Soraka Build Guide by Couragebringer
Not Updated For Current Season
AP support Soraka
Not Updated For Current Season
Hello and welcome everyone!
First things first - this is my first guide, but I think I've learned enough to make my own and I hope you will like it. I'm avare, that I can make many mistakes, so if you have any suggestions - feel free to shout in the coments.
About me - support was my main role for a long time, also I like playing healers in all games (MMORPGs, RPGs etc.), that's why I started playing Soraka and Kayle as support and they are great!
Right now Soraka is having a huge rework, which makes her plays more advanced and I am sooo glad that she is. After reviewing her skills and doing a lot of work with building my own set I think I'm ready to show results to you.
Her new skillset, which takes 10% of your HP to heal ally is made to keep Soraka bit more squishy. Actually, in my opinion her new build should focus on only these few stats:
Ability Power (AP) - makes heal greater with the same amount of cost, also hits harder with Q and heal more with it.
Cooldown reduction (CDR or CD) - allows to spam Q, E and more often use of ult. Her W doesn't realy need CD, but still it can lower cost time from 2 seconds to 1,2s.
Mana regeneration/5s (M/5)- as every mana dependant champion, she needs mana and it's realy visible in early game.
Health regeneration/5s (HP/5) - in my opinion very important stat on reworked Soraka. She can't build alot of HP, because if she doeas, she will do more damage to herself than the healing is worth. Regenerating health and reducing damage from Auto Attacks (AA) is the most eficcient on her, also big hp regen can help return the cost of healing (10% of maximum HP).
Reduction of Auto Attack damage - as support, in 99% of cases, you will face enemy adc hitting you the most. Reducing taken damage with Doran Shield or Ninja Tabi helps a lot. I will refer to this stat as "AA reduction".
Also, since developers took back her passive, which destroyed 20% of AR and MR and turned it into AP, now she can build a bit of both, but I'd still recommend more risky - squishy but with OP heals way of building her. It makes Soraka much harder to play, but it's also more rewarding.
Pros and Cons
Huge heals, which can be annoying for enemies
2 Crowd Control skills
Ultimate simply negates Karthus R
AoE Silence and snare for up to 2 seconds
E very useful in teamfights
Swiftness from passive when closing to wounded allies, allowing you to heal and save them more efficient
She's quishy (and I know it)
Often focused (you are annoying and OP with your heals, deal with it)
You have to be avare, when to engage and when to fall back with more squishy build
Your only damage skill is a skillshot
Long cooldown on your silence
High damage and mobility beats you hard
Runes and masteries
As for runes which help with above stats, there are not many good choices. With limited space for runes, the best choice is scaling AP and flat AP. They make early heals much greater, returning like 3/4 of your ADC health in two, three heals, which makes 4-8 seconds with the new low cooldown on your W.
If you want early game cooldown reduction, Armor against ADCs or armor penetration, feel free to change the set.
As for viable choices for masteries, I like mixed set - with a bit to Atack tree, little AA reduction in Defensive one and big part in Utility for a bit of additional experience over the game and cash at the start for wards, and also mana regeneration. I have also a bit more agressive mastery set, but as earlier, feel free to experiment on your own, because now Soraka is very item and set dependant.
Skills and leveling sequence
For summoner spells I recommend HealHeal and ExhaustExhaust. HealHeal can help you, as well as your ADC, however you have your own healing kit (which you can't use on yourself however), so feel free to change it for a BarrierBarrier.
As for ExhaustExhaust - simple support choice. If you want to play more agressive, you can take IgniteIgnite, as it reduces the healing effectiveness on enemies, as well as does some damage. Not my style and it's easy to steal kill from your ADC with it, but hey, I can't select ExhaustExhaust in the lobby for you.
Let's start with Soraka's passive:
Salvation: Soraka gains 70% Movement Speed when running toward allies with less than 40% of maximum Health, there is an indicator above the allies head and one that shows you which way to go. They show only when somebody has less than 40% HP. The Indicator is global, which is usefull for your ultimate, but range of the Bonus Movement Speed isn't global.
Q - Starcall
Mana Cost: 70/80/90/100/110
Calls down a star at Target location. Enemies standing in the explosion radius take 70/110/150/190/230 (+.35 AP) magic damage.
Enemies standing in the center take 150% damage and are slowed by 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 % for 2 seconds.
The star falls quickly if casted at low range and slowly at high range.
Starcall is now an AoE (Area of Effect) skillshot, simillar to Leona's ultimate. Great thing is cooperation with your Q and W, which I will explain a bit under W.
W - Astral Infusion
Cost: 10% Max Health and 20/25/30/35/40 Mana
Cooldown: 4/3.5/3/2.5/2 seconds
Active: Restores 110 / 140 / 170 / 200 / 230 ( +.6 AP ) health to target ally. Cannot be cast if Soraka is below 5% health. It's 1% more efficient for each 1% of missing health of your healed ally.
Passive: Each Enemy champion hit by Starcall heals Soraka for 20/30/40/50/60 - 40/60/80/100/120 ( +.4 AP ) ( Based on % Missing HP )
Note: cannot be used if Soraka has less than 5% health.
Soraka now loses 10% of her maximum HP each time she heals ally and she can't heal herself. It seems giant cost, but with maxing your W first, each time you hit enemy with Q, you will heal yourself for some hp, depending how much % of maximum HP you have actually and also it will be boosted by your AP (if you hit two enemies, healing will be doubled and you can hit many of them at a time). Also, this skill can slow down your enemies while they chase you or your adc or it can help you chase them. It is great and it has quite big area of damage.
Best to max it first, unless you want to play agressive, then max it second, after Q or simultaneously.
E - Equinox
Mana Cost: 80
Cooldown: 18/17/16/15/14 seconds
Initial Magic Damage: 70/110/150/190/230 (+40% AP)
Secondary Magic Damage: 70/110/150/190/230 (+40% AP)
Creates a zone at target location for 1.5 seconds. Enemies standing in the zone are silenced until they leave and damaged. When the zone disappears, all enemies still standing in the zone are rooted for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 second(s) and damaged for the second time (bit simmilar to Morgana's R).
It used to give mana or damage and silence one enemy, depending on who you casted it. Now - you put an area of silence for 1,5 sec, which can be left in front of enemies face when there is starting to be a teamfight and they can't do ****. If they won't leave, they will also be snared for short time, which will give your team a great chance to kill them and be victorious. There is million way to use it, you can drop it behind your back when enemies are chasing you, also it can help in chasing enemies, starting a teamfight etc. Max it last, but definitetly put one point in it at level 4 or so.
R - Wish
Mana Cost: 100
Cooldown: 160/145/130 seconds
Calls upon Divine powers to restore 150/250/350 (+ .55 AP) Health to all allied champions. Wish's power is increased by 50% on each champion below 40% health. It also removes Grievous Wounds
Her ult hasn't realy changed. It gained increase of healing when healing a champion with less than 40% HP, so it encourages you to use your ult in situation of certain death of your allies. It can save your team or it can be worthless, depending on how you use it.
I want to share some information about teamfights and laning phase as Soraka with you.
First of all, remember that her Q moves alot faster, when you hit someone close to you and much slower when enemy is far away. As you may think that being closer is tempting, never come close. If you do it, with one gap closer or even without, enemies can reach you fast and kill even faster. Keep your distance, have patience, and wait for the perfect moment to go closer, slow enemies, throw some pancake-Equinox under their feet and heal your ADC. All this requires nice coordination, as now her Q and E are skillshots. The most important thing if you are playing soraka is to throw your pancakes correctly. It has loong cooldown, but nice potential in teamfights.
Key to win the teamfights lies exactly here. When you are engaging, throw it behind enemies back, even a small distance behind them, if you aren't playing against Tristana (in this case throw it right behind her with small part touching her feet, so she can't jump away and will have to walk all the way back, resulting in silencing her all the way across it and ensnaring her in the end).
Another thing is to aim correctly with her Q - it requires a bit of practice, but it's goot to aim this skill that when they are hit, they will be in the centre. It will slow them and hit much more. Poking with Q and your auto attacks is important, if enemy allows you to do this, keep doing it. Mostly depend on Q as it has long range, but if you can, do some AAs on enemy.
Also, remember that your W has small range, so stick to your ADC like a snail.
The biggest part of my work I put into item builds. I want to show you all offensive and defensive options, show you pros and cons and let you decide, what to buy.
As mentioned in Basics section, there is a few stats on Soraka now, that are worth investing in. By getting full AP, you will be very strong support, but at the same time be sure to understand, that when enemy will not be able to kill your adc, they will definitely try to kill you and leave him without your healing power. Soraka is a healing beast. She can turn almost dead man into fully health one in a few seconds. That's why while building as much AP as you can, you have to get also some tankiness (1-2 items)
Talisman of Ascension
For Soraka support Core I choose Talisman of Ascension. You don't have to rush it, Nomad's Medalion is good for quite a long time. Usually I'm not a big fan of this item, mainly because it gives no offensive stats, but Soraka gets what is the best from it. You have HP/5, M/5, CDR and the passive, which gives you health (helps in recovering from healing ally) and gold for every minion killed in the neighbourhood, but not by you. Movement speed of course helps also, but with the boots it will be realy ok and enough for Soraka.
Second the most important thing is the Sightstone. You are a support. Whether you like it or not, warding is a MUST for you. Of coure other people also should ward, but for you it is the second the most important thing after helping your ADC. Even if enemy keep sweeping your wards, they waste their time and effort for sweeping your wards IN THE SIGHT while they could be ganking or attacking you. With vision, you see what enemy do on the map, how do they behave, you can predict if they will gank or not, if they will get Baron or Drake, and not only you see it. Whole your team sees. Yes, you spend your cash on your wards, while you could buy something great and it will help in teamfights. If you want to be the full AP shining bright like a diamond Nidalee with Rabadon's Deathcap and DFG type of support, you can, but then this guide is not for you. Warding is very important and lets your team do everything else to win, while you SUPPORT them and take care to not be ganked.
Ninja Tabi/Mercury Treads
For Soraka I love these two choices. Tabi gives you 25 AR (great against ADCs), and gives very important stat - additionally reduces damage from AA for 10%.
Mercury Treads are nice if you need Tenacity to counter high CC or if you play against heavy AP team. Other cases - I would take Ninja Tabi.
Very nice early item. For the low cost of 440 gold, it gives 6HP/5 and reduces AA damage for 8. A bit of health that it gives also helps Soraka a bit, but also makes her healing cost 8 hp each time more (not the worst thing though).
Nobody likes when you take something from them. Soraka is one of these people, that's why you don't want to build huge chunks of HP on her. I'll show you all choices for offensive and defensive items, but not all of them are worth investing in.
1000 HP and 1% of HP per 5s - if you realy want to try tanky build, no matter what, then you can try this. It gives a nice HP regeneration and whole lot of HP - I would rather recommend less HP and more AP and MR.
It is actually nice item for Soraka. It gives mixed stats, reducing the damage, while also you get the resurrecting passive, which brings you back to life with 30% of you HP and mana after short delay. If you are being focused, not only by enemy ADC, consider buying this. Nobody likes to focus someone, who can go back to life after short time, it's waste of effort, while you can kill someone else, or if for example enemy ADC will try to kill you, your allies can attack him in this time and you will be brought back to life. Gotta love those angelic wings on heavenly healer like Soraka.
Nice HP regen, flat HP, +10% CDR, some MR and cool passive - makes your regeneration and self heal with Q and R 20% greater. Viable choice for more tanky Soraka.
This item, while not being hyper OP, gives Soraka nice chunk of AR, while giving back enemy ADC 30% of damage done with AA (not reduced by armor).
You must know how armor works first, to know, if this item is good or not.
The formula for reducing damage with Armor is 100/(AR + 100). This means, that when you have 50 AR, you get 100/ 50 + 100 = 100/150 = 2/3, meaning you only take 66,7% of the damage. With 80 AR from thornmail and your base armor you get 100 AR at early levels, so: 100/ 100 + 100 = 100 / 200 = 1/2, so you take only half of the damage they do to you.
Thornmail gives them back 30% of NOT REDUCED damage and if they build life steal, it is counted from the damage DONE to you.
10% Life Steal with 50% damage done to you means they heal for 5% of the Attack damage and they get 30% magic damage of their AD from your Thornmail. Simply, with just this item you get 50 or less % of their damage and they are hurt for 20-25% their Attack damage.
While not the best item in game, it helps to not be focused by enemy ADC. That's why it is viable but only if you are focused by ADC.
Again +100 armor, +400 mana and + 20% CDR. The passive reduces the Attack speed of enemies by 15%. Feel free to build it if you want to become a bit tanky, need CDR and mana and if you want to shut down enemy ADC with the passive.
Rod of Ages
The healing from the passive that it does is about the same as buing 1 health pot and 1 mana pot each level, which is worth 70 gold both. It also gives HP, mana and AP, which grow in time, but for this price you can take better items for Soraka.
Gives +80 AP, +10 M/5 and +20% CDR and the passive makes hitting enemies with less than 40% HP heal 50% worse. It gives Soraka all what she needs and it's a cheap option with only 2200 gold
Best part of this item is the active which makes you invulnerable and untargetable for 2,5 s. Quite nice chunk of AP, as well as some armor and active used correctly can save your life a few times.
While at the beginning this item isn't very good, when it changes into Seraph's EmbranceSeraph's Embrance it becomes realy nice, giving at least 90 AP, 1000 Mana and +10 M/5, effectively finishing your mana problems.
If you see they stack MR, then go on and try this item.
Huge burst of AP, helping you with healing others, yourself and damaging enemies, nice late item if you don't need tankiness and feel like you want it, for heals especially. Please, don't build it if you want to damage this nasty ADC that is focusing you, this is not the good reason.
Athene's Unholy Grail
Whole buch of mana regen and some nice stats, especially against AP dependant enemies. If you want it, take it.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Nice AP, but healh isn't so good for Soraka. Also the passive can work only on her Q and will be less effective, as it is AoE, so I don't recoment Rylai's.
Will of the Ancients
To be honest - I don't know, how good it is working with Soraka, but one day I had this wicked idea to put this on the list. Soraka has only 1 damage spell, which is healing her, but this item makes her Q heal her much more and also heal by hitting creeps and monsters, not only champions. While also granting +80 AP and +10% CDR, which helps her to spam Q more often, it can be nice on her, feel free to check it on the battlefield.