Sona Build Guide by Gott der 7 Meere
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated.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.
We recommend you take a look at this author's other builds.
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.
reading trough the other Sona guides, I noticed that most of them are outdated and none are close to my favorite build on her. Have fun reading my thoughts and strategies on Sona, the Maven of the String.
Beware, this is an in-depth guide to Sona. If you don't have a lot of time, you may skip the sections marked with [*], additionally, there is even more detailed informations in the links - like this one if you have trouble with abbreviations in LoL.
I am transfering this guide from LeagueCraft.com, so bear with me until it is complete...
my IGN is "Gott der 7 Meere".
Check out my other guides if you like (Taric and Soraka).
Background Support Sona
Sona likes to be the center of attention and the more people come to her parties, the more she will shine. Her signature move is a spammable heal and she is a high priority target because of it as well as her permanent mini ghost and utility nukes. Almost invisible but very potent are her auras that involve all important stats and will boost the team a lot. Not to forget her ultimate which is highly useful. She requires only few items to bring her abilities to shine and is excellent at babysitting carries.
My favourite Build
Philosopher's Stone Core Shurelya's Reverie Extended Core Sight Ward and
Red: Armor - Blue: MR and CDR - Yellow: Armor or gold/10 - Quints: gold/10, MS or Exp
0/3/27 Improve your Summoner spells ( and ) go for MReg and CDR.
> > >
Her Bag of Tricks
Activation Effect: 10 x level magic damage enhanced next attack with a special effect.
When Sona is helping her team in times of great need, she achieves a masterpiece of musical power... Imagine your team in desperate need of a heal - your smart Sona can decrease the damage of the requiring-health-cause on top of healing. Remember those times when all are running for their lives - it is Sona who organizes the retreat, gives speed and gets a pretty slow just in time. Useless to say that when Sona wants damage - she gets what she wants. Your passive is versatile and very potent. In early game it excels because of the different effects you attribute to it, and in late game, it packs quite a punch on top of that. Be careful not to screw up your healing by neglecting the global 2sec cooldown: Always after or !
Hymn of Valor
Passive: 4/8/12/16/20 AD and AP aura.
Activation effect: 65 Mana for two 70/120/170/220/270 (+ 0.6 per AP) auto targeting magic damage Notes every 7 seconds (4.2 seconds with CDR maxed).
Power Chord - Staccato: Deals double Power Chord damage (don't overestimate it).
If you like the activation damage, you have to level it more than once. Together with your Staccatos, it can be used for devastating damage to the enemy laners, setting them up for kills or making them retreat. But, her Q won't be the main focus of my guide because eveh though it helps in lane, positioning is much more important in early and mid game fights and her other abilities can be used for poking too. Decide when to level it depending on how well the lane is going. It is very useful for pushing towers and neutrals. This is the only spell that cannot be used defensively as well as offensively. It is a snowball spell that can screw up your lane if you get problems.
Aria of Perseverance
Passive: 3/6/9/12/15 MR and Armor aura.
Active effect: 60/65/70/75/80 Mana for 40/60/80/100/120 (+0.25 per AP) healing of the lowest nearby champion and yourself every 7/4.2 seconds.
Activation effect: Doubles your Passive on healed champion for 3 seconds (+30 Armor and MR).
Power chord - Diminuendo: Reduces the target's total damage output by 20% for 4 seconds (Never underestimate it, best Chord IMO).
Your main skill. Use it before fights and during fights and after fights to ensure that your team has more sustain. Keep in mind that the passive boost is just as good as the heal and the activation effect is just awesome. On top of that, the Power Chord effect is basically a free Exhaust everytime there is trouble. Use it when the enemy wants to poke or goes for the kill. Proper defense against enemy aggression is a must to win your lane.
Song of Celerity
Passive: 4/8/12/16/20 Movementspeed aura.
Activation effect: 65 Mana for a 1.5 second speed boost of 6/8/10/12/14 %, this equals an overall 29/40/50/61/72 speed boost assuming Boots of Speed every 7/4.2 seconds.
Power Chord - Stato: Slows the target by 40% for 2 seconds (Very usefull for laneing).
A very underestimated spell. Don't leave it at a dissapointing low level but turn this into a sizable speedup. Your teammates will be a lot faster and can avoid enemy fire and unleash their own powers better. It can be used defensively as well as offensivley and makes your survive many ganks. Never underestimate CC, and having a spammable slow greatly increases your lane control. If you are wondering why you are never dead: this is the reason. If you have speed boosters like Sivir and Gangplank in your team, this is not needed that much, you may choose to level your Q instead. Many times I still take E first...
Activation effect: 100/150/200 Mana for 150/250/350 (+0.7 per AP) AOE magic damage and a 1.5 second AOE stun with dancing enemies every 160/140/120 seconds (90/80/70 with maxed CDR).
A lifesaver! This is your teams emergency reset button. Use it to save your carries and to disrupt enemy ultimates.
Stun - Heal - Ghost - Nuke
> > >
Your heal is what makes and breaks a good Sona. You need level 5 asap not just for the heal amount but for the activation and passive Armor/MR boost. Max out your speed song next.
The level one Ultimate gives you full stun duration already and I suggest that you only level it once for several reasons. Sona's spells are - individually - very weak and all her game play is about using them more than once. If you go for MReg and want to abuse the passive of your Chalice of Harmony, you will be operating on a very low mana pool. No problem for your Q, W, E since they are cheap and you will regenerate the mana they use up during their CD. But the mana cost of your ultimate 100/150/200, once leveled further, is too big to be used after spamming for some time. With maxed CDR you will have it at your disposal in every teamfight even if you don't level it, but its rising mana cost may delay your ability to cast it and delaying it even for 1 second can have devastating effects. A good Sona always has to be able to use her ultimate, and IMO the rising mana cost is a serious obstacle.
Another reason is that more levels in your Q and E really help your team more when pushing towers or fighting baron compared to a minor upgrade in damage for an ultimate that is never used because of its damage but rather as a disruptor or life-saver. In my opinion, the small upgrade in your ever-changing stances is far better - still, try out what works best for you.
A different approach would be to level Hymn of valor as second or even first priority to do exert a lot of pressure in early game. You will give Sona a good offensive ability, but the downside is that in mid game clashes and pushes you won't have as much mobility, wich I consider to be decisive in this phase of the game. Usually your teammates have enough damage and your biggest issue is lack chasing or fleeing power. Compromising by leveling both the same is another way but gives you only two weak spells. The last patch makes this approach less optimal, as her spells now grant a far lower aura bonus on low levels.
My skill order is very unusual, but try it out before you judge it.
Example skill order (This is an example, it is not a blueprint for every game!):
Tip: Sona scales extremely well with levels. Don't leave out on experience you could gain during the game. Stay near the minion waves (1600 is the exp-range compared to 1000 range of your W and E), get champion assists and take out baron. Also take the Awareness and Sage masteries and consider Greater Quintessence of Experience (it would be wonderful to have your buddy Zilean's boost Heightened Learning but you can't have it all).
Flash and CV
- Combined with your wards, Clairvoyance will allow you unlimited map-awareness. Best support spell there is. I always take it. (Even if you can rely on your team to ward properly, this spell is still superb!)
- Without means of escape you are dead if focused. This is best avoided with Flash or Ghost. Since Flash provides the most in terms of utility and your E is already ghost enough, it is generally preferred.
If you are confident that you can avoid death with clever positioning or you really don't want CV, other, situational, options cover: Clarity, Heal, Exhaust, Teleport, Promote, etc.
Please don't ever spoil a game by taking Revive for Sona. No honorable player vexes his teammates.
Unveiling the Fog of War (How to be Awesome)
You can skip the rest of the guide, this section is what counts. Wards win games.
- Buying wards. Every player should spent the rest of his money on Sight wards. Supports should always have enough wards in the inventory to cover at least 2 important spots always and prioritize them over items. Have a Vision Ward whenever you can, you need "true vision" for specific areas, to destroy enemy wards, discover stealthers or bait the enemy! Recall when you are OOW. "A truly outstanding support will win games with only basic boots, having spent the rest of his money on wards. He will have prevented every enemy gank, stolen every enemy neutral champ, totally defeated their jungler and goten every single dragon and baron for his team. He will never have died facechecking as opposed to his enemies."
If you want, you can type something funny into the chat, to make them buy wards... like this true story.
- Where to place wards. Placing wards on lane bushes, jungle entrances and bufs, enables your team to gank and steal bufs properly. Now you realize how important wards are, they only are as good as their placement. Read this summary on warding and learn to place your wards better with every game you play - just buy some wards for "learning" purposes and place them on "new" spots every game.
Warding also includes the wards of your teammates. One isolated ward helps far less than a line of two or 3 wards spread across the map. Tell your Mid/Top/Jungler to ward if they don't, explain to them if they place wards poorly. This helps a lot if done
correctly and ganks will become virtually impossible for the enemy.
- Destroying wards. Getting an Oracle's Elixir is a high risk-reward action. It has the potential to totally cripple enemy map awareness and prevents the enemy team from ganking and steal buffs effectively. Get it when you have Tire 2 boots at least, because Sona is very squishy and this only increases her global taunt. Generally you should prefer Vision Wards over Oracles. Let someone who is more tanky and comes around more take one (your jungler).
- Reacting to enemy Oracles. Everyone has been angry about the enemy getting an Oracle, but you should just continue with your job, never let them prevent you from warding. Rather, place your wards in unexpectd locations and bushes. And bring that enemy Oracle-Bearer down! Remember that he has wasted 400 gold and his advantage is only temporary.
- When to place wards. You are supposed to know the spawn and respawn times of major neutrals by heart and type them in the chat so your warding is timed well!
- Baron Nashor will spawn at 15:00 and respawn every 7 minutes, his kill will give 300 gold AND 900 xp to each player of the successful team.
- Dragon Ebenmaw will spawn at 2:30 and respawn every 6 minutes, his kill will grant 190 gold - but NO xp - to each player of the successful team.
- Big Golem and Elder Lizzard (Blue and Red Buf) will spawn at 1:55 and respawn every 5 minutes.
General summary of warding locations:
- Early game: River and - if asked - buffs, dragon (dragon always with a [vision ward]).
- Mid game: Mid cross-sections and buffs/dragon when respawn is imminent.
- Late game: Defensive or offensive warding of jungle cross-sections and of Baron - but avoid soloing.
Just let me remind you that you will only become a good or even outstanding support if you master warding.
Runes, Masteries, Items [*]
I am convinced that it is futile only to cheer specific runes, items or masteries. What matters is your total setup. I want to point out which stats are best for Sona and the best ways to unite them all.
Sona profits the most from CDR and MReg. Having capped cooldown-reduction at 40% and reaching a mana regeneration rate of around 80mp/5sec will bring your abilities to their highest potential. This will be your primary focus.
But just as important is your durability. Most important stats for that: Movespeed, HP/Armor/MR and Tenacity. Movespeed is what makes your survive even when you are squishy but requires teamplay and a good player. HP in combination with your own wonderful Armor/MR auras and a little bit more, depending on whom you face in battle will make you survive. Tenacity will reduce crowd control effects (stuns, taunts, snares, suppressions, slows blinds...); more on this in the Item discussion section.
Having done the most of your abilities and your survivability you can go for situational things like powerful defensive items or more useful auras.
Keep in mind that you are money starved and that all the gold regenerating items in the world wont give you the equivalent of 100 creep kills (a lot of money very quickly). Don't get me wrong, buying HoG and Philo Stone helps and is a strong option but it won't change the fact that you have to deal with scratching your living.
Avoid any items/runes/masteries that give you unwanted stats like AS, AD, AP, APen, MPen, crit, lifesteal, spellvamp for your core build - every piece of gold spent on them decreases your performance. That's why one particular stat deserves a closer look: HPreg. Only if your mana regeneration cant keep up with your heal or the enemy damage can't be out-healed should you take Health Regeneration into consideration. Remember that you don't have the money for luxuries (even when we buy items that give us HPreg, you should always be aware that you don't need it and thus not prioritize it).
Your runes are item replacements that you don't have to buy in game. With the usual money shortage of supports runes provide valuable stats for nothing. They are crucial. They have their biggest impact on early game if you take flat stats or on late game if you take per level stats. The same holds true for masteries. Get only the stats you desperately need and upgrade your summoner spells.
However, concerning masteries there is little room for changes and the only difference is wether you put 21 or more points into utility. Because surviving is the first prerequisite for helping, I tend to get some points in defence. I like the Swiftness mastery a lot and tend to put a lot of points into utility. Experiment to find what suits your need. My most used mastery setup:
Note that Scout is a good upgrade to wards! A 5% range increase equals to 10% more Area covered. You will notice the difference if you play games without this mastery a lot, when using Vision wards (As a side note: Vision Ward have 1000 range compared to 1100 range of Sight Ward), with Scout their range will be a lot closer to that of Sight Ward and you might discover more of them.
I know that runes are expensive. I don't expect you to try them all out just to know what works best (I have done that for you already). Here is my line of thought: Sona is weak early game, when she hasn't got her Song arsenal yet. Runes should improve your early game, and the trick is to understand what early gameplay requires to be successful. To put it simple: Take defense in any slot except Quints. Quints are the only slots that you can use Utility stats in, don't ignore this fact and please do so.
(Armor) - Bottom lane damage comes from Minion and the AD carry and it's physical. Even tough these are only Secondary runes, I don't think you should take offensive stats, your damage is high enough without them.
(Armor) or (Gold/10sec) - Defence or Gold.
(MR) and (CDR/lvl) - Get what CDR you lack from items and masteries here.
(Movespeed) or (MReg/lvl) or (Gold/10sec) or - Get what MReg you need aside from items here, take utility stats in the rest.
Slightly adjust your rune setup if you know that itimization requires specific stats (e.g. CDR + 4% or just a slight increase in MReg. Sadly you can't escape the fact that Supports are forced to go for Gold/10sec, and there is an overwhelming force imposing Quints and now even Seals of Avarice and the Greed mastery on you. Don't let that blind you to the fact that other stats can be better. I favor Movespeed especially, others might cheer on Health. Ponder the ups and downs of your rune choices and find what works best for you.
Finally: as a good rune setup for most champs takes Red: Armor Penetration, Yellow: Armor, Blue: Magic Resist, Quints: Movespeed, you might as well use it for Sona; indeed I encourage you to buy these Runes first when you get to summoner level 20 and can buy Tire 3 Runes.
shurelya's reverie Zeke's Herald CDR ( cheapest CDR and quick to get. Remember the 40% cap.)
MReg ( is the cheapest and highest Mreg in the game and Sona likes the passive.)
Mana (You will probably only ever get mana for or ; MReg > Mana on Sona.)
philosopher's stone Defense vs. Balanced (Always get and cheap HP .)
-> / -> / vs. Physical Damage ( and its upgrades bring you to +200 Armor.)
-> / / vs. Magic Damage ( and upgrades get you +200 MR.)
Zeke's Herald On request (usually is better than )
Not to get:
or similar items... I know it's tempting to get AP or AD for your own when your team is owning, especially Sheen has huge synergy with Sona. There is also no doubt that with the right items you can become a terrible AD or AP nuker. You can do that, but I assure you your money is better spent on aura items and more warding - well, unless your team has no carries and you feel you can do it (See Win10cent's Ezona guide for more info).
Item Discussion [*]
Isn't this the best starting item ?
No, it isn't. Actually, any item with a price tag over 350 is a poor starting choice for Supports. You need those Sight wards! Although Mana Manipulator and Meki Pendant are good items, I implore you to start with more than one ward. Protection from ganks and better zoning via bush control is what your lane partner needs. When you face stealthers in lane, or have a jungler that wants to gank a lot you will even need a Vision Ward. There will be no money for those items. The only starting options I recommend follow.
- You can decide to start with only Sight wards in your inventory. However, if you notice you run out of mana a lot, get some Mana Potions, too.
- The next option is for aggressive laners and gankers: you will need Boots of Speed aside form all the Sight wards you can get. Altough you will stay in lane less time, you will escape dangerous situations, and this allows you to gap the distance to your enemies and still stay out of trouble.
- The third option I propose is the common Faerie Charm, it is cheap, it gives you much needed MReg and it speeds up your Philo Stone (you take Sight Wards and a Health Potion for the rest money).
Why a Chalice of Harmony ?
Sona's spells are not meant to be used just once. Spamm them! This item always marks the point where you don't have to be afraid of going oom anymore. And because her individually week spells, combined with the unlimited mana supply of the Chalice net to a huge amount, you will be able to outheal any enemy damage in lane, move quickly over the map and keep the battles in your team's favour. It has huge synergy with MReg/lvl Quintessences solving all your mana issues with just 890 gold. Even tough I do not use mana runes all the time, this item is made for Sona. And to be honest, there is no viable replacement, because neither Tear of the Goddess nor Mana Manipulator meet Sona's massive Mana Regeneration requirements.
On the other hand, this item just suits my personal playstyle; if you play her without spamming that much you can skip this item and supply your mana needs with Shurelya's Reverie. I think it is a waste of potential, but sometimes, when you want to do without... you can do it.
Chalice: If you sing all the time, drink from Chalice of Harmony, else be a greedy but silent Philosopher's Stone-owner and foster her addiction to Mana Potions.
When to buy Mercury's ?
Check on the different sources of Crowd Control.
I say you don't need Tenacity! The reasoning is: You should remember that half of your use to the team is hidden in passive auras and crowd control does nothing to counter this. Additionally, since you already need to wait for your cooldowns, a stun in itself is not that bad, it just covers a time that you would have spent with nothing anyway. The bad thing in CC is that it comes with a lot of magic dmg most times, and that it gets you in a chain of enemy actions that will kill you with or without Tenacity.
While DPSers or Carries need all their precious time to fight, you as Sona are only annoyed when it prevents you from using your ultimate.
I say: stay out of trouble and don't initiate teamfights. If you are annoyed by a specific source of cc, like a malz ultimate, you better get a Quicksilver Sash instead of Tenacity. A duration reduction of 35% means you are still dead if focussed. But if you have some MR and keep them buisy while your team kills them after they waste their ultimates on you... HP and MR are much more worth it than Tenacity.
- Your tools to avoid CC: Clever playing, movespeed and a competent team.
- Your tools to survive CC: HP, your "w", MR and your team.
Merc's: Don't waste your money on these if you don't really need Tenacity AND Tire 2 boots AND MR at the same time.
How to upgrade your boots, if you dont take Mercury's ?
First let me say that Movement Speed is the one and most important survivability stat for supports. Your positioning and your chasing or fleeing power are paramount. The obvious choice would be Boots of Mobility. They allows for quick ward placement without loosing xp from lanes and enables you to participate in more fights, netting you more assists. These are also the boots I use on most ranged supports - except on Sona. On her, Ionian Boots of Lucidity are definitely my favourite boots, due to the fact, that they provide you with the cheapest CDR in game and on top of that are not that expensive either. You will notice it makes a huge difference to your gameplay and once you have these boots and the Chalice you have made the most of your abilities.
Don't get me wrong when I say you need superior movement speed, that only means you have to be quicker than the enemy, not that you have get to 500 MS every game. Your only goal is to avoid getting into enemy range and therefore a Surelya's Reverie is far better than boots. Also, depending on your enemies, it is wise to switch runes, masteries or your boot choice. And it is quite obvious that if you only have Tire 1 boots, any opponent with upgraded boots will chase you down quickly. Therefore I sometimes buy Ninja Tabi just because they are so cheap and I need to upgrade my boots now or never (Obviously I get them if I want to counter stupid all AD teams...).
Boots: Ionian Boots of Lucidity are too good an item to be discarded easily.
Lets have a look at the new items: Zeke's Herald, and .
Thes items correct the drawbacks of the old "Stark's Fervor" (20% AS, Unique Aura: 20% AS, 17% Lifesteal, 30HPreg, 20 Armor Reduction) that only had offensive stats, making it a sub-optimal choice for supports, and the Randuin's Omen that is quite expensive and only works vs. physical opponents.
In my oppinion we have a nice change, that now allows supports like Sona to buy Zeke's Herald to help your team's AD's and get her the much needed HP and CDR at the same time, and Locket of the Iron Solari to counter early game AOE and to provides some burst "heal" regardless of magic or physical damage. Also, the price tags of both items are in reachable ranges and especially the (new) Locket upgrades your Heart of Gold to something handy, finally. The changes make Zeke's to be considered for your core build due to its wide spread stats, especially CDR - this requires some testing, however.
I am unsure about the Locket and how it fits into Sona's build, yet.
The Emblem also seems to be a good item to get on its own vs. physical threats.
Aura item discussion:
Sona THE aura champion in the League. No one has better synergy with aura items. But even if they are relatively cheap each a piece, you will never afford them all. You may decide on one of them, and if you are already winning, you might aford another one. Choosing the right aura enhancement is crucial, therefore.
Even tough Auras will buff the entire team, there is always one carry that you may want to help specifically. Choose according to him:
- Your AP DPS Carry (Cass/Ryze/Karthus) is doing well ? Get Will of the Ancients (wota).
- Your AD Jungler (Lee/Xin/Jarvan) is on a killing streak ? Get Zeke's Herald before he is shut down.
- If your team is balanced and no one requests specific items: Aegis of the Legion. Although only a shadow of its former self this item still helps even after several nerfs (when it still worked on minions, it was mandatory).
- Feel free to replace it with Soul Shroud if you need more Mana/CDR yourself or your team is loosing all blue buffs (But because Shurelya's Reverie is redundant with Soul Shroud, only get one of them).
Activating items discussion:
Sona already excels in utility and I would say that these items, fit other supports more, because they may lack a speed up or slow. However, Shurelya's Reverie is an excellent item. If your team asks for it, get it. Randuin's Omen is situational and you will only get it vs strong AD carries. I have never taken a Deathfire Grasp (dfg) on Sona, just because there are so many other options, but it can help to bring down a HP heavy champion. The new Locket of the Iron Solari is a cheaper form to upgrade your HoG, and has more uses vs. magic damage dependent teams.
To sum it up: All these items are possible upgrades from your gold/10 items, that you may consider, but don't buy them every game, they are very situational counter items, generaly you should stick to the before-mentioned aura items.
Active Items: Shurelya's Reverie is frequently used, it is not mandatory however.
Cheap CDR Build
Getting MReg and CDR is easy and without enemy focus you should win any game with just Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Chalice of Harmony. However, any clever enemy will realize that you are the reason they loose teamfights, and on top of that, they will know that you are squishy. Supports in general have - and specifically Sona has - a reputation to be squishy. So alltough we keep in mind that CDR and MReg are what we need most, we will pay more attention to buy items that make us survive AND give us utility instead of just grabbing Morello's Evil Tome (It's evil !!!).
We got the build for Normal Games and Low Elo, where there are kills all over the place and your assists are going trough the roof (Games end with something like 1/1/20). And we got the build for High Elo were games are decided by CS scores and not K/D/A's. Because Assists are your main source of money, the second build will incorporats gold/10sec items, while the first won't.
-> -> -> -> / / Zeke's Herald / Shurelya's Reverie
Start with either Boots or MReg and as many wards as you can carry. Rush Chalice. Get CDR next with Ionian's and your usefullness to the team makes a giant leap forward. Next on the list: pure and unmitigated HP. Upgrade your Ruby's to Aegis and more CDR and you and your team will become a lot more resiliant. Now most games will end, but if they don't, you can choose another aura item. Other good options would be Chain Vest / Negatron Cloak and their upgrades to counter specific champs.
This build is incredibly cheap and quick to get, but your runes need to be adapted. You MUST get blue CDR/lvl runes. Plus you need to take MReg/lvl quintessences (they are the most effective) and more in blue and yellow if you need them. Red are up to you, but I usually get armor, since I lack the defense in yellows. You will see that these runes will gradually give you more and more spamming power. If you don't have those runes, the build will be delayed as you need another source of MReg and CDR, so its 2,2k gold more for a Shurelya's Reverie.
Gold/10 Item Build
But since this build DEPENDS on assist money for warding (and warding is what a good support prioritizes) you will use a different build for very long games (as your early strength might go unnoticed but your lack of money won't) or high elo games where you won't get that many assists at all. Preferable in this case:
-> Philosopher's Stone -> -> ( ) -> ( ) -> Shurelya's Reverie
Rush your Philo stone. Together with masteries (and if you like runes) your income will start rising. Now the progression is the same as above, with the option to HoG if you need even more money and the upgrade to Shurelya's.
This build gives you more CDR and MReg from items, and your runes are free. I take Avarice as quints and yellows, round up my lacking CDR with flat blues and get Armor and MR for the rest IF I know I won't have troubles in laneing. For difficult opponents, I start with Boots and use Movespeed quints instead, as well as increasing my armor with yellows even further. Don't ever give away first blood! With this tougher setup you will survive better, BUT don't get a feeling of invincibility, all you want is to stay near the creeps without dieing and getting your much needed levels.
Try to always have one Gold item and keep the warding up.
Physical Counter Build
Now these builds will work for nearly all games... but sometimes the enemy makes the fatal mistake of taking ALL physical or magical damage (or their only one different carry fails). That is the time for hard counter builds. All pysical teams are EASY to shut down completely with the following:
-> -> -> ->
Mandatory are Ninjas and Movespeed quints. Get some HP and Armor next and go for either Randuins or Frozen Heart or even Thornmail.
Again, only use this when their ENTIRE team is ad dependant and the ap carry (if they have one) has failed completely.
Magical Counter Build
All magical teams are more difficult to counter because they mostly have a lot of CC, Dots and on top of that: nukes.
Lets face it, when they really focus someone, he will probably be dead if he isn't the tank (All the more reason for your team to have a decent one like Galio :). However, your chances go up a lot if you get Tenacity and MR so they don't do true dmg to you (and your team):
-> -> -> ->
Be advised to get MR early! Mandatory are Merc's, a lot of HP and MR (get these in rune-from too if you can); for nukers get Banshees, for dots get Force of Nature, for suppressions get Quicksilver Sash. (On a side note, Sona will never be able to burst heal someone back to full HP, if you want your support to do that, take Soraka. Still, If your teammates buy Spirit Visages, you get a Locket of the Iron Solari and resistances (e.g. Aegis of the Legion), your team should also be quite resilient vs burst damage ( Veigar, Gragas, Le Blanc, etc).
Dominion Build [*]
Sona is a very good Dominion champion and, although most people believe that you have to play killing machines on this map, don't mutilate her to an AD/AP carry only to justify playing her on the Crystal Scar. With this build, you can support your team in this game mode).
-> / Philosopher's Stone -> / Shurelya's Reverie (Hextech Sweeper) -> parts: + / -> + /
Although you have similar needs on Dominion, there are some peculiarities, that you should make use of, to better support your team.
Speed is essential on Dominion, start with Boots of Mobility, take whatever MS upgrades you can get and as Summoner Spells take upgraded Flash and Ghost! As the map has an inert multiplicative MReg bonus similar to that of a Chalice of Harmony, you don't have to get one and some MReg early already gives you all the Mana you need. Very important item here, is the Mana Manipulator as this aura, together with the Map's passive, provides all Mana requirements of every teammate around you. The upgraded item here is perfect for you too, as you need HP for survival as quick as you can get it.
You can also get a Philosopher's Stone that you will upgrade to a Shurelya's Reverie (asap). Sona's heal is perfect for this map, as it is the most flexible one with the shortest CD (Alistar's Triumphant Roar works well too), this hold also true for the rest of her skillset, as she can give her team the a small speed or damage advantage, just when it is needed the most.
One particular Item should be rushed vs. any form of stealthed champions: the Hextech Sweeper! Especially Akali and Shaco are strong early, but rely on their stealth to succeed...
Trinity Force is your next item, giving you more utility and together with your Power Chord around ~ 600 burst dmg, enough to finish someone of, or hold your ground on a Capture Point - just don't rush it, survivability comes first. On Dominion, there will always be fed enemies, so be advised to get Resistance quite early, when you see an enemy getting stronger. Very good items here: Thornmail or Quicksilver Sash / Force of Nature / Abyssal Scepter / Banshee's Veil.
Skill order is flexible, I get either Song of Celerity or Aria of Perseverance to level two (and one point in the other) when starting and take Hymn of Valor on my way to the top Capture Point, this way I have all my spells ready and can react to anything that happens. The speed boost on the way even might get us the capture (you can also take your team's mid and right after it backdoor to the enemies mid...).
I still think your heal is your priority spell number one, when leveling further, but really it makes no difference since you level quite fast.
Supports are very underrated, due to the current meta game on Summoner's Rift. I love to play her on Dominion, since it is way more fun to support when getting the same money and xp as your mates and you don't have to buy wards...
I think, Dominion is the place for supporting as it should be!
Gameplay (Summoner's Rift) [*]
Protect your jungler:
"Sona admires those heroes that fearlessly enter the dark places between our birght roads of marching armies; to battle with nameless beasts of terrible strength and power. Bring some light and soft tunes to these people to ease their burden."
(If you don't know what a Jungler is... and read on Golems and Lizzards too.)
Jungling is the most challenging and rewarding champion role in the team. Having one player carrying both powerful buffs in the game roaming on the map is undoubtedly handy, and ensuring permanent control of these buffs via warding and ganking at respawn is your key to vitory. Another reason is getting dragon asap.
Having said that you should realize how important their protection early game - when they are yet weak and locked in an epic battle with a giant stone golem - is.
Some junglers can have a hard time without Blue Buff (Fid, Amumu, Skarner...).
Your job is to make sure your team detects the enemy. Your teammates should surveil the jungle entrances to the respective jungle areas. This gives you a warning should things go tough. Your Clairvoyance has a CD of 70 seconds, meaning you can use it twice until spawn of Blue (1:55) or small Golems (1:40) once at the very start (until the 45/30 sec mark) and then at spawn time, or shortly before.
If someone requests it, CV the enemy summoner platfrom. Else use your first CV to spot the enemy, and don't hesitate to place a ward in the enemy jungle before the 2:00 min mark.
If you detect the enemy team at blue or golem, your team is save, can pull and walk away. Else you better beware of enemy intrusion. Be ready to place a ward in the bush when you see the enemy comming and retreat to another bush as group. Ping them and attack if your team is dominant early or retreat until they start blue to surprise them then. Do never ever steal a kill, and especially not the first blood, the money is way better for other carries.
Sona can ease a junglers start by taking Aria of Perseverance and healing him once he takes damage while walking away (make sure you don't steal his xp though !).
However, your duty to the jungler is not over yet. You should ward at his request if he fears for jungle intrusion and you have to track the enemy jungler with your CV. If he deviates from his rute, alert your teammates of possible ganks.
Protect your jungler: Sight Ward
Tip: If your jungler is confident, you spotted the enemy and invasion seems unlikely, you can take the small golem champ with your lanemate. Pull them and let them chase you, let your carry lasthit them, obviously.
"Sona's songs and tales encourage undecided wariors to become true menaces on the Field of Justice."
Throughout the game, your Carries main interest should be to gain as much money and experience he/she can. As the advantage he/she has in comparison to the enemy Carry may decide most clashes, depriving the enemy from money and experience has the same results. Encouragement and demoralization from having good or poor farm is the basis for Victory and Defeat.
After (and while) doing your best to help your jungler get his exp, bufs and money - so he can help the other lanes do the same - your duty lies with your lane and your lane partner.
Money: Every minion should die to the last hit of your lane partner. If he can't kill them under the tower alone, that is the only time you are allowed to attack minions to help him farm. If he recalls, pick up the farm and lasthit yourself.
If you can, try to prevent the enemy carry from last-hitting, by distracting him, bringing him to low HP and making him recall - and lastly, if there is only a small risk for you, killing him. Small damage exchanges where your sied wins and that your side can outheal, will do this. Use your Power Chord to initiate, both Staccato and Stato are great for this (I use Song of Celerity for this). Couple it with some autoattacks and a quick heal ( Aria of Perseverance up of your damage taken. If he spends more time running than fighting back, you will have succeded. If he fights back, take on using your Diminuendo to reduce his damage and make him loose the exchange. One way or another, he will be distracted from last hitting. If the exchange is not worth it, retreat.
Experience: Stay in the experience range (1600) of dieing minions. Make your enemies fear getting into this range themselves. The reasons and workings of Zoning should be known to any and all players, but mostly to you as a support.
To sum it up: Try to gain a small advantage over your enemies, but opposed to wasting that advantage in a foolish act of killgreediness, try to use it to increase your advantage with depriving your enemy from exp and money. This is much saver than killing and has the same result.
Two things are in the way of making this advantage permanent: Ganks and Recalls.
Ganks: Do your best to track the enemy. CV is essential to spot the enemy jungler, but keeping an eye on the minimap for MIA's is just as important. Warding jungle entrances, river and lane bushes, prevents ganks. Clearing enemy wards or knowing where they are, allows for your own ganks.
Recalls: If you leave the lane, you will loose xp. Only recall when a minion wave is just gone, or it is unsave to stay (low HP, enemies near). Always beware of returning enemies, they may be a lot stronger than when they backed. Your slowly gained advantage my be gone in that instant.
Pushing: This does not refer to pushing towers - your ultimate aim - but to the creep wave positioning in the lane. If your damage to minions ecceeds that of the enemy, the fighting zone will slowly travel into their direction, and you will start to overextend. That is bad because you are more vulnerable to ganks, and it becomes harder to zone the enemy - you will get zoned yourself. Therefore: try to balance the damage, so the line stays in the middle of the lane or gets pushed a little into your direction.
One way or another, you need Mana Regeneration to sustain your songs, so your starting item, and your first finished item and runes/masteries should provide you in this regard. Now I am sad to tell you that the ideal MReg runes and items conflict with a wonderful thing called gold generation. The best MReg runes are Quintessences, and the best MReg item is not the philosopher's stone but the Chalice of Harmony. Therefore you have to decide if Gold or MReg is better in every game you play. Another conflict later in the game is Heart of Gold or Kindlegem (No objetion in the Utility mastery tree, fortunately).
To solved this dilemma think about the champions you play with and will face in champion select and ask yourself the following question: How many late game champions has your team ? (E.g. Tristana, Nasus, Jax, Yi, Tryndamere)
If you know that the game will last a long time, your lane is not doing well, or your teammates simply focus on CS-ing, Goldgeneration becomes the best stat you can get, and there is no harm done in delaying other items. Most other times, however, early and mid game decide the game, and especially if you expect people to be discouraged from a weak early game (In low elo Ranked solo Q) and possible surrender, don't always take Philo Stone and Gold Quints. HoG is an option when the enemy has strong AD's and the game suddenly starts taking longer than expected.
Laning phase: / and later philosopher's stone / Sight Ward
Tip: Support every lane you can. Tell them to ward if they don't, warn them from incomming ganks, keep an eye on the minimap and ping if people are missing. You are the eyes and ears of your team and you can prevent a lot of mistakes. One of the most important things for your team is the reaction about a lane that is having trouble. Don't leave that lane alone. Tell the jungler to help, help yourself or make lane switches. Changing the lane can completely turn the table for the enemy laners and is your biggest instrument to prevent enemy freefarm. Try it and learn how to do it properly. (The earlier you suggest a lane change, and the less feeding, the better it will work.)
"When awakening the terrible dragon in its lair, your team will test their skills for the first time in an epic battle. But the enemy lurks in the trees around and may challenge the honor of killing this beast. The Couragious and Cautious are honored with the last strike and will ravage in their wrath on the grounds of Summoners Rift."
There are two different kinds of dragon fights: I call them Private and Public fights.
The best case scenario means, your jungler tells you he is ready for dragon, and you take one minute to place a Vision ward at dragon, clear the enemy ward, and then proceed to place one or two more wards on the pathways to dragon (mostly blue buff and mid jungle entrance. Then you and your jungler quietly do dragon, he provides the damage and you the heal. After that you type in the respawn time, e.g. dragon killed at 12:56 means you type "drake 18:56". Two things are paramount for this. One: you have to know the enemy jungler is somewhere top. Two: you are confident that your lane partner bot can handle a 2v1 for the time. Essentially this scenario assumes that the enemy is not ready for dragon yet.
Now the other type of dragon fights is more common and more interesting. If you start challenging the enemy vision, there should be some reaction, a CV and a new ward mostly. Now the battle has started. It is not so much about the dragon itself, but about who has vision on dragon and champion presence in the area and therefore this is about the better position in the battle to come. When your position is better you will start to battle dragon, tank it, lure it from its lair and bring it down.
Because killing dragon rewards 190g per player and is roughly worth 2 kills and you should expect the enemy to gamble at least two lives for it. Mostly that of his jungler. Therefore having smite ready in your team is paramount when attempting dragon, so it can't get stolen easily. You should also make sure that the enemy teleports (if he has some) are on CD so that no solo top can suddenly appear out of nowhere and cc your team.
Now there is no harm done in aborting dragon. But there has to be a path you can retreat to. You should never do dragon, when you see the enemy converging at your position from all sides - in this case better isolate the highest priority target (mostly mid) and catch it in a bad position. That means when the shoe is on the other foot, only go for dragon as a team, use CV in advance and ward all over the place.
Now on a side note. Sure dragon is "decisive", the ~1000g is nothing to laught at. But it only bacomes a game changer when your entire team is aced because they ovestimated the value of it. Only attemt to steal when you have retreat ways, e.g. Flash up, strong cc... Dont take dragon at all costs. If you trade dragon for a tower... thats not bad at all.
Dragon: Sight Ward
"We shall gather our strengths and strike for their defenses swift and enduring we must be."
Pushing means applying pressure to a lane that - if no enemy reaction comes - will eventually result in the destruction of a tower. The new masteries are a huge boost for tower destruction, just couple Siege Commander with Demolitionist and On The Hunt (and your buddy Taric's Radiance) and win the game. Now, how can Sona contribute to proper pushing - she is not a pusher herself? As a support, your job is lying out vision in the contested area so that the gank on your push is detected in time for an ordered retreat or a quick combat in your favor. You will speed up minions with your Song of Celerity and provide the damage aura for your team with Hymn of Valor (plus your Power Chord damage applies to towers). You can even tank towers with a Chain Vest and your Aria of Perseverance.
One tower rewards your team with 750g, that is one big step towards winning the game. Get towers whenever you can and make sure that when you retreat, the pressure on that lane doesn't suddenly disappear and the enemy counter pushes.
Pushing is very dynamic and when the element of surprise is gone - the enemy has gathered under the tower and will make his last stand - pushing stops. If you want to push effectively, then quickly adapt. With enough vision, you can easily apply pressure on more than one lane (Split-pushing) and lure the enemy out of the safety of their tower. Yes, you can force a fight and tower dive too, but that is not pushing, that brings us to the next point: Teamfights.
Pushing: Sight Ward for tower-tanking
Tip: Use your superior mobility to quickly change objectives, if the enemy is too slow, you can easily take a tower or a buff. Don't hesitate to ping and lead your team to the next quest, stationary poking is not your thing, you are a dynamic champion. If your team stays with you, your quick and purposeful gameplay will often decide the match.
"New courage comes to those that stand at Sona's side - everyone likes to sing the song of Battle."
If you look at Sona's spells in comparison to other supports, it is obvious that the more people are around her, the better her skillset is used. Soraka or Janna may save or buff one teammate considerably, but Sona always improves everything around her. Needless to say that teamfights are her true strength. Alternating between your W and E and throwing in your R in the right moment, you will win any teamfight. The enemy will try to kill you very hard and a good Sona will use that to bait them, always luring them to strike, yet using her E to always stay out of trouble. Late game you may even choose to become a decent tank that will just float through their desperate onslaught and then activate his Randuin's and watch as your teammates rip them apart.
(I am in no way suggesting that Sona replaces a tank or that she can survive such battles if her team is not good, but she has something like a global taunt, especially with an oracle, and can soak up quite some damage with the right items).
Now for a successful teamfight, respectfully learn the following points by heart:
- Before starting a teamfight, mark the target with the highest priority.
- Let the tank initiate and disable any target with dangerous ultimates instantly.
- Speed him up with E and Shurelya's active if you have it.
- Let your carries do their job and help them with your E - speed them up and hit the enemy with your slow.
- Use Randuin's Omen if you have it.
- Instantly switch to your W when it comes available and make sure you stay in healing range.
- Use your ultimate to trap as many of them and make them loose their minds completely. Please TAKE YOUR TIME to aim properly.
- (If that Akali tries to save herself: Vision Ward her Twilight Shroud and get that ward money back via assist! The same goes for Twiches or Eves or any other nasty stealther, just ward in advance of theamfights here.)
- Now alternate between E and W and hit the remaining greatest threat with your Damage reduction.
- Use flash to kite and stay out of trouble, yet still stay near your team.
- Don't make the mistake of running away from them - it will weaken your team and you.
- Use Speed and Heal from E and W to keep your team healthy and together.
You can see that the key to a good Sona lies in the right POSITIONING to stay out of trouble yet helping your team. It can take quite a while to get the hang of it. Task accomplished. Now for proper team battles you will need both Aria of Perseverance and Song of Celerity as high as possible. You may ask why not use Hymn of Valor ?
The reasoning here is your global 2 second CD and the residual aura effects when switching stances.
The passive benefits of the last activated aura will remain for the global CD and then dissolve. With maxed CDR your Q, W and E will have a 4.2 sec CD, which is just enough for chaining them (naturally 4 sec would be ideal). Now if you are switching stances that means you can keep two of the passives indefinitely, and it will be up to you to decide what your team needs just now. As I said before it is my belief that your teammates should provide enough damage and that speed is more useful to them. If you believe otherwise, do it, by all means (Of course I use the Hymn too, just very situational and only when I am sure my team will survive). Just remember that using Q makes no sense if you haven't leveled it in the first place.
If EVER you die; learn from your mistakes. If you are too slow, get boots. If you notice some crazy high magic dmg, get MR. If they kite you to death, get a Quicksilver Sash or/and Shurelya's Reverie. If they kill you alone, stay with your team. If they kill you with your team, tell them who to focus. If they nuke you, get a Banshee's Veil. And so on...
get 40% CDR and +70 MReg (with Chalice at 0 Mana, so around 35 MReg if you are full Mana) and have your ult and flash ready.
Your auras of course and Zeke's Herald
Tip: Positioning is your key to survival and victory. Be fast and learn where you can survive. Try to learn ALL champion abilities and ranges, so you know when you are save from them. As a final note here: You are disposable. Do not hesitate to sacrifice yourself if that means you win a battle, or a carry escapes.
"Rid the world of the biggest of evils !"
Money. Experience. A BUFF; healing, replenishing mana and giving AD and AP for your entire team. I see you get the big picture. Baron means victory. So please, by all means, try to get it! Similar to dragon you will ward and quarrel over the positioning, and there will always be clashes in the area. Warding it properly is even more important than at dragon, clearing enemy wards just the same. But most important of all: Do not split up when baron is possible. You need everyone together. People with teleport might wander, but only when ther are ready to hop right into the heat of battle.
As with dragon: Accept defeat when you see a hopeless case. Running for baron with only parts of your team is stupid. Your jungler might try to steal it, but nothing more. Prepare for a long siege and hopefully you will only loose one or two towers.
Baron: everything you got!
Tip: If you are not absolutely sure of it, don't attempt baron. You just don't attempt the VICTORY thing. You DO it, or you DON'T do it, there is no in between.
Guidelines for Decent Playing
When I first played League of Legends, what I valued most, was the easy-going attitude on low levels. It was indeed your skill (not very advanced skill), that decided the games. The more I rose, the more people took this game seriously, a little too serious. In my humble oppinion, real life is serious enough. I want to enjoy playing LoL, so why so serious?
You are allowed to loose when you fought valiantly. You are allowed to make mistakes if you learn from them. The enjoyment comes if you can improve yourself as a player and a teammate.
Every game has its rules, and everyone should fight for them, or League of Legends will end in chaos and anarchy. Honor the Code. Honorable Ladies and Gentleman will furthermore elevate themselves over the usual LoL-mob and behave in a more civilised and sophisticated way.
If we talk about the community, we mean that part of society (in all its wide spread diversities) that plays in the League. Mostly, your opponents and teammates are not so different from yourself. Don't be quick to pass judgement on them, therefore, talk about other stuff as well, and not just about bad skills.
If you are tired after a game that went bad...
Make a custom game just for the lolz, invite all your friends and just Troll with them: ALL TROLL - NO RULES (no suciding, no flaming, no afk).
It is the easy-going attitude in a free game that is the most fun, where all options are open, where you can experiment with unusual things, where dieing is part of learning and loosing just the clarification of the fact that your way did not work as intended.
Someone tells you AP Miss Fortune does not work ? All roaming: fail ? Promote is bad ? That two supports are too many ? Don't believe him. Try it out yourself. You think my guide is wrong ? If you don't try it out, you will NEVER know.
I will join you if I see an open game, because I always want to try new ways and I figure bot games are not the place to try things that require teamplay and are a bit boring. Have fun!
If you truly are interested in Sona, try out all of her aspects and variations to discover how versatile she can be. I'll be glad when you tell me about your way with her, and how it works.
Thank you for reading my guide. I look forward to seeing you play Sona on the Field of Justice. Special thanks to Mobafire.com and all the valiant LoL players that put up with me.
Since this guide is brand new (24/2/2012), I appreciate you helping me improve it (seriously, I do).
My ingame name is "Gott der 7 Meere".