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Sona Build Guide by Raver

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 Raver

Hybrid Support Mage Sona (Blue Build)

Raver Last updated on September 6, 2015
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Ability Sequence

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 21


Guide Top

Introduction

Hi guys, my name is Raver and i'm here to write a guide about my favorite champion of the game: Sona.

I've played Sona since season 1 and i've seen it all including her godlike status multiple times followed by nerfs and then back again to godlike status to her rework etc. I've played hundreds if not a thousand plus games with Sona and i've grown very comfortable playing her. She is a very easy champion to learn as she only has one skill shot and her other three abilities do not require much effort to aim. Make no mistake, she may be an easy champion but she definitely requires time to master and that easily separates the mediocre Sona players to the great ones.

I've played the support role ever since i've started playing league of legends(me being the last of a group of 5 friends to join and hence given the support role). I quickly learned that support is one the most difficult roles and requires a lot of thought. Over time it became intuitive and I eventually started experimenting with different builds once I had the basics down. From that, I got to this build during season 4 which I've taken time to practice and it is very fun to play.

As of now, Sona has seen a resurgence to popularity in solo queue and must of it has been attributed to her utility and other supports falling out of the meta. So the next time you consider playing Sona, check this build out for some cool ideas.

Also listen to this to get into the right mindset when playing this version of Sona


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Pros / Cons

Pros
+Easy to pick up
+Excellent harassing abilities
+High base damage
+AOE stun ult
+Not a lot of aiming required
+Has a heal/shield
+Has a AOE speed buff
+Excellent late game consistent damage output (this build)
+Can stick to targets (this build)
Cons
-Takes time to master
-Needs near constant awareness of power chord charges
-Mana hungry, especially early game
-Risky harass trading with medium range Hymm of Valor
-Very squishy






To summarize, Sona is a squishy support that requires keen awareness of the surroundings including your own positioning. Needs to be able to stay alive in teamfights to maximize her value for her team. Can be very rewarding and game changing if done correctly


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Why play Blue Sona?

This particular build aims to solve many of the issues that regular Sona builds come across. To understand the thought process behind this build, we have to understand the inherent weakness' of Sona and her playstyle that maximizes her utility for the team by finding items that covers her weaknesses and giving her better late game presence.

Problem #1: Mana
Sona's mana regeneration and mana pool in relations to her ability heavy kit is pitiful. Even with help from masteries and runes, she cannot play aggressive for more than five minutes in the early game without going out of mana and having to either 1.) Sit back or 2.) Go back to base. Both of those scenarios eventually lead to the enemy laners catching up by letting them exert control over the lane which leads to kills and cs. In the mid game, without any mana items, Sona has no presence in a group and objective control and sieging become very hard.

Problem #2: Poor scaling without AP items.
Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, Sona had insane base healing and damage. Then Riot deemed that too powerful and nerfed her and some of the AP ratios to oblivion. Sona still maintains excellent early game pressure but it becomes apparent that her damage and healing does next to nothing in the mid to late game. During the late stages of a game, she would only be useful for her ult.

Problem #3: Gold
This one solved itself when Riot implemented sightstone and support dedicated gold items. It opened the doors for supports to build actual items as oppose to buying a million wards per game.

With supports getting more gold due to the implementation of support centric gold items, this build became relatively intuitive when the question becomes how to find ways to acquire more mana and mana regen while simultaneously doing more for the team in the later stages of the game than just casting crescendo. The answer is Tear of the Goddess and Seraph's Embrace. Early tear allows for mana regen while steadily accumulating mana for the later stages of the game. Upgrading to Seraph when you reach 750 stacks on tear turns the mana generated into AP and provides a neat little active for living longer. The rest of the build looks to create even more value from the stats given by Seraph's Embrace.

TL;DR: Gold generating items that compliment Sona's playstyle equals more gold which gets funneled into non standard support items that help scale her entire kit into the late game.


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Your Role in the Team as a Hybrid Support Mage

This build is not a traditional support build. I characterize this build as half support and half utility mage. Because of this, one has to approach this role slightly differently than one would if they were playing a pure support.

The first thing to remember when playing this particular build is that it is ok to be somewhat greedy. The reason pure supports are not suppose to take kills is that they can't translate the gold from that into more damage to snowball the game. With this build, this isn't the case. You actually have the ability to output a reasonable amount of damage in the mid to late game. Because of that, there are merits to being really aggressive in lane and going for the kills whenever you see the opportunity arise.

That being said, you still are the "support" of the team. You need to funnel some of that gold you acquire into vision. Buying a sightstone and wards in the beginning is usually enough for the team as Sona's basic abilities can rival the Locket of the Iron Solari and the Talisman of Ascension active in the late game. You shouldn't take CS on purpose (thought taking it by accident with Hymm of Valor will happen), it simply isn't cost effective with your gold item and you starve your lane partner out of gold if you take it.

In lane, your job is to create a "zone" around your ADC that keeps him safe from harass, the bigger the zone, the more pressure you create on your opponents to try to keep up with you two. You need to be aggressive in dealing damage but also mindful of your own position because Sona isn't a durable support. Ideally, you should coordinate with your lane partner so that you two are dealing damage at the same time to the enemy so that it doesn't become Sona vs 2 enemy laners.

In the mid to late game, your roles expand to buffing your team and providing utility as well as maintaining the damage output. It is imperative you stay alive in these phases of the game because in group objectives, your value is tied to how many spells you can cast; the more you cast, the more value you bring to your team. Dragon fights and baron fights are decided by how your position yourself and where you keep and shift your focus. This stage of the game is usually the most mentally demanding stage for you as you have to be both the support and the supplemental mage and keep the responsibilities of both roles in mind.


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Skills

This is what separates the good Sona players from the bad ones. A good Sona player will know to keep the charge at 2 and know which spell effect is needed for the third cast.

Power Chord Staccato - Is activated if Hymn of Valor as the last spell casted. Deals 50% bonus damage which makes this an excellent tool in lane for harassing. Late game has high damage output due to items built.

Power Chord Dimmuendo - Is activated if Aria of Perseverance was the last spell casted. Tagging this on an enemy champion will reduce their damage output by a decent percentage that can scale with AP. Extremely useful for counter engages and extended teamfights. Also has applications early in lane for extended skirmishes.

Power Chord - Tempo - Is activated if Song of Celerity was the last spell casted. This tags the enemy with a speed debuff that slows the enemy for a sizable percentage of their movement speed and scales with AP. This ability allows for the team to chase and disengage in conjunction with Song of Celerity's aura movement speed buff. Works even better in tandem with Iceborn Gauntlets.

Non aimable nuke that hits two enemies (prioritizes champions). This is your go to skill for the early game and is what gives Sona a fearsome reputation for early game harassment. The skill is fairly spammable with this build's emphasis on CDR and by being proactive and aggressive in lane, the damage converts into money with your support item. The partner aura is fairly useful as it adds some damage to your fellow laner's auto attack which allows for good trade potential. When grouping as five or four member squads, the aura bonus amplifies your teams damage output.

Heals you and the lowest health percentage teammate. Also the heal is increased the lower the teammate's health. The skill does scale with AP and in the late game, it heals for a ton which allows for extended sieges and turns prolonged fights in your favor. The percentage based healing is also nice to have which can bait your low health teammates and turn on the enemy champion that is greedy enough to go for the kill. On top of that, your aura gives you and your nearby allies a small shield that scales with AP. In lane, this aura is great for tanking harass damage and allowing for good damage trades, in the later stages of the game, this ability functions on the same level as locket of the iron solari and can give your team a great advantage in teamfights.

Simple small aoe speed buff, like having a talisman of ascension once every 9 seconds but the speed boost isn't as fast in the beginning. Honestly doesn't seem as cool when compared to the previous two skills but it is invaluable for chasing, engaging and disengaging.

AOE stun line skillshot. It has a fairly wide range so its very easy to land on 2+ enemies with a bit of aiming and positioning. Fights will hinge on this spell because it can be used to counter an engage, start an engage, or follow up on an engage. It also can be used to catch people out of position in groups and quickly lock them down to gain a number advantage over the opponents. Aside from that, the passive of this ultimate gives buffs to each of your auras.

Sequence


> > >

This is an aggro oriented skill sequence that takes advantage of Sona's aggressive playstyle and to maximize the effects of your gold item. Maximizing damage in lane with Hymm of Valor while healing up and absorbing damage with Aria of Perseverance.

It's important to take one point of Song of Celerity at level 4. This lets you either 1.) set up a gank with your Power Chord bonus or 2.) allows you to reach lane faster once you go back to buy a Tear of the Goddess (which should happen fairly consistently)


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Harassing

I feel that this part of Sona's gameplay needs its own section as it's integral to her gameplay and this particular build

Sona's ability to bully people out of lane is what gave her a fearsome support since Season 1. Add in the fact that she has access to a heal drove her over the top and she had to be nerfed several times to keep her in check.

She still maintains excellent abilities to harass but there are some more risks now post nerf to how she trades. The gist of Sona's harass in lane is to abuse her Power Chord with Hymm of Valor as the active effect. Her high base damage especially in the early levels allows for Sona to chunk her opponents and establish early lane dominance. By keeping her Power Chord charge at 2, the enemy laner is forced to make a decision every time they go up for CS if they want to risk getting harassed and chunked by the third Hymm of Valor into the Power Chord bonus damage auto attack.

Her aura that affects your lane partner is beneficial as it adds to the overall damage dealt. It is very beneficial to coordinate the harass so that you get maximum damage out of each spell cast.

This build's emphasis on CDR and it's whopping 17.5% CDR start allows you to cast more spells in shorter time which is beneficial for establishing dominance in lane. This also rewards you for harassing as you recieve a lot of money from your gold item's harass bonus and the bandit mastery


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Items

As mentioned earlier, the most unique aspect of this build is the items built. As this build takes on the qualities of a mage (think Orianna), you need more gold but the utility you get out of it is exponentially greater. Also, you get to build blueeeee

The best choices for Sona if you have good positioning and a good sense of her Hymn of Valor range. Every stat synergizes with her kit and her playstyle. You get a lot of gold if you take advantage of these items. Rush Frostfang as soon as possible.

Final upgrade for the above two items, it gives you a crucial 10% CDR as well as some good AP. It also gives you a nice active AOE skillshot slow. Use it to set up your ult, use it to peel, use it to chase. Very versatile. Much Blue.

To get to 40% CDR as soon as possible, buy the boots of lucidity. Towards the end of midgame, you'll have items that give you more CDR but with boots, it's already capped out so switch out these boots for swiftness which gives better mobility and a small edge against slows. Both items are blueeeee

With Chalice getting nerfed in the preseason, I've come back to building tear (I did it all throughout season 2). In this CDR heavy build, you can consistently get to 750 stacks in 25-30 minutes. The item solves your mana issues in the mid to late game while finishing it into Seraph's allows you to get AP for your spells and the shield active which allows you to take more damage or bait yourself.

Good ol money saving item for supports. I usually buy it after tear and frostfang and I buy regular wards before Sightstone. No need to upgrade this because ruby sightstone is a waste of money. Plus it isn't blue (wink wink)

I get sheen if the tear stacking game is a bit slow or I get the item a bit later than usual. Sheen is great for adding some extra damage in the mid game and it allows you to be more than just a healing machine. I upgrade the iceborn gauntlets in the late game as stats benefit you both offensively through the AP and mana converted to AP with Seraph's and defensively with the armor bonus. The utility comes from the passive aoe on hit slow after each spell cast which is perfect for a spell spamming champion like Sona. The passive plus Power Chord Song of Celerity bonus has excellent chase/kite synergy. It's also blue :D


Last slot item choices
Get this to go FULL BLUE. Also is great against burst assassin's like Leblanc or Zed, the one true bane of squishy supports like Sona.

Another blue item, this one is more useful against health tanks like Udyr or Cho'gath that can't gap close reasonably well. The percent damage will eat away their health bar while you kite them with Song of Celerity and Iceborn Gauntlet

A nonblue item choice but very potent. It gives you a massive AP boost sending you from 300 ish AP to 500+ AP. Since all your spells scale with AP, you and your team will get a lot out of Rabadon's

A more support item that rewards certain team composition. If you have auto attack reliant champions like Tryndamere or Master Yi on your team, Ardent Censer will boost their auto attack speed. Extra CDR, AP and movement speed is also a plus for Sona

Brings Sona into the burst assassin realm instead of incremental damage mage. While Lich Bane offers more damage than Iceborn Gauntlets, it trades away the defensive stats and the crowd control on hit passive. It also means keeping Ionian boots of lucidity instead of cashing those in for boots of swiftness. I would consider buying lich bane if the entire enemy team is squishy. Otherwise, I stick with Iceborn Gauntlets which lets you peel and kite tanky champions while still offering good damage and defensive stats.

Trinket Choices
Default start. You only get one regular ward and this supplements the vision and allows you to have better coverage in lane. Switch it out after you get a sightstone for one of the two below.

If you're dominating the game, and every lane is winning. Buy this to continue snowballing and shutting down the enemy's vision while you guys take all the objectives

The blue trinket :D. Buy this when the game is relatively even and you don't want to get caught out and bursted down trying to check an important objective. Did I forget to mention that this is a blue item ;)


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Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
10

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3
Early game mana regen is important to establish lane dominance and sustain
Also catered towards early game in lane harass.
The CDR given here plus masteries let you start with 17.5% CDR and allows for more spell casts in lane as well as straightforward itemization in this particular build
Perfectly fine choice instead of gold runes. You get more damage in early at the cost of some of the more expensive items in your build.

Interchangeable runes
This build is somewhat gold reliant. You're not sacrificing much by taking gold quints and the other runes were already chosen for their early game potential. This is your late game insurance rune.


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Masteries

Offensive

A big reason why I'm in the offensive tree in the first place. Having CDR in the beginning is crucial for that 17.5% CDR, also lets you dip into the offensive tree for early aggressive masteries

Rewards you for coordinating harass. Synergizes well with your hymm of valor aura bonus

A little extra ability power is good since all your skills scale with AP.

This mastery for magic penetration combined with your magic penetration marks will be felt by the enemy laners in the early game. A good round out for the offensive tree


Utility
Just an extra point in this to get to the next stage in the tree. Doesn't take anyway from this since it gives you movement speed which any squishy support would like more of.

Mana regen is a must for the early game

Really self explanatory. Gives you even more bang for your buck for your already free trinket.

Flash more often, Exhaust more often, Ignite more often. Worth sinking 3 points into because 10% adds up as the game goes on.

A quaint little mastery. Gives bonus health regen and combos well with Expanded Mind

Yep, 2 extra gold per 10. Getting more gold to build into better items is a great thing

More gold. You can never go wrong with more gold. Trust me.

A crucial mastery. Getting this raises your starting gold to 525 which lets you buy one sight wards and two pots with your spellthief's edge. This starting build lets you stay in lane longer without having to go back for wards or pots and leave your lane partner by himself which is by far the worst thing you can do as a support. This mastery is the reason why I don't get the Biscuiteer and Explorer's Ward mastery

More mana for harass and utility. Combos well with Strength of Spirit . Lets you stay in lane longer. Good overall mastery

A cool mastery that rewards you for harassing your enemies. It's worth taking because you can easily accumulate money just by waiting for the AD to hit a creep and you then walk up and hit him for some gold. It's even better when they have a melee support like Alistar, in which case go crazy.

Yay, even more CDR. With this, your CDR from the offensive tree and the CDR from your runes gives you a whopping 17.5% CDR AT LEVEL 1! It's honestly enough CDR to last you into mid game before having to buy the rest of the 22.5%

I like extra movespeed. Let's you scurry around the map; warding the objectives, sweeping wards, help gank mid or help your invading jungler who got caught.


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Summoner Spells

Pretty much no arguments here on this one. From escaping to setting up your ult, this summoner does it all

I tend to take this one if your lane partner takes Heal. This pretty much neuters a majority of marksmen and shuts down a few AD midlaners, niche top laners and junglers without a consistent gap closer.

Take this if you're feeling very confident and you are aware it will be a pubstomp.

If your lane partner does not want to take it, it's advisable for you take it. At least one person in bot needs to have this summoner to either survive a burst or gank or even bait a dive.


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Conclusion

Thank you for reading this, criticism is always helpful alongside of a rating and i'l do my best to edit this to correct any mistakes and account for any nerfs/buffs that may come up.

Have fun playing blue build Sona!