Alistar - the Ultimate in Lane Control, Gank, and Push - by Bait

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Alistar, The Minotaur

The mightiest warrior ever to emerge from the minotaur tribes of the Great Barrier, Alistar defended his tribe from all of Valoran's many dangers; that is, until the coming of the Noxian army. Alistar was lured from his village by the machinations of Keiran Darkwill, Baron Darkwill's youngest son, and commander of the Noxian expeditionary force. When Alistar returned home, he found his village burning and his family slain. Bellowing with rage, he charged an entire regiment of Noxus' elite, slaughtering them by the hundreds.
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Only the intervention of some of Noxus' most skilled summoners checked Alistar's rage. Brought in chains to Noxus, Alistar spent the intervening years as a gladiator pitted in endless battle for the entertainment of Noxus' wealthy leaders. Alistar's once noble soul slowly twisted, and he would have been lost to insanity if not for Ayelia, a young servant girl who befriended him and eventually arranged for his escape. Suddenly free, Alistar joined the newly-formed Institute of War as a champion, hoping to one day visit his final vengeance against Noxus and to find the girl who once again gave him hope.

Alistar has no fear, hurling his massive frame into the heat of any arena battle. The mere stomp of his hooves causes the earth to heave, flinging his stunned enemies wildly into the air. Alistar can also charge headlong at his foes, sending them soaring away helplessly. Fed by the fires of battle, Alistar's roar alone bolsters the fortitude of both himself and his allies. Wounds that would instantly fell a lesser being barely break his stride. Alistar is much like the fury that drives him, relentless and unstoppable.

Alistar is the quintessential tank. He has incredible defense, area of effect stun, headbutt, area of effect heals, and the look.
There are many strategies that use Alistar as the corner stone. Two of such strategies are the pushing strategy and the farming strategy. Whoever lanes with Alistar farms well. Alistar is a terrible farmer.

2. Introduction

Alistar is the quintessential tank. He has incredible defense, area of effect stun, headbutt, area of effect heals, and the look.
There are many strategies that use Alistar as the corner stone. Two of such strategies are the pushing strategy and the farming strategy. Whoever lanes with Alistar farms well. Alistar is a terrible farmer.

3. Items

Items:
Innervating Locket
Boots of Mobility
Aegis of the Legion
Frozen Heart
Trinity Force

Item order:
Mana Manipulator
Boots of Speed
Aegis of the Legion
Sight Wardx2
Glacial Shroud
Frozen Heart
Catalyst the Protector
Innervating Locket

4. Item Discussion

The items reflect that Alistar doesn't need a lot of defensive items to make a great tank.
Making sure you can cast Unbreakable Will helps a lot more than having good defensive items.
The Glacial Shroud is there to improve Alistar's strong points, which are crowd control and heal.

5. Skilling Order
1. Pulverize
2. Triumphant Roar
3. Headbutt
4. Triumphant Roar
5. Pulverize
6. Unbreakable Will
7. Triumphant Roar
8. Pulverize
9. Headbutt
10. Pulverize
11. Unbreakable Will
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12. Triumphant Roar
13. Triumphant Roar
14. Pulverize
15. Headbutt
16. Unbreakable Will
17. Headbutt
18. Headbutt

6. Skill Discussion

Alistar's Skills are very flexible. 
If the enemy isn't doing much damage, you don't need to level Triumphant Roar. Think of Triumphant Roar as HP regen rather than instant health. The heal/mana ratio doesn't go up as you level up Triumphant Roar so keep it as low as you can while keeping you and your ally's health bars full.

The choice between Headbutt and Pulverize doesn't really matter. The Damage/Level and Damage/Mana is about the same. Headbutt deals a bit more damage but Pulverize is an area of effect. You cast both of them about the same number of times. I prioritized Pulverize just because it's AOE and better for farming.

7. Summoner Abilities

Flash is used for Alistar's combos. 
It's used in Flash + Pulverize + Headbutt
or Flash + Headbutt + Pulverize
Using these combos near your tower is absolutely deadly. Even if you are not a tower, using it on an enemy with low health may be fatal. 
As a rule of thumb, Alistar probably won't be at his own tower but it does happen.
It is also very difficult to initiate battles without Flash. Without flash, it is difficult to position yourself for a good pulverize.

The second spell I would recommend is Clairvoyance. That is the way of the pros. In high ELO games, there is heavy ganking starting from level 1. A good Clairvoyance on ancient golem/lizard king/dragon makes or breaks the gank. A common strategy is to use Clairvoyance at the enemy starting point in the beginning of the game to see what they do.

If there are more than 2 Clairvoyance users (rarely happens) then you can use Smite. Alistar's gold gain is terrible so smite can help.

8. Masteries

CD reduction should be the priority.

Offense:
-Archmage's Saavy [3/3]
-Deadliness [1/1]
-Sorcery [4/4]
-Archaic Knowlege [1/1]

Utility:
-Preserverence [3/3]
-Good Hands [1/1]
-Awareness [4/4]
-Greed [1/1]
-Meditation [3/3]
-Quickness [3/3]
-Blink of an Eye [1/1]
-Intelligence [3/3]
-Mystical Vision [1/1]
-Presence of the Master [1/1]

9. Pros / Cons

Pros:

High Health
Great Stuns
Great Initiator
Great Tank
Great Healer
Great Lane control
Great Interruptor (interrupting Nunu or Katarina's Ults)
Amazing Pusher

Cons:

Horrible Farmer
Horrible Jungler
No skills that improve movement
Low Damage
Poor Carry

10. Strategies
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There are many strategies that favor Alistar. 

Pushing Strategy

I would suggest using:

Alistar, Twitch, Soraka, Anivia, Sivir
Summoner spells are important. Make sure you grab several Rally and Heal.
When you get to a tower simply attack it. If there are many people attacking you, use Flash + Pulverize + Headbutt + Unbreakable Will then attack the tower. In the meantime, your allies will finish the tower and gank right afterwards.

Laning Strategy

Starting out with a Mana Manipulator puts you at an advantage over just about everybody else.
If you are laning with a caster, this strategy is even more effective if your ally carries a Mana Manipulator as well. The auras will stack twice.

5-man Ganking

Alistar is great at initiating these fights. He uses Flash, Pulverize, then Headbutt the enemy carry to your team. Then he casts Unbreakable Will to survive it all.


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