Soraka Build Guide by ZaoZao
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[S3] Vision and heals, oh my!
Starting buy option 1
Starting buy option 2
Core items and the order of importance
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.
Hello all and welcome to my guide. The entire point of this guide is an attempt to make Heal/ Clarity viable. I'm not here to argue that Flash/ Exhaust, and if you like to them then go ahead! This guide is for people who want a different way of playing Soraka.
We carry them, so that one day they may carry us.
Greater Quintessence of Gold
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Seal of Gold
3 Mana regen
11 Health per level (198 at lvl 18)
10% extra CDR on our summoner spells
15% CDR on items you can activate
Admittedly the mana and health per level is small. But every little bit helps. You never know when you will survive with 5 HP.
Alright, so now we get to the good part of the guide, the items. The most efficient start for her is to buy two sight wards, one vision ward and two Health Potion and a Faerie Charm. This leaves you with 0 GP left and gives you everything you need to survive the first 10 minutes of the game. I'll go into detail as to why we buy each item.
Sight wards: We start with an explorer ward which I like to put in the tribush if I am purple side via dragon pit (its kinda tricky, try to click on the top point of the arrow sign to put it right in the tri bush without putting yourself in danger) or in the river by blue buff if I am on blue side. The pink ward will allow you to control the river. Try to keep vision on it so that you know where the enemy support puts his ward (Have your ADC come with you, or at least move a bit closer to you when you pink ward so that you can kill the enemy ward safely. With a pink ward in river, the enemy now has no vision of river and your jungler can do a very quick lvl 2-3 gank to get your bot lane snowballing! You now also have 2 sight wards left for an extra ward for river when the pink runs out and one for bush control. Or two for bush control or two for river warding, whatever the game dictates. But 9 minutes of wards should be plenty of time before your first back
Faerie Charm: We get this because it gives a nice head start to our philo stone/EM and it gives us more sustain in lane.
Health Potion: Pretty self explanatory.
With masteries our items have changed a tiny bit:
Locket of the Iron Solari has 51 sec CDR (instead of 60)
Mikael's Crucible has 153 (instead of 180)
Shurelya's Reverie has 51 sec CDR (instead of 60)
Why don't I get Runic Bulwark? Well normally the jungler should get aegis, but you can't really rely on anyone in solo q, so you might need to get it, but you already give everyone magic resist so you can skip the Runic Bulwark and you won't be missing out on much. Also, it has a huge new change in the PBE right now. It gives its stats to minions which will help push the lane and prevent you from ever being able to freeze the lane to prevent ganks. If this new change comes through then the jungler should always get aegis from now on. That is just my opinion though, and obv carry junglers will not be getting it and the meta right now (March 2013) features carry junglers heavily.
Locket of the Iron Solari: This item is just too good not to rush. CDR? Health? Armor? and a shield? You want all of these things, and it is super cheap too. Sit on the kindlegram for a bit if you can't buy it outright because you may need to get shurelys instead.
Boots of Mobility: More and more korean support have been getting this on supports, and for good reason, it allows you to position yourself much easier which is very important because you don't have flash. You can opt for ninja tabi or mercury treads if you so wish as well.
Ruby Sightstone: Free wards and health? Thank you!
Mikael's Crucible: And extra heal that is insane if they have low HP and a free cleanse, not to mention extra MR that you aren't getting from your runes and masters that will be more useful late/mid game anyways. Extra mana and mana regen. You want all of these stats. This items fill a lot of holes in this build. Try to use it once the target is below half health or close to death for maximum effect.
Shurelya's Reverie: Another really good item. Health, health regen and mana regen, CDR and an amazing active. Yes please. Great for engages, disengages and catching up and killing people.
Skill Sequence and skills
with 10% cdr your heal with be on a 18 sec cooldown
with 20% cdr your heal will be on a 16 sec cooldown
with 30% cdr your heal with be on a 14 sec cooldown
with 40% cdr your heal will be on a 12 sec cooldown
This spell is really good. Not only does it heal someone but it gives them a nice armor boost as well. Use it on whoever the enemies are focusing.
with 10% cdr your heal with be on a 9 sec cooldown
with 20% cdr your heal will be on a 8 sec cooldown
with 30% cdr your heal with be on a 7 sec cooldown
with 40% cdr your heal will be on a 6 sec cooldown
This is the reason you get Soraka. Free mana? Yes please. Interrupt that annoying ult? Yes please! Try not to silence the tank or someone else useless like that. Late game you will be able to use this a few times in team fights.
with 10% cdr your heal with be on a 117 sec cooldown
with 20% cdr your heal will be on a 104 sec cooldown
with 30% cdr your heal with be on a 91 sec cooldown
with 40% cdr your heal will be on a 78 sec cooldown
Global health. Keep an eye on your team mates and if they are getting low and you think you can heal them enough to let them survive then pop it! Also, very useful in team fights, wait until your team has taken a bit of damage and then pop it.
This is why CDR is so important. As support you will be hugging your ADC and healing/silencing as often as possible. Without any items you have three heals after level 6. An AOE summoner heal, global heal, and your single target heal that gives a lot of armor as well. With crucible you can take an almost dead person and heal them almost back to full life as well as silencing the person attacking them. Make sure your team knows how much healing you can do and that you tell your diver that you can keep him alive for a long time, so don't run away if his target is almost dead. It is very good bait! Communication is key!
Clairvoyance and Heal. The big pillar this build is built upon. Clair is on a 60 sec CD and once you get EM it goes down to 45 seconds with masteries it is down to 40.5 seconds! That means every 41 seconds you can see ANYWHERE on the entire map.
You can use it about 10 seconds after the game start so you guys can see what the enemies start with. You can also use it to help protect against invade or to invade yourself. You can use it to see where the enemy jungler is starting as well.
Try to use it as soon as it comes up to keep track of the enemy jungler. Keep your team informed. Do some research on common junglers and remember how fast they clear and where they start so that you know where to use this as well. Knowledge is power!
Pros / Cons
With no flash you have to be very careful about your position. You shouldn't be trying to harass in laning phase unless you are aware of enemy jungler position and have sight on both the enemy ADC and enemy support. The whole purpose of playing soraka is to be a walking blue buff and to rely on your ADC for harass. YOU are empowering THEM to do the damage. You are squishy (not as squishy as sona though) so you can go down pretty fast if caught out of position. If you do get caught out of position heal yourself and try to die as slowly as possible so that your team can unload on their damage dealers. Always keep a calm mind and keep a thought in your head on what you should be doing in team fights from the beginning of the game.
This style of play is not very forgiving. It is not for newer players. I highly suggest practicing it in normals to get a feel for it yourself.
Flash is on a 5 min CD. Ignite, exhaust, cleanse, teleport and ghost is 3:30. Most supports have 15 sec less flash CD mastery (4:45). If you see an enemy champ use one of these then type in chat the time when it will be back up.
Press tab when you have vision of the enemy and hover over his summoner spells and it will tell you the max cool down on them. Remember this or type it into chat so you can have it for later. When the enemy uses either of these summoner spells put the time it will be back up into chat and remind your jungler one minute before hand that the enemy's flash is down and that now would be a good time to gank. If you are really sneaky you can try to buy a pink ward as well so that the gank is guaranteed.
Wards are 3 minutes a pop. Time wards when you see the enemy place them. It isn't that hard and you are the one person (beside the jungler) who actually has the time to type things into chat.
Dragon is on a 6 minutes timer.
Baron is on a 7 minute timer.
Normally the jungler will time his buffs and baron and dragon. But if you see them go down then just type them into chat just in case he doesn't. Controlling dragon is very important. You need all the gold you can get!
Alright, so let's do some math on what I chose and why I chose it.
Everyone gets 2.1gp every second. With your runes and masteries you get 2.6 passive gold per second which equals out to 126 passive gold each minute. with a philo stone that come to 3.1GPS which equals 156 gold each minute. You won't be holding onto your philostone for long though, you will be rushing EM so that you can spam that clair and get that huge chunk knocked off of your summoner heal (As well as the health and mana regen). So all calculations will be assuming you have 2.6GPS. (no philostone)
From the beginning of the game you will not get any gold until the minions spawn at 1:30, after that you get 126 gold each minute. Now we want that EM as fast as possible, but we don't want to skimp on our duties as support, and we don't want to be skimping on our other items as well. So here is the math on how early you can go back to buy things:
Philostone: 700gp (-180 if you started faery charm)
Boots: 350 gp
Sightstone: 950 total (475 for heath stone part)
EM = 400 after philostone
8 min 18 sec til you can buy boots and philo (add 36 second for each sight ward) (870 GP total needed)
10 min 5 sec til you can buy boots and EM (add 36 second for each sight ward) (1270 GP total needed)
7 min 18 sec til you can buy EM (add 36 second for each sight ward) (920 GP total needed)
7 minutes 20 sec til you can buy sightstone (950 total needed)
15 min 53 sec until you can buy locket (2000 gp needed)
5 min 9 sec til you can buy boots of mobility (650 gold assuming you bought boots)
36 min 40 sec total until you can buy Sightstone, Boots of mobility, Locket, and Eleisa's Miracle (4470gp total)
These are your core items. See how long it takes to get these without a kill or an assist (you should always let your ADC take the kill). This is why keeping track of timers is so good! If you can set up a really nice gank for your jungler (and keep track of theirs with your low CD clairvoyance) you can get these much quicker. If you can kill a tower then you take a minute off of the time it take to buy something. So keep track of wards and dragons and summoner spells!
Also worth noting:
Turret is 150 global gold (one minute of time it would take to buy something)
Inhib is 50 global gold
Dragon worth 190 global gold (a little bit over one minute of time it would take to buy something)
So getting those dragons and pushing those turrets are very important. Take in mind, your enemy support is just as poor as you!
So some people might say that she doesn't work well with certain champs but that is untrue. She works well with any traditional ADC (with the exception of Kennan) as long as they use mana. Even then she is helpful to other mana users outside of the laning phase and can help with sieges.
Enemy support and what to look out for:
He will want to stay in the bush most of the laning phase and if you get close he will knock you up and knock you back so if you don't have vision of him then assume he is in a bush and play safely or get control of the bush back by putting a ward in it. Once he gets a few levels in his aoe heal he will be able to heal the poke your adc will put out. This doesn't mean don't poke! Keep poking when you can and try to get him to burn his mana down. But mostly just try to stay safe and let your ADC farm up. At level 6 he will be able to tower dive you guys quite easily and with jungler help it will be an almost guaranteed double kill. Be wary of your position at all times and try to keep vision on him. Don't be afraid to spam your clair to get vision of him if he is MIA.
Not a very common pick but seen rarely at lower ELO. He is very much an all in support and he has no sustain. Help your ADC poke him down safely and try to keep minions between you and him. Be wary of his ult at level 6. He isn't very good as a support because he doesn't get enough money to get the good items he needs, but try not to let the game somehow get to the 55 minute mark where everyone has 6 items.
Not a very common pick but seen rarely at lower ELO. She will max her frost arrow and her hawk shot is around the same CD as your clair so she does offer some utility to her ADC. She is a pokey support as well so try to keep vision on her and keep your distance. Once she has a few levels on her frost arrow she can keep you slowed for a long time and kite you for a long time as well. Be wary of this when you are by their tower and have a long way back to yours.
Not a very common pick as well and very much an all in lane as well. She has amazing burst but doesn't offer much utility to her ADC. She isn't that good at the support role being as she needs items to really succeed as an AP carry, and she doesn't have enough inventory to be both a support and an APC. Don't let the game get to the 55 minute mark though where everyone has 6 items because now the enemy team has two AP carries. Keep your distance throughout the game and let your ADC poke her down and laugh when she runs out of pots. Be careful of her lvl 6 burst and you should be fine.
This guy is scary, especially for a squishier support like Soraka. Keep your distance, keep good bush control or keep minions in between you and him. Your guys' goal is to poke them down while staying safe. Out sustain them!
Not a common pick as well but you might see her. She has a stun, a poke and she can sustain herself. Be very careful of her and treat her like blitz. Stay away or keep minions in between. Fortunately just like other carries that try to be support they need a lot more money than the support role can give them so as long as you guys don't die to them you will be more useful come mid and late game. As always though, don't let the game get to super late 55 minutes where everyone has their full build!
Not a common pick.His passive cancels out yours a bit. He also has a fear, a silence, a sulf sustaining draining heal that he can cast on minions and champs and a nasty nuking ult. He will try to poke you with his silence which will be hard to avoid because it bounces from minion to minion to champ. Like with most champs, try to keep your distance and try to get bush control from him. Also, just like other carries that try to be support they need a lot more money than the support role can give them so as long as you guys don't die to them you will be more useful come mid and late game. As always though, don't let the game get to super late 55 minutes where everyone has their full build!
Not a common pick. He can shield champs, boost their movement speed a bit like jayce, poke, and his ult is a taunt that turns into a nuke. Be very careful of him and treat him a bit like you would janna. Dodge the poke and try to poke back. He isn't very scary and you can out sustain him easily.
Not a common pick. He can poke you guys, heal himself and speed up allies attack speed and movement speed. He also has a global ult. Don't let him get close enough to poke you without punishing him. You will out sustain him easily, just try to poke the ADC more, or poke him right after he eats an orange.
The queen of disengages. Not a very common pick surprisingly. She can shield an ally which will also make him do more damage so watch out for that. She can also knock you up and poke you a bit. Her ult will push everyone away from her and heal her allies that stay close. When you are near her tower be careful that she doesn't flash over you and ult you into her tower. You should outstanding her like with most supports.
Not a common pick. He can poke you and has amazing burst when up close and personal. he can also speed up his entire team. Try to take bush control from and and dodge his skill shot. Its an AOE so keeping minions between you is not enough, you also have to be a bit further back as well. You will out sustain him easily and like most other carries that try to be support they need a lot more money than the support role can give them so as long as you guys don't die to them you will be more useful come mid and late game. As always though, don't let the game get to super late 55 minutes where everyone has their full build!
Not a common pick. The less health she has the more damage she can do, but she does have to get pretty close to do it. She has an AOE shield but other than that has nothing else to offer. Out sustain her and don't take unnecessary damage and you should be fine.
Not a common pick. She can heal and can poke you. Like most lanes though you out sustain her and if you take bush control away she can't do much.
Not a common pick. He will want to hide in the bush and throw ninja spears at you. He is a very pokey support and can escape very easily. he can stun you guys multiple times so be careful if he marks you a few times. He has no sustain so you should be able to out sustain him easily. Take bush control away or keep minions between you and you should be fine.
A very all in support with no sustain. Be careful when she hits lvl 6 as she can chain CC someone to death and her w really hurts. Her pull can go through minions and other champs so distance and constant vision on her is needed. Position is key to this lane, do not get caught out of position. You out sustain her easily so enable your ADC to poke her down if he out ranges her.
Another pokey support that can CC and shield and slow. Her ult give someone a nice chunk of health and knocks up enemies nearby so be wary of low health baits. Like with most supports you out sustain her.
CC and poke is the name of her game. She can burst you down at all times of the game so be careful. Get bush control and try to dodge her skill shots. She can shield herself and her ADC but you still out sustain her. She is very squishy.
He has a lot of CC and a very annoying poke. He is not a traditional support though and will only be seen in a kill lane. He offers nothing to the ADC except kill potential and fits much better in the jungle
Traditionally used against blitz but she is seen a bit more often lately. Be very careful as she can stun you.
She has high mana costs and high cooldowns. Try to bait her Q and get her to spend her mana. You are playing the long term gain against her so keep that in mind
Treat him like blitz. Keep your distance. He has a lot of sticking power.
Her poke is annoying and she can heal her ADC, she has no CC though and falls off unless she builds some AP. Keep bush control so the spears don't surprise you guys.
Not very good anymore since his blood boil nerfs. Still a bit of a menace though. Don't bother poking him unless you grabbed pickpocket. You will outsustain them.
A mans support! He is seen in kill lanes as well. Be mindful of when his aegis is up and watch out for his gap closer/stun. He can spam spears but they do low damage and have very low range. Laugh as you outsustain him and become more useful late game.
Just watch out for his taunt. Shen support is bad, he doesn't get enough money.
Another kill lane. Singed needs money so as long as you guys don't feed you will outscale him very hard.
Annoying poke and her sustain rivals yours. Keep your distance. She is very squishy though. Watch out for her ult lvl 6.
Mirror matchup only featured in blind pick.
Very annoying. You can outsustain him though so play for the long term game like you should be. Don't be in range of his stun, ever.
Annoying, but he needs money to be dangerous. Buy pink wards and laugh.
He can outplay you hardcore. Don't let him. Keep minions between you and keep your distance.
Very annoying, watchout for his all in. Keep your distance but try to harass as much as you can because he can't harass back.
He has kill potential lvl 2-4 but other than that he is just annoying. Your passive helps against him and you have sustain and he doesn't. You are sort of a soft counter to him.
Treat her like a blitz or thresh, keep minion in between you guys, keep your distance, and keep the bushes warded.
So why play like this?
The whole point of this build is to be able to heal like a madman in team fights and to control the map with clairvoyance. You should be able to control objectives, and help your self and team mates not to get ganks, as well as set up ganks. You do have to be more mindful of your position because you don't have flash but with proper warding and constant clair spamming you should be safe from ganks.
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
Good video to watch
He talks about how you can play soraka passive and never put yourself in danger. Doesn't go into detail and the video is very short but he does say that no flash IS viable!
Mar 24 2013: Added some matchups and cleaned some things up a bit. Changed a bit here and there.
Apr 20 2013: Fixed some typos, changes up the items a little bit