for Pulverise and Headbutt. Run up to someone (usually from behind unless you have really high movement speed), Pulverise them, walk behind them (quite easy since Trample gives you ghostwalking), and Headbutt them into your allies. Hard to go wrong with this combo, VERY useful at ALL stages of the game. Be careful though, as running behind your opponent puts you in the line of CC and fire of the the other enemy champions behind the one you are targeting. Early game this shouldn't be a huge issue. Unless you're against someone like OP Zhao. ARGH he annoys me. [.] In the early game, you won't get to use this much unless your opponents are being careless. Use the brush to sneak up behind your enemy and execute this combo. The closer they are to your tower, the higher chance of this resulting in a kill. However, something you should be mindful of in your early game as Alistar is that you often unload all your skills together. In between, you have to rely on your ally to keep pressure on your opponents so that you can either back away or do some autoattack damage. This is why laning with someone with CC is a huge benefit to Alistar, and some lane match ups can even be a bit OP. Blitzcrank and Alistar anybody? [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] : [number]Headbutt-Pulverise[/number] [.] The once ever-so-mysteri0us Headbutt-Pulverise. Pre-remake, if you could execute this, you belonged to the elite group of Alistar players that nobody knew about. This skill used to be thought of by the general community as a bug, or an exploit, not knowing that it has been possible to execute since beta. It is a mini-Malphite ult, and I say [number]mini[/number] because it is simply not as good as a Malphite ultimate, even if it is on an 11 second cooldown. You will often get a maximum of 2 people in this combo, but when you do, you set up an initiate from a huge range. Learn to use this to catch people out of position easily. [.] Okay, wait wait wait. How do I do it anyway? Well, it's hard to explain. It's really not that difficult to do. What I do is hit [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] when I'm INSIDE the circular range indicator, and then mash [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] repeatedly after. Provided you have decent latency it should work pretty fine. There's a video in the "Early Game" section in which I try to explain it with a video aid, but honestly, it will only come with practice. Doing long range Headbutt-Pulverises requires a bit more accuracy, since if you use [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] from outside your [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] range, you might not react quick enough while your enemy is being knocked back to [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] in time. If your reflexes are awesome, then by all means go ahead, but I always find it easier and more efficient to actually run up as close to the enemy (like you would do anyway when you hit [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] from outside your range, and pathing makes you chase), and then execute the combo when I am in range. Again, practice is the only way you will get this to work. [.] [highlight] Only use this when you are SURE you can do it at least 90% of the time! It will save your enemies' lives more than you think if you aren't accurate with it! Custom games are your friends! [/highlight] [.] There is another way you can use this, and it's basically the [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png][imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] in reversal. Walk up behind your enemy, Headbutt him towards your ally, and then Pulverise him. Works in the same manner, however, if your ally is to far away to do damage while your opponent is stunned/knocked up, it may be more efficient to Headbutt him towards your ally to close the distance. Pretty effective. [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] [imgsmall=items/sheen.png] : [number]Headbutt-Autoattack[/number] [.] It's a guaranteed, cheap, ranged harass. The video in the "Early Game" section of the guide has a section explaining it, so you'll understand better when you get there. It is very efficient in the damage per mana department. It can also be used to ensure kills. Be careful when you are using it to do so however, since you WILL be knocking your opponent away while doing so. What it basically does is, due to the time frame between your Headbutt and next autoattack animation, allows you to actually get in an autoattack while your opponent is in the air. It looks funny, but it's very effective. [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] [imgsmall=items/sheen.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/e.png] [imgsmall=items/sheen.png] : [number]Headbutt-Autoattack-Pulverise-Autoattack-Triumphant Roar-Autoattack[/number] [.] [highlight] Wall Combo/1-2-3 Combo [/highlight] [.] [highlight] THIS is the key to Alistar's HUGE early game. USE it. I've seen TOO many Alistars who are completely oblivious to it. [/highlight] [.] This skill is completely reliant on terrain. [number]HEADBUTT IS A PSEUDO-STUN WHEN USED AGAINST TERRAIN.[/number]. Remember the walls I showed you earlier that you can Headbutt through? Yeah you don't want to try this combo on those. It's got to be a thick wall, at least in the direction of your Headbutt (demonstrated in the "Early Game" section). If something blocks the target from moving the distance Headbutt normally would have displaced them, then they are unable to move/cast spells for the time they would have spent in the air! [.] You can use this without Sheen! It's still VERY effective. Remember, to optimise your damage, you have to use EVERY last bit of potential damage output. One of the most overlooked sources of damage is autoattacks, strangely enough. Get these in as much as you can, and you will see huge differences in your damage output. [.] What you basically do to execute this combo is Headbutt someone into the wall, autoattack to get a Sheen proc off on them, Pulverise them before they can react, use Triumphant Roar for your second Sheen proc, and autoattack them again. Early game, you can EASILY take out half of an opponent's HP, sometimes even 60%-70% of it. Paired with a competent lane partner, you can get kills VERY often, or at the least force them to tower hug/recall. I find myself using this combo so often in games, I wonder how other people don't know of it. [.] Again, be creative with it. Do it on walls they wouldn't expect you to stunlock them into. You know the trees in Team Purple's base? You can Headbutt them into those as well. If you are only faced by thin walls, CHANGE your angle (use Flash if it will get you a kill!) so that you don't Headbutt them over. Use this combo whenever you can! It is the most damage you will get from using your spells! [.] Sometimes, you will need to use your ult between this combo. When you do, try and get a Sheen proc when you cast your ultimate for huge burst. Using your ultimate is especially beneficial when tower diving, jumping into a large group of champions, or for the extra damage so that your enemy doesn't get away.
[highlight] Executing these combos will drastically improve your gameplay. However, some of them are risky and missing them will result in a drawback for you. You could be wasting your summoners (definitely Flash) or letting kills get away. PRACTICE these combos in custom games against bots whenever you can! [/highlight] [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] : [number]Flash-Pulverise[/number] [.] Use this as a long-range AOE stun/initiate. It's a WTF tactic as well as a standard AOE disable. Don't hesitate to use it if it will net you a kill. Later on in the game you can easily take advantage of the smallest mistake the enemy makes, and completely wreck an enemy carry. Catching your opponent off-guard this late in the game is vital; I'm sure you all know. Exploit your enemy every time he is out of position. [.]Besides using it as a way to catch people out of position, it is also super-useful in level 1 team fights. If your support clairvoyances a brush with more than 2 enemy champions, do it. Flash-Pulv them and depending on your follow-up, you should get First Blood. Alistar is a great level 1 team-fighter, in fact he is probably THE best level 1 team-fighter. Later on in the game, using your Flash-Pulv into the enemy team, turning on your ult, and proceeding to smack the enemy carries in their faces is a huge disadvantage for the enemy. Either they focus you to get them off your carry thus fulfilling your role as tank, or they let you screw their carry over, fulfilling your role as a sort of anti-carry. [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] : [number]Flash-Pulverise-Headbutt[/number] [.] This one is pretty standard. It is a variation of Pulverise-Headbutt, the only difference is the gap-closer, and the element of surprise, depending on how you use it. What it accomplishes, however, can be huge. The slightest, most brief overextension by an enemy carry can result in them being caught quickly and unexpectedly when you use this combo. [.] In lane, you can use this to catch people offguard, turning situations from being chased at low HP into the opponent eating way more tower hits than they wanted. Teemo's poison on you? Flash-Pulverise-Headbutt him into the tower, the tower will switch aggro onto him, First Blood. You know there are many situations in which the opponent is willing to trade damage on you for a single tower shot's damage on themselves. Make them regret it. Use it to chase them, use it to dive. Use it when you can, it will land you many, many kills. [.] You will see a bit later in this guide the use of this skill during game objectives. When you're at Baron and the enemy jungler is peering over the ledge, waiting to Flash in and Smite it, (you will need to have placed a ward across beforehand), you Flash over the wall, Pulverise him and hopefully his teammates, and Headbutt him over the Baron ledge into your team. 5v4, you have Baron, you won the game. [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] : [number]Flash-Headbutt[/number] [.] Ah, the utility this provides. This one of the fundamental combos you must know how to use. It is essentially a Blitzcrank grab, except it isn't really a skillshot, is NOT expected, and can be used in a ton of different ways. If there is terrain nearby, you can Flash-Headbutt your enemy into the terrain and follow up with the standard Wall Combo. But, how it can be used better is in team fights. Stay out of sight, behind a wall or in a brush, and as soon as the carry walks into do some damage, BOOM he's in the centre of your team. Dead carry = won game. [.] But that's not the only use, as SOON as you get level 6, you can prance over to mid, hide in their wraiths camp, and ask your ally to push the lane. As soon as the enemy comes forward to get a few last hits, Flash over the wall and headbutt him into your ally. Follow up with a pulverise and you get a free kill, and depending on the position of the enemy jungler, a free turret. Boss. [.] Defensively, this skill can also be extremely useful. You just pulverised their carry, but Jarvan IV used his Flash -> Sword Jump thing -> Ult onto yours. Flash and headbutt him away and you just saved your carry's life. Someone getting a bit aggressive at your turret? Flash-Headbutt him into turret range before his minions get there and you just got another kill. Basically what this skill does is make your enemy overextend when they really don't want to. Even if they're watching their position carefully and the ranges of your allies/turret, you FORCE him to overextend, just like a Rocket Grab. Except the enemy doesn't expect Alistar to be Blitzcrank. [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] : [number]Flash-Headbutt-Pulverise[/number] This combo can be used in two ways. [.] First as a follow-up to the Flash-Headbutt combo. What's better than Rocket Grab? Rocket Grab into Power-Fist. This basically is the same thing. Flash-Headbutt them into your team, and Pulverise. Grats, you are now THREE champions in one. However, that's not it. You know that SUPER ANNOYING THING CALLED FLASH? Yeah, this is a direct counter! The enemy champion CANNOT FLASH if he is Headbutted into terrain and then Pulverised. It is such a brilliant mechanic. So good. So very beautiful. Besides that, your diving power just became 2 more seconds of CC. What's not to love? Practice it, get it right, and you will get kills most people would never think of. [.] Secondly, this combo can be used as an extension of the Headbutt-Pulverise combo. What's better than a mini-Malphite-ult? A Malphite ult. What's the difference between the two? The range (and the damage, but hey you're getting ahead of yourself now. Can't be four champions in one, that's asking too much.) Again, people will NOT expect the range of this clip. Use this in combination with Teleport and you are a freaking ranged CC disable mad rampant annoying WTF global blue cow. Nothing too special. However, for this huge reward you are actually using a summoner, maybe two, and if you mess up the Headbutt-Pulverise, you just made a fool of yourself. Be sure of yourself when you use this combination. Practicing Alistar's combinations in custom games will make a HUGE difference in your gameplay. [imgsmall=summoners/teleport.png] [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] ([imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png]/[imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png]) ([imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png]/[imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png]) : [number]Teleport-Flash-Combo[/number] [.] I mentioned this briefly in my previous section. There are also videos of this combination in the "Summoner Spells" chapter, under "Teleport". Usually I end up using the Teleport-Flash-Headbutt-Pulverise combo as I rarely teleport on top of someone to Pulverise them, but when I do, it's pretty lulzy. Anyway, I can assure you that almost nobody anticipates the Teleport-Flash-Headbutt-Pulverise. It's a great spell to either catch fleeing enemies after they misjudge a fight, or to just get to the carry behind their tank, who will probably have already used his CC, because he hasn't anticipated you TP-ing in. The key to playing Alistar well is judging situations and making sure you perform your moves correctly, and this involves judging your enemies' skills' cooldowns, mana costs, and approximate ranges. [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/e.png] : [number]Flash-Triumphant Roar[/number] [.] Lawl Flash-Heal? Yes, and it will save more lives than you think. Even though it's a barely sufficient heal compared to Taric and Soraka, the margin is always the best way to think. Skill shot coming in to kill someone and you have blown your CC? Flash-Heal if you can, it denies kills. Not the most optimum use of Flash, but if you're sure you can save a life, do it. [imgsmall=skills/alistar/e.png] [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] [imgsmall=items/sheen.png] : [number]Triumphant Roar-Flash-Autoattack[/number] [.] This too is a pretty damn awesome way of using Flash. Use your triumphant roar while chasing to get a sheen proc, and then Flash-Autoattack to ensure the kill on a fleeing enemy. [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] [imgsmall=skills/alistar/r.png] : [number]Flash-Unbreakable Will[/number] [.] There are few uses for this skill in combination with Flash, but in some situations can be used for clutch skill-shot catches, and for a semi-burst autoattack when used with a Sheen proc. It works similarly to the way Flash-Roar does, but used for much more burst damage. +90 AD and a Triforce proc, maybe with a crit, can turn fights in your favour. Be creative when you CAN, for example, if you are low and so is a carry of yours, and Caitlyn is ulting the carry, you can Flash-Ult and intercept it. Here's a video made by Reep ages ago. Although it is quite outdated, it will show you the techniques that I have outlined. Just use the knowledge from the clip, we don't need to begin any unnecessary controversies: [youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viAbBpsWrZs [/youtube]
[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNGQA4pT7UQ&feature=player_embedded [/youtube] Although the first half is about ganking and different gank routes, TheOddOne has a section speaking about warding that is simple and VERY effective. Pay extra attention to the part when he talks about warding in pairs, it's VERY effective and should be what you are doing as Alistar at bot lane. Don't ignore the rest of it though, but most of it is still vital information regarding warding. Since you need to be camping the top brush of your lane, you are very vulnerable to ganks, so it is crucial that you ward effectively in order to pursue that aggression that you need to have when playing bot lane Alistar. http://spellsy.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/support-powerpoint-how-to-support.html [number]Spellsy [/number]has a support powerpoint that is extremely well written and will teach you a lot about bot lane. You NEED this information. It has some very very handy warding tips too, so look out for them. http://www.own3d.tv/Spellsy - Watch his stream, watch his recorded videos. He will teach you more about bot lane than I ever could. You should keep in mind is that if the enemy support in your lane wards their brush to zone you out, or prevent you from zoning them out, you need to pink ward your brush and take their ward out to resume lane dominance. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7R7w9tHoTs&feature=plcp[/youtube] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuTuKbyHdIs&feature=plcp[/youtube] Those are some cool ward tricks that not many people know, which you can use to your advantage. The reason I am linking resources and not making my own ward positions is because these are sufficient and VERY informative.
[title][center]EARLY GAME[/center][/title] Ah, early game. The time Alistar shines (huehuehue Golden Alistar es #1). [youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=369-VkyEzXc [/youtube] [.] In this section of the game, you are a powerhouse. You need to be careful about overcommitting though, if you're against Soraka, you'll have to get through around 40194801387980 heals. This is just experience really; you need to know when you can commit to a trade and when you just need to deliver your burst and back out. Basically in lane, you want to set up as many combos you have while pinging regularly for your lanemate to follow up. Trust me, having spent around 300 games at 1300-1400, I know this is very excruciatingly annoying - you are in a trade with your opponent doing a wall combo and your lane mate is just farming minions. I'm not discounting the importance of farming, but you can easily win trades with Alistar, and ignoring 2 CS to deny your enemy 2 waves worth is very very advantageous. So when you hit level 2, say [number]"Caitlyn, I'm going to go super aggressive now. Keep up with me, and we can zone our opponents hard."[/number] Now that's hard to type in game when you're focusing on things so you say, [number]"level 2 beastmode follow k?"[/number] and proceed to smash your enemy. [.] You will be spending a lot of time in the brushes, so you can afford to keep an eye on the other lanes as well. However, being attentive in your own lane will allow you to take advantages of every slight overextension your opponent makes. In your case, it's going 150 units near a wall, staying in your Headbutt range, or pushing your lane. Basically, you need to recognize and react to an opportunity for you to set up a combo for your ally to pound on them. That's the most important thing. [.] In terms of potential damage, your [number]Wall Combo[/number] places first, followed by [number]Pulverise-Headbutt[/number] and [number]Headbutt-Pulverise[/number]. [number]Headbutt-autoattack[/number] comes last in terms of damage, however it ranks first in terms of safety. The safety tier list is basically the reverse of the damage list, so that's [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png][imgsmall=items/sheen.png], then [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png][imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png], [imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png][imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png], and then [imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png][imgsmall=items/sheen.png][imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png][imgsmall=skills/alistar/e.png][imgsmall=items/sheen.png]. [.] Remember, it's easy to gain an advantage but it's also easy to lose it. Being stupid will result in you getting ganked and losing all the advantage you had - if they manage to get a double kill on you, it's pretty much a lost tower, and a lost early game. Don't let it get to that. Resort to passivity when you have to. Don't go berserk spamming your skills for no reason. Do it when you can, and when you can, do it well. That's what Alistar is good for. Very good for. [.] Impact other lanes. Use the Jungle Alistar and Ganking sections to impact other lanes - most probably mid. The thing is, when you disappear from bot lane, the general assumption is that you've gone warding, which leads to a false security. With just level 2, your Headbutt, Pulverise, and your mid and jungler can easily get first blood and then go invade a buff. Really, things like these are how you impact a game as a support. Make sure you are wardinga nd counterwarding so that your position isn't revealed, and also so you don't get counterganked. [.] Ward. Ward when you can. A gank prevented is better than a [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png] wasted. This game is stupidly dependent on Flash usage. It changes games. A jungler who fails ganks consistently cause he hasn't forced Flashes basically loses his team an opportunity to get an extra early game advantage (I would know... le sigh). Make their jungler fail to waste your Flash because you know where he is. Remember, a jungler failing ganks is a jungler not farming. This is an advantage. Sometimes you can play mindgames with their jungler, push out a bit when you know they will be coming to your lane, and then pull back. You just successfully made their jungler sit in that silly little brush by the lane entrance for a minute. There is NO gold income for him when he does that. Make him do it. Wards will help you. Love your wards. [.] If you picked [imgsmall=summoners/teleport.png], there is a reason you picked it. It's another way to deny their jungler ganks. I often used to countergank for First Blood. Their jungler will rarely predict a Teleport countergank, and so you force your enemy into overextension (yet again. Alistar real good at dat). Make sure you keep your eyes on top or mid lane, although top lane is easier to countergank. Preventing their kill is worth it. Getting a kill is an added bonus that is almost assured if you do it right, but remember that preventing their kill is worth it. Always. No gold for jungler. Alistar can deny even their jungler! [title][center]MID GAME[/center][/title] [.] Honestly I would think that Alistar's early game somewhat ends when he reaches level 6, and learns [imgsmall=skills/alistar/r.png]. At this point, if your early game went well, you should be able to pull of a successful tower dive with the help of your jungler, and even often without your jungler. However, if your jungler does assist you and you get the bot tower, you basically force the game into Mid-Game, and get dragon for free. [.] As soon as you get their tower, you can do a couple of things: [youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8MFnvvxZJQ [/youtube] [number] (REALLY sorry about my voice in that clip. It was REALLY late at night.) [/number] [number] 1) Continue pushing your lane. [/number] Grab some wards, and continue pushing your lane. What this does is keep their bot lane and sometimes even their jungler occupied until you have gathered enough resources or are otherwise ready to fight for an objective. [number] 2) Harass another lane, and then dive them. [/number] Pretty self-explanatory, tell your lane partner to stay bot, ward for them, pull your jungler to another lane with you, and dive. Make plays, get towers, get all the farm you can. KEEP TIMERS ON BUFFS, DRAGONS, AND BARONS. [number] 3) Force fights. [/number] Mid-game is the point in the game when there are huge stalls at lanes. Take advantage of these since you can easily initiate while taking 1 damage. The video shows you how to dive, and while they aren't the only ways, they are basics you should know for sure; and with them you'll automatically start devising ways to make them tower huggers fear you. Tell your allies to poke the best they can, and as soon as one of them is low and starts to recall, dive their ally. This also induces rage within their team. If nobody is going back and people are sitting at their tower farming minion waves and everybody is bored, you sneak up behind them, [imgsmall=summoners/flash.png][imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png][imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png] their carry, and that becomes a free tower+dragon. [title][center]LATE GAME[/center][/title] [.] I would say late game begins on Alistar when generic late game does. You don't need anything extra for "your" late game to begin. For example, AP Poppy needs Deathfire and Lichbane for her late game to start. Alistar can survive and do well with his generic core. However, [imgsmall=items/trinity-force.png] will give you a huge boost when you get it, you will notice it and love it. During late game Alistar has a variety of roles he can fill, but this is where our build is probably one of the most effective. [.] AP Alistar can nuke one person down, lives for 8 seconds, and then gets targeted hard. Tank/AD Alistar is a machine for 8 seconds and more because he can reaches 700 damage crits, with just Triforce. Considering you will probably crit 2 or 3 times during your ult, you basically have 3 extra nukes while being an unkillable CC machine. Disable one carry for your team to take care of, chase their other carry yourself. It's hilarious sometimes, with Alistar both their carries will drop so fast, leaving them with the support/tank/tanky DPS who you should be able to take care of with the rest of your team. Sometimes I find it is better to chase the AP carry since they usually have AOE damage and are often more squishy. However, targeting comes at your discretion. Focus the biggest threat, and while you are taking 75% less damage, they are left helpless. [.] You can tank towers if it comes to it! If you just aced them and it takes too long to clear the minion waves and wait for yours, just tell your team and turn on your ult. Remember that you have [imgsmall=items/bf-sword.png][imgsmall=items/bf-sword.png] worth of damage when you ult, so you can take those towers down pretty damn fast when combined with Triforce procs. [.] Objectives at this point in the game are crucial. Baron fights are not uncommon, and all showdowns are usually 5v5. Remember to make use of your incredible displacement potential, and force your enemies into your team. I've mentioned this many times before, but [number]Alistar forces overextension[/number]. Use it and abuse it. Use the Baron and Dragon tricks. Ward their base, and as soon as someone comes to clear the ward, Flash and Headbutt them over the wall towards your team. Remember, every opportunity snowballs into won teamfights.
[.] A 'theory' section, regarding what you should be doing at each stage of the game - jungle or support [.] A 'counters' section, regarding what you don't want to pick Alistar against, and what you want to pick Alistar against. This will cover both concepts as well as specific champions. [.] Things that you want to see, taken from the comments!