Sion Build Guide by TheRealTuna
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Options for 6th Item / Replacements for Wriggles
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.
Welcome to my Sion jungle guide! Determined to create a successful jungling build for Sion in S3, I experimented with a ton of different builds and finally managed to create a build that I feel does the job well. I will try to keep this guide as short and informative as possible.
Let's get to it!
Pros / Cons
- Comfortable jungle
- Capable of soloing drag with ease at 6
- Deceptively strong ganks early due to the early strength of Enrage
- Jungle allows for smooth, relatively uninhibited farming of Enrage
- Strong steroids ( Enrage + Cannibalism)
- A huge nuisance if ahead
- No natural way to stick to targets / KITED FOR YEARS
- High mana costs early on
- Generally conflicting and awkward kit (half of Sion's kit is AP oriented, the other half is AD oriented)
- Does not scale especially well into the lategame
- HORRENDOUS BASE STATS (leik y do i have 1.6 aspd with 2 PDs and aspd reds?)
- Really, really horrifically ugly character model
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Quint of Movement Speed x3: You have no natural way of sticking to your targets. Although additional damage is tempting, these are pretty much mandatory.
Mark of Attack Speed x9: Because Sion gets a big chunk of AD from Enrage, Sion benefits most from attack speed reds. These also allow Sion to clear the jungle much faster than any other marks.
Flat Armor Seal x9: Standard jungling runes. The armor will help you stay alive in the jungle.
Scaling Magic Resist Glpyh x9: You really don't need MR early in the jungle, but you DO still want to get pretty tanky, which is why I recommend scaling MR blues as opposed to flat MR blues or attack speed blues as some use.
Originally, I went with a 21/9/0 mastery page for Sion, as he doesn't really NEED the additional defensive masteries to clear the jungle easily. However, after testing, I really just feel that the defense tree is altogether much more worthwhile than the offense tree, so I concluded that 9/21/0 is probably the best way to go. The mastery selections within each tree are pretty standard.
Ghost: I only opt for Ghost over Flash on a select few champions, and Sion happens to be one of them. Sion really benefits from the sticking power offered by Ghost, and feels much more useful to me than Flash on him.
Smite: Required for jungling!
Other reasonable choices:
Flash is always good...I just happen to find that Ghost benefits Sion more.
Exhaust makes for stronger ganks, but doesnt provide as much sticking power for Sion as Ghost does.
Do not take any other summoner spells.
Feel No Pain: Sion has a 40% chance to ignore up to 30 / 40 / 50 damage each time he is attacked. The damage reduction is calculated before armor and percentage damage reduction benefits are taken into account.
- This passive looks like complete garbage at first glance, but it is actually really, really nice, for the jungle especially. This on top of Death's Caress is what keeps you healthy and happy. This is really only a useful passive early game, as 50 damage ends up not being that significant as the game progresses.
Cryptic Gaze: Sion's gaze terrifies a single enemy, dealing magic damage and stunning it for 1.5 seconds.
- Your bread and butter 1.5 second stun.
Death's Caress: Sion surrounds himself with a shield which absorbs damage for up to 10 seconds. After 4 seconds, if the shield has not been destroyed, the ability can be cast again to explode and deal magic damage to surrounding enemies. It will explode automatically after the 10 seconds have passed.
- This is a really unique ability and allows Sion, along with Feel No Pain, to stay nice and healthy in the jungle. Also adds some burst to ganks, as well as survivability for dives.
Enrage: TOGGLE: While toggled on, Sion has increased attack damage at the cost of some health for each autoattack. While Enrage is active, Sion permanently increases his maximum health whenever he kills a unit with either his attacks or abilities. This effect is doubled against champions and large units.
- This thing is a HUGE ad steroid. Getting a free 25 AD at level 2 is really big. Once you get your first point in Enrage, activate the toggle and never turn it off. This will allow you to clear jungle camps quickly, especially in the new S3 jungle. This ability also gives you free health, which is great!
Cannibalism: For 20 seconds, Sion gains bonus lifesteal and 50% attack speed. Additionally, Sion's autoattacks will heal surrounding allies for a percentage of the damage dealt.
- This steroid makes Sion a deceptively strong duelist. It also allows him to solo dragon with ease at level 6. This ultimate lasts 20 seconds which is really long, and, with proper itemization, will allow you to stay in fights for a good while.
It took me a couple of runs to decide on this skill order. For a while, I took Enrage at Level 1 as I felt like it was important to start farming up health as early as possible. However, getting Death's Caress at Level 1 keeps you healthy and allows you an easier time with blue buff and wolves.
If I feel that I can gank successfully at level 3, I'll take a point in Cryptic Gaze as opposed to a 2nd point in Death's Caress. If I don't feel like I can gank successfully at 3, I will take a 2nd point in Death's Caress as it makes clearing and general jungling much more comfortable. Afterwards, max Enrage, then Death's Caress, followed by Cryptic Gaze. Of course, level Cannibalism whenever possible.
Fundamental Issues with Sion
I will begin this chapter by saying that Sion has a really, REALLY awkward kit. Two of his skills ( Cryptic Gaze and Death's Caress) benefit from AP, while his other two skills ( Enrage and Cannibalism) benefit more from an AD-oriented build. It's almost like rioters had no idea what they wanted Sion to be when they created his kit, so they just shoved a bunch of stuff together and called it a day.
While Sion's AP path at mid lane is perfectly viable, as this is a guide for Sion in the jungle, I will focus more on the subset of the issue with Sion's kit when trying to build AD (don't even bother trying to jungle with AP Sion...it's really unfortunate).
One's first instinct is to build Sion as a melee carry, much like Master Yi or Tryndamere. This is where the whole double Phantom Dancer Infinity Edge The Bloodthirster builds come in. Unfortunately, Sion is a crummy melee carry. Tryndamere has his Undying Rage which allows him to build glass cannon. Master Yi has his Highlander which allows him to run to safety if needed. Sion, on the other hand, has NO escape whatsoever. Yes, while he is wailing away with his ult active, he is a beast!...but then he gets stunned, and melts in an instant.
On the other hand, building a pure tank Sion is just horrendous. Building pure tank does not take advantage of ANY parts of his kit.
The goal, then, is to find the right balance between tankiness and damage. With that in mind, let's proceed to the item build!
] + 5x
There is really only one way to start as Sion in the jungle, and that's with Hunter's Machete and 5x Health Potion.
+ + sight ward +
You should not have to back before you get 750 gold AT THE MINIMUM. This will allow you to get both Boots of Speed, which is essential for ganking, and Madred's Razors, which is essential for quick jungle clearing.
Midgame Goals and Core:
Because Sion is ridiculously vulnerable to CC, Mercury's Treads are an absolute must. Do not get Boots of Mobility. Do not get Boots of Swiftness. Do not get Berserker's Greaves. You may get Ninja Tabi in some cases.
Wriggle's Lantern gives you everything you need to stay in the jungle. I don't build Madred's Razors into Wriggle's Lantern on a whole lot of junglers, but I find that Wriggle's Lantern is very solid on Sion.
IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE CLEARING JUST FINE AND ARE NOT IN NEED OF EXTRA SUSTAIN, FEEL FREE TO KEEP THIS UNBUILT AT Madred's Razors. I personally find Wriggle's Lantern to be a very comfortable and worthwhile buy, but it is also a hefty investment and delays your major items. However, the stats Wriggle's Lantern provides are useful for Sion.
Zeal gives you movement speed, attack speed, and crit rate, all of which are invaluable for Sion. This allows you to better stick to your targets as well as increasing overall damage. Phage is also an appropriate buy instead of Zeal if you prefer the beefiness as opposed to the additional attack speed and crit rate. It's up to you. I tend to enjoy an early Zeal more.
Mid-Late Game Goals:
+ + OR +
This is the part of the build that had me baffled for the longest time. I have seen so many Sion player suggest things like double Phantom Dancer and Frozen Mallet, or Phantom Dancer with Infinity Edge and The Bloodthirster. I guess that may work for top lane Sions, but that is absolutely not going to fly in the jungle. You are going to do exactly nothing unless you are sufficiently tanky.
Initially, I went with Runic Bulwark as my first defensive item. It is an EXCELLENT all around defensive item. Because of Enrage and Death's Caress, Sion benefits much more from resists than he does from health. It is because of this that Runic Bulwark is such a great item, as it adds a considerable amount of resists on top of some health. Other good choices are Locket of the Iron Solari against AD heavy teams, and Spirit Visage against AP heavy teams.
HOWEVER, after playing with Sion more and more, you start to realize that Randuin's Omen is actually a necessary first buy. Without it, you just get kited so ridiculously easy. This is a must buy after your Mercs/Wriggles/Zeal.
Trinity Force initially seems like a weird pick up on Sion. Sion, unlike a champion like Skarner, does not have the appropriate kit for taking full advantage of the sheen proc from Trinity Force and related items. However, Sion benefits a ton from all of the other stats provided by Trinity Force, and while his kit is not IDEAL for taking advantage of the sheen proc, it still benefits Sion. It is a really solid item all around for Sion.
Note: If you are really ahead and are not all too concerned with tankiness, you may finish your Trinity Force before your Runic Bulwark.
Youmuu's Ghostblade is another nice pick up for Sion. Increased damage, CDR, and a significant movement/attack speed steroid to shred targets. If you are still feeling to squishy, consider getting another defensive item in place of this, although I am generally pretty happy enough with my tankiness once I get my Runic Bulwark and Trinity Force. I will usually take either this or Blade of the Ruined King after I get my Trinity Force, depending on what the enemy team is looking like. Are they tanky and stacking health? Get Blade of the Ruined King. Are they still squishy and susceptible to getting chunked from your crits? Go with Youmuu's Ghostblade. Both of these items allow Sion to stick to his target and increase his damage output, so you should definitely have one of them.
Blade of the Ruined King is "the" item right now. It's really obnoxiously powerful. Again, you should be getting either this or Youmuu's Ghostblade depending on what the enemy team looks like.
Pick up Enchantment: Furor on your boots when you have 650g left over or feel like you really need the additional sticking power. Enchantment: Furor is really neat on Sion as it synergizes really nicely with Cryptic Gaze. Land your stun, gain a burst of speed to reach your opponent even faster, and continue sticking to him with your autos using Enchantment: Furor.
Enchantment: Alacrity is also a solid pickup on Sion, and is good in games where you just feel like you can't manage to get close enough to land a stun.
| | | | Shurelya's Reverie | |
Ravenous Hydra synergizes really well with Sion's ultimate, Cannibalism. Deal damage to the entire enemy team surrounding you, in turn healing yourself for a huge amount, in turn healing your team for a solid amount. Also offers strong wave clear which is good if you have assumed the backdooring role. NOTE that the AoE splash damage from this item is NOT affected by criticals, only the normal attack on your initial target is affected by crit, as usual.
Mercurial Scimitar is great against CC heavy teams. The movement speed boost is also great for Sion. I would ONLY get this if against a team with a lot of threatening CC and if there are several AP threats present.
Runic Bulwark is a really nice defensive item all around. Although your support should have already bought one by the time you would consider buying this item for yourself, it is still a solid item.
Atma's Impaler is a strange item that happens to be potentially worthwhile on Sion. Sion makes use of all the stats of this item, and the item itself is cheap. Although there are very few champions that I would ever buy this on, it actually is not bad for Sion, especially if you have your Enrage farmed.
Shurelya's Reverie is nice if you need that additional speed boost to catch the enemy carries or for extra initiation power.
Thornmail is a VERY underappreciated item. It should be THE go-to item if the enemy team has fed autoattackers. This with Randuin's Omen especially shuts down ADCs and other auto attackers.
Guardian Angel is always a nice pick, as it offers a good mix of defensive stats and let's you stay in the fray.
Other Good Choices:
Locket of the Iron Solari: INCREDIBLY cost efficient and a very strong item in the current meta. If the enemy team is AD heavy and you don't anticipate many AP threats, consider building this item after Randuin's Omen.
Spirit Visage: Kind of the MR counterpart to Locket of the Iron Solari in my eyes. Incredibly cost efficient with a passive that synergizes strongly with Cannibalism. Consider getting this after Randuin's Omen if the enemy team doesn't have many AD threats.
Zephyr: Not a bad item for Sion overall, although he benefits much more from items with crit in my opinion. Still, Sion benefits a lot from all the stats provided by this item. Grabbing a zephyr also allows you a little more freedom with your boots, as you get the crucial tenacity buff from this item.
Infinity Edge: ONLY BUILD IF FED BEYOND BELIEF. I am talking something like 10-0 by 20 minutes fed. This will boost your damage considerably but you NEED TO BE RELATIVELY TANKY IN ORDER TO DO ANYTHING AS SION, at least when you are jungling him.
Common items Sion Players Build that you should Avoid in the Jungle
Phantom Dancer: WHAT!? TheRealTuna, how could you possibly say that Phantom Dancer is bad for Sion!? You and your guide SUCK!!!111!!1111etcetc. Let me be clear here. Yes, Sion benefits a LOT from every stat provided by Phantom Dancer, but it leaves you COMPLETELY DEFENSELESS. You are NOT Tryndamere. You do NOT have a free escape or a free tool to keep you alive if you get CC'd like he does. On top of that, you do NOT have the farm in the jungle required to succeed with a purely glass cannon type of build. You MUST be tanky to a certain extent to be able to do anything as Sion in the jungle, which is why Phantom Dancer is a BIG NO NO.
Statikk Shiv: Same reasoning as Phantom Dancer.
Frozen Mallet: I really hate this item on Sion. Although the slow proc is really good for Sion, the other stats offered by Frozen Mallet are not especially desirable for Sion. Sion benefits the most, in my opinion, from attack speed, criticals, and resistances. Frozen Mallet offers none of those things, and instead offers the two attributes that Sion gets naturally, which are AD and Health. I certainly wouldn't go as far as saying this item is BAD for Sion, only that there are better choices, and it is for that reason that I recommend you don't build this item on Sion.
Bloodthirster: I don't even have the slightest idea as to why someone would build this on Sion when Ravenous Hydra is only very slightly more expensive and much more beneficial for Sion. If you insist on having a sustain item apart from Wriggle's Lantern, get Ravenous Hydra. Do not build this item ever, at least if you are jungling as Sion.
Black Cleaver: This item is strong. The stats are good. The passive is good...but it is not for Sion. Sion has no efficient way to get the maximum amount of stacks from this item onto his target, and at BEST can only apply the stacks to a single target (whereas someone like Pantheon has a method of applying stacks to multiple targets at once). While this is not a bad item, I would never build it on Sion as there are simply better things to build on him.
Sword of the Divine: This item is hilarious, but it is very, very inconsistent. You can consider building this item only in games in which I recommend you build Infinity Edge, which is only when you are absurdly fed very early on. This item is, by design, a gamble, and is just really not very good (but hilarious nonetheless!)
Warmog's Armor: Obviously a great item, but not especially important for Sion. As I have said many times by this point, Sion benefits much more from resistances than he does from health. There are more important defensive items to buy.
Creeping / Jungling
Sion's jungle path is pretty standard. Ask for help from your team at wolves and blue, investing your first point in Death's Caress.
Note: Because you have to wait 4 seconds before being able to pop Death's Caress, when using Death's Caress in the jungle, try to activate it a couple seconds before you actually reach the camp you are about to farm. This will allow you to pop the shield when it is almost depleted, allowing you to take full advantage of the skill by using it to absorb damage while doing AoE damage to camps. If you do not activate Death's Caress before reaching a jungle camp, the shield will be destroyed before you can pop it, thus slowing down your clear for that particular camp and consequently your clear for the entire jungle run.
After blue buff is down, you will be level 2, and you should invest your second point in Enrage. Toggle Enrage on and never look back. Make your way to wraiths.
With Enrage active and Death's Caress + Bladed Armor , you will make quick work of the wraith camp without ever having to auto attack a little wraith.
Make your way to golems, making sure to activate Death's Caress before actually beginning to clear them. You will be level 3 after clearing golems. If you see an opportunity in bot lane for a gank, invest your third skill point into Cryptic Gaze and make your way to bot lane. Otherwise, proceed to clear red buff and wraiths to achieve level 4. If you haven't already invested a point into it, invest your fourth point into Cryptic Gaze and look for gank opportunities, particularly at mid.
Note: You may be surprised as to how crazily Sion's auto attacks chunk in the early game. The AD boost from Enrage is NO JOKE. It causes your autos to hit REALLY hard. This will often take enemies by surprise, and will end up burning their flash just in time for you to get a kill as well as a free flash!
By level 6 if you are doing well, you should have Boots of Speed and Wriggle's Lantern. You are now perfectly poised to go for a solo dragon. Buy a Vision Ward if possible, or communicate with your support and request that they buy a Vision Ward for drag. Once the dragon pit is cleared and you have sufficiently warded around the area (not too hard as you get a free sight ward from your Wriggle's Lantern, proceed to soloing drag with ease with your ult. Your team will be thankful for the free 190g you just earned each of them.
Ganking with Sion
Ganking with Sion is simple yet effective. Your major ganking tool is Cryptic Gaze, of course. Although 1.5 seconds might not seem like a lot of time to be stunned for, it actually is, and it makes ganks very threatening. As a point for comparison, recall how annoying it is to get Dazzle'd by Taric. No joke!
The AD boost Sion receives from Enrage is gigantic early game. 25 AD for free is pretty insane, and you will find that an early Cryptic Gaze + one auto attack will put a LOT of pressure on the enemy mid especially. Remember, you don't HAVE to get a kill to have a gank be worthwhile. Applying pressure against an enemy champion gives your ally the advantage...a kill is ideal, but not REQUIRED for helping your teammates out.
Until you hit 6, ganks are pretty straightforward. Activate Death's Caress before you go in such that you can pop it on your target, stun your target using Cryptic Gaze, and wail away on your target with as many autos as you can. Very simple, but surprisingly effective.
POST 6 is when ganking gets fun. Though he is not particularly known for it, and although people might not realize it initially, Sion is a TOWER DIVING MONSTER. His kit is very well suited for tower diving. Although you have to be smart when you dive as things can go very horribly wrong, it is easier to dive with Sion than with most. Death's Caress gives Sion a nice buffer of health for diving, and Cannibalism allows Sion to survive under turret for an unreasonable length of time.
Note: As a rule of thumb, you generally want to have Ghost available for use during a dive, as it is pretty easy to kite Sion around towers unless he has Ghost or some other sticking tool, which you probably won't have at this point. However, having Ghost is not required, and you can certainly still pull off some solid dives without it.
Sion's Role Post-Laning
The reason I build Jungle Sion rather tanky is because if he is NOT tanky, he contributes NOTHING to his team once laning phase ends. A snowballing top lane Sion might be able to get away with that pure melee carry build, but that is not going to work with the relatively limited farm you get from the jungle.
In order to benefit his team, Sion MUST be able to stay in the fray and survive for as long as possible. General tankiness + Cannibalism allows him to do this. When built properly, Sion can be such a nuisance for the enemy team; his damage can't be ignored, but he also requires a lot of resources to kill...and the more resources the enemy team devotes to killing you, are resources that they are not using to kill your carries.
Use your stun either to disable enemy carries or to peel for your own carry. Because the range of Cannibalism is rather short, there are definitely some games where I find that it is best to stick near and peel for my carry, all the while sustaining him with Cannibalism. On the other hand, there are just some games where I know I can completely nullify enemy carries, and just beeline to them with Ghost and my other sticking tools. Whether you should dive enemy carries or wail on enemies attacking your own carries really depends on individual circumstances from game to game in relation to how fed you are at the time.
That's all folks! I hope you find success with my guide. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to leave comments on this guide! I will do my best to address any questions you all might have.