The most picked League of Legends engage supports in the current meta are Leona, Alistar, Sett, Nautilus, and Rakan.

Of these, Alistar is in the spotlight this week after Royal Never Give Up support player Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming played him to perfection in game one of RNG’s match against JD Gaming in Week 7 of LPL.

Despite tough losses to Top Esports and Suning in Week 4 of the 2021 LPL Summer Split, Royal Never Give Up has since bounced back with a six-match win streak.

How did this pro support manage to pull off game-winning combos? What runes did he take, and which item build did he go for?

League of Legends Alistar support runes used by RNG Ming

In game one against JD Gaming, Royal Never Give Up drafted a team composition that had two front liners — Galio mid, and Alistar support at bot lane.

League of Legends champion Alistar
Credit: Riot Games

As the frontline for his team, these runes were chosen in the primary Resolve tree:

  • Aftershock (keystone rune)
  • Front of Life
  • Bone Plating
  • Unflinching

And these secondary runes in the Inspiration tree:

  • Cosmic Insight
  • Hextech Flashtraption
RNG Ming's Alistar runes in their LPL Summer 2021 match against JD Gaming in game one
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

Aftershock in the Resolve tree is by far the best keystone rune for Alistar, a champion that excels at immobilizing enemies. Similarly, Front of Life synergizes perfectly with crowd control, and gives you and your ally a chance to heal up when auto attacking marked enemies.

Since JD Gaming’s lineup included burst damage champions like Kha’Zix and to some extent, Twisted Fate, he opted for Bone Plating to reduce the overall incoming damage.

In addition, since four out of five champions — Gwen, Kha’Xiz, Twisted Fate, and Leona — could slow, Unflinching is the best option for the added tenacity.

Hextech is a must for Alistar in the Inspiration tree, for it opens up more opportunities for players to engage even when Flash is on cooldown. The key is to stay out of vision in an unwarded bush, then Hextech Flash onto unsuspecting enemies with Pulverize.

Cosmic Insight increases Summoner Spell and item haste. The more the Minotaur has access to Flash, more he can engage.

Alistar item build used by RNG Ming

At level one, RNG Ming bought Relic Shield, the best support item for melee supports at bot lane.

Next, he focused on rushing Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the bonus 20 Ability Haste, the most popular choice for supports in the current meta. For the cost of 950 gold, the value one gets from 20 AH is high.

To boost the champion’s engage potential even more, Shurelya’s Battlesong is RNG Ming’s choice of Mythic item for Alistar. Against Sivir, who can speed up allies with her ultimate on the opposing team, this item also helps Royal Never Give Up reposition.

The Royal Never Give Up support went for Anathema’s Chains as his fourth item. This new, targeted item was introduced to League of Legends in June 2020 on patch 11.13. It lowers the tenacity of a marked “nemesis”, and therefore increases Alistar’s crowd control effectiveness on the target.

2021 LPL Summer Split RNG vs JDG game one item build
Screenshot by Amanda Tan/ONE Esports

Alistar item build by RNG Ming in this game against JD Gaming:

  • Relic Shield
  • Ionian Boots of Lucidity
  • Shurelya’s Battlesong
  • Anathema’s Chains

Pulverize perfectly on Alistar with this game-winning combo

In the late game, Royal Never Give Up held a 4,000 gold lead over JD Gaming. Gaining a positional advantage, they started Baron at the 31-minute mark.

As the rest of his teammates rushed down Baron, just as it was about to fall, Ming flashed in for a quick Pulverize and Headbutt combo, catching two key members of JD Gaming. This allowed Yuan “Cryin” Cheng-Wei’s Galio to swoop in for even more knock ups.

Simultaneously Ming activated Trample and Alistar’s ultimate, Unbreakable Will, to reduce incoming damage. Surviving with less than a quarter of health, this one last Alistar engage finally sealed the deal in game one.

Royal Never Give Up went on to take game three as well for the 2-1 win over JD Gaming.

READ MORE: RNG coach Poppy: ‘Top LPL players may think that they don’t have any issues’