Soraka Build Guide by HeadinPants
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated.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
A Basic Support Soraka Build
General Support Items
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.
Read This If Nothing Else
If you aren't going to read this entire guide, please don't bother to vote or comment- I prefer to receive REAL feedback. There are parts of this guide that I suggest you DON'T read, which I will state at the beginning of each and in the table of contents- for these chapters, I recommend referring to them when you are in a tough spot and need advice. Thank you, and by all means, read on!
Hello to all of my fellow MOBAFire friends and all that. I hope you find this guide useful, or at least informative. Just a few things to take note of, all of the items mentioned before the "Conditional and Optional Items" chapter are based on the build coded at the top of the guide. All pieces of borrowed artwork and videos are credited in the Special Thanks/Credits section.
Table of Contents
- Ability Sequence
- Core Items
- Other Items Arranged by Item (Don't have read all the way through)
- Other Items Arranged by Use (Don't have read all the way through)
- Item Actives and When to Use Them (Don't have read all the way through)
- Early Game
- Expanded Laning Part 1: Choosing a Partner (Don't have read all the way through)
- Expanded Laning Part 2: Laning and Enemy Champions (Don't have to read all the way through)
- Mid and Late Game
Finishing a Game
Riot's Champion Spotlight, Emotes and Lore
Soraka, the Starchild of Ionia, was the first of her kind. While there are many who tap into the rich magical energies of Valoran, she was the first to tap into the magic of the cosmos itself - the celestial sea in which it is theorized that Runeterra swims among other like bodies. While Runeterran magicians are limited by the finite (though tremendous) powers of runes, there have always been those who have searched to go further. Reaching beyond the terrestrial firmament of Runeterra, Soraka was capable of invoking the power of the stars, evolving beyond her kin. This power has changed her in fantastical ways - it is for this reason that she became known as the Starchild.
Though Soraka was once trans-human, Soraka has fallen since she let the most primal of emotions rule her. Warwick, a mercenary chemist in the service of Noxus, had caused untold suffering and death among Soraka's people. An alchemical genius who took no responsibility for the atrocities he'd caused, Warwick became known as ''the Deathmaker'' by the Ionian people. As Noxian murder and terror pushed ever-forward across her land, unstoppable anger and hatred welled within Soraka. She called down the power of the heavens to curse and forever change the Deathmaker, and she mutated the man into a werewolf - a wild, murderous beast. For this misstep, Soraka lost much of her power, sacrificing her trans-human ascension and sliding several steps down the evolutionary ladder in an instant. Though she is still a champion of the Ionian people, Soraka has joined the League of Legends in hopes of reversing her curse and redeeming herself in the eyes of the stars.
Though having fallen from grace, Soraka is nonetheless determined to once again be one with the stars.
Riot's Soraka Champion Spotlight
The following clips are in here for your entertainment :)
Sadly, there are only three Soraka skins at the moment (and that's including classic).
Pros & Cons
+ Immense amounts of healing from each spell
+ Can still support when out of mana
+ Can serve as an off-tank during late game
+ Can get assists without engaging
+ Global healing spell
+ Combination of AOE and healing often turn the tide of team fights
+ High cooldown reduction
+ Carries the team via support
+ 3 Healing sources ( Heal, Astral Blessing, and Wish)
- Slow cash income during early game
- Only one disable, which doesn't help secure kills because it's a silence
- Horribly high cooldowns on her healing spells
- Terrible mana curve
Beyond the Pros and Cons: Why to Play Support
- With experience, every team you join will have reason to appreciate you
- Support is an underpicked position, which means you assist in making a better team composition
- Even without attacking or casting spells, your presence greatly affects the outcome of fights
- You aren't focused as much as the ADC
- Your assistance can be minor, but still add up. Because of this, it's not noticed as much, so enemies won't rage at you as much
- WARDS, enough said
There are many different ways that are effective for building Soraka's masteries, so instead of making a list of the ones coded in the guide, I made this section to explain what masteries are worth taking and why, as well as some other masteries people like to use and why I don't recommend them.
Sorcery - Soraka Greatly benefits from cooldown reduction, as the cooldown of Astral Blessing has been nerfed to sh*t.
Blast - Increases the scaling of all of your spells (including your amount of healing output!) without having to increase your already horribly high mana costs.
Arcane Knowledge - Not very good early game, as it increases your chance of taking kills, but amazing later in team fights when combined with Starcall stacks.
Perseverance - Great lane sustain. Also lessens your need for Health Potions. If you get this mastery, I recommend swapping one of the Health Potions for a Mana Potion.
Durability - Improves your health scaling, and supplies access to Veteran's Scars .
Tough Skin - When harassing your enemy laners with basic attacks (see Pickpocket ), you will be drawing minion aggression. This mastery will greatly increase by how much you win the trades.
Hardiness - Provides armor for early game.
Resistance - Provides magic resist for early game.
Relentless - Good for keeping up with the team.
Veteran's Scars - Provides early game health. This mastery is almost mandatory- Soraka's health is terrible during early game. If you prefer other masteries, a good solution would be to take health seals (but I don't recommend quintessences, because you need that gold).
Meditation - Soraka's mana curve is totally sh*tastic. This mastery will help you handle early laning.
Expanded Mind - As stated above, Soraka's mana curve is horrid.
Artificer - Many good support items have an active ability (which is sometimes what makes it a support item). Reducing these cooldowns helps ensure that you can assist your team.
Mastermind - Reduces cooldowns of ALL summoner spells (note that Clairvoyance already has a really low cooldown, so this mastery isn't as effective when you take Clairvoyance).
Greed - Passive gold income is a necessity for supports.
Biscuiteer - Basically provides half of a Health Potion and half of a Mana Potion in a single, free starting item.
Explorer - Decent for sustaining a lane early on without having to buy more wards.
Awareness - Increases your income of experience to help compensate for lack of farm.
Pickpocket - Any non-farming source of gold is amazing on a support. It also provides extra incentive to harass your enemy laners with basic attacks. However, it does have a 5 second cooldown (which is displayed among the buffs and debuffs above your ability bar).
Intelligence - As stated above, Soraka greatly benefits from cooldown reduction.
Nimbleness - Movement speed is amazingly useful on any champion.
Other Non-Recommended Commonly Used Masteries
Mental Force - Taking this mastery requires going far enough into the offense tree that you give up Pickpocket , which is a great mastery for Soraka.
Safeguard - This mastery is great for tower divers. It is your job to heal the tower divers, not be one of them.
Tenacious - You will already be receiving tenacity from Mercury's Treads, causing this masteries effectiveness to be diminished.
Wealth - UGH. It makes a lot more sense to take Biscuiteer for half of a mana and health potion as a single item than to spend twice as many points to get the same thing in only one form of sustain.
Scout - Extrordinarily mediocre.
Everything beyond Veteran's Scars in the defensive tree- They cause you to lose access to Pickpocket .
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Gold
My runes are very typical support runes, with a small secondary mark splash. I build Greater Marks of armor to provide physical durability. For my seals I build Greater Seals of Armor. Mostly the point of these 2 rune sets is to provide durability before building whatever armor I end up using. Then for glyphs I build Greater Glyphs of Cooldown Reduction to help deal with my terrible early game cooldowns. Finally, I increase my ability to cope without kills by using Greater Quintessences of Gold.
TL/DR: Gold, Defensive, and Cooldowns
Mark options: Magic Penetration.
Seal options: Mana Regeneration/Level, Mana Regeneration, Armor/Level, Health, Health/Level.
Glyph options: Cooldown Reduction/Level, Magic Resist/Level
Quintessence options: Ability Power, Cooldown Reduction, Mana Regeneration/Level, Mana Regeneration, Health, Health/Level.
Soraka already has two healing spells of her own. When she has Heal as well, the amount of healing just becomes OP.
Depending on whether you want to keep updated on the map, keep up with your team better, or a better escape, these spells are worth taking. I usually use Heal and Flash, because Soraka has no escape of her own, and sometimes she will be out of range for a healing spell that could save an ally.
Consecration is a very, very simple passive. It increases the magic resistance of all nearby allies by 16. Because of this passive, the point of building magic resistance items is almost mute at level 1. This allows a Soraka player and her lane partner to worry more about her armor early game and worry about the magic resistance later.
TL/DR: Gives nearby allies magic resist.
Starcall is a great lane clearing spell for farming when your lane partner is dead (which shouldn't happen with you supporting them) or recalling. Starcall deals magic damage to surrounding enemies. Each time you deal damage with Starcall, it applies a small magic resistance debuff, which stacks up to 10 times. Because this spell is more offensive and this build is meant to lean more toward support, take a point early, but max points in it last.
TL/DR: Damages nearby enemies and reduces their magic resist.
Astral Blessing is Soraka's spot healing spell, which also provides a small armor buff to the target for a short duration upon healing it.
FAQ: Why don't you max Astral Blessing by level 9?
Answer: This spell is amazing at higher ranks, but as its ranks rise, so do its mana cost, and very much so- each rank adds 30 to the mana cost. Because of this I recommend putting a few points into it early, but not starting to max it until you have Athene's Unholy Grail, or Chalice of Harmony if you're feeling particularly confident.
TL/DR: Restores health to an ally unit and grants armor for a few seconds.
Infuse is a spell with multiple effects. When cast on an enemy, it acts as a silence spell with a small amount of damage. When cast on an ally it replenishes mana, but only mana. If cast on an ally that doesn't use mana, it is used and put on cooldown with no effect. This spell used to be able to be cast on minions, but during a patch in July 2012 they fixed that problem. Becasue Infuse is a great spell for assisting a partner, I recommend leveling it similarly to Astral Blessing- take a few points early. Since it is your second most useful support spell, max your points in this spell second. Important: Since the Nautilus patch in February of 2012, Soraka's Infuse can no longer replenish her own mana.
ignore this ;P
TL/DR: Restores mana to an ally unit or damages and silences an enemy unit.
Wish is Soraka's ultimate, and is considered to be one of the easiest ways to piss off people by preventing a death (almost as annoying to people as Karthus, but more annoying to Karthus than anyone else). When Wish is cast, every champion on your team heals a solid amount of health. Building ability power makes this good heal spell into an amazing heal spell. Once you receive a point in Wish, start watching the health of your allies, near and far. This is an important part of your job I refer to as Wish spotting. You can also tell a team mate low on health to bait for a kill on another unit while you are not in combat. When they get extremely low on health, cast Wish and you get an assist, almost completely free. The only big issue with Wish is that like Astral Blessing, it costs lots of mana to cast, and the cost increases quickly (+75 mana per point).
Faerie Charm, 3 sight wards (or 2 Vision Wards + 1 Mana Potion or Health Potion) 2 Health Potions
This starting item set gets your first gold item, the philosopher's stone, ready to be built. Then you also have the Sight Wards to provide sight (hence their name, yes?) into the brush in your lane, as well as solid sustain from your potions.
FAQ: Why do you build more Health Potions than Mana Potions at level 1? You can always heal yourself with Astral Blessing and then drink a Mana Potion.
Answer: Your healing spells are for your partner primarily. If you have an emergency and need to survive to help your team mate, then use the spell on yourself. Otherwise stick to Health Potions. The amount of healing done before level 6 is usually less than the amount you heal whenever you drink a Health Potion, even if it is a HOT (Heal Over Time) rather than an instant restore.
TL/DR: Sustain, Philosopher's Stone
Despite what some people claim, this item is not overly popular for what it does. It provides solid lane sustain and a passive gold income increase. This item can make sustaining a lane much easier early on. As a support, this item is godly. Since you won't receive many kills, passive gold income is possibly the best thing since Rabadon's Deathcap on Veigar.
TL/DR: Sustain, Free Gold
Boots of Speed
Boots are always important on Soraka. Speed is huge in this game.
TL/DR: You couldn't read a single line of text?
Free Sight wards, need I say more?
Magic Resist isn't to be spammed, but once this item has been bought, Soraka has roughly 100 magic resist. On top of that, tenacity can make the difference between an enemy acing you and you acing the enemy when you have Wish ready.
TL/DR: Speed, Magic Resist, Tenacity
Since eventually you should be building some solid armor, and Soraka's early game armor isn't that great, getting a Chain Vest is great way to improve your early game. Eventually, you should be building as armor item such as Frozen Heart, Ohmwrecker, Iceborn Gauntlet, or Zhonya's Hourglass (which might be a staple- If you have no tank, you will need it in order initiate team fights). If you know where the damage will be focused that game, you should consider building items that provide less armor and build Cloth Armor instead. Good examples of other armor items built from Cloth Armor include: Locket of the Iron Solari, Randuin's Omen, Runic Bulwark.
Chalice of Harmony
I LOVE this item. It's a mana restoring engine bent on making sure you are never completely out. Plus, it builds into Athene's Unholy Grail.
TL/DR: Mana regen, Athene's Unholy Grail
This enchantment is the most support friendly of all. Movement is amazing, and it makes it easier for you to do your job. If an ally is being chased towards you, they get within range of your Astral Blessing (and possibly Shurelya's Reverie) faster! This enchantment is AMAZING for Soraka and her team.
TL/DR: ZOOM! ZOOM! ZOOM! ZOOM! ZOOM!
Athene's Unholy Grail
This item is amazing on Soraka. Without it, she either has to run Clarity or recall very, very often. It provides a little magic resist, but the real kicker is its three passives. It gives CDR, restores mana on kills/assists, and increases basic mana regen. On top of all that, it provides some ability power to make your heals better. This item is GODLY on Soraka.
TL/DR: Mana regen, Passive mana restore, CDR, Ability power
Conditional and Optional Items (Arranged by Item)
Reasons to Buy Abyssal Scepter
Reasons to Buy Frozen Heart
Reasons to Buy Iceborn Gauntlet
Reasons to Buy Locket of the Iron Solari
Reasons to Buy Mikael's Crucible
Reasons to Buy Morellonomicon
Reasons to Buy Ohmwrecker
Reasons to Buy Rabadon's Deathcap
Reasons to Buy Randuin's Omen
Reasons to Buy Runic Bulwark
Reasons to Buy Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Reasons to Buy Shard of True Ice
Reasons to Buy Shurelya's Reverie
Reasons to Buy Twin Shadows
Reasons to Buy Will of the Ancients
Reasons to Buy Wooglet's Witchcap
Reasons to Buy Zeke's Herald
Reasons to Buy Zhonya's Hourglass
Conditional and Optional Items (Arranged by Reasons to Buy Them)
Shard of True Ice
Shurelya's Reverie Zeke's Herald
To Improve Your Healing Capabilities
and Increase Your Damage
Shard of True Ice
To Get Closer to 40% CDR
Shurelya's ReverieZeke's Herald
Help With Gold Issues
Shard of True IceShurelya's Reverie
Crowd Control and Purging Thereof (Including Movement Bonuses)
Shard of True IceShurelya's Reverie
General Durability for Your Team
In Need of Armor
In Need of Magic Resist
In Need of General Durability
Shurelya's ReverieZeke's Herald
Still Having Mana Issues?
Shard of True IceShurelya's Reverie
Item Actives- Your Bread and Butter and When to Eat Them
I don't suggest reading this all the way through, but it's not a bad idea to look at it when you need help!
- When an Ally is VERY low on health and is either Ignited, being chased down, or in a team fight
- Shortly after an enemy tank initiates a fight (so as to lessen the AOE damage they deal)
- Shortly before a team killing ultimate is finished channeling (or starts channeling, in cases such as Katarina's Death Lotus)
- An ally is being focused with crowd control
- An ally is very low, most of you team won't benefit from Wish, and Astral Blessing and Heal are on cooldown
- An ally is very low on health and gets targeted by an enemy turret
- Your tank is starting to get low on health and has taken multiple tower shots (because consecutive tower shots deal increasing damage)
- At least two enemy champions building AD are targeting you
- Your team is ready to engage and you are near most of the enemy team
- When you or an ally is low on health and attempting to escape pursuers
- When you or an ally is chasing down an enemy
- When you or an ally is low on health and attempting to escape pursuers
- When you or an ally is chasing down an enemy
- When you or an ally is low on health and attempting to escape pursuers
- When you or an ally is chasing down an enemy
- When trying to locate an enemy with stealth
- Shortly after being swarmed when initiating a team fight (see the Team Fights Without a Tank chapter for details)
- When being focused with damage and/or crowd control
- When trying to survive long enough to pop a healing spell
Subchapter 1: Harassing
Common misconception: "A Soraka lane is a passive lane." That is the result of what is called playing the "babysitter" support. I don't suggest doing that- It's dull and boring as hell.
When harassing, try to hit all of the minions with your Starcall as well as the enemy champions. This will help your carry last hit them as well as allow you to harass. Since Starcall damages a unit more the more Starcall stacks are on it, try to hit 2-3 times with it and with an offensive casting of Infuse partway through to prevent an offensive response to your harassing. This method works best on most champions, but look at "Extended Laning Part 2- Tips for Harassing and Zoning Opposing Laners" for specifics.
Subchapter 2: Last-Hitting
Don't do it unless you are alone in your lane. If your partner is dead or recalling, get into the center of the enemy minions and Starcall like a maniac. This will help you keep them creeps from damaging your turrets without freezing the lane by risking your squishy amount of health, as well as make gold income more handleable. Otherwise, just ignore the minions.
Subchapter 3: Assists
Since Soraka's only disable is the silence from Infuse, drop it on your target shortly after engaging and spam it once they start running (If they have a partner with them, target the partner with Infuse instead to prevent intervention). Since it doesn't do anything about movement, your partner will need to initiate and surprise them in order to get the kill. Once the fight has been initiated, focus the target with basic attacks and Starcalls. Make sure you move between attacks and casts so you can stay in range. If your partner has to dive under the turret, make sure you heal them with Astral Blessing as soon as they are not at full health. This will allow them to take advantage of the heal and the bonus armor.
I know this video isn't from early game, but it's the best I could manage.
Subchapter 4: Wish Spotting
If an ally ping targets an enemy, disengage and focus your screen on the target so that you can time your Wish properly (You should also signal for your lane partner to fall back so they don't dive while you are unavailable to heal them). If they don't need it, return to assisting your partner. Otherwise, wait until your allies attacking the target get low on health and cast Wish (ping-target the enemy attacking the ally beforehand if you think your allies can take them out). This method will usually secure a free assist for you and a kill for your team. Massive numbers of assists will slowly make up for your lost income from lack of creep kills and champion kills.
Subchapter 5: Warding
This map shows places you should consider warding if your team has a jungler.
This map shows places you should consider warding if your team doesn't have a jungler.
Expanded Laning- Tips for Choosing and Supporting Laning Partners
Things to look for in an ADC when playing Soraka include:
- Hard CC
- Magic damage
The following is a list of ALL of the ADCs (and for all the people who don't get this idea, NEWSFLASH: A TRUE ADC IS RANGED (in one way or another)) and where they rank on a scale of 0-10 on how well they work with Soraka in lane (0 being flat out horrid, 10 being absolutely amazing). I don't recommend reading this chapter all the way through.
5.5: Ashe's ability to get over-fed on farm with Hawkshot is a great way to benefit highly from your lane. Since they get all the minions, this can snowball very hard. However, your chances of managing to farm and sustain are hampered by her slightly lower range and semi-short range harass (maybe I just have my expectations too high...). She also lacks magic damage (except on her ult), making Starcall pretty useless, and has no escape disregarding her CC.
7: Caitlyn has a pretty long range poking spell, and she basically has wards all the time. This means you can sustain a lane much longer before heading back to wards. As long as you can restore Caitlyn's mana, you have wards. However, her spells can be very costly, and keeping her mana up with Infuse can leave you vulnerable. In addition, her only magic damage is her Yordle Snap Trap, which the enemy has to step on, rendering Starcall pretty pointless.
7: Corki has mediocre harass early game- he needs his ult to really get poking done. He also has no hard CC, which leaves you more vulnerable to ganks. However, when he commits to a target, that target is almost guaranteed to go down because of his passive and Gatling Gun's armor reduction stacks.
8.5: Draven's Spinning Axes renew themselves when he catches them, which conserves his mana, as well as makes last hitting a bit easier. He has a slow that also scatters his foes at a semi-long range, and he has a short move speed buff. Draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaven is one of the better choices for carries. The downside to laning with him is his lack of magic damage- there is no way for him to benefit from you landing Starcall.
7.5: Ezreal has two long range pokes, the shorter of which passes through minions. He has low cost harassment from Mystic Shot, and great farming capability with it as well. However, he has no hard CC, leaving him more vulnerable to ganks.
6: Gangplank is a carry in his own way, having Parrrley and all. This is his poke, and it has poor range. The amount of gold it can give him by farming is huge, putting Ashe to shame. However, it is his only ranged presence. He also lacks good escapes, disregarding his Remove Scurvy... Raise Morale... Grog Soaked Blade... Cannon Barrage... Okay, who am I kidding? He has escapes.
8: Graves is a great champion in lane with his harass and anti-harass from his Smoke Screen and Buckshot. His only real issue is his shorter range harass. Quickdraw also provides an engage/escape spell.
10: Jayce is amazing when in lane with Soraka. He has hard CC, long range poking, speed and general obnoxiousness. I am still looking for issues involved with laning with Jayce.
7.5: Long story short, Kog'Maw isn't a good pick for a laning partner for Soraka, but Soraka is a good laning partner choice for Kog'Maw. Kog'maw's only harass before level 6 is very mana costly and has a semi-long cooldown. It's also his only form of CC, which means he is left vulnerable after harassing. However, he has great magic damage from Bio-Arcane Barrage and gets very dangerous when fed extra experience, as Bio-Arcane Barrage's health percent damage gets increased. Sadly, not counting his CC he has no escape.
9.5: Miss Fortune has some harass with solid range ( Double Up), a slow, and great farming potential with Impure Shots. However, she has no escape, disregarding her CC.
7: Sivir has great harass, as well as mana sustain and spell durability from her Spell Shield. However, she lacks CC, magic damage, and escapes (not counting the Spell Shield and On The Hunt).
8.5: Teemo has a short range harassing spell. However, he greatly benefits from your Starcall stacks and mana restore (since Noxious Traps are expensive to place). On top of that, he supplies wards starting at level 6.
5.5: Tristana's harass short range though it may be, benefits from Starcall stacks. Her spells are costly, thus making her also greatly benefit from mana restore. In addition, she has a slow and escape. However, they are both part of Rocket Jump, forcing the caster to decide whether to slow the enemy, or gain some distance. Another problem with Tristana is that she relies much on burst, with which Soraka is bad at assisting.
8.5: Twitch greatly benefits from mana restoration, and has decent harass. He has CC and an escape of his own. The downside is trying to keep up with him when he's using Ambush.
10: Urgot's passive, Zaun-Touched Bolt Augmenter, immediately puts trades into your favor. He has magic damage, a slow, a shield, and great harassment. Alas, his only escapes are in his Terror Capacitor's shield and slows.
8.5: Varus has great poking and farming. He deals great magic damage that benefits from Starcall stacks. However, he has no escape aside from his CC on Hail of Arrows and Chain of Corruption.
10: Vayne gets fed very well. She has an escape/gap closer, true health % damage (which is OP at low ELOs because people don't build Frozen Heart and/or Randuin's Omen), and stuns enemies she pushes into terrain.
ADCs: Outside the Meta
I included this portion of this chapter because 1) some of them were orginally used as ADCs, 2) some of them are flat out OP *cough* Sona *cough* and 3) let's face it- people are just plain stupid. However, with a few exceptions I didn't bother rating them as (thankfully) most players stay within the meta, for the most part.
6: Kennen has decent harass and CC, as well as an excellent escape. Alas, he does not use mana, causing Infuse to become sh*t.
Lulu has damage prevention CC, but her only movement CC is her ultimate, Wild Growth. However, she has good harass and a decent escape.
10: Sona has decent CC, great harass, and an escape... AND Sheen- Power Chord WITH 100 AD IS ALREADY OP... that's not even level 6, either...
If only you could play a 5 Soraka team and have one of them ADC with you as support bottom lane... too bad.
7.5: Twisted Fate has decent harass, but it's better harass when played AP. He has good CC, but his only escape is his ultimate.
Expanded Laning Part 2- Tips for Harrassing and Zoning Opposing Laners
The following is a list of ALL the bottom lane meta champions and tips on how to handle laning against them. I don't suggest reading this all the way through, but it's not a bad idea to look at it when you need help! If you find an enemy outside the meta, feel free to look into my "Laning: Opposing Laners and how to Handle Them" guide (currently in progress and unpublished).
In-Meta Opposing Laners
Alistar is one of the most obnoxious supports you can lane against. He will generally out-bully you with the mobility on his Headbutt as well as his Pulverize. When laning versus Alistar, try to play on the defensive and wait and/or ask for a flanking jungler gank.
It's simple enough to lane against an Ashe. Going in the bushes a lot is a good idea, as often it will get her to waste her Hawkshot and/or Volley (which means wasting mana). Even if Volley hits you, you should get the better end of the deal due to your high sustainability. Also, try to stay behind your minions when not in brush in order to block Volley.
Anyone playing against a Blitzcrank hates him, everyone playing alongside a Blitzcrank loves him. The main reason is his Rocket Grab (SHOCKER!). You can out lane a Blitzcrank simply by dodging his Rocket Grab and staying behind minions. Often a Blitzcrank will try to get a Rocket Grab on you from the brush. For this reason, you should be more careful about using wards on the brush in your lane.
Be wary of Caitlyn's Piltover Peacemaker, as generally she will max it first and it scales off of AD. Dodge this spell whenever you can. Also, try to step on all of her Yordle Snap Traps that you can without risking yourself. Doing so wastes the trap because she already knows you are in her lane ;) Another consequence of wasting her traps is that she can't snare you with them to prevent you from retreating. You also take very little damage from the traps, thanks to their low damage ad your consecration.
Don't go into brush when laning against a Corki. Corki's main source of harassment is also his bush checking spell, Phosphorus Bomb. Whatever you do, avoid being directly in front of Corki, as it well let him tear right through you with his Gatling Gun.
The only really solid advice for laning against a Draven are to stay back, dodge his Stand Aside, and wait for ganks. Draven is mean in lane early on and you need good trades to beat him... which you won't get. Wait for a gank.
Stay behind your minions to avoid being harassed by Ezreal. Also be wary of his Essence Flux, as it can pass through minions. When low on health, keep on eye on him in order to avoid him killing you with Trueshot Barrage.
Holding back a Gangplank as Soraka is quite easy. Whenever he moves in for a Parrrley, simply silence him with Infuse, which has a higher range. Take care though- silence on Gangplank does not mean he can't Parrrley- he can always just Remove Scurvy to remove the silence and then Parrrley you anyway. For this reason you should still back off whenever he comes in to poke. However, try not to harass him with anything else, as your attack range is shorter than his Parrrley range.
Try to avoid getting too close to Graves. Otherwise you risk getting hit by his Buckshot and Smoke Screen. When walking in to farm gold with Pickpocket , try to stay behind your minions so that if Graves tries to Buckshot you, the minions will reduce the damage.
Whenever Janna spins around, move sideways, as this signals that she is channeling Howling Gale. After she hits level 6, don't dive under the enemy tower for any reason. If you do, she can just cast Monsoon and push you closer to the turret, possibly even feeding her team a kill.
Avoid getting too close to Karma, as most of her damage is focused near her. Another big thing is to avoid touching her Spirit Bond. If you do, you'll be slowed, which will allow the enemy ADC to close in and squishy you faster than you can yell "BANANAS!" in the all team chat.
Try to keep Kayle under silence when you and your partner are closing in to kill Kayle or her partner. Doing so will help prevent her from using Intervention.
Watch for when Kog'Maw's stripes turn red. When they do, that means that means his Bio-Arcane Barrage is in effect, and you should back up. After this effect ends is a great opportunity to close in for a kill, as Bio-Arcane Barrage is a large portion of Kog'Maw's damage output during this phase of the game.
Avoid getting caught by Leona's Zenith Blade, because it can easily change the outcome of a trade. If your ally is low on health, keep leona away from you, as her stuns ( Shield of Daybreak and Solar Flare) will prevent you from healing your ally.
As a support, most Lulus will take Pickpocket and try to harass you with basic attacks. Her harassment from basic attacks is more obnoxious due to her passive, Pix, Faerie Companion. To avoid the passive damage, stay behind your minions so they intercept the missiles. This will also mess with the health of your minions, pushing the wave to allow your jungler a better opportunity to gank, and the damage will also make it harder for their ADC to score last hits. Try to take note of when she casts Whimsy and Help, Pix!, as they signal that she is trying to engage for a trade.
Watch closely for a support Lux's Light Binding and Lucent Singularity, as they are nasty forms of harass. Also try to harass her when you know her Prismatic Barrier is on cooldown.
Try to stay near you minions when facing a support Maokai. That way when he uses his Sapling Toss, you can simply back away from the minions, the sapling will detonate, and take no damage at all. Also take care to not get in range of his Twisted Advance.
Laning against Miss Fortune is strange in that you take less damage from her if you stand in front of you minions so you can't be a secondary target for Double Up. However, at the same time, standing in front of the minions makes you an easy target for both ganks and basic attacks. I recommend standing among your minions, to reduce the chance of being a secondary target for Double Up while remaining in a place where you can escape easily if ganked or harassed.
Nami is rude. Her Aqua Prison stun (which looks like a knock-up) is a ranged AOE that lasts slightly more than a second. She has harassment in her healing spells, meaning she trades without taking any damage at all, and on top of that she provides movement speed to allies when she cast spells on them. Avoid getting hit by her knock-up, and take note when she casts a spell on her ally (or allies), as that's a good time to back up.
Even support Nidalee’s Javelin Tosses hurt… A LOT… Like with Caitlyn’s Yordle Snap Traps, try to waste a Nidalee’s Bushwhack traps in order to reduce her damage output and waste her mana.
When laning against a support Nunu, try to take note of when he casts Blood Boil, and when it ends. The short time after it fades and before it is off cooldown is great time to lean in for some harass. The more time you can catch the ADC without the buff, the better your chances of winning a trade become.
Don’t get too close to your own minions when laning against a Sivir. If you get too close, she can just cast Ricochet and hit you for some harass. Another thing to avoid is generally standing too close, as she can hit you with her Boomerang Blade, which you need to take care in dodging. When harassing a Sivir, use basic attacks and a single cast of Starcall followed by Infuse. Doing this will most likely get her to use her Spell Shield as soon as the silence ends, which you can then waste by not casting Starcall again until it fades.
Don’t get too close to a Sona in lane, as she can use her Hymn of Valor to trade with you, and then heal back up with her Aria of Perseverance. Just play safe and harass from the bushes so she can’t trade with you.
Fun times! Soraka versus Soraka! Try to harass an enemy Soraka from the brush in order to win trades. Use what you know about Soraka’s cooldowns to determine when to run in for the kill… right after the armor buff on Astral Blessing fades.
Laning against a Taric is difficult when playing as Soraka, but it is doable. Try to harass him with basic attacks, but note that his Dazzle’s range is slightly shorter than your attack range, so if Taric starts moving closer to you, don’t try to harass him him, as he will just stun you.
Teemo is… irritating. The biggest thing to keep in mind when laning against a Teemo is where he is. You need to know whether or not he is camping with camouflage. If you do not see him, call “mia” unless you know for sure that he is camping. If you know where he’s camping or have a good idea of where, then whenever you are near him, spam Starcall. Doing so will force him to either take lots of damage and possibly die, or back off and stop camping.
To succeed in a lane against Tristana you need to be careful about your positioning. Standing near your minions will get you damaged by Tristana’s Explosive Shot passive. Standing behind her will get you Buster Shot into her turret, and standing too close to her will let her Rocket Jump over you and proceed to Buster Shot you into her turret… You know what, just stay a ways behind your minions while any of them have low health and avoid letting her get too close to you…
If the enemy team has a Twitch, you need to get 2 Vision Wards and one Health Potion instead of 3 sight wards and two Health Potions. Basically, you will need to place the Vision Wards in the center of your lane, stay close to the river, and check the river brush often (assuming the enemy team has a jungler). Whatever you do, DON’T PUSH. This is really the only solid method to prevent you from feeding hard during early game.
Laning against an Urgot is rather difficult. He has a skillshot ( Acid Hunter) and an AOEDOT ( Noxian Corrosive Charge, units affected by the DOT are able to be targeted by Acid Hunter instead of him having to aim it), and a shield ( Terror Capacitor) to top it all off. The best way to manage an enemy Urgot is to stay behind your minions and avoid getting hit by his AOE. Harass him with basic attacks only from brush and silence him with Infuse after doing so or he’ll just bash you with his spells and auto-attacks.
The biggest thing to look for when laning against Varus is for when he starts to charge up his Piercing Arrow. This is his main form of harass, so he will likely max it first. Also try to watch for how many Blighted Quiver stacks he has on you (and your ADC)- if he lands an ability, your health will drop dramatically.
Try not to misjudge Vayne's harass distance- her Tumble may not move her far, but it does close gaps well. In regards to her Condemn, I have written the following poem, which can also be found on my DeviantArt page.
If you are Soraka and you head to bottom lane,
and you find yourself against a support and a Vayne,
then try to keep away from hard pieces of terrain.
It doesn't even matter if Soraka is your main.
Because if Vayne stuns you on a wall,
then your carry will surely fall
and of your feeding your team will complain.
Whenever Zilean puts a Time Bomb on a unit, stay away from it. If the unit dies, Zilean places another Time Bomb on it, or the Time Bomb's timer finishes, it deals AOE damage. Also consider when he uses his Time Warp. If you know it's on cooldown, you can harass him freely without worrying he will slow you so his carry can pick up a kill. You can also try to harass him with basic attacks followed by a silence from Infuse to prevent his response whether he has any spells ready or not.
Mid & Late Game
-Make sure your team gets dragon kills
-Watch your teammates' health bars
-Stick with the team
Team Fights With a Tank/Team Fights in General
Team Fights Without a Tank
Warning- This chapter is not for players who refuse to read large portions of text. I apologize, but shortening this portion isn't exactly something one can do with ease.
In a game with no tank, as the support it is often assumed that it will be you job to initiate. If this is the case, getting Zhonya's Hourglass becomes a staple. Initiating with Soraka is messy business, but can be done exceptionally well with practice. I recommend running in, Starcalling like a maniac. As soon as the enemy starts to focus you, try to activate Zhonya's Hourglass. Around the time it ends is an excellent opportunity to cast summoner Heal. Throughout the fight, remember to spam Starcall. The longer the team fight gets, the more potent the damage from this spell becomes, as each hit reduces the magic resistance off struck enemies. Concentrate on keeping your team alive. If an ally gets low is it is doubtful they will escape, heal them with Astral Blessing. If an enemy with a team-killing channeled ultimate such as Nunu, Katarina, or Karthus starts to channel, immediately silence them with Infuse. After all of those ultimates have been wasted, focus on silencing the champions who are dealing the most damage with their abilities (in other words, the AP carries). When your entire team has a portion of their health missing and someone in the team has gotten very low, cast Wish. Saving Wish for a moment that can benefit the entire team and save someone's life at the same time is crucial.
Baron Nashor- Taking the Buff
When your team is fighting Baron Nashor , there are a few things that must be done in preparation. First of all, you need to be warding. If the enemy team finds out you are at Baron Nashor , there will be a big fight, and getting the buff will be much more difficult. Regardless, you need to ward the rivers, but you also need to ward entrances to the river from the enemy jungle. Note that you will need 4 wards and you can only have 3 placed with Ruby Sightstone at a time. You will also need to scout ahead using Oracle's Elixir to clear out enemy wards beforehand.
Now for actually fighting Baron Nashor ...
Keep in mind that you might need Wish ready for you in a team fight following the secure of Baron Nashor . For this reason, try to focus on using Summoner Heal, Mikael's Crucible (try to save this one too- it has a 3 minute cooldown), and Astral Blessing to keep your team going until the buff is secured. Throughout this fight you should also be spamming Starcall, and using Infuse as a damage spell (until an ally starts running low on mana).
Hall of Fame
Many players (myself included) don't want to have to test a build to know it works, so this chapter is my evidence. Most of them use more or less the coded build, but that's just because of personal preference. Anyway, if you have a good game with a build based on this guide, feel free to link it to me via private message and I'll add you in. Note: Feel proud regardless of your deaths as long as you get more assists. Kills are unimportant as a support.
-All my friends who help review and give me advice on this guide.
-"busubusu" on Deviantart, for letting me use his "Babysitting Every Day" artwork in the early game-harassing section.
-"Rippchen3" on YouTube for allowing me to use his "Lucky Karthus Ulti Survive" in the "Wish Spotting" portion of the Early Game chapter.
-jhoijhoi for her amazing Making a Guide guide.
-"Shiroze" on Deviantart, for letting me use her "How I See Soraka" artwork in the early game-assists section.
-"MeteorShower2" on Deviantart, for letting me use his "Soraka Summoner" artwork in the introduction.
-"Cacti" on Deviantart/"GeneralCacti" on Youtube, for letting me use his "Urf and Turf" and "Urf and Turf 2: Revenge" in the lore section.
-To every League player who happens to appear in my videos- I didn't take the time to go through and look at all the names because I'm too busy to do so.