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Sion Build Guide by Apos

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Apos

[Mid / Top] Sion, Win lane, Win game v6.14a

Apos Last updated on July 24, 2016
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Ability Sequence

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

Fury
 
 
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
Bounty Hunter
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 0

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Merciless
 
 
5/
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
1/
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 18

Recovery
 
 
5/
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Explorer
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
Insight
1/
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 12


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New guide

Check out my new guide for ADC Sion: ADC Sion BOTTOM. KILL THEM OR DIE TRYING, THEN KILL THEM!


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Reddit - /r/DirtySionMains

If you like Sion, make sure to come by our subreddit! https://www.reddit.com/r/DirtySionMains/


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Special thanks - Credits

This guide would never have existed if not for Soultran. You can watch his stream on http://www.twitch.tv/soultran

He plays 100% Sion and streams everyday. His build is very similar from mine. Go watch him if you want to see some Sion gameplay.

Also a massive thanks to OwnedYew for giving feedback on the guide.


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Introduction

If you are a true Sion lover, this guide is for you. I have tried many ways to build and play Sion ever since I got my hands on him on the PBE. I present you, reworked Sion, the lane bully.

As Sion, your goal is to snowball as many lanes as you can. The way I build Sion makes him one of the best early game champion in the game. As the game progresses, you'll become a real beast. Sion is a roaming monster, have fun playing him.

This guide is meant for mid and top lane Sion.

For those interested in watching me play, you can find my stream on http://www.twitch.tv/apostolique
Come say hi!

This guide is a work in progress, positive feedback welcomed. Guide will be updated accordingly.


Here is a screenshot showing you the win streak you can expect to get if you follow this guide.
All the wins shown are from games in high platinum to low diamond elo. They have been played during Patch 6.1 and 6.2.


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Pros / Cons

Pros



+ Really good laning phase.


+ Really good wave clear.


+ Does amazing sustained and burst damage.


+ Roams are really good with high snowball potential.


+ Global map pressure with TP and ultimate.


+ Really tanky.


+ Scales really hard.


+ Has really good itemization options.


+ Very good mix of AD and Magic damage.


+ Sion is so dumb, he brings everyone down to his level.



Cons



- Relies a lot on team.


- Can be hard to CS if you don't know your damage.


- Very aggressive play.


- Very skill shot heavy.


- Ultimate can be countered by walls. It is also easy to miss if used wrong.


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Runes

This section is very dusty, needs cleaning up! Read at own risks.


Runes

Greater Mark of Precision
9

Greater Quintessence of Precision
3

Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

These runes abuse Sion's early game power. The magic pen works really well with Sion's W ( Soul Furnace) and E ( Roar of the Slayer). I used to get Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, but with all the movement speed items that are included in the core build ( Dead Man's Plate, Zz'Rot Portal, Boots of Swiftness), it's better to just use the Greater Quintessence of Hybrid Penetration instead. The armor seals are overall great for possible lane harass (especially against ranged champs), to sustain lane aggro, and they also make your shield more durable (Sion's base armor is 21).

If you feel you have an easy early game, you can swap the armor seals for scaling health or scaling armor ones.

If you feel your early game against AP champions is too hard, you can swap the magic pen glyphs for flat magic resist. I haven't required more magic resist yet though. If you think you get harassed too hard, perhaps you need to learn to trade better, or work on dodging skill shots better. Sion pushes the lane really hard, therefore it is hard for people to both harass you while killing minions under their tower with abilities.

Why get magic pen instead of AD? This build focuses on Sion's near 100% uptime on his W and E.


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Masteries

Masteries
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/1
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/1
1/1

This mastery page provides the stats to back up a roaming style. Gives you movement speed, sustain, tankyness, bigger shields, lower CDR, tenacity. I like Thunderlord's Decree as the keystone mastery as it helps increase your damage during the laning phase, and throughout the game as you make the craziest plays.


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Spells




As Sion, you will want to be really aggressive. You want to win your lane hard, and then you want to roam. TP allows you to have the early item advantage, and later allows you to control the map. You can TP gank to minions, TP back to your tower, splitpush. TP is up every 3 to 4 minutes on average with the Summoner's Insight mastery. Abuse it, surprise people, create chaos.

Some people have suggested taking Ignite instead of Teleport. I find that Ignite promotes a different play style. It is a lot less reactive. It can also be relatively useless if you fall behind for whatever reason. Sure some kills will escape at times, but Teleport can easily make itself a lot more worth by forcing people bot lane while your team goes for baron. For forcing or securing shady fights when team mates get caught or attempt plays while you show up at perfect timing with a couple well placed skill shots. (Not to mention coming right back in lane after getting ganked.) Teleport creates a lot more chaos, and chaos is key in solo queue.

Note: I'll have to reconsider Ignite for Sion mid as I just played a game where I took ignite by mistake and it turned out to work really well. More on that as I gather more data.




Okay, I need to address this right now. There is actually an other summoner spell option. You can watch the video by Crumbz: Shifts in the Meta-Top Laners with Teleport/Smite. This is actually something that I have tried and been theorizing about since the smite changes. I have also been talking to a lot of people about it, but have been holding off from writing anything about it in this guide. If you feel like trying Smite instead of Flash, go for it. I still prefer flash over smite because I really like early game and I really like to do my flash + W combo or E + flash combo to finish off opponents when they least expect it even though I don't get the opportunity to do those in every single games.


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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

E is your primary spell. Q is a really good follow up on E and it becomes really good late game when you become a big tank and you can layer it after your E or other other team mate's CCs. It's also really good to make people think twice before jumping on you. Level E and W first, then get Q.

Scaling wise, E scales the best for an amazing laning and mid game power spike. Q provides your second big power spike. W is used for winning trades where it shields as much damage before you pop it on them. And finally your level 3 ultimate is the icing on the cake.

I like to take two levels in W because a single E and W combo is enough to clear a wave completely.

But.... Didn't patch 5.5 massively buff Q? Shouldn't it be maxed first now? Nooooooo. It turns out what was buffed was actually the AD scaling ratio. The base damage is actually the exact same as such a single point in Q is enough to use the AD ratio properly. Also, you still need the slow from the E to setup your other spells.

Before you have your 3 Doran's Ring use Q as little as possible, or not at all. If you use all 3 of your abilities all the time, you won't be able to lane for very long. Personally, unless I'm about to receive a jungle gank and I need the extra CC, I don't even bother taking a point in Q until later. Leveling only E and W makes for a very strong laning phase.


An alternative is to max W first. It's cooldown doesn't go down with levels, but the damage is really strong. It makes you immune to ganks, and it's a really good wave clearing spell.


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Abilities




Glory in Death

Passive is nice, but you shouldn't play to die. Don't build for it, don't die ever. If you ever do die, don't chase for kills, attack whoever is closest to you. In lane, it is sometimes better to go for cs if you don't think you can catch. If you see yourself in an inevitable death scenario, plan you death location accordingly. A good place to die would be in a bush, since people don't see you revive, they will sometimes forget about it and you will be able to come out of the bush and surprise them. If you are about to die in a 1v1 situation, try to hit the E before dying, it will usually make it a fair trade.



Decimating Smash

Q is really amazing to stop people from jumping on you. It used to not do that much damage with this build, but since the buff to it's ratio of 1.95 it's best not to ignore it. An E Q W combo is really decimating. Use it to stop channels. It becomes game changer in team fights, and as a peeling tool. You can level it up at level 4 depending on how the lane is going. Remember, people think it's easy to outplay your Q, but if anything, it is a guaranteed source of damage. Just release it before they get out of it. It's also a really easy way to get their flash when they realize they can't get out of an almost full charge Q.

Did someone just come in to auto attack you? Do they now have the minion aggro on them? Make them pay with a well placed stun. Did Riven just jump on you? Make her pay for it and make sure she remembers not to touch you ever again. Learn to use your Q, and you will win those trades every single time.

A simple combo with a melee range Q is to follow it up with an auto attack while your target is knocked up (Alistar style). I use this combo mostly for last hitting cannon minions when I know my Q won't deal enough damage to finish it.



Soul Furnace

W is amazing. It makes you really tanky. It allows you to wave clear easily, and lets you trade really well in lane. It does use a good amount of mana early on. Out of lane, it allows you to melt tanks. At max rank, it's an AOE spell that melts people for more than 14% of their health. You will need to learn to protect your shield, a broken shield is useless to you as it doesn't deal any damage. Late game, when people have Banshee's Veil, you can ultimate in with shield started, and pop the shield right before you hit to pop them.

Also, this spell is really good for bursting the Scuttler, Dragon, or Baron. It does a guaranteed 400 damage to them on top of it's own base damage. (Not true damage, but still a really good burst in those really close smite battles.)

Do note: with patch 5.8, this spell has been nerfed early game and made to scale with levels up to where it used to be. It might seem like a big nerf, but it's not really. It just means you have to be better at protecting it. While the damage stayed the same, the shielding size is now smaller. Level 1 shield will only shield for ~66 damage.



Roar of the Slayer

E is by far your best spell. This is what makes your enemy laner hate you really hard. It throws minions in a line and deals 130% times more damage than what it actually shows on the ingame tooltip. Practice it, make it land. It costs (35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55) mana on a rather short cooldown. Your constant E harass will force anyone out of lane. There is a catch though, if you don't use it right, you will miss valuable cs, therefore, it is best to use it on creeps that are low enough to die from it, or on creeps that are high enough to survive the auto attacks from ranged minions that will follow it. Aside from the harass, this spell is amazing to wave clear. Out of lane, this spell allows you to catch and kite people down along with your W. The slow is also enough to let you escape from ganks.

Here is a trick to hit the E with a minion: aim at the enemy's feet. With a bit of prediction and practice, it's really easy to hit. Also, bigger minions have bigger hitboxes therefore it is good to throw cannon minions, Annie's Tibbers, Zyra plants, etc.

Fundamentally, it is literally impossible to miss an E when someone is walking towards you. This means that you can use that to your advantage in lane when people walk towards you. You can usually get people to walk towards you by running at them with a shield then running away from them. When they walk back, this is usually a good time to E.

You can also snipe people that come back to lane after going to ward since their trajectory is pretty easy to predict at that time. Against people that are better, keep in mind that side stepping that particular E is pretty trivial as they will expect you to do it.

TLDR: You can hit people easily when their movements become polarized, predictable.

E is a channeled ability which means that you can E first, then Flash when an opponent is running away to extend it's range and masterfully snipe them.

Roar of the Slayer has a range of 1500. For comparison, Xerath's full charge Arcanopulse has a range of 1400.



Unstoppable Onslaught

Your W and E win you the lane, your ultimate wins you the game. This ultimate is one of the best engage in the game. It's also a free homeguard from anywhere on the map. With or without your jungler nearby, you can gank your own lane after a recall. Later, it's on a really short cooldown. (Rank 3 ultimate with 35% cdr puts it on a 39 seconds cooldown.) Don't get carried away though, only engage when your teammates can follow up.

There are currently two bugs that I know of with the ult. First, your team mates will see the green circle that shows that your ultimate is up. Most of the time, the circle is wrong and your ultimate is actually on cooldown. Make sure to write your ultimate timer once in a while, otherwise your team will be expecting you to have it up and will make bad moves.

Second, while the enemy team is supposed to hear when you activate the ult, the noise will not always trigger. This means that you will surprise them more often than not. There is nothing you can do about that.


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Items

When it comes to items, you want to be tanky. You want to make the other team think twice before they want to waste their time on you. Your damage is going to be deceivingly high no matter what you build anyway. You deal sustained damage therefore you want to live long enough for multiple spell rotations. Also, dying is not fun. Don't die.

Now, when choosing items, you want something with an easy build path that doesn't screw you up ever.

Items Choices



Boots of Swiftness

These are my absolute most favorite boots. I used to build those in every single game. When new Sion arrived, I switch to Sorcerer's Shoes, but in the back of my head, I was trying to find a way to bring them back. When you have a comfortable pair of shoes it's always hard to switch. Well... It's not a secret, those boots are back! If you still want the damage from Sorcerer's Shoes, get a Liandry's Torment or an Abyssal Scepter instead.



Frozen Heart

This is probably the best item for Sion. Every single stats is amazing. I would argue at least one member of every team should buy a Frozen Heart. The passive makes such a big difference during team fights.



Banshee's Veil

In lanes against AP champions, this makes your lane pressure really high. It also makes your shield really hard to break. Really good item if you can get away without the CDR from Spirit Visage.



Spirit Visage

I don't tend to rush this item, but you can grab it later if you feel you need it. It brings your cdr to 35% along with Frozen Heart. It's a really good MR option for Sion.



Warmog's Armor

Warmog's Armor is a nice item. Grab it if you feel you need health. Remember though, the shield might scale with health, but what makes it not break is the resists. Bigger shield doesn't make your damage any bigger. If you are able to cs reliably well throughout the game, don't bother building this. Also, after the Season 5 changes, there are better items you can build. Items that will actually help your team way more such as Righteous Glory.



Thornmail

This item is really good against auto attack heavy team comps, if their ADC gets really big. The magic damage returned is really huge when paired with your magic pen. The downside to this item is that it doesn't provide health. A good trick with this item is to start shield while you get auto attacked so that you don't take damage while they kill themselves. Before the shield breaks, pop it and deal the shied damage.



Sunfire Cape

If you find yourself team fighting a lot, you'll usually be in the center peeling for your ADC, or whoever you managed to snowball in early game. This item deals a lot of damage to whoever is around you with your high magic pen. Only take this item if you feel you need the extra damage.



Randuin's Omen

Really amazing item to have. Amazing active to follow up after you use your ult. All the stats it gives are good on you. Gives you peel for days.



Sightstone

This is actually an item to consider if your team is good at catching people, or if you think you can snowball your jungler. Realize that you will need to sell this item later for something better, but while you have it, the game becomes really nice vision wise. The item costs 800 gold, you gain 320 gold back upon selling. Just place 7 wards on the map and you will have covered the full cost. On average, I place 30 wards on the map during games in which I have a Sightstone. Wherever you go, ward around your area. While it is true that you can buy the new upgraded trinket, if you are going for zone controls, it won't replace a Sightstone. Do note that while it does delay your build a little, the security you get from having vision can make up for it.



Locket of the Iron Solari

This is an item that I build more and more when I see that the support isn't building it. After snowballing a bot lane, this item can be really good to keep up the pressure. It doesn't give you that much magic resist and your shield will not tank as much damage, but it does make your team more durable as a whole.



Mikael's Crucible

Really good if you need to stay out of base for extended periods. A well placed active can potentially win you a fight. In some games, you can replace Spirit Visage for this item. I tend to underestimate the heal that it provides. Puts Soraka to shame.



Guardian Angel

Sometimes, you need to go out of your way to be a real menace. Once popped though, the passive drags the game a lot. Only take this if you really have to. Sion doesn't use this item very well. A really good alternative would be the Zz'Rot Portal which provides similar stats.



Iceborn Gauntlet

In some games, such as those where you need to splitpush, you simply need to boost your AD damage. Can also help snowballing and ending a game quickly. This item boosts your AD damage by about twice as much.



Mercury's Treads

If your team doesn't need you to deal too much damage, you can consider getting these boots. On old Sion, rushing Mercury's Treads as a first item was viable. On new Sion, don't rush them. Especially not for their magic resist. For 300 less gold, you can have a Null-Magic Mantle and a Ruby Crystal which can be turned into Spectre's Cowl or Aegis of the Legion, both of which are better choices than Mercury's Treads. Getting CC locked on Sion is not the end of the world unless you get caught alone really bad. Having said that, now that Null-Magic Mantle is the only basic magic resist item, these boots are a lot easier to build depending on the flow of the game.



Ohmwrecker

New Season 5 version of Ohmwrecker is actually pretty good. Sion doesn't actually needs this item to tower dive, but the movement speed passive is pretty nice. I would take this over Warmog's Armor in games where it is likely that my team will go for a bad dive. Use the active to reset the aggro from a tower.



Righteous Glory

I used to hate Catalyst because it would build into Rod of Ages, and that item slows down my games really hard. The active is similar to Randuin's Omen, but it's specifically tailored for use during your passive to stick to targets. If you die often, you might want to consider this item as a priority pick. If you play against Mobile champions, or champions that like to kite around, this item is really nice.



Face of the Mountain

This is actually a viable item even if you are not a support. The passive is nice when you roam around, or when you want to give cannon creeps to your jungler. The active is amazing on you or on your team mates. You can take this over a Warmog's Armor if you feel like it.



Banner of Command

The new Banner of command is a pretty nice item if you need to splitpush. Gives less health than a Locket of the Iron Solari but for a better active and a little AP. I tend to build this item over Locket of the Iron Solari as I don't really like the shield that it gives.



Zeke's Harbinger

Who doesn't like to get boosted? This item is really cost efficient even without the passive. I'm not kidding, the item costs 2300 gold and offers a net 7823 gold value with it's passive. If you can sneak this into your build, do it. I would classify this as the most underrated overpowered item in the game.



Frozen Mallet

I would build this item over Iceborn Gauntlet if you need health. The slow works while you're in passive after dying which can be pretty nice. Get this item if you need to go out of your way to peel for your team mates.



Zz'Rot Portal

With Season 5 came a pretty good new item. This item fixes the most fundamental problem I had with this build: It was tedious to splitpush and take a lot of towers by myself. This item also adds a nice option for getting more MR. Now, don't get too hyped, it's actually really hard to get this item to work. If you place it and leave, it will probably do a whole bunch of nothing. Here is a ten page read about this item written by Skoth:
Thinking with ZZ'Rot Portals



Abyssal Scepter

Sion scales really well on Magic Pen and Magic reduction items. If you need magic resist while getting away with an Abyssal, this will boost your damage significantly. Best used in teams that deal good amounts of magic damage. Make sure you have enough health items to back up this purchase.



Liandry's Torment

Combine this with a Sunfire Cape, Thornmail and your trusty Sorcerer's Shoes along with health items, and no AD will ever want to be near you. Buy this item if your team can't deal against their tanks.



Athene's Unholy Grail

If you need mana sustain, the current version of Athene is really good. You will only want this item against heavy sustain lanes where you absolutely need to push by spamming your abilities and fast.



The Black Cleaver

The new version of this item is really nice. It gives a significant amount of health, massive amount of CDR to lessen the burden on CDR item options, along with a passive that will make Sion hyper mobile while alive as well as while dead. It also doesn't force an auto attack based play style. Pick this up if you need extra wave clear along with more mobility during fights.

One more thing to note while I'm at it. You have the potential to reduce an opponent's armor by 50% if you combine this item's max effect along with your E.



Ninja Tabi

Not my most favorite boots, but the passive is quite nice if you ever need it.



Dead Man's Plate

Did I ever say that I love movement speed? If you don't need the mana from Righteous Glory, then get this. With this item, you'll reach every destination you set your mind to. Missed the train? jk you're a Sion.



Sterak's Gage

I find Sion to be more of a backline tank. What I mean by that is that sure you can go in with your ult, but after that what? Your shield is down and you have an other 4 second without your Q. The skill with Sion is to tank with the shield, and before it can break, detonate it for the damage. Sterak's Gage gives you something more than that single shield.



Titanic Hydra

Really good item to splitpush. Iceborn Gauntlet used to be awkward to build since you'd prefer a Frozen Heart and building both would make you have a really low health build. This here though... You get health, wave clear without needing to use mana. The AD is nice for ability scaling. Build this if you want wave clear, damage, health.



Sorcerer's Shoes

These used to be my favorite boots, but with 3 Doran's Ring, or the latest first items, they aren't needed anymore. With this item, you will have 31 flat magic pen and 6% extra magic pen. Learn to not take damage early game. Use your E from far away and you will chunk people for a lot. When you start building tanky, you will be able to go ham.



Hextech GLP-800

I'd take this as a fun item. Provides some extra damage as well as an extra slow. If you want mana and health, the stats value are pretty good.



Hextech Protobelt-01

An other fun item. Allows you to jump on people. It gives a little damage boost, but that's about it. Not really a serious item, but if you're ahead and want to have some fun, you can go for it.



Rod of Ages

The passive is pretty nice since it gives good health and mana sustain. Take this item if you don't really care about early game as it takes a while to get going with it. If you take this item, you'll probably want to combo it with a Liandry's Torment or an Abyssal Scepter to make to AP it provides worth more.



Other items: You can consider buildind AD. I used to go full magic pen runes, but Hybrid runes actually make AD items possible. This guide promotes a different play style though. Don't bother taking non tanky AP items, they won't make your damage any higher, and with your low natural health, it will make you really easy to kill. Your AP ratios aren't good enough anyway to waste gold on that.

Item parts to rush: Chain Vest, Null-Magic Mantle

While I'm talking about items, I wanna add one more thing. League of Legends is a game where gold spent makes you scale linearly towards the stat that you just purchased. This means that you can purchase a lot of small item parts, or rush big items right away, as long as you spend gold, you scale. If you buy a lot of small items parts that don't build into anything right away though, you will end up not begin able to buy anything for a while. Eventually, you will be left with large amounts of gold with which you cannot use right away. This is especially true later in the game when you cannot immediately buy anything due to your item slots being filled out. While Sion does stay pretty relevant just from killing random stuff and stacking passive health, it is still best not to screw yourself up. Try to look at how the game evolves, look at what your team is building and look at what your opponents are building. Try to figure out which stat you need to scale towards, and spend your gold efficiently.


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Ranked Play

In your ranked games, you will want to roam a lot. Push the lane with E, roam top or bot. (I prefer to roam bot since it's a lot easier to get kills down there. Expect the River and Tri to be warded.) Keep buying pink wards, and upgrade your trinket to the blue one. Catch people with the help of your jungler and laners. Land your E and kills will usually follow. Sion does both sustained damage and burst damage depending on how you use your abilities. He also becomes really tanky. A good burst combo is to land your ultimate, followed by your E, Q, W. You are strongest when fighting among minions and with teammates (Hint: This means that it is best to time your roams with minions waves for the long range E snipe slow.). Learn to evaluate how risky your current position is. How many people are MIA? Play accordingly. If you die more than 3 times per game (conditions apply), you are doing something wrong.

Attacking enemy towers: DO NOT! I REPEAT! DO NOT ATTACK THE LANES'S TOWER! If you are attacking a tower, you are wasting your time where you could be roaming or looking for pink wards. This is especially true if you are playing in the mid lane. The longer a tower is up, the better it is since it is denying enemy cs and forcing them to stay in lane. The only reason you would take a tower is for team gold, map vision, and speeding up a win after your team is ready for it.

New Dragon: The new dragon gives massive permanent buffs, control that area, you cannot afford to give the dragon to the other team. If you get the chance, sneak a dragon with the help of a team mate.

Now more than ever, when playing on Blue side, you can get your top laner or mid laner to come with you to steal the enemy's red while your jungler gets his own red. Start shield if you do that. Let them take the full EXP from the red camp while you go solo the wraiths.

Comebacks: Sion is a really good comeback champion. His ability to pick people out of position is really amazing. His ability to engage a team fight, and then peel for the ADC is so good. I have made comebacks even after being behind by 8k to 20k gold, or 15 to 20 kills behind. Even if your team gets aced, if the other team decides do get greedy and push while low health, when you revive, you can use your ultimate to get back in and clean up the kills. I have won games off of that alone.

Also, if you're having a bad game and go 0/4 in lane, it is still possible to win. You will feel very behind, but there are a couple options open to you. The easiest way to comeback is to group with your team. Even if nothing happens, being there is really good. Go get the top or bot waves that build up over time. You can then pressure that lane while getting solo EXP. When sufficiently pushed, you can group again. When playing from behind, I find that trying less hard to make plays helps quite a lot. Don't try to engage with your ultimate, let the game progress and merely react to it.


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How to play Sion

I personally prefer to play Sion in the mid lane. I feel that I can help my other lanes a lot better from mid than from top. From top, you can still roam mid or TP bot, but it's harder to do that while also keeping up in levels against the other top laner. You also need to commit a lot more to your roams when playing top.

Early game



Before the game even starts, you have the option to cheese a buff from the other team. The way it works is to suicide to a jungle camp and finish it during your passive. While some might say it is risky to do so, I have only ever been punished once over my last 200 games. Figure out where the jungler is starting and take the buff on the other side of the map. Use your ward at the one minute mark. And instead of waiting in the buff's bush, hide in the other nearby bush where you have vision of the buff. Make sure the other team doesn't place a ward. If they do place a ward, you can take [Razorbeaks / Wolves / Gromp] depending on which side of the map you are taking. If you feel they are guarding the jungle too well, ask your jungler if you can take a camp from your own side of the jungle instead. I prefer to take Razorbeaks since they kill me faster, but some junglers prefer that I take wolves instead. Once done, TP back to your lane right away, buy some pots and a ward, and abuse your level 2 lead.

Early on, your goal is to constantly harass with E. You want to make use of the incredible range on that spell. Try to chunk them with E. Your E doesn't allow them to trade back with you.

Level 2, you get your shield, but only run at them after they have used their cooldowns. Level 1 shield is easy to break and requires a lot of mana. Use your E to zone them away while you cs at melee range. You can use shield to help last hit if a bunch of creeps are low. Your shield is a perfect skill to abuse when their cooldowns are down. Notice what abilities they use, then run at them and start the zoning.

Level 1, level 2 and level 3, avoid getting poked. Your base health is really low and it only gets better as you last hit your minions. Be wary of their all in. Most people will have ignite, learn to play against that. If you do get poked down, you have TP for a free heal. Don't be greedy with your TP. Use it as early as possible. After a TP, whether you buy pots or an item, you'll have lane advantage. Delay their back for as long as possible, snipe them with E if they do try to back. (Your goal is to make them miss the canon minion. Let them back if the canon is coming, otherwise keep them here.)

Whenever you chunk your opponent low enough, you can call for ganks. If the jungler comes, land the E and it will slow long enough for them to arrive and finish the kill. If they try to recall under their tower, use E to stop them. If you can't kill them without help while they are low and no help is coming, you have to roam. Push the lane then roam. Those roams are good because your laner won't be able to follow you. If they do go back to base, they won't be able to deny you any CS. If they try to push the minions in your tower, it will most probably take them a lot of time. Enough time for you to get back to lane.

Early on, your E particularly punishes passive laners. Push the lane hard, then go roam.

If you can't find a good roam, buy an early Bami's Cinder, Glacial Shroud or Null-Magic Mantle (Which you need to upgrade ASAP into a Spectre's Cowl). If you land your E often, farm to 1100 gold and get your Sorcerer's Shoes. Also, if you can't find a good roam, push your lane and look for pink wards.

Make sure to buy wards often and deep ward their jungle. Control the map, and your wards will turn into free dragons.

Level 6 - 8




This is the part where you become really tanky. You need to look for opportunities on the map. Keep your lane pushed and roam. With health and Armor, Sion becomes really good at tower diving. Ask your laners to push their lanes, then gank from behind their tower. Use E, take tower aggro, start shield and stand on the edge of the tower aggro while laners finish the kill. After the kill, minion will take the aggro and you'll both be able to get out.

When you roam, it is best to never walk in the river. River is usually warded. You will want to walk in the enemy jungle, or in your own jungle. While you walk to a lane, make sure to see how the enemies react. Since you are laning, it is hard to gank using your ultimate since you are going to be coming from side lanes. Keep your ultimate ready for after you land your E, or for running back to your lane. Use your wards to make sure you are not getting counter ganked. For example, if you are ganking your bot lane, ward the tri bush while on your way there.

Level 9 - 12




You will usually want to close games relatively fast. Keep farming, but try to go for objectives. Group with your top laner, take their towers. Group with bot, get towers, get dragons. Get your jungler to come take mid tower. Always be on the move. Get ready to TP in whenever someone is fighting. You are tanky but don't get caught. Always have an escape plan. Whatever you do, do it fast.

If the other team is grouping, get your team together and fight. Your ultimate is really good at catching people off guard. Frozen Heart is an amazing item that pretty much shuts down their AD carries in a fight. Abuse the passive.

Make sure to never let a single creep wave reach your towers without someone being there. I make it a point to get every single lane to push. A lane that is pushing provides map pressure and vision. Get your rotations right.

Don't forget to upgrade your trinket. If the map is lacking wards, get Greater Stealth Totem. If your team is really good at warding, get Greater Vision Totem.

Lategame



Lategame tends to be where Sion can both shine or completely throw a game by himself. There are two ways to play the late game, either you want to team fight and get an ace, or you want to avoid direct team fights by out rotating the enemy team and taking objectives quickly (towers, dragon, baron, inhibitors, catches). To out rotate, you need to work as a team and move as five. Getting all lanes to slow push first. A slow push means someone from their team has to go to that lane and it will split them, if no one can get to that lane, minions will be strong enough to take down the tower. Get wards around your team's area and hard pressure the objective located there. (The Elixir of Iron is particularly good for getting your team from point A to point B fast.)


Stuff to remember




You might be building full tank, but you will still have the highest damage on the team. In fights, you want to get in with your ultimate, but after that, locate your ADC and don't let him die. Position yourself to land your E and W. Use Q to get people off your teammates.


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Game footage

Here are some games from my stream:
Sion vs Viktor
http://www.twitch.tv/apostolique/v/41096058

Sion vs Nasus:
http://www.twitch.tv/apostolique/v/41161595

Bonus:
Sion support with a Vayne:
http://www.twitch.tv/apostolique/v/52903762


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Champions Matchups

Builds and comments up for debate.



The basic idea is that Sion has no counters, only harder matchups. Land your Es. Protect your shield and every time it's up, try to hit them with it. Itemize against the laner you're against, and his jungler. Also, expect their skill shots and abuse their cooldowns.



Ahri

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Very easy matchup. Only thing to watch for is the charm and the return on the orb. You will want to build Spirit Visage, Mercury's Treads and perhaps Righteous Glory to reduce her mobility during team fights.



Akali

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Akali can be tricky, but you have the advantage in lane. Her all in is pretty strong, especially after level 6. Get a Spectre's Cowl and that will crush all her hopes to deal any damage to you. Good items to get are Sunfire Cape, Spirit Visage, Locket of the Iron Solari.



Cho'Gath

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This is a pretty tricky lane. I would argue that it's a skill matchup as you both have kill pressure on each other. Both his silence and knock up can stop you from using Q. His silence can stop you from popping the shield on him. Poke him with E, and dodge his Q. Manage your mana to never go empty. Items to get are Spirit Visage, Sunfire Cape, Righteous Glory.



Diana

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Diana has a pretty good kit to fight against Sion. The matchup revolves around ability timings and shield outplays. Her E is able to cancel your Q, but once used, the cooldown on it is really long. Get an early Spectre's Cowl along with a Bami's Cinder. Get Spirit Visage, Sunfire Cape along with an Abyssal Scepter.



Dr. Mundo

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This is quite a fun lane. You both have kill pressure on each other early. Try to bully him, but don't open yourself to ganks. As the game progresses your kill pressure goes down. Respect his damage. Items to consider: Sunfire Cape or even a Liandry's Torment, Warmog's Armor, Spirit Visage.



Gnar

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Very easy matchup. There was a time when people would pick Gnar to counter Sion, that was the best time ever. You rape Gnar in every possible way. Just be careful though, Gnar is really good at kiting forward. If you want to all in him, wait until he wastes his jump. Good items against him are Frozen Heart, Thornmail, Sunfire Cape.



Kalista

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Sion is really good against Kalista as a single slow on her makes her dash suck quite hard. Against her, get Frozen Heart, Thornmail, along with Righteous Glory or Randuin's Omen.



Katarina

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She can outplay you during the laning phase with her jump. You will want to bully her hard. Watch how she plays and make sure she doesn't manage to out roam you. Against her, I tend to keep my ultimate to stop her's. You can build Sunfire Cape, Spirit Visage, Locket of the Iron Solari.

The problem with this matchup is that right now Sion is glitched against her. My advice is therefore to not pick Sion into her. Sion's passive gives her an extra reset. Also if she marks you with her Bouncing Blades, she will automatically get the gold when Sion's passive dies. For those that don't know, Sion's passive gives the kill gold a second time.



Nasus

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You rape him early game as you have massive kill pressure against him. Watch out for ganks though. As the game progresses and he starts getting his Q stacks, it will become a skill matchup. It will go down to who can pressure better, who can group and win fights better, etc. Get items such as Sunfire Cape, Frozen Heart, Randuin's Omen.



Riven

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Riven is a pretty hard matchup at first. She has a lot of tools to dodge your abilities along with her Q to knock you out of your own Q. The matchup revolves around poking her with E and W. You have to land it using various tricks to make sure it will land. You will also want to punish her with Q after she wastes her own Q charges. Items to buy against her are: Ninja Tabi, Frozen Heart, Sunfire Cape.

She has the advantage until you get your Sunfire Cape. Once you get it, you can pretty much go on her and spam laughs.



Teemo

Camouflage | | | |
Very easy matchup. Just poke him with E and follow it up with Q. When he reaches level 6, you can walk around with shield to remove all his shrooms while taking no damage. Watch out for his all in if he somehow manages to poke you down as Teemo will usually be running Ignite. You can get Spirit Visage, Righteous Glory, Banner of Command.



Vayne

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Vayne is a rather easy target. Against her, you can get items such as Frozen Heart, Thornmail and Banshee's Veil. She can pop your shield with a couple auto attacks. It is hard for her to kite you if you can slow her with anything, E, Q, etc.



Vladimir

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Some people love to pick Vladimir against Sion. It's not worst than other matchup. You have kill pressure against him early game. His pool allows him to dodge your abilities at the cost of 20% of his life, bait it out whenever possible. A big part of the matchup will be decided by who can snowball the best from roams. This lane becomes a sustain war as the game progresses therefore consider items such as Spirit Visage, Warmog's Armor, Mikael's Crucible or Athene's Unholy Grail.



Yasuo

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Yasuo is a really hard matchup, especially if the player is using the common Yasuo scripts. (You can be suspicious of them using scripts by the way they dash through all the minions perfectly all the time. They'll also be able to pull 100 - 0 combos. Also you'll notice that the script tries to block minions pushed by E.) Don't bother leveling Q up unless the player seems to take bad trades since you will have a hard time landing it. Against him, hard push the lane. He beats you by forcing you into a melee fight. Get the usual items like Sunfire Cape, Dead Man's Plate, Randuin's Omen.


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Extra

This guide focuses on laning Sion, but you can still play Sion in the jungle or as a support. As a support you get the Face of the Mountain. Start with W instead and rush level 2 with it. The AOE poke is really strong. There is nothing worst than playing support Sion and getting level 2 after their bot lane. Most people will want to rush Sightstone, instead I get Dead Man's Plate and Tier 1 boots asap. I buy wards if I feel they are needed. If you play balls deep and do it well, you will give a lot of confidence to your ADC and they will naturally play much better. The early movement speed will allow you to make plays all across the map as soon as your ADC freezes the lane. When you can roam, then you become just like a solo lane Sion with monster roams.

In the jungle, I start Q, then E and W, maxing E first. E is really great for ganking early on. Just time your ganks with minion waves. I try to establish my map pressure, ganking pretty much non-stop. I know it's really risky, but if you can, gank at level 2 with E + Q. When possible, get Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads if you need MR. Boots of Swiftness will allow you to be a ganking beast paired with Dead Man's Plate.

As a support, you want to harass, but mind your early game lack of health. Your E is a double-edge sword. It does amazing damage, but use it at bad timings and your ADC will be pretty pissed off (And it pushes the lane pretty hard). Time it with your Relic Shield "Spoils of War" passive. Be as annoying as you can, but mind your position. Sion can play both passive and aggressive, but if the lane is too boring, you can start roaming across the map and making plays elsewhere. In games where I roam, my ADC usually ends up the same level as the solo laners.


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Health Regen Items

In Season 5, the health regen items have been changed to be a factor of your base regen. For most items, this is a nerf early, and a buff late game. You can look at Spirit Visage where the regen only gets better at level 14. Banshee's Veil also received a little nerf now that it gives health regen all the time, but less regen during fights.

An item that gives you 100% of base regen on Sion would give you around 15 health regen at level 10, and 23.8 health regen at level 18.

Let's say you build four items with 100% health regen. At level 18, your health regen would be 119. Every minutes, you would heal around 1428 health.

While this might seem good, there aren't many situations where you would need that much regen. Hard resists and health is the way to go on Sion. Health regen is usually pretty bad. Also, health regen offers a lot of counter play to your opponent. There are so many ways to reduce the amount that you can heal.

If you do need health regen though, get a Warmog's Armor and be done with it. The passive will make you feel like a Mundo when out of battle.


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Map awareness

As Sion, the first thing you want to be good at is your map awareness. A lot of Sion players get carried away and just farm forever, or will farm a lane or a jungle camp while the team is fighting. Your primary focus should not be to farm, but to always be at the right place at the right time. You can use the F# keys to quickly center the view on your team mates. Try to notice how they play. Figure out early who you can trust and notice who will bring you down.

Also, pay attention to the different paths that you take when going to different destinations. Sion loves straight lines for his ultimate (Do note that you can use walls to bump turn with a bit of practice.). Mid game, place deep lane wards so you can see when the enemy decides to group.

Part of map awareness is vision. This is why I keep the Warding Totem trinket all game long unless I buy a sightstone. It's such a good trinket for roaming. It also synergies really well with TP. I don't mind if the enemy has vision, as long as I also have vision. If you want to deny vision, just buy pink wards.


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Sion ultimate tricks

In this section, I'll be including interesting Sion ults tricks posted by the community as I find them.

Here is one by DBlackjack21. He presents how to ultimate from the base gates to the Dragon or Baron pits. He also shows how to escape from inside enemy bases while drifting using the walls:


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Roaming wards

Here is a map of my favorite warding spots while I roam around the map.


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Boots and Enhancements

In 90% of my games, I build Sorcerer's Shoes. An other good pair of boots would obviously be Mercury's Treads. I pick the latter when I play support.

Note about Mercury's Treads. This is a noob trap. If you are playing against AP and are having a hard time, don't rush Mercury's Treads first item. Get a Spectre's Cowl instead. Get Mercury's Treads when your team loses the early game and you fear the CC that will most probably doom you. (You can also just Yolo it and stick to Sorcerer's Shoes, just make sure you land those minion throws.)

For enhancements, I usually pick Sorcerer's Shoes - Alacrity. If I need to engage fights for my team, I can also get Sorcerer's Shoes - Captain. I've also used Sorcerer's Shoes - Distortion, but those are really situational and are really play style dependent. If you are planning to make TP plays, get Sorcerer's Shoes - Homeguard. They are also great if you want to keep up your pressure even when you go back to base often.


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Video guide by Startfast


Really good video that shows most of what I talk about in this guide. Startfast prefers to build even tankier than me, but otherwise the play style and lane control is similar from mine.

For actual Sion gameplay footage, you can check his " Youtube channel".


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Current goals

I am currently working on the champion match ups. Trying to get them as accurate as possible. Will take some time.

Currently fixing typos. Rewriting different parts to feel less blurry.

Going to write a more in depth part about gameplay.

Layout seems to be a mess, going to fix that.

Looking for feedback.

Going to write about Sion's role within a team. What you are trying to achieve during a game. Comfort zones, difficult situations, etc.

Planning to write about the ult, how it can actually work even in the jungle. Which parts can be navigated through and whatnot. (Primary Engage, Secondary Engage, Escaping, Pointblank, etc)