Sona Build Guide by Gott der 7 Meere
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Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Sona is a versatile aura and utility support. Her signature are small, but spammable heals, mini ghosts and utility nukes. Her auras involve all important stats and her ultimate is highly useful. She requires only few items to bring her abilities to shine and is excellent at babysitting carries.
You can find guides on AP-support-Sona that work well here on Mobafire, so there is no need for another guide concerning it.
My guide is about a very unusual and strikingly different build and it might not work on your first attempt. I don't pretend that everyone else is wrong and that I have the only true Sona build, but I do claim it to be viable and I would be happy to hear reasonable arguments, when you talk about no-damage-Support-Sona.
Feel free to contact me for questions and feedback,
my IGN is "Gott der 7 Meere" on EUW.
Matchup and Lanepartners
Every build has its ups and downs. Playing Sona like discribed in this guide works best, when your team has synergy with you.
But why don't you take your Q at all?
First of all Hymn of Valor is very good spell. I love it. With Q or E you choose between two totally different playstyles.
- Q - You wait for opportunities to burst enemies and you deal strong damage in lane. Depending on enemy reaction this results in either low/high/x or high/low/x. If you face the usual OMG-OMG-Sona-OP whiners that are affraid of your Q and don't know how to handle you, then, yes, you will have an easy lane. If your enemies know that the downside of damage is your squishyness, and have some sort of CC... you will die sooner or later. In the end ...
... this playstyle abuses enemy mistakes in trading damage, understimating you.
- W - You position yourself and your team better, they do the damage, and you enable them to do so effectively. You wont die because your positioning is superior. You end games with 0/0/x which doesn't look sexy at the first glance. But your teammates profit from higher survivability and get x/0/0 and that is what counts. I assume the AD carry doesn't need my Q but just 2 more auto-attacks of his own, and the as sasin or AP carry only wants to be in range for his spells. I give them that option. In the end ...
... this playstyle abuses enemy mistakes in positioning, underestimating you and your team.
If your team profits more from the -style, like the above, that is the time for my build to truly shine.
Abilities and Skillorder
- improved by: level, CDR(3 ability uses), MPen
Power Chord (Damage and CC): Need a heal ? - you decrease the damage of the requiring-health-cause top of healing. Running for you lives ? - you get a pretty slow after organizing the retreat. Useless to say that when Sona wants damage - she gets what she wants. Early game your passive gives you three additional abilities, and in late game, it packs quite a punch on top of that. Always after / or the 2sec global CD will srew up your healing.
> > > - level, CDR, MPen, AP
Hymn of Valor (Damage, Zoneing): Leaving this active in early game makes you vulnerable. Activating it puts you in enemy range and drains your mana. In return you get devastating damage in conjunction with your Staccato. This is your only spell that cannot be used defensively as well as offensively. I call it a "Snowball-spell" because it offers you only damage that might result in winning your lane and getting fed, (thus winning) but ensures your loss if you ever fall behind. IMO, only damage doesn't necessarily win you the game.
> > > - level, CDR, Increased-Healing-Effects, AP, Armor, MR
Aria of Perseverance (Heal/Sustain, CC, Buf, Bait): A very smart, auto-target, spammable heal. 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 everytime there is trouble. Useing this for poking seems strange, but an enemy that deals [20%] less damage facing a full health ally with buffed resistance is the smart way to winning your lane.
> > > - level, CDR, Base MS (Boots)
Song of Celerity (Utility, Speed, CC): A very impressive, permanent AOE speedup at higher levels. It can be used defensively as well as ofensivley and is essential for ganks. Having a spammable slow is awesome, too, but the best thing about this skill, is its role as initiation or disengage signal that encourages coordinated teamplay (soloq). Your team will be able to change objectives quickly, and this is Sonas strength.
> > > - level, CDR, MPen, AP
Crescendo (CC, Teamfights, Damage): Your lifesaver! This is your teams emergency reset button. Use it to save your carries and to disrupt enemy ultimates, turning the tides of battle.
Concerning my skill order: The last nerf makes low level Q, E and W weak but mana-intensive, thus I avoid spreading my points to much. The first rank of gives you all its utility and I rather spent points on my auras. I take over because it is my personal playstyle, you don't have to agree.
If you think her Q is all that matters, you should read other Sona-Guides.
|Combined with your wards, Clairvoyance will allow you unlimited map-awareness.||SPACE||Your E is already ghost enough, take Flash for positioning.|
You already have , , and thanks to the you will not need therefore takeing them is situational. Other summoner spells are very champion specific ( , , ) or underpowered ( , ).
In this section, I will talk about the most important stats for Sona, how much you need of them, and where you can get it effectively. In my oppinion, there is no one item or mastery that is set in stone, you should adapt to your team and enemy anyway. Therefore I list them all, and you can choose what you want accordingly.
Gold (g/10): - - - For one thing above all: warding.
Starting Gold: 475 + 20/40 - - [475-515g]
Gold gain: 13 on SR/TT + 0.25 + 1 + 0.5/1/1.5/2 + 5 / / - - [13-35.25 g/10s]
Assist Gold: 58% of the bouty (15 - 600g) split on all assisting +8/16/24 - - [8-375g]
Gold items are the way to go. One is enough, two are good, three take up too many item slots. Take runes if you don't die due to lack of survivabilty.
Cooldown Reduction (CDR): - - - Rush 40%
Your heal skales bad with AP, so CDR is the only viable thing to increase it. Seeing as all your other skills are individually weak and only gain power when you use them more than once, CDR complements Sona perfectly. You want the full 40% CDR and you want it fast.
Mana / Mana Regeneration (MReg): - - - ~40 MReg + -passive
- - - -
If you have 40% CDR you need aproximately 80 MReg/5sec to keep spamming. Either get Chalice of Harmony or save your mana and use Mana Potions. Allthough you will seldom use them because you need other runes, are the strongest boost you can get for MReg. Try them out.
Utility / Team Support: - - - Your team comes first!
You are an aura support, stacking auras on Sona is a very decent thing to do. Get only what your team needs as described in the "Gameplay" section.
Hit Points (HP): - - - ~500 bonus HP
Your aura range requires you to get close... too close to build glass cannon AP. You may not need a Warmog's Armor but one or two smaller HP items make the difference between winning and loosing.
Magic Resistance (MR): - - - ~150 MR
Just with runes and W you already get a lot MR. Rather buy many small MR items that one large, most notably here: Aegis of the Legion not only for you, but for your team (with a lot of synergy to your W and eventually a Iron Locket of the Solari-shield). Buy a Negatron Cloak if things get ugly (its the most cost-efficient MR item, you don't need to upgrade it).
Armor: - - - ~150 Armor
For preventing physical damage, there is one very good item. Ultimately you should build towards a Randuin's Omen. Even though its expensive, its parts are worth their gold, especially the Chain Vest and Warden's Mail. You will have a Heart of Gold anyway.
Movement Speed (MS): - - - +400 MS without E
Key element for your survival. Your positioning to keep everyone in the range of your auras is essential. And no one should be able to run away. Get it early.
Stats not listed here are truly ineffective on Sona (AD, Crit) or go against the logic of this build (AP, MPen, APen).
Get as many - cheap - tire 1 items and gold/10 items as you can. Good upgrades will give you auras that synergize with you and your team.
Runes and Masteries
Red: Armor (MR/MPen/APen). You want Armor or MR. Yellow: Armor (HP/MReg/Gold). Armor is needed almost always. Possible alternative is Gold. Blue: MR (MReg/lvl/CDR). I prefer flat runes since you want early game stats. +4% CDR to get to 40% later. Take some MR. Quints: Gold/MS (MReg/lvl). I suggest Speed because your positioning is that important.
0/3/27 - The only question is wether you put 21 or more points into utility. Up to you.
These will prepare and prevent jungle invasion and make good decision in ganks and can avoid zoneing from bush-hugging enemies. When stealthers or early game gankers are involved, get a Vision Ward. Start building your Philosopher's Stone with this. Healing your ally is very mana consuming. You shouldn't spam your heal before rank 2 and in case they hit you, pop your potion. Heal your jungler, heal your lanemate, heal yourself. Sustain is paramount early, as you want to savely gain xp and gold. Remember that the temporary resistance buf is quite big.
Clear enemy wards at dragon. This is to be prefered to an early because you just die to quickly before you get your core build. This item is only for additional Gold gain. If you need only MReg, rush a Chalice of Harmony. Always remember that HPreg is a huge waste on Sona. I repeat, this item is only for increasing your income. Get them early or you will involuntarily feed the enemy a lot of kills. Prioritize Boots when a game is going bad. Keep gaining speed, so you have it when dragon fights occur. This allows your team to kite very well. Unorganized enemies will die to it. You need HP now, get a Ruby Crystal. If you don't need more gold items, get a Kindlegem instead. The upgrade is very good for your team in certain situations. Always have enough wards to cover two important spots, e.g. dragon and blue buff.
Mana problems can be solved by either stacking Mana or by getting a high amount of Mana regeneration. Sona is the most suited champion for the later as she doesn't need a huge pool (highest Mana consumption: R-W-combo 180-280 Mana). Cheapest possible CDR. Other boots choices are Ninja Tabi if you have no more money and Mercury's Treads for late game when your CDR is capped through other items. I am curious if the Chalice buff will allow me to skip CDR for more mobility Boots of Mobility. More HP and CDR and many good upgrade options. This is a perfect item on its own, but mostly will be upgraded to Zeke's Herald instantly. If you screw this up, your team will hate you. Practice! You win fights by disrupting enemy damage. In a good teamfight, there will be no emergency because you used your ultimate shortly after initiation and the enemy is vulnerable for just another second. Urge your jungler to get it, else you will have to buy Vision Wards / Oracle's Elixir.
Sometimes your team really needs an item to win the next decisive teamfight over baron. You bought gold items them to have money for wards, now you can sell them without hesitation.
If you need another CDR item, this is a good alternative to Zeke's and Shurelya's. Livesteal is probably the best contribution to your AD carry and bruisers in late game ( Lee Sin, Nocturne ...). Especially usefull against AOE damage and burst, has huge synergy with the Locket. If no one has bought this until now, you will. Burst heal replacement and nice addition to sonas utility. Get this vs. AOE damage ( Fiddlesticks, Victor, Gragas, Annie ...). You buy this for MReg and CDR. The active is good, but I tend to get Zekes first. If you have a Rammus or Skarner; they may like another speed burst. Sona gains nothing from this item. No HP, no CDR. Still, some teams need this to become truly invincible. AP-DPS champions like Cassiopeia, Ryze, Orianna will gain a huge, game-decisive advantage from one or even two of these. Heavy physical teams are best countered with the Omen and its little brother, the Warden's Mail. This item only makes sense if you are facing e.g. Tryndamere and Irelia and Vayne, and you have to get before they are fed.
Protect your main carry with every possible action. Buy many wards and oracle. Get a Trinity Force if you can't loose.
In the end your builds will look like these Example Builds:
I hope by now you realize that a clever build needs to be flexible. Every game has its own requirements and obviously teamplay is better than any build. Don't dismiss items just because you have never seen them on Sona.
Unveiling the fog of war
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."
You can type funny comments into the chat... like this true story, to make your teammates buy wards.
- Where to place wards. Placing wards on lane bushes, jungle entrances and bufs, enables your team to gank and steal bufs properly. Still, they are only 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.
Remember that you will only become a good support if you master warding.
Guidelines for decent Gaming
- "That heal/stun/slow/attack/ult saved my life, that was soo close, thank you very much."
- "I underestimated my enemy, it was my mistake, it won't happen again, I promise."
- "Kind Sirs, getting Mercs against that team is a decent thing to do."
- "[all] Talk kindly to your fellow gentleman, it is hard for them too."
Credits go to jhoijhoi for learning about BBCode. I hope you learnt something from this guide, I wrote it to clear my thoughst on Sona and to let others look at my conclusions.
I am happy with this guide as it is. If you have something to add to my line of thoughs write to me. I greatly appreciate discussion and arguments about builds, I don't want you to adapt my style, I see it as an experiment that yields good results and should be appreciated as such.
Thank you for reading!
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