Sona Build Guide by Yeroban
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.
At first glance, you may be wondering, "Is he crazy?" With 17/2/11 masteries, items with attack speed on Sona...I very well may be. Essentially, I got tired of the two rulebook ways to play Sona. The first would be as meta support, assisting bottom lane, getting no farm, and acting as a roaming aura/item holder. The second would be the AD Sona, which completely ignores her abilities that scale off of AP.
I won't say this was solely my idea, although I think I've expanded on some others' ideas in good ways. In short, this build takes advantage of low cooldowns on Sona to boost Tear of the Goddess and Guinsoo's Rageblade, and synergises her damage from Power Chord with that from Lich Bane, to create burst dps, as well as maximizing the benefit from her other abilities through sticking with Ability Power as a statistic.
I primarily use this build and play-style on Dominion, though I have taken it to Summoner's Rift with success in the middle lane. I have not tested it in ranked, and because the play-style and build puts Sona in a role that the meta game isn't appreciative of, I don't know if I will. I play standard support Sona when in ranked, and play with this build when I want to have a lot of fun.
Please don't downvote it without trying it first. It's meant to be a fun build to play when not in ranked games.
Pros / Cons
+ Decent damage
+ Low cooldowns
+ More Ultimates :)
+ Doesn't have mana problems.
+ Can keep stacks up easily.
+ Excellent pusher with high attack speed.
- Squishy is an understatement.
- Hard to master playstyle.
- Item dependant
- Weak early game.
- You get flack for not being the Sona people expect.
- Did I mention squishy?
You may be wondering about the slightly unorthodox mastery setup I have with this build. Since Sona's AP ratios are not excellent, (She currently has a 0.7 AP ratio on Hymn of Valor, a 0.25 AP ratio on Aria of Perseverance, and a 0.8 AP ratio on Crescendo) I didn't think it was worth putting 21 points into the offense tree. Furthermore, I wanted Sona to be able to do damage even when silenced.
Thus, I opted to give her some additional AD with Brute Force , although those points could also be put into Mental Force , it's merely your preference. Since this is a hybrid build, I put points into both Alacrity and Sorcery , as well as the penetrations following them Weapon Expertise and Arcane Knowledge . This is important, not only because we want Sona's auto-attacks to hurt, but because even though Lich Bane scales off of AP, it does physical damage, and we want to boost that.
The points in Vampirism as well as the points in Transmutation are preferential. You could move some into Havoc if you wished.
Since Tear of the Goddess solves Sona's mana issues resulting from this play-style, we don't need points in Meditation , and only one point is put into Expanded Mind as it will benefit Archangel's Staff.
Lastly, two points are put into Resistance , in attempts to make Sona a bit less squishy. Since I give Sona additional armor through runes, I do not put the points into Hardiness .
- 3 Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction: 3 of these quintessence's provide roughly 5% cooldown reduction. I'll address why this is important later on in this guide.
- 9 Greater Mark of Precision: I go with the hybrid penetration runes, to maximize damage done from both physical and magic sources. Since they are rather expensive, 9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration would be a suitable substitute.
- 4 greater seal of defense: These armor per level runes help Sona's late game durability.
- 4 Greater Seal of Armor: These flat armor runes help Sona's early game durability. Sona is rather squishy, and going with either flat or per level only will weaken her early or late game respectively, since this build has few items that give her additional resistances until very late.
- 2 Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: These flat CDR runes aim towards the 40% cdr mark. It will be elaborated on later.
- 5 Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: These per level CDR runes aim towards the 40% cdr mark. It will be elaborated on later.
- 2 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: These magic resist per level runes help Sona's durability.
We start out by building/building up to Tear of the Goddess. With Sona's short cooldowns, we will be able to power this up quickly, and it will solve her mana problems in late game once we achieve the 40% CDR and begin spamming spells.
This is merely my preference, it helps in poking and getting away unscathed. I build Mercury's Treads when the opposing team has a lot of crowd control. You are free to build whatever boots you desire. I upgrade my Boots of Speed either after I have Sheen, or after I have Fiendish Codex.
Building Sheen after you have Boots of Speed increases the damage your auto-attacks deal after casting a spell. Since this functions based on Sona's base damage, we won't upgrade it to Lich Bane until we have AP equal to double Sona's base damage, or around 200.
After Sheen is built, we begin building Nashor's Tooth so as to achieve the 40% CDR mark around mid game. I generally upgrade my Boots of Speed in the middle of building Nashor's Tooth. I build Fiendish Codex first, but it's just my preference, as I feel the attack speed on Stinger isn't as useful until later.
Once Nashor's Tooth is build, building Guinsoo's Rageblade is the next important item. With the CDR from Nashor's Tooth Sona can easily keep the Guinsoo's Rageblade stacks up.
Once Guinsoo's Rageblade is built, it's time to upgrade either Tear of the Goddess or Sheen. I usually upgrade Tear of the Goddess first because the additional AP will benefit all of Sona's spells, but if you want to hit harder with a built up Power Chord, upgrade your Sheen first.
- : (see above)
Those are the Core items to this build and playstyle. After buying those, if you still have gold, you will want to upgrade Sona's durability. Aegis of the Legion, Abyssal Scepter, and Thornmail are all decent items to consider, depending on the types of damage you are receiving.
Achieving 40% CDR
Something of importance to the play-style described in this build is achieving the 40% cooldown reduction mark at level 18, where the cap lays. To do so, we must analyze and plan where we are getting our cooldown reduction (CDR).
4% CDR is achieved through masteries, with Sorcery .
25% CDR comes from Nashor's Tooth.
This means we need 11% of our CDR to come from Runes in order to hit the 40% mark.
4.92% CDR, or roughly 5%, comes from our 3 Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction.
4.5% CDR comes from the 5 Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction.
And 1.3% CDR comes from the 2 Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction.
That adds up to 10.72, or as close to 11% as we can get without going over.
All together, we achieve a 39.72% cooldown reduction rate.
Since the cooldown on Sona's main 3 abilities is 7 seconds, having 39.72% Cooldown reduction means each one will have a 4.22 second cooldown. This is important because a stack on Guinsoo's Rageblade lasts for 5 seconds, meaning Sona can keep up stacks even if only casting one ability over and over. Furthermore, it means Sona can build up a Power Chord rather quickly, increasing her damage.
Since I primarily use this build in Dominion, I pick Ghost as one of my main summoner spells. It also benefits from Summoner's Wrath
When Sona gets cornered, aside from her ultimate, she does not have much crowd control. I pick Exhaust for the added durability through the damage reduction it has, as well as the slow, which helps Sona kite her way to safety.
Depending on your preference, or if you decide to take this guide to Summoner's Rift, consider getting flash. It is much more useful there, than it is on Dominion.
If you are on Summoner's Rift, you might want to consider Teleport. This is an expensive build, and requires substantial farm, which Teleport can greatly aid in getting. Teleport also can bring you closer to team-fights, so you can further aid your teammates.
While Surge can be useful on some hybrid champs, like Jax, it is not that useful on Sona. Why? Primarily because the play-style involves careful poking, staying at range, building up Power Chord after a Hymn of Valor so you can hit like a truck, rather than just all out dps as Surge promotes.
This, believe it or not, is one of the main sources of damage using this build. It can have different effects based upon which spell aura she currently has active. It causes Sona's next attack to deal an extra 8 + (10 × level) magic damage. If you've just cast Hymn of Valor it deals twice that, after casting Aria of Perseverance it will decrease the damage done by the champion you hit by 20%, and after casting Song of Celerity it will slow the target by 40%. Knowing how to use each type of Power Chord in varying situations is imperative to owning the battlefield as Sona.
- Hymn of valor (Q):
This is your main damage spell. It targets the two closest enemies, including minions and neutral mobs, and damages them. To do a lot of burst damage, you will want to use before auto-attacking, so that Power Chord does double damage, and so your Lich Bane benefits from the additional AP given by the aura.
- Aria of Perseverance (W):
Your heal. It has a huge range. The aura gives your allies armor and magic resist.
- Song of Celerity (E):
This is your speedboost. Spamming this spell helps you and your allies move across the field faster, as well as build up your Tear of the Goddess and Guinsoo's Rageblade stacks. It's aura and it's active give additional speed, so if you can afford the mana to spam it, do so.
- Crescendo (R):
This is your only crowd control aside from Exhaust. It damages enemies over 1.5 seconds, does a nice amount of damage, and stuns them, making them dance for the 1.5 seconds. It's best if used on several champions in a line, although don't be afraid to use it on one to get away, as this build has such low cooldowns you don't have to wait that long to use it again.
Basically, upgrade Hymn of Valor first, Aria of Perseverance second, and Song of Celerity third. Grab one point in Song of Celerity at level 4 not upgrading it again until level 14, and upgrade your Crescendo at levels 6, 11, and 16.
The game-play and play-style adopted by this guide is one of careful poking. As Sona, you'll be building up a Power Chord, and waiting until after you have cast Hymn of Valor to release it with an auto-attack. After you have Sheen and Lich Bane this will do a lot of damage with one auto-attack.
When you're not doing this, you should be auto-attacking when possible to add damage (you'll have a fairly high attack speed, and about around 120 AD, with your Hymn of Valor aura), or healing with Aria of Perseverance.
Save your Crescendo for when you need to escape, or when you can hit 2+ enemies with it.
Cast Song of Celerity continuously while moving to team-fights or back to lane, to charge up your Tear of the Goddess, or when trying to aid your team in escaping from or chasing an enemy.
In conclusion, building Sona in this manner boosts both her damage, which you don't get with the standard meta support build, and her utility, which you don't get as much of with an AD build, without abandoning AP as a stat.
As always, when on Summoner's Rift, buy wards. Just because you're not playing the meta support Sona doesn't mean you don't have a responsibility to ward. Everyone should be warding.
As stated in the introduction, don't downvote it without trying it first. I've had great success with this build, and it's a fun build to play when not in serious games. I also appreciate constructive criticism, so don't be afraid to question choices or suggest different items or builds. Just understand, this build is intended to be hybrid, and I already know I'd benefit ____ more by going with a standard build focusing on one ____ stat. A lot of what I've put into this build are my preferences, and hybrid builds can be made with slight variance upon those preferences and still be enjoyable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you play this Sona as opposed to the more standard Sona builds?
The simply answer is, I enjoy this playstyle more. It's a lot of fun. I've played most every Sona build I've found, and like this one the best. I still play meta support in serious games though.
What should I tell my teammates when I queue?
Tell them you're playing an AP burst Sona. Most of them will scoff, or question you. Although if you are picking after your teammates have already picked several good DPS, and a support, don't pick this, don't be that guy. Try to find the role that's missing in your team composition and go with that.
Why don't you have videos, pictures, or examples of this guide doing really well?
This is my first guide, and I'm in the process of compiling things like that to put in it.