Soraka Build Guide by bobunio
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
I could say this guide is finished...
...but honestly, I don't think it really is. There are still things worth mentioning about AD Soraka, but I decided to publish is, as I'm not sure I'd find some motivation to end this quickly. I'll probably add some more informations in the future, but for now - here it is.
OH AND BTW - 4TH (FOURTH) BUILD IS THE RECOMMENDED ONE - I CURRENTLY USE IT AND IT WORKS REALLY WELL.
AD DPS Soraka build - if anyone thought it's impossible, he was wrong. Or was he...?
Sorry for my language mistakes, if any appear in the guide.
Ok here is what I wrote when I was beginning this guide:
"It's kind of a fun build, please do not give -1 just because it's pretty hard to get positive stats with it. Guys, please - it's Soraka, you shouldn't expect owning with any ad/as Soraka build. Anyway, it's made to maximize her killing potencial. I know it sounds funny but that's what I was trying to do - to become as strong dps as possible. If You don't feel like trying it, just leave it.
I've been trying it for some time and I've changed my opinion about owning with it and getting positive stats. Yes, IT IS POSSIBLE to own with this DPS Soraka build, and it's not only about having a good team (although she is team dependant).
What you can achieve with this build
First of all, the most important thing you can achieve is FUN.
Bonus: some kind of 'proofs' that you CAN own with AD Soraka:
Probably my best AD Soraka build so far.
You could say I aced their team 2 times. First - got 2 (two) double kills in teamfight. Second - got triple and double (a bit too slow for penta).
Yes, I know I had no defensive items (you could call any lifesteal item a one), but it was my goal, to come in the early-mid stage of the fight and rape (and lifesteal really did its' work).
Btw, I was mid against Morde. After I killed him (lev 2-3, I think), he decided to change with akali, with which I got 2/1.
But you may think it was just one luck, so here you go:
I'm getting used to carrying team to victory. Multikill-machine Soraka is awesome to play with.
Anyway, let's start...
Soraka is well known as probably the most annoying healer here in League of Legends. Saving 'already-dead' champions, keeping hard-hitting squishies with full health - these are just an examples of how Soraka can irritate others. But here, we'll focus on doing some dmg instead of healing.
- an element of surprise aka FREAKING UNDERESTIMATED (not much enemies really care about you when they see you're going ad),
- really nice early game harass,
- heal/mana spells (still).
- squishyyyyyyyy, even your double heal (Q+ulti) can't save you usually when enemy team (or even single fed champ) focuses on you,
- low base stats (ad, as, hp, etc.),
- no stun/slow (at least without frozen mallet),
- it's Soraka ad build - do you need any more cons?
Consecrate (passive): Increases surrounding allies' magic resistance by 16.
Not a great passive but still, bonus 16 magic resistance isn't a bad thing.
Starcall: Strikes nearby enemy units for 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.25) magic damage and reduces their Magic Resistance by 8 for 8 seconds This effect stacks up to 20 times.
Cooldown: 3 seconds
Cost: 42/54/66/78/90 Mana
Well, honestly it's not a very good spell (especially in this build), used just to add the small additional dmg in teamfights or to kill minion waves. Magic resist reduction may help, but again - with this build you won't really need this so much. We'll level up this one last.
Astral Blassing: Restores 80/135/190/245/300 (+1) health and grants 20/35/50/65/80 bonus armor for 4 seconds.
Cooldown: 9/9/9/9/9 seconds
Cost: 80/100/120/140/160 Mana
Finally something nice. In the beginning it works really fine with Infuse. Makes your and your partner's laning much easier when fighting against heavy-harrasing champions. Sometimes that makes others (low-harrasing ones, especially) focusing on just last-hitting minions (or even just staying alive), 'cause whatever they do, you can just heal. Anyway, when facing kind of Panth+Sion/Panth+Taric (!) lane, they can just double stun you and kill you in a matter of seconds anyway.
Infuse: If cast on an allied champion, restores 50/100/150/200/250 Mana.
If cast on an enemy champion, silences them for 1/1.5/2/2.5/3 second(s) and deals 50/100/150/200/250 (+0.6) magic damage.
Cooldown: 15/15/15/15/15 seconds
Cost: No Cost
Main thing you want to achieve when leveling this one up (especially early game) is BALANCE BETWEEN ASTRAL BLESSING AND INFUSE. You want to heal for as much as possible. That means you need as good heals as possible and to be able to use them as frequently as possible. You need hp - you heal. You need mana - you use Infuse. Also important thing is that INFUSE HAS NO COST. If you're not planning any rush with silence or things like that, just use it whenever its cooldown is off.
Ok, now some nice thing about harrasing with Infuse. Casters like Lux/Annie/Karthus/even Nunu often try to harass with their spells like Lux's trap+slowing ball, Karthus' Lay Waste, Nunu's ice ball. As Infuse has pretty decent range, you can prevent casting spell by enemy and in the same time hit them 1-2 times before they run away. Works well against low-hp casters (it won't hurt Nunu much), as in the beginning you hit for about 70dmg (~120 crits). Nice thing.
Wish (ultimate): Instantly restores 200/320/440 (+1.3) health to all allied champions.
Cooldown: 100/90/80 seconds
Cost: 250/350/450 Mana
Pretty nice spell, it seems. It has a great AP ratio but in this build, it will be nearly useless, so we can treat it just as a 200/320/440 hp healing spell working on all your teammates. It can be helpful in the middle of a teamfight to give your team a nice sudden hp boost or to save ganked teammate on the other side of the map.
But. Very important thing about this ulti are ASSISTS. That's because if any of your teammates kills an enemy after you healed him with this spell, you gain an assist. It's really helpful when you're getting occult's stacks. And that's why buying sword of the occult pretty early may be viable (but you need to make sure you're going to GET those assists/kills).
Probably every strange melee dps build I try needs to have these 2 summoner spells, which are:
1. It slows:
a) Helps you with catching these fleeing enemies.
b) Helps you with escaping from a tough situations.
2. It blinds - helps you with strong melee dps champs such as Tryndamere, Yi, Ashe.
As soraka is a slow champion, she needs it for chasing and sometimes escaping. It can be also used to come back to lane quickly. Combined with youmuu's active (or also a phantom dancer) gives a pretty nice effect.
Another possibility is:
There is a reason why flash is the most common spell in ranked games. I got sick of being stuck by Jarvan's ulti and decided to give it a try. For higher levels/ELOs or ranked games (if anyone is about to play ranked game with AD/AS Soraka:O you'd be reported for sure) flash probably works better than ghost. That's why I currently use it.
When you feel like you can rush on your enemy, just stay in the bushes, wait for a nice moment and here you go. Ghost -> exhaust+silence on enemy -> stun, slow or some nice damage from lanepartner would be nice too -> chasing and hitting enemy.
Video with example of using ghost+exhaust to lanekilling: [old crit build, beginning with brawler's gloves]
Honestly, masteries depend on how you feel while playing AD Soraka. I found two main masteries builds, that suit ME best.
1. Offensive: 21/8/1.Pretty classic for melee dps champions, except for 1 point in ghost. Gives Soraka a nice dmg boost, however leaving her really squishy. You start game with 426hp - often it's not enough to survive 2 champ combo on 1 lvls (especially if they have 2 stuns), and that's why I take doran's blade with this rune build (+100hp, bonus damage and lifesteal are very nice too). This is my 'official' sequence of masteries - my main used and probably the most effective in what i wanted to achieve.
2. Balanced: 13/16/1.Some mixed build with priorities on armor penetration, hp, improved ghost. Gives you bonus 60hp, which may be the difference between dying and surviving. And you really don't want to give them first blood (sometimes you can even go for it if they have some squishy champ like twitch/ashe/lux and pretty low cc). Here, depending on my mood, I take long sword, doran's blade or sometimes brawler's gloves for more early harassing crits.
I haven't tested many different rune builds yet, but atm I do pretty well with armor penetration quintessences and the rest crit chance (for the early soraka power, because it's really a big part of what this soraka is about).
Another rune build is, as follows:
Marks and Quintessences
Armor penetration is probably the best choice when playing a melee dps champ. It can help to avoid critting for something like 50dmg, when fighting against tanks.
Dodge is useful mainly when you're fighting against other melee dps champions. You are Soraka, you want the extra 'buff' for fights against them - and dodge does the job pretty well. Also decreasing a bit damage from minions.
Ability power/level - all of your 4 abilities are ap-based, so we want to boost them just a bit.
First you want to take a
, as I told earlier, for the VERY NEEDED hp boost with +dmg/lifesteal. You hit harder - you harass harder and last hit easier, and the most important atm: you have 526hp instead of 426 (with 21/8/1 rune build), which may seem to be not much, but trust me, it really makes the difference - your survability goes uuup.
You should get back to base for the first time after getting gold and buy + . Take some potions or wards if needed too. If you died earlier or just really needed to get back, start with -> .
NOTE: You have to decide which boots will be the best in the game you're playing:
- if they don't have much cc and you feel like the bonus attack speed will be the best in this situation.
- if they have many (or not many but strong) melee dps champs, but not much cc and you feel the bonus armor and dodge will just work better then magic resist and cc reduction.
- yes, your movement speed is pretty low in the beginning but later, ghost+youmuu's active (+zeal/phantom dancer?) is enough. I haven't used it with this build yet - I just feel the others are better.
Current item build: (if you didn't need to get back, your build should be still single Doran's blade)
Ok so here comes the lev 6, which means you have your ulti. Now you need to look at the teams.
2. If the game is pretty even, none of the teams have a very visible advantage, it's time to decide. If you feel you can already get those stacks and HOLD them - take occult, if not - just follow the item build with -> ->
3. If you're getting owned, your team sucks etc., you have 2 ways again. First: go for b.f. sword like in option 2., second: buy the occult and pray to Zeus for stacks. Second option means you need to focus on getting these stacks very much. If your teammate is about to kill EVEN JUST ONE enemy and this teammate has full hp, use your ulti (unless there are some fights in other place). I know it seems wasted but if you do this few times, you'll get more and more assists => more and more stacks. It's very risky but sometimes worthy.
NOTE: You need to calculate pretty much through the whole game. Usually I don't take occult at all or get it somewhere before/after infinity edge. It's pretty team dependant.
If you're not taking occult, just continue building and buy a in the meanwhile.
Current item build:
Now the hidden killer starts to emerge from Soraka and here the Surprise! starts. At the moment you can try to solo champs like ashe (especially when she has no exhaust), as with your crits you already start doing suprisingly nice dmg. This, combined with exhaust, infuse, starcall and heals can make an unsuspecting attacker run away. What do you do? You just chase and hit them. Next item will help with both forcing enemy to run, and then chasing him. It's time for and it's also time for real fun. Usually you want yourself to come into the teamfight when it has already started (don't initiate) so that you don't take much dmg (you're squishy - remember). Soraka is really GREAT finisher with her ghost, youmuu's active, a nice range and hard hits (you sacrifice as for ad, but it's worth it - I've killed really many people with this hits slowly 'chasing' low-hp enemies and than dealing something like 400dmg).
If you feel the enemy is stronger, you can use youmuu's active in the beginning to scare them a bit. You're still freaking underestimated usually - USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
Kind of your core build:
This item build rarely changes, but now it's time to look at the enemy team and see if they are stacking armor or not. Depending on this, you can choose between: (little or no armor stacking), (not huge armor stacking, but many champions doing it) and (big armor stacking). I usually take bloodthirster when I need boost with some 1v1 carry fight (ashe/yi), which means also more survivability - you'd be suprised how they can miscalculate their chances (it's kind of a 'wtf?!' syndrome after getting first few ~500dmg crits).
Final item build:
+ lifestealing item + armor penetration item (if they have really low armor, some sword of the divine or phantom dancer) + defensive item
You need some defensive item in the late game (at least), as you're just a glass cannon. It's probably the biggest disadvantage of this soraka build, but also it's what this build is all about. You need to kill. You need to rape them before they notice you're even worth fighting against. If they focus you, you're a bit screwed (you can fight with this, about it later).
The best defensive items are:
When you get all 6 items, you can buy some elixirs: , even , or some if they have invisible champs (or even 'half-invisible' like akali, shaco).
Trinity Force: ad, attack speed, movement speed, hp, mana, crit chance, ability power, nice passive. Would you want anything more? [yes, yes, I know, a passive: 'kills enemy with 1 hit' would be nice too]. So - why don't I take it? Honestly, I do sometimes and it's pretty viable, but I feel it's for champions based on dealing huge dmg with this passive, like
with her or
with his . I've tried it with trinity force->black cleaver->stark's fervor kind of build and it worked pretty fine.
Frozen Mallet: It's half-defensive item, the health boost makes just REALLY MUCH DIFFERENCE, but still - it gives you ad and nice slow for even better chasing/escaping. My old Soraka build included early frozen mallet for just a minimum of survivability, but in normal games it's not neccessary usually (it's not a build for ranked games, I'm about to try it though).
Banshee's Veil: Great item against heavy caster teams or hard cc. It gives you not only spell shield but some magic resist and hp/mana (I care mainly about hp, as your base hp pool is really small). Yes, hp, and that's why next optional item is:
Warmog's Armor: It nearly doubles your hp, highly increases your hp regen. Buy this against nukers like , , just to survive their stun/supress combo and rape them afterwards.
Stark's Fervor: One of 2 main lifestealing items (along with Bloodthirster) here on Soraka, also one of 5 main armor penetration (it's armor reducing, to be accurate) items. Hopefully, someone else in your team has this, but if they don't and you have many ad champs, you can buy it. Rather don't combine it with last whisper - try with youmuu's and black cleaver for really nice armor shredding.
Sword Of The Divine: I rarely use it but it's really nice and cheap as boosting item, with awesome active. Your attacks can't be dodged - buy it when facing some tough or , and awesome +30 armor penetration. Pop youmuu, pop sword of the divine, rape.
Worst enemies and how to deal with them
Soraka's worst enemies can be grouped in some categories. I've added examples for each group.
Ignite: One of your worst enemies, especially early-mid game, it screws your nice heals which are the basis of your early survivability. Combined with a nice cc/dmg may cause your single/double heal to be not enough.
2. Nukers/heavy dpsers.
Malzahar: So why is he so dangerous? He can use his full combo to melt most of your hp - if he also has ignite and is fed, you won't be able to do anything. When Malzahar got too annoying, it may be worth getting for escaping from his ulti. The same advice goes to facing too much cc or some fed .
Akali: She's op ;g You can't fight against her at lev 6, because you'll get raped. She can't be fed and it has to be some mid-late game (at least infinity+youmuu stage). Getting oracle's or vision ward helps a lot against her.
Added 30.06.2011: ok I was a bit wrong, a bit later she's one of the easiest enemies when she's not fed. Once on 1v1 (late game) I silenced her (for akali it's really much as she needs to use abilities all the time) and nearly killed her only during the silence time (finished her a moment later). Btw, you can still use your starcall on her when she uses her shroud. Your silence is awesome against Akali (late game, because earlier you won't be able to do much during the silence).
Annie: Tibbers+incinerate+disintegrate(+ignite). As usually - defensive items can help you to survive the combo (magic res) or avoid it ( , ). You can also try silencing her, popping everything you have (youmuu's active/sword of the divine active, exhaust) and trying to force her to stun & run instead of full combo.
Veigar: Probably the most ****ed up and op nuker if he's fed. 1.1k ap in late game and he can kill you with single or even . Aoe stun with huge range makes him freaking dangerous, because later stun=dead, at least if you don't have your personal cleanse-like or .
Tryndamere: He. Just. Hits. ****ing. Hard. And this ulti... hopefully he doesn't have exhaust+ignite and you will be able, with your exhaust's help, to force him to use ulti early. Then, you need to try to avoid hitting for those few seconds (ghost may be helpful) and come back just before ulti ends. Remember about your silence - he won't be able to bloodlust-heal (?) or slash out. Obvious defence would be getting armor, but if he doesn't have exhaust, I'd personally use dmg to make him run. Remember that your heal gives you 80 armor for 4 seconds, and it really makes a difference in 1v1 melee dps fight. You have too low hp to take thornmail. Another idea (when you see you have no chance) is just running as fast as you can (ghost+youmuu) to your teammates or anywhere safe.
Not much to say - if they stack armor/hp, you won't do much to them, at last before you get infinity+youmuu (hp stacking) or last whisper (armor stacking). Second build (with flat armor pen) may be another solution.
These are the most popular quotes you're about to hear when playing AD Soraka.
WTF soraka with doran's blade? O.o - an average player after seeing your first item.
ffs please someone leave or i'll do it - an average player after hearing in the champ choosing time that you're going ad [disconnects just before game starts].
haha, what a shame - my friend mcaay after I get first blood.
dps soraka powah! - teammate after you do triple kill in teamfight.
our soraka is useless - teammate after dying and not being healed by your ulti (because it wouldn't change a thing), doesn't matter if you have positive stats or not.
lol soraka crit - enemy after getting first crit in the lane (lev 1)
wtf crit soraka? or what's your crit chance soraka?:o - enemy after being first-blooded thanks to two instant ~130dmg crits + exhaust + ghost.
just awesome... surrender at 20. - teammate after you gave them first blood (that shouldn't happen too often:q).
Changes (started 04.06.2011)
This will be a short chapter but anyway:
04.06.2011 - added alternative build, oriented on AS and flat armor penetration. It's still in a testing phase, but for now I can see that it gives:
- much higher as -> it's really dps now - you don't hit with slow crit 'nukes' but with fast penetrating hits. It makes your farming better, you're less crit dependant, but you can't make such a nice Surprise! with nuke-like hits.
- nice armor shredding/penetration,
- worse early harassing vs low armor champs, better vs high armor champs.
17.06.2011 - added another example build, which is at the moment my main AD Soraka build (edit: it's not my main AD Soraka build anymore, check build 4 and read below). Remember about mixing lifesteal and armor penetrating items:
- bloodthirster works well only if you have enough armor penetration,
- if someone else in your team takes stark's fervor, don't take it,
- try not to mix flat armor pen (black cleaver, youmuu's ghostblade) with percent armor pen (last whisper). At least not too much.
- lifesteal=more defence. You can choose to be the silent assassin and completely skip the defensive item, taking some another bloodthirster or something. It's very risky though - smart enemies will focus you and kill you really fast.
24.07.2011 - changed screens and 'story' in the 'What you can achieve with this build' section.
29.07.2011 - added 4th build, kind of 'ultimate ad soraka build', no defence (ok I replace berserker's greaves into trinity force [or phantom dancer] at the end, but still...), but what an offence! You don't need ap annie nukes, you have one with every hit (and you hit fast). Sometimes ofc I take some defence if i get raped by ww/malza (sash/banshee's) or trynd/xin/noct (randuin's).
It's a team-acing machine. You just need to wait until the teamfight already starts and silently walk in along with melting enemies' hp (squishies and annoying ones first ofc). It's just like counting if they don't focus you. First. Second. Third. You're a triple-kill master at the moment with a real chance of getting something more. It's the build I use currently.