Soraka Build Guide by Trekiros
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.
Introduction to this role
If you read this Soraka guide, it means you most probably already looked into another mobafire Soraka guide. If you didn't, here is what you missed :
Soraka was a healing machine in a time not so far away, but she got patched hard. Soraka is now able to carry. She's a bad carry, but she's an even worse healer : her Astral Blessing's CD has been doubled, and her AP scaling on the ultimate has been halved.
Most mobafire guides changed to carry Soraka except 'Competitive Soraka', which I advise you to read even if it's a polar opposite of what you will learn here. I'm not convinced carrying is the optimal way of playing her, so I will, in this guide, fully explain the way I chose to play Soraka. That is, as an Aggressive Utility Support, which I'll refer to as "AUS" from now on.
This guide is more of a strategy guide than a build guide. It will divide into three parts : playing as Soraka, building Soraka, and playing with an AUS Soraka in your team.
If you intend to play AUS Soraka with your friends, I strongly recommend linking them the third part of this guide, because teamwork is a lot better when prepared. You can find that third part in the summary : it's the 15th chapter.
Why an AUS ?
I'm not going to lie, Soraka is probably the best mid in the game in terms of farming, harrassing, killing, and staying power.
However, she doesn't benefit from midding as much as most other nukers. If Soraka mids, she WILL dominate her lane if you play her right, but later on, she will only be half as strong as the Brand you could have put here instead.
The only thing going for mid-soraka is that she is strong enough to impede the opponent mid from getting fed, and by a large margin. Both team's true carrying power will be the top lane champs because of this : the AP mid will not be as strong as he could, and Soraka is not that strong as a carry.
This strategy isn't really reliable, because it's not really an 'advantage' for your team : the end game will look different, but not necessarily better if your top lane gets crushed.
So I decided not to mid with Soraka. Top would have been an idea, maybe a more viable one because the jungler is more bound to help the mid lane than the top, thus your team will most probably have the advantage late game.
But I decided to not carry at all instead. I decided to stick to the bot lane, and find another way to support my team.
After all, a non farming champion is still needed no matter how ***** Soraka has become after this patch. The benefits from it are far greater than those of a Rabaddon's Deathcap on Soraka.
What is an AUS ?
When I started thinking about how I should play Soraka, I decided to take exemple from mostly Morgana and Nidalee, and a little Blitzcrank.
Though their playstyle is really different, their goal is more or less the same : make their team able to win, or at the very least survive every team fight.
Their burst is not as powerful as the one AP nukers may have, but they still pack a great punch.
They don't need as much gold as Caitlyn/ Tryndamere/ Brand etc, but they still need gold. It wouldn't cross anybody's mind to blame a Morgana for midding, or a Nidalee for ganking and not intendedly letting the kill to anyone that's nearby.
For Soraka, things are a little different, because she's a lot better at it, and needs a lot less gold and AP to be efficient. That's what makes her an awesome AUS : she needs to get fed, but farming 2 creeps per wave and having like 5 kills at the end of the game is enough for her to be optimal. It allows her to be a bursting support that still takes the bot lane, unlike those carry-supports like Lux and Vladimir that are midway between the two roles and kind of forced to mid if they want to be useful to their team.
To sum it up, I play Soraka as a full support champion that has enough punch to help anyone in the team to do their job, and not only the carry : she has enough burst damage to follow a jungler in a gank, enough sustaining to help the tank, and enough utility to make the carry fed.
Soraka as she is now is clearly apt at supporting, let's take a look at her abilities so we can understand why.
Soraka's Passive is Consecration. The range on that +16 mres halo is quite huge to be honest, so you don't have to worry about it that much. It's good for diminishing the opponent support's impact on the laning phase, and has a little utility later in teamfights but overall, it's not a really noticeable passive.
Soraka's Q is Starcall. Its debuff is what makes this skill so powerful late game, but when laning this is Soraka's most spammable skill. It's a great and safe harrass that stacks easily : the stack timer is around 10 seconds. Just be careful not to push when it's not needed, and avoid stealing minions to your lanemate. The CD on this skill has been almost halved and the damage has been greatly buffed as well as the AP ratio : don't hesitate to rely a lot on it.
Soraka's W is Astral Blessing. It used to be Soraka's best skill, now it's trash until you're level 18. It doesn't even heal 100HP until it's level 2 so you have to actually force yourself to put skillpoints into this to have a smoother early game.
Late game, the heal is just decent : about 400-450. What makes this skill good is that is gives a free 125 armor boost to an ally. Just target the most focused ally and you'll get the most out of this skill.
Soraka's E is Infuse. It is, in my opinion, Soraka's best skill. It can be used both as a low CD and no cost silencing poke, but most importantly, as a mana refill for your lanemate. When you think Soraka, your head should be traducing 'free clarity every 4 seconds'.
Depending on your lane partner, this could be the skill that will make you win the game, or just a nice help. Choose your partner wisely.
Soraka's ultimate, Wish, used to be the best support's ultimate in the game, healing up to 1k HP to all your team. Its power has been halved, but it can still make the difference between winning and losing a teamfight. What makes it so rewarding for Soraka is that she will get ALL the assists of a teamfight so the better you use it, the more gold it brings. It can also save an ally from an unlucky gank and needs to be saved for this. There are occasions where you could make someone survive AND win a gank, or make someone go from failing a gank to winning it : make these situations happen, for these are the ones that benefit from your ult the most. Soraka's ultimate is also the best counter to Karthus's Requiem. You see a Karthus in the opponent team ? Pick Soraka and win the game.
Laning as Soraka
As Soraka, you role in lane is to :
- Feed your lanemate
- Get fed
- Get the opponents underfed
She's so good at it that you will most probably get ganked at least once in the first 15 minutes of the game.
Your role as Soraka is also to make those ganks fail, so do whatever is needed : buy wards, spam CV, facecheck (automatic disclaimer : according to the summoner's law, this could 'result in a loss of face'), keep an eye on the map and the chat. And try to have your own jungler gank too, because winning the bot lane is crucial (easier access to the dragon, two people from your team getting fed instead of one, two people from the opponent team feeding isntead of one)
You can really adapt to your opponent with Soraka : I advise to max E first, but if the enemy lane is good at pushing, adding a few levels to Starcall is a good move : you will depush minion waves very easily, and harass even more efficiently.
Soraka has got a few weaknesses though, and you need to be aware of them to play her right :
Due to how long the CD on her W is, Soraka cannot stand harrassment anymore. If you ever get harrassed, be it you or your teammate, play really carefully. Soraka can save an ally from a gank, but not from dozens of little pokes. As Soraka, you are your mates' mana bar with legs, but they need to manage their health bars by themselves.
Soraka can make an ally flee a gank, but she needs help when she's the one focused. If your lane partner flees faster than you, you'll take all the hits and start feeding. In that case, nothing is lost. Attempt a gank or provoke a team fight. You should end up with maybe 3 or 4 assists easily, which will rebalance things out.
Soraka is EXTREMELY team dependant. I do not advise to play her in solo queue because in truth you rely on your allies even more than they rely on you. You NEED to get fed through assists, towers, dragons and minions : if your team never pushes, never ganks, never jungles and doesn't let you farm, you will be a weight to them.
Mid and late game
When teamfights are starting to take shape and pushes are attempted, it is time for Soraka to get into the shadows and let the carries shine. By now, you should be powerful and solid enough to engage a teamfight properly, because that is the support and the tank's role.
Your silence is a decent engage : the silenced enemy will not be able to flee, so his allies will be forced to stay here to protect him, and your team will start the teamfight with a numerical advantage. Make sure you have prepared the teamfight well enough : your ult and Z shouldn't be on CD, your opponents should have Astral Blessing's debuff at at least 1 stack, and your team should have used long range pokes already.
NEVER walk alone. Even if you won't get much recognition when you're a support, keep in mind that you are a pillar of your team, and your team will lose any teamfight you are not fighting in, just like how when the tank is dead, everybody spreads.
Your team's goal isn't necessarily to put an end to the game here. Stick to efficient strategies by all means, because what you should be aiming for is feeding your team so they can build at least one more item.
Another goal in this phase is to avoid losing the jungle. If your opponent controls your jungle, you will never be able to push. That means you will never be able to win. Wards, CV and stuff of the like are great ways to make your team able to move away from lane fighting.
After this short period comes most player's favorite part, the end game. Every character is at lvl 18, and everybody's build is almost over. Winning or losing a teamfight could result in the end of the game at any time and for both team.
Your role as Soraka isn't really to have an enormeous amount of kills, it's to make the word 'victory' show up for your team at the end of the day.
There are two ways of doing this : 'winning teamfights', and 'not losing teamfights'. This is not really the same thing : as Soraka, you are able to reset a teamfight if it looks lost, and the longer it lasts, the more valuable your help will be.
Managing your team
There is a huge disadvantage to playing such a unique role in a team : your teammates will not know as much as you what you what your character can and cannot do, needs and needn't.
Being able to explain them how to use your help to the max of its potential is a skill that needs to be worked on just like what engaging a teamfight is a skill tanks must have.
These are the most important things you should do :
-Prior to the game, say hi, and chat a bit with your teammates. They will NOT listen to you if you are shouting at them, even if you are right. They will not listen to your points if you don't at least acknowledge their. It is possible to hear and to read a smile. Your attitude is a key factor in this game because this game is a team game. A football team that doesn't have a leader is no better than a team of 12 sumo wrestlers. Be the leader in the chat, and let the carries lead in the battlefield.
-For the laning phase, refuse to lane with someone that doesn't have a mana bar. As long as it's possible, lane with a melee character, because for their 3 or 4 firsts levels, they cant farm a whole creep wave, so you won't have to steal them creeps later on. Again, if possible, lane with someone that's good at harassing, if possible with magical damage (GP, Jax, Kassadin, ...). Soraka cannot push, so an AD is still a good partner. Gangplank, Xin Zhao and Jax are probably the best soraka colaners.
-Tell them that you now need gold and an actual build. Your build is cheap, but your income is low. You shouldn't be the only one buying wards like it looked like prior to the patch. If you're really low on gold even with gold producing items, a blue elixir can help win a few teamfights easily but this is the last resort strategy.
-Tell your lane partner to spam anything he has unless it really puts him into danger (exemple : Ezrael's Arcane Shift is not necessarily a good move to spam because it's also an escape move).
-Before you build your Rod of Ages, you are both fragile and not that powerful compared to your partner. He should prevent you from getting hit, and you should prevent him from getting killed. Kassadin is a bad laner with Soraka from lvl 6 and on because of this... He flees faster than you (prior to lvl 6 ans after lvl 12-13, it's worth it to have Kassadin and Soraka but there's a short period where you'll have to babysit somebody else).
-You NEED to win the laning phase as Soraka. If you win it, you will be able to feed an underfed partner that lost his lane. The opposite is untrue : if you start feeding, you will be a huge weight to your team and your team doesn't have the power to change it. Set good gank opportunities up with CV, wards, and harassment for your jungler. Ask him for help even if it doesn't look needed.
Controlling the map
It has always been the support's role to control the map, but you just can't afford it all by yourself if you intend on being optimal. You can ask your team to buy wards, but you also need to do your job.
This is why Clairvoyance is a needed spell as Soraka. It gives 9 seconds of scouting every 45 seconds. Mathematically, it means that you can make one action out of five from the opponent team fail just with this spell.
Learning how to CV is a key. I'm not suuuuper pro with it, you need to make up your own tricks with it, but here are the most classical ones :
-By CVing the opponent base at the beginning of the game, you can give your team info on the lane distribution if it's unclear, and most importantly you can get info about their first item, info to which your team can adapt.
-By CVing either next to your jungle's weak points, or to the opposite jungle's most probable creep spots, you can set up a counterjungle, or saving your team against a counterjungle. That's 500-600 gold for your team, or 500-600 gold the enemy team will not earn, at lvl 1-6 that's an enormous advantage.
-You can check bushes all around the map. Keep an eye on the map to see if an ally is in a position to get ganked (in exemple, if he overextended and the jungler went into the fog of war.
-You can check on the dragon, the baron, the blue and red buff.
-When ganking, you can CV behind the obstacle your opponent jumped over to check if noone is coming to help, and make your team's skillshots able to get the kill.
-You can save an ally from kiting.
Now, the least things you have to check on with CV, the more efficient it gets : what I mean is that the more wards your team buys, the better. You can easily buy three per person in a 40 minutes match. That's more than enough to avoid a couple ganks and have dragon and baron permawarded.
Other tricks and strategies
There are thoughts that just don't pop in your head when you're in the middle of the match. Bad decision making as Soraka is more dangerous than an overfed tryndamere. Here are some exemples of those strategies that tend to be forgotten.
-Being low on gold, you can't afford both wards AND oracles. Who should buy the oracle ? Your tank, of course : what is usually the danger with the oracle is the focus it brings. Getting focused is your tank's job. Your role is to make him able to do his job : keep him alive, because him dying means a free nashor to the opponent team, and 1 minute of hopeless teamfights. Tanks are also good roamers so it's another good synergy.
-You cannot be everywhere on the map. There are death you won't be able to prevent when your ult is on CD, towers you won't be able to defend. Sometimes your ult is not enough to change the outcome of an unlucky jungle encounter, you are just delaying the inevitable. But it's not like you have to come top and help if top gets ganked. If the jungler is up there, it means that you can push safely. Be fast and you'll take down a turret, which is worth 750 gold for your team.
-There is a time where it's 'too late' to stop the opposite jungler, and it comes really fast. Make sure you do something about it because a fed jungler will get kills, and your job is to keep your team alive. The problem about junglers are ganks and dragons : both help their team a lot more than you can afford. By being defensive and buying wards, you are just passively compensating. Steal jungle creeps, kite him, etc... This is your own jungler's role but then again, you're here to help everybody to do their jobs, including the jungler.
-Don't hesitate to switch lane if you feel like you can push mid or top. As Soraka you'll stick to your bot lane 90% of the games so it may not even cross your mind that you can do it in the early game phase : it's still an option. Weight the pros and the cons and make a decision.
Conclusion on the AUS strategy
What Soraka brings to her team is simple :
-Sustainability, through mana over health.
-Decent map control even if your team is getting rolled on.
-Gold because she doesn't to farm that much.
-A lot of punch in teamfights
She has disadventages though :
-Soraka doesn't just steal gold to her team, she also steals exp : hybrids are okay with her but casters rely too much on their levels to profit from laning with Soraka.
-She needs solid teammates, that don't get depoped because her heals are a last resort solution that are not reliable at all. The ability to regain health outside of heals is a real plus when laning with a Soraka.
-She needs pushers because she cannot do it by herself.
-If she fails at getting fed, there will be a quite unpleasant period when she will not have her Rod of Ages when it's needed.
-Soraka cannot do anything about successful harassment.
Pre-game : runes and masteries
From now on I'll get into the building guide itself.
My goal with the runepage I built is to focus on Soraka's early game. It is strong, but it has flaws : Soraka is really squishy from lvl 1 to 6.
It can get better by doing two things : making Soraka more solid, and making her capable of harassing enough to impede her opponents from getting powerful enough to kill her.
The only exception I make to this are the CDR glyphs I use. More spells as Soraka means more spells for your partner thanks to Infuse. Later on, they will boost your DPS by a good 6%. These runes are so good for Soraka that is would be a bad move to take anything else in my opinion.
The other runes are clearly only meant for Soraka's early game. Mpen marks, flat AP quints, and flat armor seals. Flat HP quints would be good too, but I prefer having more hitting power in case my help is needed in an early jungle fight.
For masteries, I run a 9/0/21 tree. AP, CDR and mpen are three stats Soraka benefits a lot from so I prefer the offensive tree over the defensive one, even if it makes my laning a bit squishier.
For the utility tree, Soraka is kind of a weirdo here. Either take mana regen or bonus mana, but not both because you won't need it late game. Choose gold, experience, movement speed, the upgrade to both of your summoner spells, and CDR.
Adapting to your team : lane, summoner spells and skill sequence
Though rare, it is possible for you to be pushed out of your bot lane by someone like a Blitzcrank with CV. There is nothing to blame here : Blitz can bot efficiently, and you can top more than efficiently. It's not because he's also an AUS that you have to switch characters. Just make the necessary adjustments to your character according to what the team needs : 2 Clairvoyances aren't needed in exemple.
Feel free to build Soraka the way you want, I will just tell you why I build her that way :
For summoner spells, 95% of my matches I go with Flash and Clairvoyance. Flash is the best summoner spell in the game by far, it can save your team 400-500 gold on each use. As Soraka I am not really meant to engage, so I mostly use it as my only escape move.
I've already told you why I choose CV. I am addicted to this spell, I feel like each game this spell can make a 2-3k gold difference between my team and the opponents.
Some people may ask why I do not choose Clarity to compensate for Infuse and be able to level up Starcall faster, which scales greatly with levels. This is a viable way of playing Soraka I guess, but this is not mine. Leveling up starcall is less important than having a 9 seconds sight of a tenth of the map every minute to me.
For skills, I change the sequence depending on each game, it's really anything but stuck in stone. You need to push ? Level Starcall. You have been ganked ? Level Astral Blessing. Your lanemate is a spammer ? Level Infuse.
I couldn't make a sequence like you can see in some guides in a "Q>W>E>R" format as Soraka, because each skill is necessary. Q gets really good at level 3, W is useless unless it's level 2 or more, and E keeps getting better and better as time passes.
So I guess if you really need a chart, I'll give you that one : "R>whatever is needed>whatever is not needed>astral blessing lvl 3."
If you put the right mindset into your partner's head, you should be leveling Infuse first, most of the time, because it's the kind of spell that can make you win a lane.
Making the right choices : what to buy as Soraka.
As your first item, you basically have three choices.
- Doran's Ring
- Boots of Speed + potions
- Amplifying Tome + potions
Doran's ring is the best solution in 70% of the lanes, but be logical : if you intend on CVing the opponent's base to see who takes which lane, don't CV after the purchase.
Here are exemples of the kind of champions that will make you buy something other than a ring :
- Lux, Blitzcrank, Cassiopeia : they have got a lot of skillshots, so you have to buy boots if you don't want to be hurt too much. Nidalees' Javelin Toss / Takedown only gets dangerous at level 4-5 so don't worry too much about her.
- Ryze : ryzes start with a Sapphire Crystal : he's only got 400-450HP at level 1. Tell your colaner to buy something tanky enough to take a few hits, buy an Amplifying Tome, and aim for the first blood. This setup will make you back early though, so make sure you don't fail it. If you succeed, your build will be greatly faster : you'll get kage's lucky pick and boots on your first back, maybe even a Catalyst the protector
For your first few backs, you first have to build survivability : when building Soraka's main item, Rod of Ages, first rush the catalyst, your boots, and only afterwards get Blasting Wand. You won't need AP until level 9-10 anyway.
If you manage to get fed enough, you should be obtaining your Rod of Ages at the 20 mn mark, 25 at most. This is where healing soraka and AUS soraka really start to differ : RoA on Soraka is such a powerful item that this only item can get you overfed. It's not rare to go from 2/2/2 in a difficult game to 5/2/25 when you build this item. Full assist non farming Sorakas will get this item at 35-40 minutes, so the benefits of it are greatly diminished.
Soraka's core build consists in boots and roa only. All other items are extremely situational, they depend both on your team compo and on the game situation. Here are the ones that you'll find yourself buying most often, in no particular order :
- Deathfire Grasp : it is built from a Kage's Lucky Pick, which is an easy way to counterbalance your low income to be more effective later on. DFG doesn't have such a good active with Soraka because you won't go past 300 AP that often, so most of the time you'll keep kage for 90% of the game and build the DFG to put an end to the game if the rest of your build wasn't enough after 50 minutes of battle.
- Will of the Ancients : if your AP carry gets a little HP, buying this item will make him more solid, and by making him more solid you will make all your team more solid because you won't have to waste a heal on him.
- Morello's Evil Tome : CDR is Soraka's second main stat right behind AP. Build this if you feel like you are overfed and one of your allies is underfed, because you'll bring him to your level faster.
- Abyssal Scepter : this is the second AP aura you can build. It's better than WotA if the opponent team has a lot of AP because most AP characters have a lot of innate mres because of their build.
Really situational :
- Haunting Guise : this is my 'this game won't last long, but I still need a boost' item. The added survivability and DPS is noticeable and can make you win games because of how cheap it is.
- Malady : if the opponent team is extremely tanky, Soraka can act as a mres shredder with her A. Malady can be a cheaper version of your abyssal scepter, that doesn't give you as much AP but gives you the ability to push instead. This is a viable option and there will be cases where it's going to be better than the abyssal.
For boots, you have two solutions : try to increase your effectiveness, with Sorcerer's Shoes or Ionian Boots of Lucidity, or increase your survivability with Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi.
Sorc will make your DPS higher, but your utility will not be as good as it would be with ionian boots. I would advise to build ionian, but I've got to admit, I'm kind of addicted to the merc threads.
In most cases, mercs are also better than tabies, but don't forget to adapt. Building offensive boots and compensating with a Moonflair's Spellblade is a really nice option as Soraka, the only reason why I don't like it is that it's not fast enough for me, I like to be solid before getting powerful and this item would do it the other way around.
If you keep on dying, don't forget that you have defensive options too : Abyssal Scepter vs AP, Frozen Heart and Thornmail vs AD, Quicksilver Sash vs CC, Zhonya's Hourglass vs focus. Though abyssal is the easiest to put into your build, it's not necessarily the best option you have.
Of course, telling your team to protect you before you actually build these defensive items is a must. They are not as good defenders as you, but maybe they can help a bit. By buying a defensive item, you delay your main build and thus the victory a whole lot because of how low your income is.
Stats you should aim for
Playing a support is all about balance. To be optimal, you have to let your team get kills, but at the very same time, you need to get fed to because if you don't keep up, your help will not be as great as it could be.
Prior to the patch, Soraka only needed assists because she only needed to heal people. It's not the case anymore : here are what an optimal Soraka game should look like :
-If you win it easily
If you win, your kdr should look like 5/5/25 in a 35 minutes match, your carry's kdr should look like 20/3/10. You should have farmed a good amount, about a good 150 minions. You would have participated in most pushes so you took down about 2 turrets. You healed about 30k HP and dealt about 125k damages. You made your team able to take three dragons and a Nashor with your CV and the 4-5 wards that you bought. You had a little over 12k gold by the end of the game so your stuff was complete for the final push.
-If the game is tight
Your kdr should be around 5/5/15 in an average game, no matter the outcome. You succeeded in feeding your carry, whose kdr was around 15/5/5. For a 35 minute game, you could farm only 100 minions, but your carry's creep score is just as good as it would have been in the first case. You didn't take down that much turrets because your help was needed elsewhere. You healed about 20k HP and dealt about 100k damages. Your team only took a single dragon and you could prevent the opponent team from taking a nashor once. You bought about 5-6 wards because you didn't want to lose your jungle to the opponent team. Your income didn't go past 10k so you had only 4 items out of 5 by the end of the game.
-If you lose it by a margin
Your kdr should look like 5/10/15 because you try to keep your team alive even if it means sacrificing in some cases like a 2v4 in the jungle. For a 35 minutes game, you only farmed 80 creeps, didn't push a single tower because you sticked with your teammates to protect them whenever they attempted a push or a backdoor. You healed 20k HP but only dealt about 75k damages. You didn't have enough money to finish your build because of all the wards you had to buy, and your income reached difficultly 9k with a kage's lucky pick. Your team didn't take any dragon/baron but you prevented the opponent team from taking them until the very last pushes that made your team lose. Because of how low your income was, you couldn't protect the carry well enough : you ensured him kills but his kdr looked like 15/10/5 because of how easy it was to get through your defense.
Here, your team kind of failed, but as the pillar that is supposed to impose cohesion between your teammates, you should consider that loss as your loss, unless you had a feeder/leaver of course. Question yourself to see what you did wrong :
-Were you the only one buying wards ? Didn't anybody have enough gold to take some and get me fed ?
-Was one of your teammates on the borderline of feeding ? Couldn't you help him so he got fed and re-balance the game status ?
-Did you set up ganks and push opportunities for your team by putting wards and clearing minion waves whenever you were at a numerical advantage ?
-Were you unclear about your role ? Did your lane partner stay back not spamming because he was too afraid of the opponents ?
-Did the opponent team dominate your team's jungle ? Could you have changed it by helping your team's jungler early/mid game ?
Of course, there is no point in asking yourself this if you lost all three lanes horribly. Because of how the matchmaking works atm, matches like that happen and just aren't an interesting way of training even for supports. There is no shame in typing /surrender, but remember that if you are unsure about the outcome of the match, typing it will show that some lost the will to fight in your team, and this will bring tension and lost of confidence, which is your role to avoid.
Knowing your allies : how to play with an AUS Soraka in your bot lane
I wrote a whole paragraph about how to deal with your teammates as Soraka up there. This one is more aimed for non-Soraka players that want to get the most out of their support.
Because of how Soraka works, you actually have to adapt your playstyle to hers just as much as she has got to adapt to yours. Here is what you should be aware of if a premade friend of yours is a bottom laner Soraka.
-Soraka needs gold : if by the end of the game you have 15k gold, make sure she has at least 10k gold because else she will be underfed and thus more fragile and less helpful as a support. To make sure you are helpful to her, try to put a melee fighter with mana bot with her : she will farm the first few creeps that her lanemate will miss and that is going to be a great help in the future.
-If someone can buy a ward or two, then make him do it. If you're a carry and want to look at it from a Soraka's point of view, it's like wards costed 125 gold instead of 75. It's cheap for carries but for Soraka, it's a real investment that will greatly delay her build. Same goes for the oracles : if your team's tank can buy it, make him buy it : it will bring him some focus, which is what he wants and what you want him to have as a carry.
-Soraka's heals suck. In lane, her strength lies in her E, infuse : this skill is like a free clarity every 4 seconds. To get the most out of it, SPAM ! It allows you to spam so if you refuse to be a bit ballsy, you are basically refusing Soraka's help. Soraka's heals have a 20 second CD so if you get harassed, she will be of no help. She can only save your life once every twenty seconds so if you risk it more often, you will make your team lose a lane.
-Soraka needs to get fed, her lane has got to be won even if you lose top, she's more important : she can feed an underfed ally because of how she works, but an overfed ally will have a hard time feeding an underfed Soraka. Set up ganks, pushes and dragons, if needed, this is not only the jungler's job.
-Soraka's roles are to make sure everyone is fed and doing their job, by making them more solid with her heals, better spammers with her mana refilling skill, less bound to die with a lot of map control, and bringing a good amount of DPS to your team with her starcall and silence. She can engage with this silence, but this is most likely your tank's job : if she can keep her 2.5 seconds silence for the AP caster or to break a channeling skill, it's better for your team.
The best characters to lane with Soraka are, in no particular order :
Xin Zhao, Talon, Gangplank, Jax, Kassadin, Gragas, Master Yi, Nasus, Poppy
These are also very good lanes but they benefit the carry a lot more than Soraka herself so it could hurt the other lanes later on :
Cassiopeia, Ashe, Xerath, Miss Fortune, Caitlyn, Sivir
These advices are only basics. Most people still consider Soraka as a healing machine but now that you know why she is bad at this role, you will get the most out of her. The rest will come with experience, laning a few times with a Soraka is really what will make you good at it.
I hope you enjoyed this guide as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I'm not a perfect player, I've yet to apply some of the advices in this guide myself. Make sure you not only 'like or dislike', we can also discuss on this guide to make it better.
Have a good time and see you around, I'm also a Nidalee and Dominion Poppy player but I'm not as thoughtful with those characters so don't expect to see another guide from me for a couple months.
Special thanks :
Volmort, irl friend and French emissary of the league, who showed me the way by carrying our team as AP Soraka \../,
October 10th, 2011 : started to write
October 16th, 2011 : Published the guide