We knew a little bit about Leona thanks to Riot’s presence at E3, but most of that information was speculative, pending some internal playtesting. It looks like the League’s first female tank is nearing completion, so Riot has released a preview of her mechanics.
It sounds like Leona is going to be a crowd control bot – she has a low cooldown stun, a skillshot gap closer, and a defensive stance. She doesn’t have a traditional taunt or positioning skill like Alistar or Rammus, but apparently uses fairly sizable damage to encourage players to either get out of her way or focus skills on her in a fight.
Here’s the official word from Morello:
Leona does this by providing a low-cooldown, low-duration, single-target stun with a skillshot gap-closer to start. After she closes the gap to the enemy, she’ll be performing regular single-target stuns that really disrupt the fight or peel off a target from an ally once a fight has begun. Additionally, she has a defensive stance that allows her to soak up punishment pretty effectively and also discharges a wave of sunlight outward that causes significant damage. This mechanic acts as a sort of “soft taunt” that causes her to have some threat when she’s about to unleash a big chunk of damage, and makes her an attractive target.
Finally, her passive, Sunlight, causes all of Leona’s spells to debuff the target, causing the next attack from an ally to do additional damage. This really encourages Leona to mark high-priority targets and let her set up opportunities for her teammates. Her power increases with the length of the fight, a common tank trait (like Singed’s Poison Trail or Amumu’s Despair, for example).
I’m guessing her ultimate has some sort of channel component, something sort of like a Nunu ult, though maybe more mobile. It would encourage players to save a stun for her or stay out of her range, which pretty much achieves the taunt function. I’m definitely glad to see a pure tank instead of the tanky DPS that has been filling the role. I just hope she doesn’t deal too much damage.