Sona Build Guide by Abyss85
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Threats to Sona with this build
|Janna||Janna is basically an auto win. She's great for peeling and shielding but can't compete in terms of your sustained poke and heals.|
I am currently a silver ranked player on the NA server. I am writing this guide because I really don't like the more traditional Sona Support guides. I've had great success with a high AP, high mobility build that I wanted to share. This is my first guide and while I'm only a silver player I believe that's due more to the fact that I hardly ever play ranked games more than lack of skill (who knows maybe someday I'll take it more seriously and try for gold and beyond but that's for another day).
When using the more traditional builds that focused more on the Ardent Censer, Mikael's Crucible and Talisman of Ascension I always felt that my late game presence was weak and lacking a punch. My heals gave a little extra attack speed which was useless when healing an APC and when an ally has a few thousand health healing them for 150-200 is honestly a little pathetic. I wanted to have a strong presence both early and late game and found that a complete build change heavy in AP was essential.
My goal with this build was to make a extremely high AP, max out cooldown reduction and still have good mobility. With this build you should be able to run away from most anyone and since your abilities can be cast while moving should make you very difficult to catch in group fights while you stay on the back line and toss out heals and poke from range (whenever safe). I cant stress enough how important good movement speed is while comboed with moving while casting.
Pros / Cons
Flash is essential for Sona period. Take it, no excuses.
Clarity a little more controversial of a pick, some people don't even like me taking it but I have found time and time again that the extra mana it offers both you and your ADC translates into higher damage output and better sustain in lane. Post laning phase it's usefulness does drop off a little but does ensure your teammates rarely ever have to back because of mana or health issues. I find myself switching between this and exhaust about 50% of the time depending on matchups. If I'm laning against a sustain support that poke like Nami, Janna or Brand I'll go with Clarity, against an active support like Thresh, Leona or Blitzcrank I'll use Exhaust.
Exhaust Excellent choice and is the only thing I would ever consider swapping out for Clarity. Helps to ensure kills and reduce damage to your ADC and is always useful at any stage of the game.
Runes and Masteries
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
For marks I take Greater Mark of Armor for additional armor. You're a support it's not your job to get kills it's your job to keep both you and your ADC alive. You can do this best by not dying. Being dead = 0 healing and 0 poking.
If you feel especially confidant then yes you can absolutely pick Greater Mark of Magic Penetration however remember your FIRST priority is as a support not a carry and while Magic Pen does help damage it doesn't help your survivability or your ADC's (through healing).
Greater Seal of Armor being in the bottom lane you should be expecting to fight against alot of heavy AD, having more armor means you'll take less damage from their pokes.
For Glyphs I take Greater Glyph of Ability Power and Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction to give you 10% extra CDR at lv 18 as well as a little extra ability power early game. This is because of the loss of Deathfire Grasp so we need to make it up somehow and I believe this is the most efficient way of doing it given the items available.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power Should be self explanatory, helps to give your pokes and heals a little more power early game.
An argument can be made for Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed however I don't have access to those runes yet and haven't had a chance to test them...I keep unlocking new champions when I should be getting more runes ;).
I make sure to take the CDR from Sorcery and from Intelligence for 10% CDR, everything other than that is pretty straight forward.
Power Chord is your passive and give you an additional proc on your next basic attack. This can be a extra damage, damage reduction on your target or a snare depending on your last spell cast.
Hymn of Valor is your poke and had longer range than most auto attacks. It auto targets focusing on champions first so you don't need to worry about targeting. The aura it gives grants extra damage to your allies on their next basic attack within 3 seconds.
Aria of Perseverance is your heal and heals yourself and a nearby ally. The aura gives nearby allies a small damage shield for 1.5 seconds.
Song of Celerity grants you and nearby allies bonus movement speed and can be extremely useful for peeling or getting away.
Crescendo is your ultimate and can be absolutely devastating to the enemy team. It sends out a wave in front of you that deals damage and stuns everyone caught for 1.5 seconds.
I start with Spellthief's Edge Health Potion, Mana Potion and Warding Totem. Exactly how many potions of each will often depend on how you feel about your matchup but I usually go 2 of each. I find that this give me great flexibility of health and mana sustain for most situations.
I find does not offer the same in terms of poke or gold but certainty not a bad pick. Especially if you're going to be in a tough lane.
In order rush Sightstone and Sweeping Lens to control the brush and prevent ganks. As Braum says "Vision is the key to victory." Then Frostfang for gold generation and slightly higher pokes. After that you should get Boots of Swiftness to get that crucial mobility then start working on Tear of the Goddess.
After you get your core items it's really up to you and how the game is progressing on how to finish the build. Sometimes I try to get Archangel's Staff in order to get the +8 mana per spell to get Seraph's Embrace faster, other times I rush Morellonomicon if I need more CDR or am facing a high sustain opponent. Other times I'll go for the straight AP of Rabadon's Deathcap. Again it's really up to you and how the game is going.
If you dont want to use Morellonomicon and Seraph's Embrace you can switch them out for Athene's Unholy Grail and Zhonya's Hourglass. This lowers your AP between 20-50 respectively ( Seraph's Embrace I find usually gives about 150-160 ap), however is totally interchangeable. Just remember you NEED 40% CDR and to get as much AP as possible. The reason I usually go with Seraph's Embrace over Zhonya's Hourglass is because Seraph's Embrace's shield allows you to move and get away while it's active as well as doubling as your mana item. Unless you find yourself the target of assassins I wouldn't recommend it in favor of other items.
Void Staff Great for Magic Pen but I would only use this if your going mid lane and don't have to worry about getting Sightstone.
I can hear it now, why invest in a tier 2 gold item and then sell it for something else? My answer is to get gold early game and when you take a look at the power of Frost Queen's Claim and Talisman of Ascension they both lack tremendously in stats. Yes they give a little added utility in the way of a snare or movement speed buff but I really feel that bonus really pales in comparison to another AP item. For Frost Queen's Claim adding another 70+ AP from the Rabadon's Deathcap, Lich Bane or Seraph's Embrace just adds too much in terms of AP and pokes. For Talisman of Ascension we already have a group movement speed buff and it gives 0 AP.
Bottom line, Gold Items simply aren't worth the item slot.
Mikael's Crucible I see this a lot and honestly I don't like it. Ya it's great that you get another heal, and cleanse but then what? You have to wait another 3 minutes while it's on cooldown? No thank you. ONLY take this is facing against someone with a long duration suppression/stun and if your ADC doesn't go for Mercurial Scimitar.
Ardent Censer Used to love this one for it's increased attack speed and movement speed, however it's lack of AP is very crippling.
Frozen Heart Great that it has CDR and a nice aura, but the rest is a waste on Sona and thus not worth the item slot. Leave this to the tanks.
Your main focus should be on poking and keeping you and your ADC alive. Try to use the bottom brush or minion line to avoid enemy skill shots while poking your opponents down. Remember your Aria of Perseverance has a terrible base heal but hit's you and an ally and works most efficiently when healing 2 people at once (you and your ADC). So if you're only healing yourself you're already losing 50% of it's healing potential and thus extremely inefficient.
If you're pushing ward the brush above (or further up if you like) at about the 3 min to 3 min 30 sec mark to prevent ganks. Have your ADC save theirs for when yours runs out if possible.
If you're being pushing try to ward the bottom brush before you're pushed back so keep vision on them.
When you back never be afraid to spend your remaining money on more potions and wards. I typically 2-3 potions of each type every back and a Vision Ward whenever necessary. Use your Sweeping Lens to clear out and deny enemy vision whenever possible.
Getting kills as Sona can and does happen. Never try to steal a kill from your ADC as they need as much gold as possible, however NEVER let an enemy escape because you didn't want to pull the trigger. Giving your ADC assist gold is still better than no gold from an escape.
Mid game should be about controlling objectives like turrets and dragon. Know it's cooldown and make sure your team is ready for it. Keep vision on the area and on the enemy jungle openings to the area if possible. This is where team fights start to break out and when they do remember you're squishy. Keep your distance, heal, poke and use your Crescendo to stun the enemy team at the best opportunity.
By now you should have alot of movement speed, 30% or maxed CDR and AP. This means that even late game your pokes will be extremely relevant with or without Lich Bane and your heals will be plentiful and refreshing. At this point you should be keeping vision on jungle, continuing to use Sweeping Lens to deny enemy vision and controlling objectives like dragon, baron and starting to hit the inner turrets and inhibitors. Stay with your team, keep them alive and take objectives as a group. You are not a split pusher trying is slow and will often lead to ganks and basically suicide if you stay there too long. Also when you are alone pushing a lane you are denying your team their support.
Anyway I hope you guys have enjoyed my first guide. I would like to thank Gleebglarbu for his Nami Guide which gave me the idea to try a high AP build with Sona.
At some point I may try an ulta high mobility build with Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Ardent Censer, and Lich Bane and see if the increased mobility is enough to make up for the lack of AP but again that's for another day.
Please don't flame too hard because I'm in sliver, but I do welcome constructive criticism.
9 Feb 2015
-Updated guide for loss of Deathfire Grasp. Also updated a few runes/items to accommodate this loss of CDR.
-Updated Threats/Counters, increased Braum's threat slightly.