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Sona Build Guide by Emikadon

This build has been archived and is for historical display only.

PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Emikadon

-DJ Sona Remix-

Emikadon Last updated on August 31, 2016
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
4
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

Fury
 
 
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
Bounty Hunter
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 0

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Bandit
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 18

5/
Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Explorer
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
Runic Armor
 
 
5/
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 12



Threats to Sona with this build

Threat
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Threat Champion Notes
2
Janna Continuously pressure with Q + Power Chord to poke both her and her carry down. Your Q has a much lower cooldown than her shield, and she doesn't have the luxury of continuously spamming it either, lest she go oom and/or not have it up at the crucial times. Her Howling Gale has a slow travel time, so it should be relatively easy to dodge. However, be careful of the width of the ability: it's surprisingly wide and long ranged, which can catch you off guard if you don't pay attention. In all-ins, try and hit both her and her ADC with your ult. If you leave her unchecked, she can peel you and your ADC off with ease.





WELCOME
Hello and welcome, reader! You are about to embark on a long journey to learning how to play Sona. You can expect this guide to cover every little detail in regards to playing this champion successfully, and why these choices work to your advantage.

This guide is set up in a way so that it will shift from game knowledge (what items to get, what runes and masteries benefit you the most, decision making in all phases of the game) to actual gameplay (ability and item usage, effective roaming, vision control). It will also chronologically move from the start of the game into itemization and goals during late game.

Finally, throughout the guide, I will mention 3 builds in particular, all of which are displayed in the cheat sheet: Standard Remix, Aggressive Mixtape, and Passive Playlist. For the most part, I will focus on the Standard Remix, but there are alternatives that fit into the other two.

WHO IS SONA?
Sona is a champion that plays the role of the support. She can dish out a good amount of poke damage while still keeping her team safe with spammable heals and a hard CC ultimate. Her job is to keep her AD Carry alive in the early game, and then set up kills for her team and keep the squishies of the team safe during teamfights. Overall, Sona can work well with pretty much any ADC, as her skill set is very flexible and can bend to suit her carry's needs.

Pros
+ High Poke
+ Good Sustain
+ Built in Buffs
+ AOE Hard CC
+ Easy to Use
Strengths
Sona's kit has a little bit of everything: poke, sustain, and hard CC. With each of her abilities, she gains a small aura that provides a multitude of buffs for her team: bonus damage, shields, and extra movement speed. In addition to her spammable abilities, her ultimate is an AOE stun that has many uses throughout the game. Finally, she is very easy to use, but can still be very hard to deal with when she is played correctly.


Weaknesses
Sona is very fragile without items. In addition, she is mana hungry if her abilities are used too often without care. She is relatively short ranged (Q is 850) when compared to other supports (Lulu Q 925/Morgana Q 1175). Her only built in form of mobility is a small movement speed buff, but it doesn't do very much if she is jumped on. Finally, she lacks wave clear, which can be detrimental against sieges or slow pushing lanes.
Cons
- Squishy
- Mana Hungry
- Short Ranged
- No Mobility
- No Wave Clear

ABOUT ME
I'm Emikadon, a Plat V ranked player on the NA Server. I main Support and ADC, and I currently have over a 70% win rate as Sona in ranked Solo Queue. In addition, if you liked this guide, you should check out my others as well! You can find them here.

As always, this guide will be extremely long. If it was helpful in any way, please upvote my guide to let me know I've done a good job! If you disagree with anything I have to say or have any questions regarding the build, leave a comment and I will respond as soon as I am able to :)



RUNES
STANDARD REMIX
greater mark of hybrid penetration 9 HYBRID MARKS
9 HEALTH SEALS
9 MR GLYPHS
3 ARMOR QUINTS
This is your standard rune page. Hybrid marks can hit like a truck early game, especially if you have Q + Power Chord. Health seals give you a good defensive cushion in lane, and they work extremely well with resistances from your glyphs and quintessences. Magic Resist glyphs are always useful, since all supports (even the tanks) deal a good amount of magic damage. Finally, armor quints are the best defense against the physical damage dealing ADC.

AGGRESSIVE MIXTAPE
9 MPEN MARKS
5 HEALTH SEALS
4 ARMOR SEALS
9 MR GLYPHS
3 AP QUINTS
Alternatively, if you wish to go with a more offensive set up, you can swap out your quints for AP quints, and compensate the loss of armor by taking a mixture of seals. The additional ability power will help both your damage out put and your defensive power through healing and shielding. Even though you're squishier overall, this set up works especially well when you have a poke-heavy ADC, such as Caitlyn, and the two of you can bully the enemy duo.

PASSIVE PLAYLIST
9 ARMOR MARKS
5 HEALTH SEALS
4 M REGEN SEALS
6 CDR GLYPHS
3 MR GLYPHS
3 ARMOR QUINTS
This set up focuses more on defense and surviving through laning phase. You have plenty of armor to mitigate damage from the enemy ADC, in addition to some Magic Resist to help counter some damage from the support. The Health makes your resistances a little bit more effective as well. In contrast to the last page, this page works really well against poke lanes, since you'll have the defense to reduce incoming harass, and you'll be able to sustain with more frequent heals. Big thanks to UndeadC4T for the corrections (in Aggressive Mixtape as well)!

OTHER OPTIONS
There are plenty of other options that can be taken. For the most part, they're iterations of the basics. For example, if you'd rather have the pure damage on your abilities instead of your auto attacks, you can take Magic Pen marks over Hybrid. ("An example might be when you face Lulu, Janna, or maybe Morgana, and you want to blow up shields or increase poke rate against healers. You'll want to deal more damage so you actually blow the shield and you won't get use of hybrid runes in this short moment of time so Magic Pen is better." -UndeadC4T) Likewise, you can take Scaling Health/Scaling Armor/Scaling Magic Resist if you'd prefer the late game defense over the early game advantage. Mix and match according to who you are playing against and tailor your choices to fit your own playstyle.


MASTERIES




> Wanderer lets you roam and put down wards without leaving your team for too long, Secret Stash increases the efficiency of your potions, and Meditation helps with Sona's mana problems.

> Bandit synergizes well with Frostfang, and together they generate a lot of gold by poking/harassing, which Sona can do easily. Intelligence allows you to get more CDR, which will help with ability spamming.

> Thunderlord's Decree is, hands-down, the strongest Keystone in the game right now. While it isn't the most effective on Sona, the burst after auto-attacking/Q-ing/ulting is huge. Not having it would leave you at a sizable disadvantage.
> Recovery is more of a filler mastery than anything else, but it can help you sustain a little bit in lane. Explorer allows you to quickly roam up and down river to place down wards.

> Veteran Scars is simply a health cushion. As you scale into late game, you might start buying defensive/utility items like Locket or Randuins, and this mastery will help maximize the benefits from those items.

> Insight is very useful since it lowers the cooldowns on your summoner spells. This means you can go for more Flash + Crescendo plays, as well as having Ignore or Exhaust back up more often.


ALTERNATIVES



12/18/0 allows for more early game presence with more AP and damage.


0/18/12 is the same as standard, except with a different Keystone.


SUMMONER SPELLS
FLASH
Required Summoner Spell
IGNITE
Suggested Summoner Spell
EXHAUST
Optional Summoner Spell
Flash is always required. Sona is limited by the fact that she has no gap-closer, but Flash provides such play-making opportunities. You can Flash + Crescendo for clean teamfights; you can flash over walls for epic escapes; you can even flash to get in range for life-saving heals/shields/mikael's. Ignite increases your kill potential by a lot. While it doesn't provide any defense for your ADC, the damage can play a big part in early fights. The damage over time deals true damage, and can finish off the last few bars of HP when the enemy is fleeing. Best choice for more experienced players. Exhaust can help win 2v2 skirmishes by lowering the ADC's damage output and can later shut down assassins. It is also a much more peeling spell than the more offense-based choices, as it can single-handedly save the life of your ADC. Best choice for people still learning the support role.



ABILITIES
Power Chord (Passive)
After casting 3 basic abilities, Sona's next basic attack will deal「13 - 192」(+ 20% AP) bonus magic damage, with an additional effect depending on the last basic ability cast.
Useful tips
  • When Sona's passive is up, she will no longer attack nearby units, so you don't need to worry about accidentally wasting your passive on a minion.
  • You can reset your autoattack by AA -> Spell Cast -> AA (with Power Chord).
  • The last spell you use will give your passive a different effect. Each successive cast will change the effect of the passive. This will be discussed in more detail in each ability section.
  • Your passive will proc on Towers, Inhibs, and the Nexus. In addition, the bonus 40% from your Q - Staccato Power Chord will also apply. However, the bonus damage from the aura will not.
  • When attacking a ward with Power Chord, you will not lose the passive. The animation will hit the ward, but it will stay charged until you hit a champion/minion/structure/etc.
  • Generally, you want to use your Q + Power Chord early game to poke. Later, W + Power Chord is best for damage reduction during teamfights. E + Power Chord gives pick/chase potential.
Things to note
  • Once your auto attack is in the air, you cannot change the effect that your passive will use (from whichever ability you had used beforehand).
  • Sona will have a ring around her when her passive is up, and the color will indicate which ability it will proc. This ring is visible to both teams, so don't be surprised if the enemy backs off when you try to go to harass.
Hymn of Valor (Q)
Active: Sona sends out bolts of sound that deal magic damage to the two nearest enemies within 850-range, prioritizing champions.

Aura: Sona and allied champions tagged with Hymn of Valor's aura deal bonus magic damage on their next basic attack within 3 seconds.


Useful tips
  • Hymn of Valor is your harass tool. It is low cost, low cooldown, and charges your passive reliably.
  • In addition to the magic damage from the ability itself, the aura allows both you and your teammates to do extra damage on their next auto attack. However, the magic damage will only proc on champions, minions, and monsters. It will not proc on structures.
  • Make sure your ADC gets the auto attack buff. At max rank, each person can deal 80 + (20% of Sona's AP) damage. In bot lane 2v2s, 200 damage can be what decides who wins the trade.
  • If you activate the ability in the 850 range and walk out of that range before the bolts actually land, the bolts will still lock on to the same target. So if you walk into range to Q, but don't want to risk walking farther up to land the auto attack, you can back off and still deal the damage.
  • If you passive is up, always try to AA (no passive) -> Hymn of Valor -> AA (with passive). The cast of the spell to reach the third charge will reset your auto attack timer, and allow you to fire 2 quick auto attacks in succession.
Things to note
  • Unlike other auto target abilities in the game (such as Death Lotus or Soul Shackles) Hymn of Valor will not target a champion if Sona cannot see them. However, if she has vision of them and casts the spell before losing vision of them, the damage will still apply.
Power Chord - Staccato
  • When Power Chord is charged with Sona's Q, it will deal the 40% more damage. This damage will proc on champions, minions, monsters, and structures, but will not disappear when attacking wards.
  • Using the AA -> Q -> AA tactic, you can deal a huge chunk of damage in a very short amount of time. With Hybrid Pen marks, the power chord will go through both the Armor and Magic Resist of the target, maximizing the damage output.
Aria of Perseverance (W)
Active: Sona heals herself and a nearby allied champion with the lowest health percentage. The healing is increased by 0.5% for every 1% of the target's missing health.

Aura: Sona and allied champions tagged with Aria of Perseverance's aura are shielded for up to 1.5 seconds.


Useful tips
  • Aria of Perseverance is your sustain tool. It has a low cooldown, but it costs a big chunk of mana. The best time to use it would be when both you and your ADC are low, as it heals more with missing percentage health. However, if your ADC is really low, always heal to the best of your ability. Otherwise, they may be engaged on/bursted down.
  • With quick reaction time, you can heal/shield your ADC before incoming damage comes in, making your heal more efficient because most of the damage will be blocked by the shield.
  • This goes for during teamfights as well. If you can shield your entire team, it acts like a mini Locket of the Iron Solari shield, which can soak up a lot of AOE damage.
Things to note
  • Aria of Perseverance will automatically heal the person with the lowest percentage of health. For example, if the tank has 1k health, but is only at 30% health, and your ADC has only 700 health, but is at 40% health, the ability will prioritize the tank over your squishier ADC.
  • If you want to bypass this, just position yourself so that the person you don't want to target is farther than 1000 units from you.
  • Also, avoid using it near someone who's low health and stealthed or hidden by brush. This will cause the heal to fly towards them, giving away their position. It won't reveal them, but the bolt will go in their direction, giving the enemy a clear warning that someone is there.
Power Chord - Diminuendo
  • When Power Chord is charged with Sona's W, it will reduce the target's damage output by 20% (+ 2% per 100 AP) for 4 seconds.
  • In bot lane trades, you want to try and hit this ability on the enemy ADC, since it is the ADC who is dishing out the sustained damage while the support is CC'ing. However, if the jungler comes to gank, it may be good to target them instead.
  • In teamfights, you want to land this on the ADC. However, since Sona is a squishy, peel support, she will be in the backline with her ADC for the most part. However, if an assassin or a tank comes charging at your carries, the damage reduction can save their life.
Song of Celerity (E)
Active: Sona gains a burst of bonus movement speed that decays down to the aura bonus over 3 seconds. The duration is increased by 0.5 seconds for each ally she tags with the aura.

Aura: Allied champions tagged with Song of Celerity's aura gain movement speed for 1.5 seconds.


Useful tips
  • Song of Celerity is your chase ability. For every allied champion you hit, it increases the duration of your own movement speed buff. It also increases your movement speed by a percentage, so it scales really well with additional movement speed.
  • This can be used a few times while on the way back to lane after recalling, since it has a relatively low cost and will have regen'd part way by the time you get back to lane.
  • Later on during teamfight aftermaths, this spell can help your team chase down scragglers or get to important objectives (such as Baron or Inhibitor) with the faster roaming power.
Things to note
  • While it is useful for moving faster and avoiding getting caught out in the first place, it does little to nothing if you're jumped on and CC'd. The small movement speed boost will not help against blinks/dashes and obstacles (J4 ult, Anivia wall, etc.)
Power Chord - Tempo
  • When Power Chord is charged with Sona's E, it will slow the target's movement speed output by 40% (+ 4% per 100 AP) for 2 seconds.
  • One of the most underestimated Power Chords ever. In early ganks, chasing down fleeing ADCs with the movement speed aura on your allies and following it up with a well placed Tempo Power Chord will almost always allow your jungler/ADC to catch up and burst them down. If they don't burn Flash, it usually means their death.
  • If the enemy ADC dashes/blinks away or is pulled to safety by their support (Thresh Dark Passage, for example), the slow won't help as much. However, if you're chasing them down after the fight/trade, their abilities will most likely still be on cooldown.
Crescendo (R)
Active: Sona plays an irresistible chord in a line, dealing magic damage to enemy champions and stunning them for 1.5 seconds, forcing them to dance.

Passive: Each rank of Crescendo improves Sona's aura bonuses and Song of Celerity's self buff.


Useful tips
  • Crescendo is the defining ability of Sona, and it is often what makes or breaks good Sona players. The massive AOE stun can set up large scale teamfights, which become increasingly important as the game nears the 30-40 minute mark.
  • Early game in bot lane 2v2s, you want to try and hit both the ADC and Support with it for maximum CC. If you can only hit one person, always prioritize the ADC.
  • Flash + Crescendo plays are super important to learn how to do. Generally, Sona isn't the person who initiates the teamfight due to her squishiness and peeling nature, but sometimes your team will require you to go on the initiative. Hitting even 2-3 people completely by surprise can mean the victory of a teamfight.
  • Crescendo is usually used as a secondary initiation, where she follows up after the primary initiation (think Amumu Curse of the Sad Mummy or Hecarim Onslaught of Shadows).
  • Late game, try not to use your ult on only 1 person, since you should try to save it for team fights. However, if you can catch someone important out (like the ADC) and your team is there to follow up, then it is usually worth the cooldown.
  • In contrast to engaging, Crescendo can be used defensively to disengage or run from an unfavorable fight. The stun can buy your team time to flee.
Things to note
  • Since it is considered a projectile, it can be blocked by Yasuo's Wind Wall or Braum's Unbreakable and stun will not affect anyone behind them. Either wait until the abilities wear off or reposition yourself to avoid the wall/shield altogether.
  • Sometimes you may have to use your ult to peel for your ADC. If an assassin comes diving into your backline and you don't have Exhaust, then you have no other form of CC to save your ADC's life.


ABILITY SEQUENCE




1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Q W Q E Q R Q W Q W R W W E E R E E



#1. Crescendo
6 / 11 / 16

#2. Hymn of Valor
1 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 9

#3. Aria of Perseverance
2 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 13

#4. Song of Celerity
4 / 14 / 15 / 17 / 18
For the most part, you want to max Hymn of Valor first. The damage from both the ability itself and the bonus magic damage on auto attacks increases with every rank. Get it at the start of the game for the level 1 poke. Q + Power Chord hurts a lot at level 1 and can chunk pretty hard.

Afterwards, max Aria of Perseverance for the increased heal. Alternatively, you could have maxed this ability first if you'd rather play passive and go with a pure sustain lane. If you didn't get it at level 1, get it at level 2 to heal back up if you get into a trade or are getting poked down.

Finally, put your points into Song of Celerity. It doesn't have as much of an impact as the other two abilities do, so leave to last. It's a good idea to get a point at level 4 for the Power Chord in case your jungler comes to gank. However, you leave it for later if you'd rather have the damage/sustain.

Of course, take a point in Crescendo whenever you can.




EARLY GAME
STARTING ITEMS


[RECOMMENDED] This is the bread and butter start, and combined with your masteries is a great way to sustain, generate gold, and poke. Spellthief's Edge gives extra gold from the on hit and the passive gold regeneration, which is great since you're not getting any farm. Also, pick up some 3 health potions for sustain. Warding Totem is enough to keep a decent amount of vision in the river/side bushes until you get your Sightstone.

FIRST BUY


[800+ GOLD] Sightstone is your priority item. It gives you 4 rechargeable wards, which can be used to place wards in all of the crucial spots (discussed later). Even after maxing the 3 wards, you'll have one to spare in case any are cleared. In addition, be sure to swap out your warding totem for a Sweeping Lens. You have plenty of wards, so start to focus on vision denial. Having the sweeping lens can ensure a safe Dragon, for example.
Finally, if you have the extra gold, always get a Vision Ward. As a general rule of thumb, always have one on the map somewhere. Depending on how the game goes, you may end up changing the position of your ward even if it isn't killed by the opposing team. If it does end up being destroyed, make sure you buy a replacement!


[800- GOLD] If you are forced to recall before you can hit the 800 gold mark, you can get any of these items depending on what the game circumstances are. One option might be to upgrade your Spellthief's to Frostfang. Even though it's generally not advised to upgrade it even further to Frost Queen's (we'll get to that later), the early game gold generation and poke can be helpful in establishing lane dominance.
Alternatively, you can pick up a Ruby Crystal. It doesn't give any bonus stats other than health, but it's cheaper than Frostfang and it's a component of Sightstone. It also gives a small chunk of health, which can help with lane sustain. Also, regardless of whichever item you chose to go with, always pick up at least one Vision Ward. Vision is very important as junglers are hitting level 6 and ganks become greater possibilities. Even though vision wards aren't invisible, they provide permanent vision until they're destoryed.


CORE ITEMS
BOOT CHOICES


[RECOMMENDED] In general you want to get Mobis for the roaming potential. The quicker you can get to your teammates, the more impact you can have on the game as whole.
[ALTERNATIVE] If you want the CDR for more spell spammage, you can pick up Ionian boots for the 15% CDR. This will help you max out to 40% before you get all of the gold for your regular items.
[ALTERNATIVE] If you want to sacrifice utility for damage, then you can opt to pick up Sorc shoes for the MPen. I personally wouldn't recommend this unless your team has an insane amount of utility.

STANDARD SUPPORT - STANDARD REMIX
> As said earlier, Sightstone is by far one of the most important items you can get as a support. 4 rechargeable wards let you get down your max 3 wards with 1 to spare if any get cleared. Plus, in terms of gold efficiency, it saves you a lot of money.
> Sightstone is equivalent to 11 wards (800 / 75 = 10.67). However, as a support you should easily be putting down 25+ on average, meaning you will "gain" an equivalent of over 1k in the long run. You can upgrade it later for the extra ward and health, but it's not necessary.
> Frost Queen's Claim is an incredibly strong item at the moment, and I upgrade my gold item in possibly 90% of games now. The ghost active is very strong, and the upgraded stats (AP/CDR/Mana Regen) are all very useful.
> The active is very good for both scouting around unwarded areas and chasing down people. If you don't have vision in an area, the ghosts can scout and alert you to incoming enemies, and the additional CC can help you net more kills for your ADC.
> Mikael's Crucible offers a lot of utility with the massive amounts of mana regeneration for Sona's mana hungriness, 10% CDR so for more ability spammage, and 40 MR against magic damage teams.
> The active can save someone's life due to it acting as a cleanse, which is the selling factor of this item. It will remove any CC as well as heal the target for a percentage of their maximum health, which is invaluable if your ADC mispositions and gets locked down.
> When you get Sightstone, you can switch to Sweeping Lens for more control over the enemies' wards. After laning, upgrade your trinket to Oracle Alteration for clearing multiple wards—more vision control over objectives such as Baron or Dragon.
> Alternatively, since Sightstone was nerfed, you can keep Warding Totem for the extra wards. The shortened duration of wards makes it difficult for Sweeping Lens to be as useful, since the cooldown of Sweeper is disproportionately long in comparison to the duration of wards. After laning, switch to Oracle Alteration for the vision control over objectives.

> Yet another option is: you can switch to Farsight Alteration. This is something new I've been trying, and I've seen some theory crafting regarding the subject. Late game, the long-distance scouting can be very useful, and it leaves behind a permanent (albeit fragile) mini-ward. While you lose the increased vision control over the enemy's wards, you gain more vision with your scouting and potential long-lasting mini-wards.



ALTERNATIVES
OFFENSIVE CHOICES
> While Sona's AP scalings aren't magnificent, the bonus AP still increases the effectiveness of all of your abilities (more damage, more shields, more MS), and Morellonomicon still offers utility for a cheap price.
> The grievous wounds passive can also be useful against healing teams. Late game, getting the healing reduction on the enemy ADC during a teamfight will reduce their lifesteal capability, which can be detrimental to their survivability/sustain.
> The armor/mana/cdr that it gives are all very helpful in terms of utility. In addition, it provides a small chunk of AP to make all of your abilities just that tiny bit more effective.
> If your ADC is doing extremely well, is very fed, and clearly snowballing, it's worthwhile to rush this item before any others for the bonuses it gives them. In addition, as Sona you'll always be near them, so you can take advantage of the passive.
> Ardent Censor is a good item depending on your team comp. If you have a lot of attack speed reliant champions (Vayne, Yi, Irelia, etc.), Sona's W can apply the buff to everyone simultaneously.
> In addition, the additional AP will give your abilities a bit of an edge, the 10% CDR will help with ability spamming, and the mana regen will help with Sona's mana problems.

AGGRESSIVE MIXTAPE (ONLY IF YOU'RE REALLY FAR AHEAD!)
> If the enemy team does not have a lot of CC, you can get Athene's as an alternative to Mikael's Crucible for the bonus CDR and AP. However, you lose a little bit of MR and utility, and the item costs a little more in comparison.
> Supports generally don't get Deathcap because of the massive price tag. Stacking 1600 gold is very difficult, even for a solo laner, and it's rare if the support can get this much money in one recall.
> A much cheaper AP choice. As a support, the ability to focus on damage is a luxury, and you should always try and prioritize utility. However, if your team is far enough ahead, you could potentially get away with this damage choice.
> The item synergizes pretty well with Sona's kit, since constant ability spamming will proc the Sheen passive repeatedly and will enhance your auto attacks' damage. It also gives a small chunk of mana, which is nice for Sona's mana hungryness.

DEFENSIVE CHOICES - PASSIVE PLAYLIST
> Locket of the Iron Solari is most known for the +20 MR Aura it provides for nearby teammates, as well as bonus health regeneration. The aura is really good for protecting your team from magic damage.
> The shield is also very good at soaking up damage during teamfights. It works especially well against team comps with a lot of AOE damage, since you'll have a "double shield" for your team with both Locket and your W.
> Randuin's is very versatile and works well in the majority of games. Even as Sona, the extra armor and health helps you stay alive with tanky stats, and it still offers a little utility to protect your team.
> The attack speed reduction when someone attacks you and slow on the item active provide utility for your team. It also indirectly provides utility by keeping you alive longer, allowing you to deal more damage/heal/shield/buff your teammates.
> Frozen Heart is the alternative armor item instead of Randuin's Omen. Instead of providing health, it offers a big chunk of mana. While this is useful for ability spamming, it doesn't offer health to make the armor more efficient.
> The aura effects everyone around you in a small area, but you generally won't be in range for the aura to affect the ADC. It is more situational than Randuin's, and should only be bought when there's a really big threat of attack speed champions.
> Banshee's is a relatively self oriented item because it provides no direct utility for your team. However, it allows you to stay alive longer with the MR and health to provide heals and buffs for your team.
> The spell shield is probably the defining attribute of this item. It's especially good against team compositions with skill shot reliant champions. Negating a Morgana Q or Nidalee Spear can save your life and prevent a 4v5 fight because you're dead.




LANING PHASE
Now let's get fancy. So far in this guide, you have learned who Sona is, how to prepare her, and what items to build, and when to build them. Now, we will discuss the actual gameplay, or how to play your champion to maximum possible efficiency. There are many different things that you need to be able to do/keep track of in just the first 15 minutes of the game (also known as Laning Phase).


LANE MOMENTUM
Before we even go into Sona in particular, I'd like to talk a little bit about Lane Momentum. This is a concept that I think everyone should know, because it is what dictates how a lane is played out. If you can take advantage of it, it can dramatically improve your gameplay (I know from experience).

So, what is Lane Momentum? As the name suggests, Lane Momentum is you being able to control the placement and size of the minion wave and being able to swing that momentum in your favor. For example, if you build a large wave of minions on your side, then you can force a fight where the enemy bot lane will take a lot of creep damage. Basically, another way to think of Lane Momentum whether it would be better to push the lane or freeze it. There are pros and cons to both options, and there are different circumstances in which pushing/freezing is optimal.

WHEN TO PUSH THE LANE
  • You want to get a level advantage. Pushing for a fast level up (level 2 and level 6 in particular) can be extremely helpful: trading while you have an additional ability and more base health/mana than the enemy will easily give you an advantage. You can also prevent all-ins against you, because you can heal up with Aria of Perseverance before the other side hits level 2.
  • The enemy can lose CS to the tower, putting them behind in terms of gold. This can have a huge effect, because CSing under tower is no easy feat. Sona makes it even harder because she can Q + Power Chord every time the ADC goes for CS.
  • A giant wave of minions will begin to build up. This gives you yet another advantage when trading, because minion damage hurts a lot. Minions will automatically switch targets if you or your ADC is targeted. If the trade goes on long enough, then they can easily deal over a hundred damage.
  • Hard shove the lane when you need to recall. This will minimize the amount of exp you and your ADC lose, because it takes time for the wave to push back towards you. Plus, if you killed the enemy ADC, then they lose experience to tower.
  • You want to execute a tower dive. If the enemy is low on health or has run out of mana, ping your jungler and let him know that there's an opportunity to dive. Just be careful of where the enemy jungler is as well as what summoners they have. A well placed Exhaust or a well timed Flash can completely ruin the dive.

WHEN TO FREEZE THE LANE
  • You want your jungler to come gank. Keeping the minion wave near your own tower will force the enemy to come farther forward into the lane to get CS/experience. This will place them in the ideal situation to be ganked. Be careful when running up to engage though! The same logic applies from pushing: minions can easily deal a big chunk of damage if the trade goes on long enough.
  • You have no wards, so you want to play safer. If you have no vision around you and you have no idea where the enemy jungler is, it can be dangerous to stray too far from your tower. Instead, let the wave push towards you until your trinket is back up.
  • You're ahead enough so you can zone the enemy from the wave. If you are strong enough to the point where you can punish the enemy for coming up to get CS, then you can completely shut them off from getting experience/gold by threatening to Q + Power Chord every time they walk up.


HARASSING AND ZONING
Harassing is a slow and steady whittling down of your opponent's health bar. Sona can do this with relative ease because of her low cooldown, low cost Hymn of Valor and her ability to shield incoming poke with Aria of Perseverance. Plus, you don't have to CS, so you can focus on watching the positioning of the opposite side.

The idea is to discourage the enemy ADC from last-hitting because they will be afraid of walking up and taking damage from you. However, you must still keep the support at a far enough range to avoid getting all-in'd. This tactic is called Zoning, where you essentially keep the other bot lane away from the minion wave and they will lose experience and/or gold.

Of course, being able to get the other side completely off the wave is very difficult, and is usually only possible if you and your ADC are insanely ahead and can play so aggressively. However, you should be able to zone them for brief moments every now and then, long enough make them miss a few CS.

Typically if your passive is up or at 2 charges, you can go for a quick Hymn of Valor + Power Chord. Try to focus the ADC, but go for the support if they're not in range. Remember, don't overextend! If you or your ADC take any harass back, heal up with an Aria of Perseverance. Be careful though, because your heal is quite mana costly if you use it too often. Always try and avoid as much harass as you can by positioning yourself carefully and dodging skill shots.

In lane, there are 2 positions you can take, which we'll call the CSing stance and the Trading stance for quick reference. The CSing stance is when you and your ADC are safely behind your minions and is used when your own ADC is focusing on last hitting. For the Trading stance, you're a little farther up. This stance is used when the enemy minions are low and the opposite ADC want to CS. This positioning will enable you to play more aggressively and deal a little bit of harass. If you Q + Power Chord the ADC while he's trying to get CS, he'll have to make the choice of either giving up the creep or taking free damage, because he cannot auto you and auto the minion at the same time. If the enemy duo is already low health, then you can outright zone them from the wave.

THE TRADING STANCE
The Trading Stance is at your own melee minion line. In the image, notice how both Sona and her ADC are in the aggressive position (so Ez can follow up on Sona's damage) and Sona has her passive up. Vayne is backing off because she is knows she is at both a level and health disadvantage.

THE CSING STANCE
The CSing stance when you and your ADC are safely behind your minion line. If enemy ADC/support go for a greedy trade, they will take massive amounts of creep damage because they'll be standing in the middle of your minions while you are far away from theirs, resulting in a lot of free damage.


TRADING AND ALL-INS
So I've mentioned the term "trading" quite a bit, but what exactly is a trade? Trading is where damage is interchanged between two parties. However, when trading, you want to trade damage in your favor (you deal more damage to them than they can do to you). As a support, it is part of your job to keep up the pressure during laning phase and make it as difficult for the enemy ADC to CS/play as possible, primarily because you do not have to worry about last hitting.

In contrast, the term "all-in" means you extend the trade to the point where you are going for a kill. In this case, it's your job to provide CC, peel, heals/shields/buffs/etc. for your ADC as they are dishing out the damage.
One example of a trade is when you go to poke with your Q + Power Chord. In the early stages of the game, it's nearly impossible to out-trade this combo, because the early burst from both your spell and your auto can do a chunk of damage in a small amount of time. If you do take damage back, you can still ensure a favorable trade by healing up with an Aria of Perseverance. In between cooldowns, you can still trade with the enemy ADC/support by autoing or Hymn of Valor casts.

The most opportune time to go for a trade is when the enemy ADC is going for a minion. This is due to the fact that if the ADC is auto-attacking a minion, they cannot auto-attack you at the same time. While you still have to keep in mind where the enemy support is, your Q + Power Chord combo happens quickly enough so you can pull off the trade before the ADC's auto-attack timer resets.

However, you want to make sure that you don't overextend. If you walk too far up and you get in range of the enemy ADC/support, you are in danger of getting engaged on (aka, all-in'd). Because Sona lacks any built in escapes and her only form of hard CC is her ultimate, it's extremely dangerous to get all-in'd because of the huge risk of dying or wasting cooldowns ( Flash or Crescendo).

In contrast, if you and your ADC want to go for an all-in trade (you're ahead, you have a creep wave, abilities are up, jungler is coming to gank, etc.) you will most likely be the aggressor. Sona, unfortunately, does not have a lot of options when it comes to engaging. However, her Crescendo is still a large, AOE stun, and if positioned correctly, can hit both the enemy ADC and support at the same time, thus giving your teammate(s) time to follow up and kill them.

If you're in range and in position, then you can simply click R and hit both. However, there may be times where you need to be a little more fancy. If you're out of range and the enemy duo is playing it safe, you can go with the aggressive Flash + Crescendo for a quick gap-close engage. Alternatively, you can speed yourself up with Song of Celerity and then ult once you're in range.

Once they're stunned, wait for the duration to almost run out before throwing additional CC (e.g. Exhaust) on top of them. This is called chain CC-ing, where you avoid stacking your spells. This will maximize the amount of time the opponent is locked down.

Hypothetically, let's say that your ultimate isn't up. In this case, it's pretty dangerous to all-in in the first place, but if you need to follow up on a jungler gank, you can slow the enemy (preferably the ADC) with a E + Power Chord and use the speed buff to chase. It's not as reliable as your ultimate, but you can keep them in range for a precious extra second for your teammates to catch up.


DEALING WITH GANKS
Alright, I touched briefly on how to all-in when your own jungler comes to gank in the last section, but we haven't talked much about what to do when the enemy jungler is the one who comes to gank instead. There are 3 main paths from which the jungler can gank, and I will discuss how to deal with each.

The first one, and the one that will happen most often, is when they gank through the river/tri-bush. The second one, which will happen less often, is when they come through lane and hide in an unwarded side bush. The third, which is probably the least likely, is when you're extremely far behind and you're pushed under tower and you're susceptible to a tower dive.

Being able to read your lane opponents is very important. As a support, watching their positioning can not only help you get in position to poke/harass, but it can also tip you off if there's an incoming gank. It can be pretty obvious if the enemy jungler is nearby if the enemy support moves into a more aggressive position, as if they're looking for an opportunity to all-in. Alternatively, if the enemy starts playing much safer (especially if they'd been playing aggressively for the entire laning phase), they may be trying to bait you into walking closer so their jungler can come from behind.

If you suspect anything, ping your ADC back and play safe for a minute or so until you see the enemy go back to their original playstyle.

However, you should keep in mind that prior to level 6 especially, it is likely that neither jungler will come down to bot lane as often as they do to top and mid. It's difficult for them to gank bot in general due to the disengage/peel abilities of the support, and winning a 2v1 fight top/mid is easier than that of a 3v2 bot. Despite this, you should still be wary and have everything warded to the best of your ability (discussed later in the warding chapter).

RIVER/TRI-BUSH GANK
This is easily one of the most common gank routes that the jungler will take. Often, whether they come from river or tri-bush depends on what side you're on. If you're on red side, then the jungler may try and come from river to cut off your escape route. Vice versa, if you're on blue side, the jungler may try and come from tri-bush to cut off your path to your tower. In part because of lane momentum, you'll most likely be trying to push the wave if you're even/ahead. When this happens, place a ward in the previously mentioned spots (in correlation with red/blue side of the map) and keep an eye on the map in case of ganks. If you see the jungler pass through any wards, ping your ADC to back off and get out of there with the speed boost from Song of Celerity.

LANE GANKS
These happen less often, but you should definitely be wary if you have zero vision in the side bushes! As a general rule, you should avoid face-checking as much as possible (this applies later on in the game as well) because nothing is worse than walking into a bush and then getting blown up. If you're being pushed back towards your tower and zoned away from the side-bush (for example, if the enemy support is in there and you aren't in a position to trade), drop your trinket for the vision.

TOWER DIVES
The final type of gank that may happen is when you're under tower and are at the risk of a tower dive. This can be especially dangerous if the enemy team calls for their mid laner to roam down as well. However, if the enemy team messes up the dive either because of sloppy execution or you can shut them down with your abilities, you can turn the fight around to pick up a few kills instead.
preventing tower dives


WARDING 101
Let's talk about one of the most important things that you need to know inside and out as a support: Vision! Vision is absolutely essential for both avoiding getting caught out and helping your teammates do the same. Knowing what is going on around not only your lane but also around major objectives can help your team as a whole make smarter calls and decisions.

This is even more important during mid/late game, as you'll have a much bigger area that you need to maintain vision of and the importance of those wards increases dramatically. Placing wards is one of the most important aspects of supporting, since you can't throw down wards randomly with the 3 ward limit.

REASONS WHY VISION IS VALUABLE
  • It can keep you alive. Both during Laning Phase and later on while teamfights are breaking out, a well-placed ward will let you know of an enemy that is coming to kill you. This could be the jungler coming for a gank while laning, or even an entire team out for your head while you're split-pushing.
  • It can get you a kill. With wards, you know where the enemy team is. If you notice someone out of position, you can ping your team and lock them down long enough for your allies to follow up, which would lead to an advantage in teamfights because you'll be fighting a 5v4.
  • You can warn your teammates of incoming danger. If you notice that the support is walking up river or that the jungler is trying to sneak a dragon, then you can alert your teammates and stop them. In addition, you might have a defensive ward that can keep an eye out for counterjungling.
  • You won't get baited or juked. It's always the worst when you lose sight of a fleeing enemy into a brush/the fog of war, you proceed to face-check, and then get blown up by the entire enemy team because of a bait.
  • You get control over objectives like Dragon or Baron. Dragon becomes really important because of the buffs it provides for each kill. Having vision in the pit can let you know whether the enemy is trying to sneak it and you can group together with your team for an all-out fight.

EARLY GAME WARDS

Because I recommend the start, you will only have 2 Warding Totem for vision. For the first 5-10 minutes, this is more than enough to have sufficient vision coverage. Between you and your ADC, it is possible to maintain vision 24/7 in the river by alternating trinket usage. However, if you want control over the side bushes you can opt to place your trinket on the sides instead. This can be used to help you with trading, dodging skill shots, etc. While you might feel this can be dangerous, keep in mind that the risk of jungle ganks is pretty low in the first few minutes of the game. Try and get Sightstone on your first back.

Once you get your Vision Ward, deciding which dot to place it at depends on what purpose you want it to serve. For the Tri-bush ward, it's beneficially for your jungler to gank, as you'll know that there's no ward there for the enemy to spot him. You can opt to move it closer to mid-lane to watch for jungle invades or mid roams. For this, you can decide whether you want it in a safer position (but limited vision) or in the riskier bush in the middle of the river where it has greater chance of being discovered (more coverage). Finally, whenever you try and secure objectives (or even just deny vision around them), you can drop your pink ward near or in the Dragon pit to clear enemy wards.

Finally, once your get your Sightstone, you can go for more aggressive ward placements. These go deeper into the enemy jungle and can provide vision for you to keep track of the enemies' positions. Not only can they prevent jungle gank paths, but they can also stop the mid laner from effectively roaming, as you'll know to back off if they show.

MID-LATE GAME WARDS



TAKING OBJECTIVES
Once you hit a certain point in the game, both teams will start looking to take objectives, usually in the form of Dragon or a Tower. Often, the catalyst would be a gank for bot lane (from the jungler and sometimes the mid laner as well) which leads into 1-2 kills, which gives you the advantage in gaining control over the Dragon area or taking the tower for some global gold.

When you take drag, you'll need to keep up vision control (place a Vision Ward or use Sweeping Lens to clear wards in the pit). In addition, ward around at the jungle exits to watch for incoming enemies. This will prevent the enemy team from getting the dragon timer, or in the worst scenario, actually steal it.

Learning to shot call is not only a skill that's limited to support. Every single player should know how to develop and use this skill, especially if you're ahead. If you're doing extremely well and you know what objectives to take, what champions to focus, where you're supposed to be a certain time, so on. Vice versa, if your team is falling behind, you, as the support, are the primary one to dictate what choices your team makes, as it is up to your wards that they'll get as much information as they can.

Later into the game, you'll be looking to take other objectives as well. At the 20 minute mark, Baron will spawn and Dragon will respawn every 6 minutes. Once you're far enough ahead, you'll start looking to push inwards through their second and third tier towers, and eventually destroy their inhibitor so you can get some pushing super minions.

However, you must weigh in the risk of taking each objective with the rewards it gives. For example, if you have the choice between taking an outer tower vs taking Dragon, taking Dragon might be more beneficial for your team, especially if you have sufficient vision control over the area. However, if you have the option of taking Dragon vs taking an inhibitor, you can first take the inhib and then rotate to take dragon while the enemy team is clearing the minions.

A rotation basically means you move from one area of the map to another (usually from one lane to another. e.g. mid lane -> top lane) quickly in order to take a few objectives in succession. Whenever you make a rotation with your team, drop breadcrumb wards to keep track of who follows you. This can also protect your team from flanks during teamfights that may break out.



MID AND LATE GAME
Once you've taken down the bot turret, and you want to start roaming to make plays elsewhere on the map. Remember, you cannot completely abandon your lane! If you see that the enemy ADC/Support are still bot lane and pushing against you, you have to stop them from taking your tower in addition to roaming to other lanes.

A lot of the things that you have to oversee during the latter half of the game bleeds over from the sections in Laning Phase, such as Warding or Taking Objectives. However, there are other things that you'll have to start worrying about as well.

TEAMFIGHTS
In teamfights, your primary (if not only) job is to make sure that your ADC and/or APC stays alive. Outside of the occasional hard engage with a Flash + Crescendo, you want to stay with your squishies and peel for them. With both abilities and item actives, you'll be able to provide CC, heals, shields, etc.

If an assassin jumps on your ADC or the tank comes charging into the backline, it is your job to ensure that they survive. If necessary, you can tell your team that you need your Crescendo for the stun to peel instead of using it to engage.

You also need to be aware of your positioning during teamfights. If you walk too far up, you're in danger of being bursted down and killed, which means that your team loses almost all of its utility. In contrast, if you're too far behind and you don't do anything, then your team also loses out on wasted utility. Stay near your ADC, but stay mobile and don't stay in a single spot. Buff your teammates with the various auras of your abilities, which can all be used multiple times throughout extended fights because of the short cooldowns.

Now I mentioned briefly on how to use Crescendo during fights, but I want to elaborate more on that. Generally, how you use it depends entirely on what your team needs as a whole. If they need someone to layer more for a "wombo-combo", then you want to position yourself (without straying too far from your carries!) to line up your ult on as many people as you can. Optimally, you want about 4-5 people, but even locking down 2-3 can make a big difference in teamfights.

Alternatively, your team might already have plenty of CC to ensure a clean fight, but there's a pesky assassin that's always jumping your ADC and deleting him from the fight. In this case, Exhaust is usually enough to stop them from 100-0 your ADC, but Exhaust has a much longer cooldown than Crescendo and it may not always be available. The stun is more than enough for your ADC to kill him and/or your team to eliminate the threat.


ABILITIES/ACTIVES USE
To say that Sona has a lot of abilities at her disposal would be a vast understatement. Not only does she have 3 spammable spells with about 5-6 second cooldowns (with 40% CDR) than have uses on active, but she also can maintain auras almost continuously because of the extensions per teammate hit.

In addition, the items that are recommended have item actives (such as Mikael's Crucible, Locket of the Iron Solari, Frost Queen's Claim, etc.) and that added with the continuous button mashing... well it's a lot to keep up with.

It's very easy to just randomly button mash and hope for the best, but experienced Sona players can abuse the low cooldowns on Q-W-E and use the item actives at exactly the correct moment. Let's start off by talking about plain ability usage. We already discussed using Crescendo in teamfights, so let's talk about the others. Because Sona's passive, Power Chord is charged every 3 spell casts, in a teamfight you can be sure that you'll have at least one Power Chord for certain. However, timing your abilities so that your power chord lands on the effect that you need in your situation can be tricky.

A quick review as to what your Power Chord effects are and what situations they're best in: Hymn of Valor gives your auto attack more magic damage and is most effective in lane, when you can deal a chunk of health as poke damage. Aria of Perseverance gives your auto attack a damage-reduction effect and is best when the enemy ADC is hit, as it'll reduce their overall damage output by 20%. Finally, Song of Celerity gives your auto attack an on-hit slow, which is best used in chasing.

Thus, it seems logical to make the following conclusions: Hymn of Valor is best when you have the luxury of dealing damage. It's generally not the best to use during teamfights, but if your team has utility and you're far enough ahead where you can get away with dealing damage, this would be the one to use. Aria of Perseverance is probably the best choice in teamfights. It's best if you can get it on the ADC without dying, as it'll reduce their sustained damage. However, you can also hit an incoming assassin with it to reduce their burst damage. Song of Celerity is used to help peel for your ADC, especially against tanks with no gap closers, since it'll slow them enough for your ADC to kite. Alternatively, you can use it after the teamfight when chasing down scragglers.


Depending on your item build of course, what items you get will vary. However, in 90% of games, you'll probably get Mikael's Crucible. This item is very effective against teams with heavy CC, but it can also be used against teams with long ranged stuns/snares (such as Dark Binding or Solar Flare). You want to cleanse your ADC before the enemy team can abuse their inability to move. In addition, if you have Locket of the Iron Solari, you can help your team soak up a lot of AOE damage. If you went with Randuin's Omen, it can help peel for your ADC by slowing incoming enemies.

Other actives may include Frost Queen's Claim or Talisman of Ascension. Both are good for engaging and/or disengaging. The 80% AOE slow from FQC can be chain CC'd with your ult for a lot of AOE CC. Talisman can be good for your team to rush forward and chase enemies. In addition, another item could be Twin Shadows, which is good for picking people off. The ghosts can scout the area around, and the slow on-hit can allow your team to follow up.




MATCHUPS
So this section is really, really long. I'm going to cover the support matchups, and when I get the extra time, I'll add in the ADC ones as well. However, keep in mind that bot lane relies on both the ADC and support, so matchups are flexible in that sense. Also, this is assuming that both players are all of equal skill.

Matchups won't matter as much if you're just better than your opponent :3 For example, a skilled Sona player can still easily outplay someone who's new to Leona ;)

Alistar | 8 / 10 | HARD |
Alistar is a tanky support that focuses on CC'ing his enemies for his ADC to take down. He has no ranged abilities, so he doesn't pressure with poke/harass, but instead threatens with his kill potential.
  • At level 1, do as much as you can to lower his health bar, as this will reduce his chance of all-in'ing one he hits level 2, or at the very least, give you an advantage in the trade. He can't do anything except just tank the damage, unless you overextend and get in range of his knock-up.
  • If he walks up aggressively, make sure you back off. He's most likely looking to use Pulverize to prevent you from retaliating and then Headbutting you back towards tower.
  • Alistar is ranked so high in difficulty because he has much high kill potential that you do. Sona is very squsihy early game, so getting chain CC'd will often mean a burned Flash or death. Keep trying to poke him down, and eat through his mana bar by forcing him to keep healing.

Annie | 6 / 10 | MEDIUM |
Annie is a burst mage that does a lot of magic damage in all-in trades. Her AOE Tibbers stun is a huge powerspike at level 6, but she has no form of sustain and her abilities are relatively short-ranged (even if her auto-attacks are not).
  • You can click on her and it'll show how many stacks of her passive she has in the top left hand corner. Be wary if it's at 3 stacks, because the indicator will not show up, but she can do a quick E -> Q combo for a stun.
  • Poke her as much as you can with your Q + Power Chord and heal back up when she tries to trade back. Only trade if her stun isn't up or even close to being up! You can win the trade, but you'll most likely lose the all-in.
  • Keep track of her Flash timer! Just as you can Flash + Crescendo for a quick engage, she can just as easily turn around and Flash + Tibbers you instead.

Bard | 7 / 10 | MEDIUM |
Bard is a utility support that has a mixture of damage and utiilty, but has more focus on utility with his heals, stun, tunnel, and stasis. He has relatively good sustain for your poke, and has the edge in all-in fights.
  • Be careful of walking around minions or next to a wall. Because of the way his Q works, you want to avoid getting hit when there's a target behind you as well. It is relatively slow-traveling, take advantage of the half a second to dodge the skill shot.
  • His ult, Tempered Fate has a very long range, but it has a delay before it hits. If you're on the edge of the circle indicator or you're about to run into it, wait for it to hit before running past.
  • You can chase through his Magical Journey, but don't chase too far! Even if you could follow him doesn't mean that you should, especially if you don't have vision of the exit. For all you know, you could be chasing directly into a bait.

Blitzcrank | 8 / 10 | HARD |
Blitzcrank kit relies almost entirely on him landing his pull. While dodging the skill shot will ensure that you're (relatively) safe from all-ins for the next 10-15 seconds, getting hit by it will mean burning Flash or even dying.
  • Keep the timer of his Rocket Grab, as it has a long cooldown and you can abuse his melee-ness in between by poking him down. Keep the side bushes warded while standing behind minions so that he won't have complete control and you won't be taken by surprise pulls.
  • If he uses Overdrive to try and get in range for his other abilities, you can use E + Power Chord to negate the speed up. Be careful of him hooking you during the cast time though. Dodge sideways!
  • Don't get baited by his passive during fights. If he's running back to his tower, don't attempt a dive unless you're certain that his Mana Barrier is down.

Braum | 9 / 10 | HARD |
Braum is a tanky support with a looot of CC. In addition to his stun and knock-up, he can also block your ult with his shield and defend his carry against your poke damage. He has no sustain though, and is susceptible to poke while his Q is down.
  • If he hits you with Winter's Bite, use your E to gain back some movement speed and back off until the marker wears off to avoid getting stunned. Dodge it straightout if you can, but it has a pretty fast travel speed so it'll definitely take some practice (and luck).
  • Always bait out his Unbreakable before throwing out your ult. If he already has it out, wait until its duration ends.
  • Poke as much as you can while you know his Q is down. He has no sustain (aside from Relic Shield) so whittle him down before he gets the chance to all-in.

Janna | 2 / 10 | EASY |
Janna is a peel support, who's entire kit revolves around getting people off of her carry. You can poke her down pretty quickly, and you beat her in all-ins because you have an AOE stun to lock her down before she knocks you away with her ult/Q.
  • Continuously pressure with Q + Power Chord to poke both her and her carry down. Your Q has a much lower cooldown than her shield, and she doesn't have the luxury of continuously spamming it either, lest she go oom and/or not have it up at the crucial times.
  • Her Howling Gale has a slow travel time, so it should be relatively easy to dodge. However, be careful of the width of the ability: it's surprisingly wide and long ranged, which can catch you off guard if you don't pay attention.
  • In all-ins, try and hit both her and her ADC with your ult. If you leave her unchecked, she can peel you and your ADC off with ease.

Karma | 7 / 10 | MEDIUM |
Karma pressures through her insane poke damage on her Q. Her W can snare for a really long time, especially if it's empowered by her ult and her shield can be pesky, as well. However, she has no sustain, nor does she have a significant power spike.
  • You can sustain through her poke with your W, but it can chunk your mana bar if you use it continuously. To maximize the effectiveness of your shield (and decrease mana usage by taking less damage), use W for the shield before her Q actually hits. In addition, she cannot sustain your poke, so whenever she goes to Q you, return with a Q + Power Chord and heal up.
  • If she tries to chase with her W tethered to you or your ADC, E + Power Chord to slow her and you guys can easily run out of range with the speed boost.
  • At level 6, you have a major power spike with the addition of your ult. Karma on the other hand, only gets an extra point to make each ability stronger. Thus, you have a much stronger level 6 than she does.

Leona | 10 / 10 | VERY HARD |
Leona is a tanky, all-in support that "supports" her carry by feeding him kills through her insane fighting potential. Because of her passive, she adds damage for her ADC, and she is able to lock Sona down easily with her gap closer and stuns.
  • At level 1, poke as much as you can before she gets her Zenith Blade. If you walk up too far, be careful of getting stunned, but this shouldn't be too much of a problem since your abilities/auto attacks are ranged.
  • However, be very, very careful of her level 2 and 3 power spikes. She can afford to go all-in at level 2 with her gap closer on E and stun on Shield of Daybreak, but she becomes even more dangerous at level 3 because she gets bonus armor and MR, along with AOE damage that inflicts Sunlight.
  • After level 6, watch out for long ranged Solar Flare engages. If you can't dodge it outright, try and avoid the center of the ability to avoid getting stunned. This will at least allow you to throw out your Crescendo to stun her and her ADC when they follow up.

Lulu | 5 / 10 | MEDIUM |
Lulu is a poke support that interacts with a secondary entity called Pix for additional effects. Because of Pix, she has strong auto attacks and a double Glitterlance, but outside of a shield on E and health increase on R, she has no sustain.
  • Lulu has a low-cost/low-cooldown shield, but she has no heal. So unless she has good reflexes that can consistently block your poke, she won't have any way to sustain. In addition, your Q + Power Chord can easily break the shield and still deal a good amount of poke.
  • Her Q is long-ranged, much longer than your Q and your auto attack. Whenever you walk up to harass, make sure that you dodge sideways to side step the skill shot. However, because of the way Pix moves, the second bolt may shoot off at a different angle. In general though, it'll fire alongside the first bolt.
  • Even though Lulu has a lot of utility, she can't use any of it if she's stunned. Crescendo has a longer range than the knock-up from Wild Growth, so you can CC her before she and/or her ADC can get in range for the knock-up.

Morgana | 3 / 10 | EASY |
Morgana is a squishy support that is renowned for the extremely long duration snare on her Q. Her W can do a little bit of damage, but it isn't as significant as your shield. While her ult can be annoying, you can deal with it easily.
  • Avoid getting hit by Dark Binding, as the long duration will probably allow the enemy ADC to get a few auto attacks off. The travel time is pretty slow, so with good reflexes and a bit of practice, you should be able to dodge most of them.
  • Morgana doesn't have the liberty to use her Black Shield to block poke damage, so both she and her ADC susceptible to poke. Poke her down as much as you can with Q + Power Chord and just be sure to dodge her Dark Binding if she throws it back in retaliation.
  • If she tries to chase with Soul Shackles, you can E + Power Chord to slow her and to speed you/your ADC up to counter some of the movement speed reduction. This should be enough to let you break the shackle, but if not, it still lets you run further towards your tower/allies/team.

Nami | 5 / 10 | MEDIUM |
Nami is a poke and heal support who combines long ranged damage with sustain for both herself and her allies. Beware of her bubble and ult, both of which are hard CC abilities. She is similar to Sona in many respects, so it mostly comes down to skill.
  • Her bubble has a cast time, so she'll probably be aiming it slightly in front of your path so you'll walk into the skill. Dodge accordingly. Also, keep a small distance from your carry to make sure she doesn't bubble both of you at the same time.
  • If she walks up to get the bounce on Ebb and Flow, respond by healing first (to block the damage from her bounce) and then Q + Power Chord to chunk her in response. If she misses her bubble, abuse the fact that she can't hard CC you by continuously using Q and auto attacking.
  • Post-6, if she overextends to Q or W, punish her by locking her down with Crescendo. She's squishy, especially when she can't use her heal, so it usually means a burnt Flash or a death.

Nautilus | 8 / 10 | HARD |
Nautilus is a tanky, all-in support that has a lot of utility at his disposal. He has a shield to soak up some damage, but has no other ways of responding to your poke. However, he almost always beats you in all-ins with his greater arsenal of CC.
  • Whenever your go to poke, be very careful of getting pulled by his Dredge Line. It has a long range and a moderately large width. At level 1, poke as much as you can with Q + Power Chord to gain a small advantage in level 2 trades. He won't get his shield until level 3+ at the very least, so he won't have any form of defense (aside from his base armor/MR).
  • His all-in potential is very strong, as he can chain CC you/your ADC. Stay behind minions and keep the side bushes warded to avoid getting caught by surprise.
  • If his hook misses and instead hits a wall/minion next to you, he can pull himself closer and still slow you with Riptide or stun you with his passive.

Soraka | 1 / 10 | EASY |
Soraka is a squishy, heal support that sacrifices her own health for her allies. She can gain back this health by using Q or her ult and has a small CC silence/snare. She is vulnerable to all-ins, as she has no hard CC abilities.
  • Her Q has a cast time with an indicator, and with practice and experience, you can dodge it altogether. If you get hit by the edge of the ability, you'll take the damage, but you won't be slowed.
  • You out-trade her in nearly all situations. Your Q + Power Chord burst damage mitigates any health she would get back if she hit you with her Q, and your heal can easily sustain past any poke she deals to you. If she plays safely and basically just stands in the back and doesn't allow you to trade, this can work for you as well because she'll slowly kill herself healing her ADC.
  • In all-ins, make sure you focus her first! Otherwise, she'll just continuously heal up her ADC. She's very vulnerable to all-ins, because she isn't able to heal herself with Astral Infusion, and she doesn't have any escapes (outside of Flash).

Taric | 3 / 10 | EASY |
Taric is a tanky, sustain support that has a focus on all-ins and then healing up after a fight. He has no poke abilities, but his stun has a moderate range. He gains armor per level on Shatter, but fortunately, you deal primarily magic damage in your poke.
  • His stun has an extremely long cooldown, and it is only single target. While getting stunned in a bad position (i.e. you walk up too far and the ADC can get free hits on you) can be detrimental, you can out-poke him while still maintaining a safe position.
  • The more you poke him down, the more mana he'll have to spend on healing him and his ADC back up. This will lessen the chance of all-ins, because he likely won't have enough mana to go through a cycle of his abilities.
  • At level 6, make sure you focus his ADC with your stun, as Taric doesn't do nearly as much damage in comparison with the bonus AD/AP from Radiance.

Thresh | 7 / 10 | MEDIUM |
Thresh is a tanky, all-in support that has a lot of CC to utilize during all out fights, while still being able to protect his carry with peel, shields, and mobility. He has no heal to sustain, but going to poke can be dangerous.
  • Early game, his abilities all have extremely high cooldowns. If you can keep track of when his Death Sentence and/or Flay is down, then you can play on the offensive with less risk of getting engaged on. However, if you know they're up, always be ready to sidestep to dodge his hook (it has a small cast time though).
  • If he walks up to the minion line for souls from Damnation, punish him by Q + Power Chord or just plain auto attacking him repeatedly. This will force him to either give up the soul or retrieve it with Dark Passage (which can be bad for his ADC if he/she gets caught out and has no escape).
  • Sometimes Thresh may walk up to first Flay you to knock you back towards him and for the slow before attempting to use Death Sentence. If he walks up aggressively, back off before he can get off his combo.

Zyra | 5 / 10 | MEDIUM | deadly bloom
Zyra is a poke support that combines long ranged abilities and auto attacks with all-in potential if she can land her E. She has a unique kit that utilizes plants to deal damage from afar. However, she has no heals/shields and is very squishy.
  • This is primarily a skill matchup, as it depends on whether you can dodge/she can land her abilities. If you can dodge out on her Grasping Roots in particular (it has a slow-moderate travel time), then you can negate a lot of her all-in potential.
  • Be careful of her plants. They die with 2-3 hits and offer some gold, but can be very pesky with their (extremely) long ranged damage. If she casts Rampant Growth in the bush, don't walk up to step on it unless you're certain your can dodge her Grasping Roots. Often, Zyras will leave a seed in there to bait you into walking forward and them triggering it with Q or E.
  • She is very squishy, and has no form of heal or sustain. If you can catch her out (with Crescendo or even an E + Power Chord), you can deal a lot of damage that she'll have difficulty recovering from. However, be careful if she turns around and tries to turn on you. Her all-in potential is pretty strong.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This guide is so long! TL;DR Section please?
Runes, masteries, summoner spells, and item build are very straightforward, and you can refer to the cheat sheet for small explanations in each of the notes.

For abilities, just remember:
  • Hymn of Valor is best for poking in lane. It's generally not the best to use during teamfights, but if your team has utility and you're far enough ahead where you can get away with dealing damage, this would be the one to use.
  • Aria of Perseverance is probably the best choice in teamfights. It's best if you can get it on the ADC without dying, as it'll reduce their sustained damage. However, you can also hit an incoming assassin with it to reduce their burst damage.
  • Song of Celerity is used to help peel for your ADC, especially against tanks with no gap closers, since it'll slow them enough for your ADC to kite. Alternatively, you can use it to chase down scragglers.
For gameplay, Sona is a poke support, so poke with abilities and auto attacks as much as you can in lane. Use your ult wisely in all-in engages, and then sustain back up with Aria of Perseverance. Later on, in teamfights, peel for your ADC, but you can act as a secondary initiation with Crescendo if necessary.

Finally, ward! :)




CONGRATULATIONS!

You have now learned everything that I can teach you about playing Sona support. I hope this guide has helped you in terms of game knowledge, and it is now up to you as the player to hone these skills. If you enjoyed the guide and it helped you, please upvote! It always makes my day :) Also if you have any questions, feel free to PM me or leave a comment in the discussion section and I will get back to you ASAP!

Thank you for reading!

A few people I'd like to credit:

I have written quite a few other guides, for Lulu, Morgana, Katarina, and Diana. Check them out when you get the chance! :D









Winner of the 2016 Season 6 Be Prepared Contest! Thank you to everyone who helped me out along the way in writing this guide! It's been a joy designing and writing this for Sona, and I never would have gotten this far without each and everyone one of you guys' support! <3