Sion Build Guide by Darcurse
Today I thought about making my first guide to add my own ideas to the community/discuss them, helping you and maybe helping myself tweaking it.
Since I only wanted to create a guide on champs I'm fairly good at and I played long enough already, the choices were piped down to AP Sion, AP/Tank Morde, AD/Hybrid Ez, AP-favored Hybrid Jax, Tank/Off-Tank Jarv4 and so on.
While I was roaming through the guides voted highest on my respective fields, I noticed that the "best" Sion guide was AP and sadly outdated/badly cobbled and with some bad choices here and there.
So now I'm here hoping to give you guys some good material to use/argue about.
Pros / Cons
- Great early game: outzoning/dmg output/farming abilities.
- While boosting your dmg you'll also boost your defense (but: hard to master).
- You'll use the incredible burst of Sion's AP side, while still healing you/r mates for quite a chunk between fights.
- Since some patches ago you now wield a double-edged axe!
- Your bread&butter skill has 2 edges pointed at you: dmg can be negated by bursting your bubble + 4 sec delay.
- Most predictable. You'll have to suprise enemies with bushes/Flash/teamwork, otherwise you'll give them an accurate time frame of your next attack.
- While normal caster use a complete skillset to face their opponents, you'll only use half of it. Turning you into a wandering meat shield, waiting for it's CDs.
Experiencing many kinds of different games up until now, I judged the skilling order on AP Sion not to be totally firm.
Of course, even while every level offers the same CD, Death's Caress IS your bread&butter, making it the skill that's maxed first.
Sometimes I catch myself not activating Cannibalism in a teamfight at all, since I only land Stun+Bubble+Sheen/Bane proc before retreating not to become the main target of some enraged enemies. So why leveling it at all?
Even while it isn't always usable in fights, it's still viable outside of them!
Instead of wasting money on Spell Vamp you can easily heal yourself/your team off of one minion wave/ use it to take down Blue Buff, Dragon or Baron. It's pretty neat since you dont need extra AD in order to do so, Enrage alone is enough.
Speaking about that takes me to the flexible part of Sion's skilling order.
Instead of going for a standard R>W>Q>E order, I like to drop the priority on Cryptic Gaze according to the game flow:
After skilling Death's Caress with the first point ofc, I always judge the enemy/enemies I'm facing.
If they're too defensive and being outzoned by your presence alone, put your 2nd point in Enrage starting to make use of it ASAP. They'll notice right away, but you still have your Summoner Spells to reach lvl 3 without problem.
At the time I reach lvl 8 with my skills on 1/3/1/1, I'll judge the game situation yet again: You still have the possiblity to farm enough creeps?
Instead of "wasting" your skill point on some minor dmg boost and 1 sec CDR on Cryptic Gaze you should boost your HP by making more use of creeps.
Simple the best choice, IMO.
Flash utilizes your rapid burst that needs melee range, best to outzone squishy enemies.
Still, if you want to take the initiative you should try to make use of bushes before activating Death's Caress and Flash.
Ignite is your "finisher", since you dont have much of a chaser and won't burst them to 0% just with a bubble/stun+sheen in most cases.
With the recent nerfs/buffs it's not a bad idea to switch Flash for Ghost, if you decide to drop a long CD finishing/escaping skill for higher mobility.
Same for Exhaust: IMO AP Sion's a hit&run champ, without your skills you dont want to stick close to the enemy, except you can finish him off with 2-3 blows after you landed your combo, but therefore Ignite will do just fine.
Both changes should be made according to your personal opinion/playstyle.
Teleport is still useful solo top or mid, and while Barrier gives you another bubble, you shouldnt concern yourself with it, Ignite&Exhaust are still better choices.
The rest is just either bad overall ( Heal, Clarity, Revive)
- Heal, Clarity is ok for those guys who still level and dont have the mastery points/runes or not enough experience to preserve their Life/Mana.
- Revive is meant to widen the variety... it has only some little use, Karthus + Revive is a good one for example.
Regarding Cleanse: Using it to counter CC, that is supposed to prevent your bubble activation, isn't actual viable to drop another spell for.
Nothing great to add here.
Normal AP DmgDealer spec.
I dropped 1 AP for the 5AP/5AD bonus while Ignite's on CD and judged Swiftness to be more needed than Meditation .
Ofc, if you decide to switch Flash for Ghost you should drop Summoner's Insight for that extra point in Meditation .
The 21/0/9 skilltree with Runic Affinity is in order to take mid.
Butcher isn't all that, but with 2 points needed to go to the 4th tier in Offense and while Havoc is a complete waste (Simply calculate what 2% actually do), Butcher helps you to last-hit.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration Marks:
Best choice. Period.
You could swap them for AP runes, but even while it boosts offense AND defense on Sion the damage gain on penetration is far too great to miss.
Greater Seal of Armor Seals:
Again there was nothing else I could think about.
Okay, ofc you could switch them for flat Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration to boost your early Mana management, but therefore you should buy at least 1 Doran's Ring + Sheen and also not spam your abilities anyway.
Since Cryptic Gaze puts a huge burden on Sion's little mana pool, you can get in a mana pinch with or without them if misused, too.
Plus I'm not found of stacking mana/manareg on him, it's easy to utilize him to his fullest with only some from Lich Bane + natural Mana-Regeneration and Blue Buff.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist Glyphs:
The only ones I'm not too sure about.
IMO they can easily be switched for Greater Glyph of Ability Power to boost your early a bit more. But since Sion improves his HP pool via Enrage and Death's Caress naturally and while resistance increases the odds for your bubble to survive an enemy onslaught (same goes for Armor Seals), it seems the more viable option, but IMO at this point, it's more of personal preference.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power Quints:
Your early boost.
The only thing I'd switch them for is Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, but in fact I couldn't try it out up until now, since I can land my (stun+)shield+sheen/bane/gauntlet combo without it, therefore I never saw a real need for them.
Soooo lets get to the major part...
Lets try to do it in chronological order:
While Boots of Speed and Pots seems to be an alternative I like to boost dmg + defense in one go with Doran's Ring (not only HP but AP on your shield will also help you prevent harass), sometimes even picking a 2nd one seems to be quite a viable option to utilize Sion's great early game even further.
In terms of boots Sorcerer's Shoes is the way to boost your dmg.
Since MR is the weaker resistance stat on most champs, you can tone it down below 10 easily that way + MrP runes.
I also noticed the huge recommendation of using Boots of Mobility.
Good enough if you decide to roam, but bad if you stay more on lane.
You aren't the guy that's always in the enemy's blind spot like Twitch/Eve/Shaco anyway.
After that Sheen solves the last bit of your mana problem, gives you more of the off+def increasing AP and adds an extra nuke to your combo. Highly recommended.
By now you should check the enemies situation to decide on how to proceed with your built. IMO all the HP you need is provided by Doran's Ring and Enrage, so defense items should provide Ar/MR.
While things like Zhonya's Hourglass are great to prevent ppl from focusing you and to pass the time until Death's Caress can be used (while untouchable DC will still count down the delay-timer) it's still optional, you should consider it early against AD heavy teams and maybe as your 5-6 item against balanced ones.
But if the enemy team is at least balanced, moreover favoring magical dmg you should grab Abyssal Scepter as a defense item with great dmg boost.
After that you should consider CDR as the next target of interest, Fiendish Codex will do just fine for that. If you find resistance of lesser use early, you could get Codex first and upgrade it directly into Deathfire Grasp after finishing Sheen, if you still need more Magic Resistance, Athene's Unholy Grail is the better choice.
Now you should've obtained two items with a greater AP boost, providing you with enough to upgrade Sheen into Lich Bane effectively, that will provide you with some needed MS and adds ~200 dmg to your nuke.
A simple core build should be:
(Not inluding the possibility to play against an AD champ top, therefore getting an early Seeker's Armguard will do wonders)
Rabadon's Deathcap could also be counted, many ppl tend to stack 2 Doran's Ring to sustain their laning-phase and then go for it directly.
Doable, but only with a great early game, otherwise you will miss too much of other states even with an empowered Death's Caress. That's why...
... I normally place it after I got my Lich Bane.
That said, while treating Abyssal Scepter as a near to compulsory buy, there should only be 1 slot left.(Selling Doran's Ring, Doran's items alltogether should btw always only be sold to free space.)
There are some optional items you could consider for that spot OR replace an early Deathfire Grasp:
The enemy's stacking MR? Well, that is it.
While you already countered magical dmg with Abyssal Scepter and Athene's Unholy Grail it's a good item to round things up.
Much likely one item ppl tend to forget. For Sion it's comparable to the DLH (some ppl might get the reference): While every stat works perfectly with Sion's kit, the Active helps you chase down enemies. Even while packing it under "optional items" while going Mid, this thing has potential to be your first item.
You still need more CD reduction, while some major defense becomes necessary? Well, one of those will do just fine.
Optional Build way:
I guess you guys aren't really living under a rock to overlook what was added patches ago: Iceborn Gauntlet. While this baby adds so much to your AP Sion round-about, like any Sheen-like procc, it doesn't interact with Lich Bane.
And while the latter adds more single-target nuke, Iceborn Gauntlet has a huge pile of benefits too.
All in all, both have their benefits and a place in Sion's inventory.
Just remember: The situation in the field dictates which to choose.
If the enemy packs physical damage, go for Iceborn Gauntlet, but don't forget that 40% is the hardcape for CD reduction!
And like I already mentioned earlier HP and Spell Vamp are not necessary so you shouldn't waste money to get Will of the Ancients or Rod of Ages.
Namely everything that mainly provides HP,Mana or Spell Vamp isnt needed.
Also things like Rylai's Crystal Scepter should be skipped, not only for the HP, but that slow cant be effectively maintained with Sion's skillset.
- You should always play aggressive, handle risk and reward and learn to time your shield probably.
- Evaluate what your enemy has ready and how much it will lower your shield to save HP while still nuking everything around you in the process.
- You're a solo laner or lane with a support who won't hug too many of those precious little Happy Meals. Even mid is fine if you learned to handle Sion properly.
- Your Stun is great for an easy DC+Sheen hit, but try to use it after you landed those to prolong a Cannibalism powered autohit fury, if you know that you can actually take him down within a few autohits.
- Dont forget to activate your shield always while you're still on the move to the different hot spots: saving a tower under fire/aiding an ally already engaged in combat and so on. Otherwise your greatest weapon will still warm up with your friend down and some 10% enemies on the run.
- Don't forget: You're beefy as hell (for an AP caster), dangerous, but also a slow lumpy meat mountain, while you lower the enemy's HP bar you'll mostly nuke some of his minions along the way leaving your lane overextended sometimes, therefore Junglers will be glad to dump your rotten slowpoke *** back into hell. Wards are mandatory to prevent such mishaps.
- Lets say, you're solo top and ported back to refill/buy after you also forced your opponent back or killed him. Now you're on your way back and notice Mid is in a pinch and sth prevents your Jungler from helping. Why not lend a helping hand?
At best you already dominate top and left your lane overextended before porting back, giving you enough time without leaving your tower unprotected.
After everything mentioned above I'd like to add, that AP Sion is a champ that's easy to play, moderate to be good at and hard to master.
If you like to play sth. that's spec'd on hit&run with less run and more hit, not missing some beefy tank-like experience AP Sion could be your new best friend.
Now open for adds, comments, notes, ideas.
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