Sona Build Guide by Chvikos
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Hello! My name is DatMinish and I am a support main on EUW. I mainly play Sona and Soraka although I like experimenting with other supports (Which is why you might see me playing non-meta supports sometimes) just for the fun of it.
This is my first guide on MobaFire. I use this site when I want to learn how to play a champion I just bought, and I want to give back somehow, so I'm making a guide about Sona, Maven of the Strings.
I'm not ranked yet, since I reached Level 30 about 2 weeks before Season 5 ended. I've played only 6 of 10 of my placement matches, so I'm waiting until Season 6 starts. Anyways, enough with the introduction! Here's the guide.
Pros / Cons
+ Synergizes well with most ADCs
+ Q's Power Chord deals incredible damage early game
+ Long ranged poke
+ Incredible sustain
+ Can escape from sticky situations
+ Game-changing ult if used correctly
+ Bewbs Your Hymn of Valor has a long range, and will prioritize champions. Use this to your advantage and if possible, try to land both of your bolts on champions. With an Athene's Unholy Grail, you can provide near infinite sustain for your team due to the incredible Mana regen, coupled with the Mana regen from Eye of the Watchers. If you are caught in a sticky situation, you have two abilities you can use to escape, Song of Celerity and Crescendo. I would recommend using the former, unless you absolutely need to ult them and there is no way you can survive if you don't. Your ult is game-changing if you can land it properly, and could possibly get your team an ace so that you can push the lane or get Baron Nashor .
- Hilariously squishy at early game
- Requires you to have very good positioning
- Two CC's: Crescendo and E's Power Chord
- Nerfed here, nerfed there, nerfed everywhere Sona is extremely squishy in the early game. She has ~480 HP at level 1 while most ADCs have ~530-550 HP. Thus, if the enemy team decides to focus you (even though they shouldn't), you may die. She has a unique style of attacking, using her auras to hit champions and minions in range of her, and heal+speed allied champions in range of her. She has little CC, only her E's Power Chord, which slows down the enemy champion, and Crescendo, which stuns them. Also, she's been nerfed pretty hard.
I run standard AP Mage runes for Sona. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration helps me poke the enemies better (and Q Power Chord them better too). Greater Seal of Armor is because Sona is squishy, and she is against an ADC, so the extra armor will help her survive better. Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is there for extra protection fighting against a support (which could use AP, like Morgana and Soraka instead of Braum and Blitzcrank). Finally, Greater Quintessence of Ability Power gives you some AP to help out in the early game.
Note that I do not recommend CDR runes using this build, as you will already have 40% CDR from Athene's Unholy Grail, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, and Lich Bane. The Intelligence mastery will also give you 5% CDR whilst increasing your CDR cap to 45%, so you have max CDR and you can pretty much spam your spells now with all this mana regen and CDR.
Sorcery : Gives you 2% extra damage using your spells. Extra damage is always good.
Feast: In case you Q a minion and it dies, you will regain 20 HP. Although you are not supposed to farm as a support, sometimes you accidentally kill a minion or two. You can regain 20 HP from those minions which you killed. Also, Double Edged Sword on Sona as a support is horrendous in my experience. When you're out of mana, which would be better? Receiving extra damage because you can't escape faster or regaining HP for a last-hit mistake?
Natural Talent : Bonus AD and AP is always good.
Bounty Hunter : I often focus on kills, so I prefer this. If you want the sustain, take Oppressor . Both are quite good in my opinion. The latter deals more damage to champions affected by E's Power Chord slow and Crescendo, so that's always good.
Wanderer : Take this instead of Savagery. You won't be attacking minions or monsters most of the time, so the movement speed is better.
Secret Stash : Extra HP regen is always good, and you aren't jungling, so Runic Affinity is useless.
Merciless : This is a bit of a debate in my opinion. It's more personal preference, because both are good. The extra mana regen is great, but we're rushing Eye of the Watchers and Athene's Unholy Grail. That should solve your mana problems. Lich Bane gives extra mana too. I don't need the mana regen even though I tend to have mana problems early on. As I said, I focus more on kills, so Merciless is better for me.
Dangerous Game : You regain some HP and mana every time you get an assist. I take this over Bandit because the latter is basically Spellthief's Edge. Guess what item you start with as Sona? Yeah...
Intelligence : CDR and an increased CDR cap is always good. You don't need Precision because your Armor and MP runes do the job for you.
Windspeaker's Blessing : Why wouldn't you take this? Your heals and shields become stronger, so you can heal up your team faster! Thunderlord's Decree is useless, because you already have a poke, and most of the time, the lightning bolt fires out while the enemy champion is still alive. If you want to weaken the enemy, just use Hymn of Valor. Stormraider's Surge is even more useless because the movement speed isn't needed. You have your boots and your E to help you.
These are your basic support spells. Nothing too complicated about that.
Other good spells:
Ignite: For securing a kill. Only use this if your ADC has low HP. Don't kill steal. Gold is shared in an assist, so it's not the end of the world.
Teleport: Top/Mid laner needs help and God knows which dimension your jungler is in? Freeze your lane, and teleport to help your teammates.
Heal: Your ADC should have this. You don't need it unless you're out of mana and you can't heal yourself. You also have Health Potions for a reason.
Barrier: This isn't really the best pick for Sona. I find this works better on other champions... Just not this one. It might help you out, but when you're being ganked with low health, it probably will end up in you dying. Make sure to ward to avoid that.
Cleanse: A meh pick. Use this only if you're in a bot lane with lots of hard CC, like Morgana or Leona. It could help you out.
Don't use these:
Ghost: Why? Song of Celerity gives you extra movement speed, and moving through units won't get you a kill.
Smite: Likely to get you reported. You don't need to smite minions because you aren't farming, and you aren't jungling. Only possible use for this is if you're trying to steal Dragon or Nashor. Even then, that's not your job, that's the jungler's job.
Generally you want to max out Hymn of Valor first for the great ranged poke it provides in the laning phase and teamfights. You then want to max out Aria of Perseverance for healing you and your teammates better (and faster). Finally, you want to max out Song of Celerity last. This is because the movement speed that you provide with a rank 1-2 Song of Celerity is already enough to help your teammates escape from a bad spot or chase someone. Plus, someone should already have Flash available during a teamfight. Make sure you level up Crescendo whenever you can.
Remember that this doesn't need to be the skill sequence you have to do for Sona. If you find that you're having HP problems/being focused a lot, it may be worth it to max out Aria of Perseverance first. You could also buy a Refillable Potion, but it has only two charges, and I feel it might not be good enough to solve all your HP problems on its own. Consider buying that and maxing out Aria of Perseverance first. Max out Hymn of Valor next.
If you're having trouble with escaping from bad spots, consider maxing out your Song of Celerity first. Make sure you have bought Boots of Speed or Ionian Boots of Lucidity. If you want to sacrifice the CDR that your Ionian Boots of Lucidity provides for extra movement speed, max out Song of Celerity and buy the Boots of Mobility - Alacrity. I highly don't recommend this though, because most of the time, Song of Celerity and Flash will do the job for you. You also really don't need that extra movement speed. Ionian Boots of Lucidity - Captain is a much better pick due to the CDR and because you already have the Wanderer mastery (which gives you out of combat movement speed).
Of course, how could I forget Sona's passive? I can confidently say this is what will make or break your early game. Why is that? This is because Staccato deals an incredible amount of damage to the ADC early game. Its power falls off mid-game, but late game when you're starting to get more and more AP, it becomes extremely deadly.
An enemy ADC at level 1 hit by a rank 1 Staccato will lose about 35%-40% of their health. This increases if you managed to hit them with Hymn of Valor 3 times before Staccato was available to use. If you are getting pushed and your jungler is nearby, ask for a gank, and use Staccato on the enemy ADC. If your ADC follows up, it could get you an assist or a kill.
I hear some people tell me Sona is hard to play, because of Power Chord, and that you need to think about what you need to bring to the lane; more damage and pushing, or receiving less damage, or slowing down the enemy. I can honestly say that while I used to think like this too, that's not entirely true.
If the enemy ADC has low HP and your ADC has low HP too, then use Aria of Perseverance once or twice on them, and use Hymn of Valor on the enemy ADC to get Staccato. Finally, hit the enemy ADC with an AA, and it could net you a kill whilst saving your ADC's life. It's a lot easier than I'm making it sound here, I promise.
If you are playing passive (which you shouldn't, since you need to be aggressive early game to win), then it could be worth it to heal your ADC and hit the enemy ADC with Diminuendo.
Staccato is a Power Chord charged with Hymn of Valor (use Q three times to get it, or cast any three spells apart from Crescendo, and use Q once to get it). It deals 40% bonus damage to its target.
Diminuendo is a Power Chord charged with Aria of Perseverance (use W three times to get it, or cast any three spells apart from Crescendo, and use W once to get it). It reduces its target's damage output by 20% + 2% per 100 AP for 3 seconds.
Tempo is a Power Chord charged with Song of Celerity (use E three times to get it, or cast any three spells apart from Crescendo, and use E once to get it). It slows its target by 40% + 4% per 100 AP for 2 seconds.
Finally, time to talk about items! I briefly explained in the Final Build notes that this is my favorite build on Sona, due to all her spells depending on your AP --> The more AP you have, the more effective your poke, heal, speed, and stun will be. Crescendo won't stun for a longer time, but will deal more damage when it hits the enemy team, allowing your team to finish them off faster. We'll be doing some math later on in this chapter to figure out just how effective this is.
Eye of the Watchers: I choose this over Frost Queen's Claim because the slow isn't exactly needed. You have Tempo to help you out with that.
Also, while the latter gives you more AP and 10% CDR right off the bat, it's not needed, because your Ionian Boots of Lucidity gives you that 10% CDR, and you need the extra HP from Eye of the Watchers since you are squishy.
Finally, buying Frost Queen's Claim and Sightstone -> Red Sightstone is so much more costly, seeing as you get 4 wards from your Eye of the Watchers, and that both items cost the same.
Alternative: Consider an Ancient Coin -> Nomad's Medallion -> Eye of the Oasis if you have to play safe. Getting a Spellthief's will not help you if you can't poke them with Hymn of Valor often. On the other hand, being near a minion death but not last-hitting, using Ancient Coin, will give you some gold. This is helpful because you can watch your ADC farm, heal them up a bit and stay away from danger, and you would still get the gold you need for these items.
Athene's Unholy Grail: I like this item instead of Morellonomicon for a few reasons. While Athene's Unholy Grail sacrifices 20 bonus AP for 25 Magic Resist, its passive (Mana Font) is much more efficient in regaining Mana (Mana regen is what we need here, not AP). Morellonomicon's passive is useless on you, but for mid-lane mages it's often a very good passive. You don't need to inflict Grievous Wounds, although if you are up against a champion which relies on healing (like Vladimir) then you may want to consider a Morellonomicon. It could help you out better than an Athene's Unholy Grail.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity - Captain: The CDR from this item and the 10% extra movement speed you provide to allies approaching you synergizes very well with your Song of Celerity. Ionian Boots of Lucidity - Furor is also a very good enchantment to use for repositioning yourself after initiating with Crescendo.
Lich Bane: I like buying this item before a Luden's Echo due to the extra CDR it provides which makes our total CDR equal to 45% with the Intelligence mastery at max rank. It also gives you extra mana and AP; that's also pretty good.
Luden's Echo: This item synergizes very well with Hymn of Valor in teamfights. Attacking one champion with your Q will make it bounce to other champions which you couldn't reach without overextending before. You also get extra movement speed from this (and Lich Bane which is also good. Consider sacrificing this for Frozen Heart or Banshee's Veil if you need to go defensive.
Rabadon's Deathcap: Pretty obvious. Gives you 120 AP, and increases your total AP by 35%. Why would you not want it?
: Oracle Alteration: Just an upgrade to Sweeping Lens. You already have 4 wards, from Eye of the Watchers so you don't need the Farsight Alteration.
A bit of math:
(Feel free to correct me if you think I made a calculation error!)
Assume you are Level 18 with Sona and everything is maxed out.
The total AP you get from this build (and your runes and masteries): 560.25 AP rounds to 560 AP.
Hymn of Valor: Each bolt deals 480 magic damage (200 + 50% AP = 200 + 280 AP = 480 damage) and her aura will empower her allied champions' basic attacks with 396 magic damage for 3 seconds.
Aria of Perseverance: Minimum heal will be 244 HP regained (110 + 20% AP = 110 + 112 AP = 222 HP + 10% from Windspeaker's Blessing = 244 HP regained). This increases by 0.5% for each 1% of HP lost. Her shield grants 507 HP absorbed for champions for 1.5 seconds.
Song of Celerity: You gain 65% movement speed for yourself for 3 seconds, and allied champions gain 42.6% movement speed for 1.5 seconds when your aura touches them. If you touch all other 4 champions, you gain 65% movement speed for 5 seconds.
Crescendo: Deals 630 magic damage to champions she uses it on and stuns them for 1.5 seconds.
With Sona, and every other support pretty much, teamwork is key. You and your ADC need to work together.
Tell them what you're going to do, instead of just doing it. If you want to ward your lane, tell them "I'm going to go ward, brb", and do it quickly so that you can heal them if necessary.
If you're going all in on the enemy ADC, tell them "I'm going to initiate now" so that they can follow up with you and ensure the enemy is killed. Your ADC should be farming and trading most of the time, and you need to poke the enemy and heal your ADC when they need it frequently. Just remember not to spam your heal early on. You're not Soraka. Using that heal a lot will deplete your mana very quickly. Wait until you get Eye of the Watchers, then you can be a bit more free with your heals. After Athene's Unholy Grail, just go ahead and spam heals.
If all goes well, you should be getting some kills and assists, which will prepare you for when the laning phase ends. If not, then try to be in as many teamfights as possible.
Enemies and allies will be killed in teamfights and you need to try to get a lot of assists. Rush Athene's using the gold you'll be getting, get a defensive item based on who is carrying their team (mid or bot), and you can save your team with your auras.
You can often turn a very bad situation into a win for your team, and believe me, it works.