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Soraka Build Guide by Damon22441

This build has been archived and is for historical display only.

PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated.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.


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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Damon22441

How2Soraka: Wield the Staff, Be the Support.

Damon22441 Last updated on April 13, 2014
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Ability Sequence

10
14
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
2
3
5
7
9
Ability Key W
1
4
8
12
13
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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 21


Guide Top

Introduction

This guide is my first guide on the character Soraka. Now, this guide isn't about any one particular build, but a set of circumstantial builds that hopefully go in detail enough for others to understand what I mean by circumstantial, and to adapt, survive, and overcome any odds.


Guide Top

Playing as Soraka

Soraka is a squishy healer capable of silencing enemies for a good amount of time and keeping her teammates topped off with max health and mana. Many people believe her to mean having a passive bottom lane, but this isn't true, for she is very much a character capable of scoring assists and kills in the first few minutes and even some first bloods occasionally, with a good carry. (Although the carry needs them, so try not to get those).

Before, I guess when I first started playing League, Soraka was a character that wasn't necessarily wanted. Some other guides even recognize that people berated others for choosing her, and some still think, to this day, that she is a bad character. However, I cannot tell how many times I've been cheered as being the best Soraka someone has ever played with, or even their best support. I feel I should take screen caps of the chat box after game as evidence of so many colon-D faces made, but for now I'll just make a guide here to hopefully let others be praised for being one awesome support.
But enough of that...

Let's dive right in, shall we?


Guide Top

Summoner Spell Selection

I always take these:


fill

Having Heal means having 3 healing abilities, and when used in the right order (with the spell being last) nearly an entire health bar can be refilled with a built Soraka. Another self-preserving spell is Flash, which allows for a quick, short-range teleport over walls, away from enemy champions, out of an incoming attack, etc. Exhaust is a versatile spell. Early game, this can save the carry multiple times or assure a kill by slowing the enemy down and reducing their attack speed and damage significantly. Late game, this can be applied to the enemy ADC to slow their attack rate in team fights, so they don't erase the team's health.

Other possible spells

  • Ignite. It's not recommended by me, but the pressure this spell has in lane cannot go unspoken for. At or around level 3 the true damage this spell does can easily force back an attack or even secure a kill. Poke the enemy to about 70% of their health, give the carry a wink and a nod and go in, silencing them first then igniting them, following up with damage. If they are pushed up enough the ignite damage would have gone through getting the enemy low, and then the carry can ignite them. 260 (Lvl 4) to 540 (Lvl 11) free damage over a few seconds almost always means a kill. If not, the enemy loses Creep Score.


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Explanation of Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Health
3

Standard flat Armor and Magic Resistance, with Health Quints for more Effective Health and synergy with Salvation.

Other possible rune sets


In replacement of health, Greater Quintessence of Gold is a good choice, but with Scavenger and the gold item purchases made at the start of the game there should be plenty of gold around. Also, Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed may be a thought since it synergizes with Fleet of Foot and Wanderer , for it would help in both warding and running back to teammates who need support ASAP.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist could be opted to be taken instead of the flat bonus in order to stay in the game with MR, since Soraka has a low base stat compared to armor, but later item purchases can make up for any additional magic resistance wanted. Not to mention Infuse's silence can stop magic users from hurting her for enough time to escape or get out of range.


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Masteries Explanation

Masteries
2/5
2/5
1/1
3/5
1/1
3/5
3/1
3/1
3/1
1/5
1/1
3/1
2/1
1/
1/


Specifically for Soraka, I go for gold income, early-game survivability, and movement speed.
  • In Defense, I take Block and Unyielding to reduce damage early on. Matched with the runes' armor bonus, this helps greatly with dealing with early-game ADCs.
  • Also in Defense, Veteran's Scars boosts starting health bonuses to 114, and Juggernaut takes all that and adds 3% to it, allowing even more Effective Health.
  • Recovery is useful for staying around even when low on health. Because heals go to teammates almost exclusively, any health gain helps.
  • Onto Utility, I take Fleet of Foot and Wanderer to be able to get there faster. With character speed being 340/365/385/445, 6.5% is like taking a second pair of boots, and if Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed are selected, that's 11% increase!
  • Meditation helps for not running out of mana as quickly early on, helping up to the point when Athene's Unholy Grail is purchased.
  • Summoner's Insight is taken to allow Heal to be used more often, shaving off 30 seconds between uses. Also, Exhaust can be used more often to ensure a kill or escape early on, and any CDR on Flash is nice.
  • Greed is taken to gain more gold, totaling 3 gold per 20 seconds, but more importantly it leads up to Scavenger , which, when combined with Nomad's Medallion gets 5g per nearby creep kill. Combined further with Bandit and some harassing, this adds up to be a mountain's worth of gold later on.
  • Wealth is taken to allow the purchase of two Stealth Wards at the start of the game.
  • Expanded Mind gives a larger mana pool to help not run out, and with Mana Font from Chalice of Harmony, or for synergy with Archangel's Staff, mana shouldn't ever be a problem.
  • I take Inspiration to help in catching up with levels later on. This is for when I am just under my carry or when team fighting, since the other lanes are often a higher level. The sooner abilities are maxed, the better, and this helps especially mid-game.


Other Mastery Choices


Instead of putting two in Inspiration and 3 in Expanded Mind , a point can be placed in Strength of Spirit (though I say the health regen isn't good enough even late-game), and the rest in Hardiness , Resistance , then their respective next-tier masteries.
Really, though, these two are the only two I'd say to change if any changes are to happen, giving 5 points to spend anywhere else. Perhaps try Sorcery for the one second off of Astral Blessing and Expose Weakness for additional damage in fights.

Additionally, Taking both the points out of Inspiration and putting them into Enhanced Armor means having more defenses throughout the game.


Guide Top

The Circumstances

There are going to be splitting branches here, and in my head I can see a sort of tree chart;
however, seeing as how readers of this guide aren't in my head, I will try my best to explain how each situation is different and how to spot ahead of time what items and abilities to take and when.

For the item builds there are three (3) main branches:
- If 3 or more enemies are magic users...
- If 3 or more enemies are non-magic users...
- If the team is mixed well but it's easy to spot the real damage dealers...


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Abilities

It is important to note that Starcall has its benefits however it can effect the lane partner's creep score. Be cautious when poking with this!

The General Build above shows the optimal ability selection for the laning phase of the game and moving into the end game. Taking Infuse first means poking the enemies from the start. Remember that being in range of it means also being in AA range, so let try to 2-hit combo each time. I take this first because the carry shouldn't get damaged at level 1 and the time spent waiting for level 2 to get Infuse could best be capitalized on by getting it from the start. At level 3 an executive decision must be made: take Astral Blessing again or another in Infuse. If the carry is below 60% health it'd be wise to take Astral Blessing, if not then taking Infuse means getting .25 seconds closer to being a 2 second silence. Oh, and the damage output is good. From her on max W with E while taking Wish wherever possible until the laning phase is over. Come the time for team fighting, or roaming from having taken the tower, putting one point in Star Call allows for more damage output during fights without worry of stealing CS from the carry.


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Item Builds

If 3 or more enemies are magic users


... then it should be inherently obvious to build magic resist, especially if early on magic damage is hurting. Athene's Unholy Grail is a must item, and it comes with magic resistance, but it's not going to be enough later. The item I suggest always building for surviving against heavy AP enemies is Banshee's Veil because it gives the most MR an item gives (55) and has a cool passive that renders the next enemy ability connected to be nullified and increase health regen for a short while. Mercury's Treads should be built out of the boots if more MR is still needed, and a bit of speed is wanted. If Boots of Mobility are still an item wanted, perhaps Twin Shadows or Mikael's Crucible, for the stuns from the ghosts could help seal the deal on some kills while also having potentially 4 healing abilities ( Astral Blessing, Wish, Mikael's Crucible, Heal), which also frees from stuns and slows, would make Soraka the ultimate healer— especially if used on a tank with a lot of health, since it's 'percentage of max'-based.

If 3 or more enemies are damage-based


... Continuing the General Build ( Talisman of Ascension), armor product should be built. Zhonya's Hourglass is usually a last-item-to-make in my build, but it gives good armor and AP so it can be opted to be taken earlier, not to mention it's ability allows Soraka to act as a distraction, either being focused by the enemies or holding them back long enough for her team mates to retreat safely. Frozen Heart gives a lot of armor and slows enemy basic attack speed in a vicinity. So an emergency "omg, the ad's are messing us up" build would look like Talisman of Ascension Ruby Sightstone Ninja Tabi Frozen Heart Zhonya's Hourglass and either Warmog's Armor, Iceborn Gauntlet, or Guardian Angel.

If the enemy team seems balanced...


... but it's clear who the real heavy-hitters are, inspection of their item choices is needed to determine which aspect should be built. Considering the team is balanced, I'd go with Banshee's Veil for MR and Frozen Heart for armor. The rest should be AP focused, even when looking for additional MR or armor. The Flex items are there for a reason, as Guardian Angel gives resistances in both fields and prevents immediate death in case the enemies decide to focus the healer and not the ADC (which can happen) in team fights, and Zeke's Herald sudenly looks like a nice replacement for Frozen Heart (which is also replaced with Zhonya's Hourglass to make up for Armor while giving a cool aura).


Guide Top

The way to play

Soraka is a support


She is not a casual heal a bit here and CC there, a bit of warding this. No. Being a support, the player controlling her should have the mindset of a support. When I'm playing her I'm focused almost entirely on the well-being of my lane partner and team. All heals go to them almost exclusively, even if I only have 6% HP and they have 78%, they still get the heal (except in late-game team fights and I'm the focus, where-in the longer it takes to kill me the longer the enemies are bombarded with my team's assault). (I hope to get a video up of how I do it, since visual representation is the best way to see how it's done.)

Early game supporting



At the start of the game it's all about the carry. As mentioned above, the healing goes almost exclusively to them and is only used on Soraka if the carry's health is 90% or higher and mana isn't below 200, AND the enemies aren't close to the turret. Infuse should be used on the enemies for a harass— hitting an enemy with Infuse means they can be hit with a basic attack for the extra damage and for the extra gold from Bandit — only if the carry's mana is above 50% if they use it often or 30% if the carry doesn't use mana much. Talisman of Ascension should be taken first for it helps if the lane is being messed up because the enemies turret-diving or the lane is doing really well and needs the burst of speed to finish off near-death enemies. Always keep the river bush warded, preferably with a Vision Ward so as to maintain vision dominance in the area. If the ward lasts minutes or spots a jungler incoming then it's usefulness has been maximized. Use the trinket to ward the brush on the bottom to maintain pressure and awareness of the enemies. The carry should also place theirs in a bush, helping in the efforts. It is possible that when pushed to friendly turret a kill can be secured by going for the eyes for the lowest health character, only if that means the support is squishy. Don't go attacking a Leona or Alistar. Exhaust or Ignite can help in this, and at the least it should force the enemies back, gaining CS over them, and maybe even XP. Note: the carry can be used to bait enemies into a dive. Healing them (through any means possible and hopefully before they're Ignited) and Exhausting the deepest one can usually get the kill.

When Wish is obtained

don't be afraid to use it to save the carry if the chances of saving them are nearly 100%. The ult does take some time to come back up, though hopefully reduced by at least 20% by now, and shouldn't be used so lightly, but one less death is one less kill for the enemy team and a whole lot of CS and turret health maintained. Now that this ability has been unlocked, it's time to start watching the other lanes as well. Clicking on the mini map to see how top lane is doing in a fight (assuming the hero icons are very close) or mid and making the call to heal them if they need it or heal them for the sake of the assist, though try not to do only that since there are plenty of ways to get assists later on that doesn't involve wasting an ult. Another way to watch the other lanes is to look at their health under their icons on the left side of the screen. When team health is below about 70% each character be wary of a death that could be potentially averted from using Wish. Also, it justifies using Wish to save one person when the whole team still benefits from it.

When laning is over...



... and team-fighting is beginning, STAY WITH THE TEAM. This seems an obvious thing to do, but what I mean by it is to literally stay with them even if low on health. The presence of an extra person close by plays mind games on the enemy team, Astral Blessing and Wish could make all the difference when used on the right person/ at the right time. At this point CDR should be at 40%, so it's okay to heal self, especially since Soraka can be the focus in battle. When the teams are doing that thing where they size each other up— moving back and forth but staying out of range of each other— then use Astral Blessing and Infuse on the team members lowest in each respectively. Keeping the team topped off is what makes Soraka the ultimate sustain and, depending on preference, perfect team fighter. ( Lux would be a good choice for Crowd Control and finishing enemies with her ult, but she utterly can't keep teams together for long, and Sona's heals are laughable in fights.) In team fighting there are a few things to keep in mind:

During team fights

  • Always wait a second when conflict begins, then heal the focused team mate with Astral Blessing. Odds are they'll still be the focus, so Wish while running up to Heal if their heal drops below 60% (so the Wish can most likely heal other friendly's instead of just being used on one person {even though sometimes it's the best thing to do}). Triple heal is powerful, but quadruple heal if Mikael's Crucible was purchased is unbelievable.
  • If the team as a whole drops below an average of 80% health, so 4 people are missing 1/5 of their health or 3 people are missing a little more than that, use Wish immediately, then proceed to use Astral Blessing on the person who has the lowest health afterwards, because they're the one being focused. The Armor gain from it is phenominal in team fights, and the lower the health the more is healed, but be wary of any Morellonomicons or Igniters out there. Even Tristana or Miss Fortune's abilities can hurt, so watch above the focused's head.
  • Make it rain with Starcall as often as possible. The stacking MR drop on the enemies means the heavier the storm the more damage Starcall and teammate's attacks does/do. Also, it shaves off seconds from Astral Blessing's cool down, so the focused player can be healed again to ensure they survive and get their kills/ dismantle enemy team.
  • Don't forget that Exhaust is an awesome tool at reducing incoming damage. I typically use this on the person focusing my tank/ADC or simply their ADC when they are present (which is nearly all the time late-game). Otherwise, Exhaust is used when chasing enemies to slow them down and ensure a kill (assist).
  • Usually when one or two people die, the team begins to retreat. Talisman of Ascension should be used if the team decides to chase after the other, whether that's the friendly team chasing or retreating. If Soraka is ahead of her team mates, stop, go back a bit, then apply the boost so there isn't any more deaths then what occurred. Using Exhaust to slow the enemy approaching fastest and speeding the team up ensures more survivors nearly every time, and if chasing, slowing the person closest and speeding up the team gets kills/assists.
  • Don't be afraid to charge in. If the team is being a bunch of little girls (or boys since children in general are cowardlyscared) take the charge if they are close enough to quickly head in. I recommend only doing this if armor and MR is high enough and all heals are up and ready to use, because Soraka IS going to be focused. Zhonya's Hourglass helps in the situation as it usually means enemy ults and abilities are wasted while invincible.

Above all, the best support knows when her time has come to step up to the plate in order to save her team, even if it costs her her very own life. 1 kill is better than 2 or 3, and the other team mates are the ones who need fed, so the longer they live to kill creeps the better. If it's coming down to a team wipe, Exhaust the closest enemy to the team/fastest enemy, use Talisman of Ascension on the team, charge into the enemies, and spam Q. Use Zhonya's Hourglass when near death, spam the button to self heal with Astral Blessing...

Then accept Death's cold embrace, knowing that your sacrifice saved the lives of many others.

To heal... and protect.

And if nobody was saved /surrender. Idiots.

That was some dramatic stuffs, but really, it's a last-ditch effort thing; don't go throwing Soraka out towards the enemies all the time (the intended deaths per game is below 5, keep this in mind).


Guide Top

Personal Experience with Carries

Jinx


Jinx is a carry that likes to spam rockets at enemies and creeps, but doesn't use a lot of mana in doing so. Infuse level 1 is good for some time, and 2 is all that's needed to keep her topped off (assuming the build above is taken). Poking with Jinx is a lot of fun because once she gets her ultimate she's capable of killing both laners at the same time (if they're close together and hurt enough). Taking Starcall early, say level 4, is beneficial since it can be used to lower enemy health and reduce the cool down on Astral Blessing by 1 second each hit. Stay next to her, silence enemies when she's got plenty of mana, and keep her topped off and the bottom lane can easily be a killing lane early-game.

Ashe


Ashe is my personal favorite carry because of good crowd control, which makes up for Soraka's lack in that field. Her frosty arrows don't drain mana too bad, but getting Infuse 2 at level 4 is recommended. She is a tad squishy, so she shouldn't be too close to the enemy team when not near max health, but she should be poking at them with her basic attacks and Volley. The fun starts earlier with Ashe because her ult, although makes it a lot easier, isn't needed to effectively gank enemies early on. Calling the jungler out to gank bottom when they push closer to the friendly turret plus the slow (or stun with ult) from Ashe means a sure kill if the enemies aren't wary (and by that I mean Pr0 with warding and summoner spells). Also, she has the fastest natural attack speed.

Vayne


Vayne is cool, but I've noticed people playing her like a dummy, running into a battle they can't win expecting me to do something when we're both level 2. However, in the chance the player knows what they're doing, Vayne can be an amazing poker, keeping the enemies low on health and either back at their turret or in danger of getting ganked by the jungler. Her abilities surprisingly don't use up a lot of mana often, but her passive Night Hunter makes her ruthless and often chasing into enemies to poke at them, so healing them is a higher priority. When I lane with a Vayne I stay close to, but slightly ahead of her so when she does go in for an attack I can Infuse the enemy she's after to prevent damage for a time and then retreat a little bit to heal her while not being in range of enemy attacks. Build Talisman of Ascension first so to pull Vayne out when she's retreating, since her movement bonus only applies to running at enemies.

Annie


Annie is typically a mid pick in Normal games, but she's an effective support for the bottom lane as her Summon: Tibbers ability means having a larger presence on the bottom to prevent ganking and can also stun and deal massive damage to enemy champions in a moment's notice. It was strange having her as the carry when I supported with Soraka but our lane turned into a kill lane quickly due to Annie's Pyromania plus her constant pokes from Incinerate and Disintegrate. That said, she is a heavy mana user, and that means Infuse 3 as early as comfortably possible. It's also recommended to get Starcall in order to allow her to shred away enemy health bars, or rather burn through 'em (eh? Eh?). My ability order went as such: W-E-Q-E-E-R-W, so by level 7 I could heal keep her at good health, topped off with mana, and able to help her deal some damage. Tibbers was nice enough to be our go-to guy to charge into the turret range when they dove. Isn't he just great? (Upon reflection, the enemy team probably didn't have the runes for dealing with two AP champs on bottom lane. That's quite the hornswoggling, isn't it?)

I recently duo top lanned with a Malphite. He doesn't need much Mana, and since he can poke nicely with his ability Seismic Shard (which is Magic Damage) I picked up Starcall at level 2 and then Infuse at 3. Astral Blessing at 4, then the follwing until level 10: Q, R, W, Q, Q, W. Naturally, Wish was at 11 and the laning phase was over by then. We scored a few kills on a Darius because of our heavy poking, and only I died once saving him from being murdered. So really, since he's not a bottom-lane character, go with offensive tactics here.

Talk about a poker! Sivir's Q, Boomerang Blade, is spammable with Soraka constantly using Infuse on her. Since she pokes hard and often, Get Infuse at level 3 and 5, don't bother with Starcall yet, so by level 6 abilities should go Q:0,W:2,E:3,R:1. This way she has all the mana she needs to throw that giant slicer into the enemies often enough to keep their health low. With a good Sivir, the lane is easily a kill lane when she gains her ult and has built right/has right runes. Similarly, the jungler can come by and finish off the hurt enemies as well. She's fun!

Easily a kill lane at 6, no doubt. When duo queuing with my friend we remark how we're going to {mess} them up at 6 if we can secure the level first. Her ultimate devastates a good-sized area in front of her, and using Infuse can stop a Flash while Starcall (taken at Lvl 5) really hurts them. If not a kill then a definite retreat and CS/XP loss because Wish means the puny level 5s damage can suddenly not look so damaging with one button press.


Guide Top

Updates

4/13/'13
- I am archiving this build until I have thoroughly tested the many, many, many changes that the last few patches have made. I will unarchive and update the build(s) when I'm done testing out of the new item changes a plethora of times.

(Pre- 4.4 Patch)

3/5/'14
- Pretty much gutted the build. After the recent patch I went back and started building a better route, and I noticed that Athene's wasn't actually needed to keep Mana up, so I reworked it all, because the whole thing was centered around that item. This set-up has worked well so far. I also deleted the main section to make it shorter. Abilities were the big deal but not anymore; since Star Call was a major issue in CS, I took it out. Waiting to see reaction(s). Also, added MF to the carry experiences.

2/9/'14
- Changed spells around and the explanation given below the general build to better reflect the way I'm using her now. Changed General Build's abilities to reflect a more-seen theme to how I progress, while noting how Starcall can be dangerous. Changed the Runes of the build for better balanced defenses and explained change. Removed two Items from the build because they have since fallen out of use. Changed the item progression to be specific on the purchasing order. Deleted an entire chapter (for now). Added an entry into the Personal Experience with Carries chapter— Sivir.

1/28/'14
- Added my personal build to the builds list. Jumbled personalized item pallet and all. Changed the chapter from "Why no Flash" to something with a bit of alliteration, seeing as how I have since started using Flash every game to see what the buzz is about. It's okay. Maybe saves me once or twice a match (Draft-Pick games) or up to 4 times in Free-Pick. Elaborated more on my choice of Runes. Added a bit about Masteries on the bottom. Got a bit more realistic about the examples of success thing, since playing without my team and playing solo Draft-Pick have since shown me that the real average is 12-17 APG, if the enemies know when to surrender. Added Malphite to the list of carries I've been with, even though he's not really a carry.
Bonus: Oddly enough, Fleet of Foot under "Masteries Explanation" is noted as an ability of Sivir.

1/23/'14
- Began a social experiment on the guide. I'll see how this works. Also noticed, and fixed, a few sentences that seemed to be missing. (I guess I was in a Normal play mood when I typed them.)

1/21/'14
- Added final statement to introduction, removed an item from Core Items selection to reflect stats accurately, added a part under 'The Way to Play' chapter about using the global healing ultimate, wished there was actual criticism pertaining to the effectiveness of the build and not theory, realized one thing that was pointed out about the abilities selection (though that build isn't what I use or talk about, so that shows if people are reading it), updated the picture (which still isn't an image) and stats mentioned, and added some entries to the also added 'Personal Experiences with Carries' chapter.

1/16/'14
- Published guide. Things I need to add are: Notes on the limited Warding, Summary, and personal experience with carries. Also, the image fails to load. Not sure why. I'll just put up the link to it instead for now. Upon final inspection, the image had a weird repeat thing, so I edited that out.

1/13/'14
- Began working on Guide.