LeBlanc is a very popular champion in every elo. This is because she is an assassin that starts off strong and carries her strength into the mid game. Leblanc also has very good mobility and her burst can unlock as early as Level 2.
LeBlanc is an Assassin with very powerful Level 2 trade (Q+W+AA) that must be avoided. Playing away from minions forces her to use her W for either waveclear or trading. Her W has a long cooldown early game, allowing her to be ganked when it is down.
Countering LeBlanc in the laning phase is very hard as her mobility and burst allow her to win trades against a lot of champions. To tackle her effectively, we must resign to her identity as an assassin and punish her using the weaknesses her kit leaves her with.
Do Not Let Her Snowball
Before getting into the details about the strengths and weaknesses of LeBlanc, we need to be clear about her identity as an Assassin. Since LeBlanc is an assassin, her biggest job is to kill her opponent and snowball using the gained gold. So we must treat her like an assassin and show respect to her kill threat.
In the early game, if you are playing a champion that can not deal with burst damage well, you must stay away from her kill range. Whenever you are in lethal range, you need to respect her W (And R if available) and stay away and farm from distance. Taking a suboptimal recall timing is still better than dying to LeBlanc multiple times, allowing her to take over the game.
Weak Without W
LeBlanc as an assassin heavily relies on her W for her burst, waveclear, and mobility. This spell has a very long cooldown in the early game. If you see LeBlanc use it for any reason, you can safely assume that she won’t have a way to gap close onto you for a while. This also applies to jungle ganks, since a lack of W makes her extremely vulnerable to ganks.
LeBlanc’s poor waveclear early game is an important point that ties the passage above to the one below. LeBlanc’s best tool for waveclear is her W. Her Q and auto attacks can be used to last hit but aren’t effective pushing tools. LeBlanc will max her W which puts all her waveclear potential into her W.
We can use this to our advantage. A lot of champions in the mid lane can clear waves faster than her, leading to a push advantage for you. This can be used to get a free recall off and get an item advantage, allowing you to win the matchup easier. This can also be used as a window to roam to another lane and get an advantage before LeBlanc does.
Don’t Stand Near Minions
The previous point brings us to this one. We have already established how important LeBlanc’s W is, so we must now make sure that she gets as little value out of it as possible. LeBlanc will try to use her W to waveclear and damage you at the same time. Do NOT let her do that.
If you stand on top of your minions, LeBlanc can push the wave and get a favorable trade with a single W. Therefore, standing away from minions makes her choose between trading and pushing, allowing you to play the lane easier. If you can farm from a distance, this completely nullifies her ability to trade, and she is forced to clear waves with W.
Level 2 Burst
LeBlanc’s Level 1 trading can be avoided rather easily, but the same can not be said about her Level 2 when she unlocks Q and W. As soon as she hits Level 2, she can Q+W+Auto attack for an instant electrocute proc. This trade pattern deals a lot of damage and it’s honestly hard to win this trade against her. Depending on your champion, you may have to play carefully around this combo.
A big part of mitigating this combo is to somehow avoid getting hit by her W. Her Q can not be triggered without her W or E. This means that an AA+Q+AA trade will be much lighter than a Q+W+AA trade. If you can position far enough to dodge her W, or simply dodge it using one of your abilities, you will survive just fine and can continue to gain a push in the lane.
Level 6 PowerSpike
Similar to Level 2 Powerspike, her Level 6 is a big addition to her burst potential. LeBlanc’s ultimate mimics one of her basic abilities but makes them better. Since she can mimic one out of three different abilities, it provides a lot of versatility to her combo.
Her mimic W can allow her to close a massive gap between you and her, bursting you in the process if you are playing a squishy champion. Mimic E can set up for chain CC with her regular E and Mimic Q can be used to proc her regular Q. All her abilities provide massive burst potential at Level 6 because of this reason. So be aware of it and do not get caught off guard.
Do Not Facecheck
Leblanc can combine her three abilities for massive damage. This is even easier if you are walking into her. This potential allows her to camp in brushes for a target that is passing by. If LeBlanc disappears from the map, be wary of her. She could be hiding in a brush or simply looking for a roam.
If you facecheck a LeBlanc, it is very easy for her to set up a Q+E+W combo for a guaranteed burst with Electrocute. With enough items, this combo can prove lethal for most squishy champions. Avoid the jumpscare!
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Locket Of The Iron Solari
Locket of the Iron Solari simply provides resistance to allies and the active grants a shield that can mitigate much of the damage coming from LeBlanc because she is an assassin that relies on her burst combo to do her job.
Crown Of The Shattered Queen
Crown Of The Shattered Queen isn’t in great shape as an item right now. But when specifically talking about LeBlanc, it can help a mage survive the massive burst coming from LeBlanc. The safeguard prevents LeBlanc’s combo from doing significant damage for 1.5 seconds, which is usually all the time you need to survive and counterattack.
Immortal Shieldbow is a Marksman’s best tool against burst damage. Immortal Shieldbow’s lifeline passive allows the user to survive burst damage and prevent getting one-shot by LeBlanc. The lifesteal can also allow you to heal back up slowly.
Banshee’s Veil provides a shield to champions building AP. The Magic Resistance gained from Banshee’s Veil can be very useful in surviving burst damage but the shield is the main reason it is built. The shield will negate one of LeBlanc’s abilities, granting you time to react and making her combo much slower (and less potent as well).
Maw Of Malmortius
Maw of Malmortius is one of the best items for champions that prefer building AD but also require some sort of defense against magic damage. The shield provided by Maw of Malmortius is amazing against the burst damage offered by LeBlanc.
Edge Of Night
Edge of Night acts as an AD alternative to Banshee’s Veil. However, it is not as good as Banshee’s Veil simply because it does not offer Magic Resistance. It does offer the spell shield and some Health, which can help a lot of champions survive the burst for the same reasons listed above in the Banshee’s Veil segment.
Force Of Nature
Whenever the discussion of Magic Resistance is brought up, Force of Nature has to be mentioned. As far as negating Magic damage is concerned, no tank item does the job better than Force of Nature. It offers Health, Magic Resistance, and Magic damage reduction for a very good price.
LeBlanc is mainly played in the mid lane and is very rarely seen in the top or bot lane. This is why the counters listed here are mid lane champions that excel at dealing with her burst or can CC her.
LeBlanc is a very powerful assassin that unlocks her burst potential as soon as Level 2 and doubles it at Level 6. She can gap close very easily so the best way of playing against her is to simply avoid giving her kills. Save your life at all costs and use her poor waveclear to your advantage.