Know your Champions Vol 1: Leona – The Radiant Dawn
Mon 26th Nov 2012 - 6:18pm: League of Legends
Better Know a Champion Volume 1: Leona – The Radiant Dawn
Leona is a tanky support who specializes in getting in the enemy team’s face and locking a dangerous champion down. Often paired with an AD carry in the current meta, Leona’s strengths come from her two forms of hard cc (crowd control) and her passive. Her passive, Sunlight , marks all enemies hit by her abilities for 3.5 seconds. If a teammate hits a marked enemy in that time, the passive will burst for an extra bit of damage. Leona cannot proc her passive on her own, which is why she makes a much stronger support than solo laner.
Her kit is one of the best in the game for sticking to an enemy who you are looking to take out of a fight. Her Q ability, Shield of Daybreak, stuns the next target Leona attacks for 1.25 seconds. Her W ability, Eclipse, is her main source of damage and natural tankiness. When activated it creates a shield with bonus resistances for 3 seconds and when it ends the shield explodes out, damaging enemies around it.
A nifty thing about the shield is that it lasts an additional three seconds if it hits any enemies (including minions)! Her E ability, Zenith Blade, transports Leona to the last opponent it strikes. This is very helpful to keep Leona on top of someone. Her R ability is the icing on her cc cake: Solar Flare. This ability calls down a beam of sunlight in an AOE skillshot to stun your target for 1.5 seconds. Enemies struck near the edge of the beam will only be slowed.
• Fun Fact: Leona also has a hidden passive. When her passive sunlight procs on any champion wearing sunglasses, it deals 1 less damage.
Leona was released on July 8th, 2011. The Radiant Dawn was added to the League because of multiple threads on the Riot forums noting the game’s lack of female tanks. She was designed by David “Volty” Abecassis and is a widely popular support champion.
Leona was released relatively balanced. Other than a few tweaks to lower her cooldowns in the patch after her release, there have been almost no changes. With season 3 and the item rework coming up this could change in a hurry, but for now Leona remains the balanced, crowd control queen.
Leona was born into the same tribe as Pantheon, but was averse to killing. This made her quite the deviant in the Rakkor tribe, and they took her to the top of the mountain to make an example of her. When the Rakkor tried to strike the final blow, she was miraculously saved by the sun. This caused the Solari (a group of people who worship the sun) to claim her as their own. As a result, Leona was able to hone her affinity with the sun and concentrate it into abilities.
She has a close relationship with two champions in the league, Pantheon and Diana. Pantheon grew up with her and they remain close friends even now. Diana, a Lunari, is a bit of a rival to Leona as they are diametrically opposed. Despite this, there have been no confirmed incidents involving the two… yet.
Champion Competitive Play:
By the end of Season 2, Leona has become a very popular support pick in tournament play due to her ability to shut down a lane. In the Season 2 World Finals sponsored by Riot Gaming, she was picked in 7 games, or 22.6% of the time. Her win rate was rather low, going 2-5 overall. Despite this lackluster showing at the world’s biggest League of Legends tournament, Leona was not forgotten. She was picked in 6 games at the MLG Fall Championship, going 4-2 in the process.
High elo Insight:
Finally for today, we hear some wise words from high profile, high elo summoners renowned for their Leona play.
Mitch 'Krepo' Voorspoels of Counter Logic Gaming Europe is a player well known for his impressive performances with Leona. Krepo’s highest elo is 2372 on the European West server, and he is well versed in many supports. When asked what advice he would give to aspiring Leona players he responded, “It's better to miss 10 ulti's than to never cast one out of fear of missing. Especially when learning. No balls no glory."
Until next time, I'm Silly Season and now you better know Leona.