Soraka Build Guide by Mooninites
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Welcome to Mooninites' Soraka guide. This guide will cover my particular play style for soraka, as it is quite unique if you find that other play styles suit you better then by all means use those instead. I play a very aggressive Soraka that involves frequently using Starcall, Infuse, and Auto-attacks to zone enemy supports and AD carries.
What to expect from this guide:
- The ability to carry a lane, single-handily with Soraka
- An interactive support who deals high sustained damage
- An aggressive playstyle to a support
What not to expect:
- You're not a healbot
- Solely win the game for your team
- You're not only a wardbot
This is pulled straight from LolWikia, so if you're looking for more information
Health: 475 (+71)
Health Regen: 4.5 (+0.55)
Mana: 240 (+60)
Mana Regen: 6.8 (+0.65)
Attack Damage: 48.8 (+3)
Attack Speed: 0.625 (+2.14%)
Armor: 7.4 (+3.8)
Magic Resist: 30 (+0) - this is not including her passive
Movement Speed: 310
Consecration - Radius: 1,000 (about twice your auto attack range)
- Radius: 530 (slightly less than your auto attack), MR Shred lasts 5 seconds unless reapplied, .4 AP ratio
- Range: 750, Armor bonus lasts 5 seconds. .45 AP ratio
- Range: 725, .75 AP ratio, silence lasts 1.5/1.75/2.0/2.25/2.5 seconds
- Range: global allies, .7 AP ratio
||Summoner's Wrath - I take this for the bonus on Exhaust, it shreds 10 armor and MR which I find to be worth taking a point in it. However, if you chose to run Flash or Heal instead of Exhaust then don't take this|
||The 3 points in
are for survivability in lane, while the 1 point in
is a filler but also for resistance against supports
The 3 points in Durability are for survivability, and because I feel there isn't much else to put points in. however, because we put 1 point into Summoner's Wrath in the offensive tree it wouldn't be possible to pick up Veteran's Scars so I put the extra point into the Utility tree
||Tier 1 is flexible you can really put a point into anything except
and you'd be fine
In tier 2 I usually Meditation but if you picked up Good Hands then 3 points in Swiftness is fine. Scout is mandatory.
Tier 3, 4 points in Greed is really the only option here
In tier 4 I put 2 points in Wealth so I can purchase 4x Sight Ward and 1x Health Potion instead of only being able to pick up 3x Sight Ward. I like 4 points in Awareness to keep me caught up to most of my team, although I usually fall slightly behind.
Tier 5 and 6 don't really need explanation
Flash - it's an okay option, a great escape, but i tend to want to help my lane win and because I often take CV taking Flash would force our lane to play extremely passive or be in risk of losing just on the basis of summoner's
Clairvoyance - it's relatively a weak option if you're trying to win lane, although it aids in so many aspects of the game. If you're not trying to absolutely dominate lane, (i.e. you're going for kills), then I'd highly recommend running this
Heal - it's been nerfed a decent amount but still a viable option, it gives you 3 heals which is hard for most bot lanes to deal with. Take this if your AD insists on running Ignite or Exhaust for some reason. Ideally, you would run Ignite or Exhaust and they would run Heal but some people are stubborn
Exhaust - a great summoner to deter ganks, enable ganks, or pick up kills. I prefer this to Ignite because it has much more utility than damage and can be used in multiple ways
Ignite - a decent choice, I don't really like it on Soraka though, I feel like it can KS your AD or Jungler and it doesn't really have the utility that Exhaust has.
Promote - this is a pretty terrible choice, but not exactly unacceptable. It's very gimmicky and really only strong at early levels, however, sometimes a strategy based around this can win a lane. You have to know what you're doing though.
There are a few different rune pages I run so I'll go over them and also which runes I find acceptable. I try and chose my set up based on my laning partner rather than my lane opponent. It's more important to synergize with your lane partner than to just try and flat out beat your opponent.
Marks: Greater Mark of Armor, Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, Greater Mark of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Seals: Greater Seal of Gold, Greater Seal of Armor
Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction, Greater Glyph of Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Quintessence: Greater Quintessence of Gold, Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage, Greater Quintessence of Armor, Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Here are some specific set ups I like to run:
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Gold
This is my most commonly used page, it's in my opinion the best all around page, it provides lot's of armor, some early CDR, and Gold/10. This works with any champion, the other two however are specialized.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Gold
I rarely run this page, although if I'm running with a fairly passive laner like Sivir, Ashe, or Vayne and they need to basically free farm then I consider running this. It gives some AD which makes your auto-attacks hit fairly harder than most people would expect. It gives armor, CDR to pester your enemy with more Infuses and the standard Gold/10
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Gold
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Gold
I run this if my AD carry is very aggressive and I can kind of sit back and healbot it, this also gets me to late game faster because of the Gold/10 seals. I run this with a Miss Fortune, Graves, or in some circumstances Tristana. Champions I know that have little problem winning lane. You can sub out the Greater Mark of Armor for Greater Mark of Ability Power if you feel like it, but this is incredibly risky, you have to play the lane perfectly and never get caught, if you do, you're pretty much guaranteed dead.
Consecration - Soraka's passive is quite strong early on, it's good against supports like Karma and Sona who trade pretty well. The 16 MR doesn't seem like a lot, especially because it doesn't scale upwards, but it's essentially a 350g item (estimation off the pricing of Null-Magic Mantle). Now multiply that by 5 and that's 1750g worth of free stats for the team. Very underestimated.
- A magic resist shred that hits decently hard, fairly low mana cost allows you to trade for more and more damage. It's on a fairly low cooldown and the cap is 10 stacks, but you probably won't reach this on many people unless it's a prolonged team fight. You can use this to scout bushes or push a lane. A lot of opponent's will underestimate this skill because the damage is fairly low at rank 1, but the MR shred makes your Infuse hit incredibly hard. I max this last.
- Perhaps one of Soraka's most notable abilities. Her heal has been nerfed over and over but it still remains as one of the best single-target heals in the game. The cooldown is fairly long at a 20 second base, but with some CDR it shouldn't be that bad, additionally the mana cost scales up rapidly and with the Infuse changes you won't be able to spam you heal. The armor bonus is incredible, probably one of the most broken mechanics in the game. At just rank 1 it gives you about 400 gold worth of free armor (basing off Cloth Armor. At rank 2 it gives you 700 gold worth of free armor all the way up to rank 5 which gives about 1700g worth of free armor for 5 seconds. Even as a frequent Soraka player and a support for my ranked team I truly believe the armor buff is broken. With that said, you can't simply use it for the armor buff, good Soraka players will use the heal and armor buff. This makes it incredibly difficult for people to trade against Soraka supports. I max this second because the mana cost scales up too rapidly. I usually take at least 2 points in this ability pre-6 and leave it there until I maxxed out Infuse.
- A great ability for Soraka gives insane mana to allies, does incredible damage with a great ratio and great range. This is the bread and butter to my play style. I constantly spam this on he enemy for a decent silence and great damage. This is extremely effective against non-sustain lanes and even sustain lanes like Sona won't be able to deal with the damage from this ability. The range is longer than every champion's auto attack (including Tristana at level 18 and Kog'Maw with rank 5 W). With an 8 second cooldown I can constantly spam this on the enemy and there isn't an AD carry that can deal with this damage effectively other than perhaps Graves due to his passive, even then he'll struggle to deal with this. I rarely ever give mana back to my ally carry unless the enemy has backed off a it and I am confident my Infuse will be back up by the time they get in range. That said, it is important that your AD carry manages mana effectively. Some AD carries that burn through mana fast that might need more attention are Corki, Sivir, and Graves. This will hurt your ability to zone, but these champions will be able to do it with their strong laning pressence. I max this first after 2 point in heal.
- This is what makes Soraka who she is. The global allied heal is perhaps one of the best ultimates in the game. This can be used to bait enemies into a fight, save allies, or just win team fights. It is incredibly hard for enemies to deal with this ultimate unless they are extremely far ahead. The base heal is great and also has a really good ratio. The cooldown is fairly long, but considering you'll have quite a bit of CDR it shouldn't be an issue. This ultimate counters champions like Nocturne and Karthus incredibly well. I've seen other Soraka guides where they like to use this an assist generator, but I don't prefer to. I like to use this effectively and for the purpose which is to heal allies over the map. I find that using it for assists forces your lanes to play passively because they know your heal is down, and you really won't get much out of it if you only use it for a heal, maybe 50-150 gold? To me it's much more effective to use it for other purposes.
This is probably why everyone is here, to check out why items I buy or recommend, there's so much more to Soraka than just items, but suit yourself.
Sight Wardx4 - this is pretty much always my start. Faerie Charm allows you to buy multiple wards and builds into Philosopher's Stone so this is pretty standard.
Philosopher's StoneSight Wardx2-3 - Your first trip back should be at around 800 gold or so this allows you to pick up Philo Stone and a couple wards. It's important to get your gold flow started so you can have a decent itemization in addition to purchasing wards.
Sight Ward - only pick up Ionian Boots of Lucidity if you're able to, they're not necessary before 20 minutes. You may find Shurelya's Reverie is a better pick up than Tier 2 boots.
Shurelya's Reverie - these three items are core on my build list. I always get Shurelya's Reverie first and then between Aegis of the Legion and Locket of the Iron Solari it's a toss up. If my team is doing well I can pick up Locket of the Iron Solari but if my team is getting crushed in team fights I pick up Aegis of the Legion
- Abyssal Scepter is a pretty good aura item on Soraka. It gives MR and some AP with a nice MR debuff to enemies in range. If no one else is building this you may want to consider it should the game last beyond your 3 core items. If someone else on your team has this item you can still build it but it won't be as effective. It still gives great AP and MR even if you already have the debuff on your team.
- Frozen Heart is another great aura item on Soraka. It gives everything you need, extra armor, CDR, mana, and an enemy debuff. This item is all around great. I generally consider this a core item if no one else on my team is building it. Even if someone is building it, it has good enough stats that you may find it worth it to pick up.
- The recent changes to make this root out of Kage's Lucky Pick not only make this item a viable choice, but Kage's Lucky Pick now has a legitimate spot on supports. That said I'm not really a fan of this item. I feel like there are better options even though this item is extremely cost efficient. There's just better itemization but if you really want this go for it.
- A decent item for Soraka. you won't see a lot of use out of it as support but if your team isn't running double Wota and has someone like Cassiopeia, Vladimir, or Kennen then it may be worth an item slot.
Zeke's Herald - I don't really think this item is that good, in fact I only get it if I have 3 champions that will benefit from it. For example if I have an AD in jungle, top lane, and of course my carry.
- Deathcap is never a bad item on a caster, but I feel that your role as support should be more than just healing and warding you should provide aura's. I find this to be more of a selfish item, whereas i want items to buff my team and/or debuff the enemy. This item really doesn't do that. It works and it's really useful but I feel like there's better itemization
Sight Ward - this goes without saying absolutely essential to your role as support. I try and pick up 2-3 every time I go back. If i have nothing else to purchase sometimes I pick up 5 or more.
- this is great at dragon and baron, but also can be useful to place down before a team fight if the enemy has stealther's such as Twitch, Vayne or Akali
- I think this is better on the jungler early game, but it's not bad on a support, generally I pick at least one up a game and sweep. But because I am willing to die instead of my carries I often lose this item sooner than I'd like to, that's why I encourage jungler's to get it.
Warding is perhaps the most important part of the support, but teaching how to ward is difficult. I could put a map with little dots on wards here and you could look at it, but you wouldn't fully understand how to ward. I'm certainly not perfect with warding but the best way to learn is watching support players stream.
Some good ones are
- Muffinqt - now of Goose, previously of v8
- Nhat Nguyen - of Epik Gaming, one of the best supports in the world
- Xpecial - of Team Solo Mid (TSM), also one of the best supports in the world
Here's a general overview of ward placement, but like I said you can't truly know how to ward unless you practice and watch support player's streams.
The laning phase is perhaps the most important part of the game, but specifically for bot lane. Soraka is very good at controlling the laning phase. there are a few things that I feel are the most important aspects of laning as Soraka.
- make yourself a target instead of your AD carry. It's important to be a lightning a rod for harass while your carry farms. But don't go overboard because you can easily die. Sometimes I just poke out of a bush and silence then pop back in.
- your auto attack is amazing. The motion is so fluid, the speed is good, everything about it is pretty much godlike. Use your auto-attack in addition to your silence.
- properly ward and keep wards up, try and keep timers on the enemy wards also. Simply typing them into chat is a good way. Wards last 3 minutes.
- it's okay to die if you save your AD carry. Don't die needlessly, but if your carry lives because you sacrifice yourself then it was a well earned death. Additionally don't worry about people *****ing about your deaths. How many deaths a support has is usually an indication of how the AD carry is playing.
- positioning is essential and very important. You want to maximize your effectiveness in a fight, dieing in 2 seconds without using any abilities certainly isn't that unless you somehow make the enemy team blow all their cooldowns.
- Your main job is to ward always try and leave a spot open for wards, even late game.
- well-timed silences win fights. For example silencing a lee sin who plans on kicking in then dashing out can really screw him when he finds he can't dash out of 5 enemies like he planned to. Also watch for enemies like Katarina who will Shunpo in to ultimate. Champion's with dash's or long chain spells should be silenced. Prioritize silencing disrupter's like Nautilus and Alistar followed by high AoE based champions like Fiddlesticks. There really isn't a need to silence enemy AD carries as they will be mostly auto-attacking.
- use your actives such a Locket and Shurelya's
- heal priority should be Tank > Yourself > most fed carry > everyone else
These are just some general rules for team fights and laning phase. I could make an extensive guide for gameplay but you probably wouldn't be a better support player because of it. The best way to learn is to go out there and play games or watch streams. However, i will take any direct questions in the comments if you have any regarding my play style.
- Graves is extremely mana heavy and extremely dominant in lane, as are you. This duo is one of the best bottom lane combinations and very few bot lane combinations will be able to deal with you. Your passive MR steroid and armor from heal makes him essentially a tank which no support or AD carry will be able to hurt. Additionally, you have incredible push power, so it's difficult for enemies to push on you and you can push enemies to tower if you desire.
- Sivir can be fairly mana heavy, her lane presence is mediocre. With soraka, Sivir can push extremely well. There are very few champions that will be able to push back. Additionally, Sivir trades very well with her Boomerang Blade and Ricochet which resets her auto attack. She can block spells with her Spell Shield which should free up your Infuse more so you can spam it on enemies.
- Caitlyn is another lane dominant champion. She has good range and can bully almost anyone. Giving her mana allows her to spam Piltover Peacemaker which forces an enemy to be constantly on their feet. Combined with her range and the range on your Infuse it will be extremely difficult for the enemy lane to trade with you.
- He's decent in lane and very mana heavy. His abilities cost quite a bit of mana so you'll find yourself Infuseing him more often than not. Thus, you'll sacrifice a bit of your lane domination for his sake, unless he's good at managing mana, but most Corki players aren't very good at this. He's a strong enough champion on his own that you shouldn't need to spam Infuse on enemies to win lane.
- This is undoubtably Urgot's best laning partner. He gets incredibly tanky with his normal build path and even more so with Soraka nearby. Additionally she can be a mana battery for him if he chooses to go Manamune. The amount of harass between these two champions is ridiculous, the only AD carry that might be able to deal with your combo is Caitlyn, even then you're extremely punishing to her.
- this isn't common, but an AD nidalee bot lane provides an endless cycle of sustain. Giving her mana and relying on her heal is a decent strategy that a lot of non-sustain lanes won't be able to deal with. Additionally, her Aspect Of The Cougar makes her kill potential at level 6 higher than possibly any AD carry. She's not a traditional carry and very rarely will you see this.
- mages are sometimes popular to stick bot, with someone like Karthus he's allowed to free farm safely and spam him abilities with soraka as a mana battery. It's not common but not necessarily uncommon. You'll generally find that this will just be a farm lane.
- Cassiopeia is similar to Karthus in the sense that she is a mage bot lane and soraka will be her mana battery. However, Cassiopeia is much more aggressive. She can farm out the lane or dominate the enemy carry. While you may be reduced to mostly a mana battery there aren't really any AD carries that will be able to deal with her harass.
- Veigar is like Karthus. The lane will be reduced to a farm lane and you're simply there to be his mana battery and protect him. Veigar will also be able to pick up free kills on the support post 6. Bot lane may be more inviting for him than mid lanes, but he is extremely frail and will need lots of protection.
- while you might be his best laning partner, you are also his hardest counter. If he lands his poison, promptly silence him and his damage output reduces to virtually nothing. Your range is also incredibly difficult for him to deal with,
- Her range is quite short which makes it difficult to get in and deal damage to you or you carry. This extremely punishing because she relies on her tumble to position herself to harass.
- this can be a toss up, but warding the bushes significantly decreases her kill potential as you can silence her any time she starts going in for a dash. However, if she gets the jump on you, it can easily be a kill for the enemy.
- He's kind of like Leona. If you see him start going for his combo then go ahead and silence him you can zone him quite effectively and his heal won't be enough to sustain himself or his lane partner.
- Your ult is better than his ult, about all that needs to be said.
- Like Karthus if he ults, then just burn your ultimate. It may not be a perfect counter but can easily save whoever Noct is dashing too.
Thanks for reading! I appreciate any feedback negative or positive. Unlike my Nidalee at mid Guide Please don't send in screenshots of your scores. Support's scores are subjective, as you could have 20 deaths and 20 assists and played extremely well, or maybe only 1 death and 12 assists and played poorly. The point is a support's score is subjective to his gameplay.
If you have any questions feel free to ask and I may put them in the frequently asked questions log.
As always I hope to do a video commentary for this guide soon. Once I find an adequate program to record and add commentary.
You can find me in game at Mooninites on the North American servers if you wish to chat me up. I'm frequently in the mobafire chatroom. I'm always up for a game, but considering I play support for my team and often in solo queue I may not be up for a game as Soraka.
Anyway thanks for reading.
The frequently asked questions mainly based from question in the comments.
Q: You reach over 40% CDR (the cap), 62% to be exact. How do you solve this?
A: Should you find the game gets to this point where you have over 40% CDR, i would simply sell my Ionian Boots of Lucidity for Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads. This would bring me down to 47% CDR which is still over the cap, but not as bad. It's very difficult to itemize around the cap and being slightly over it is better than not being capped. Very technically speaking the ideal would be to be slightly under the cap rather than slightly over because anything over the cap is seen as 'wasted stats' but this is incredibly difficult to achieve since items provide a lot more than simply CDR. The suggestion for Randuin's Omen instead of Frozen Heart has been made. This would allow you to keep Ionian Boots of Lucidity but you would still be at 47% CDR. In my opinion it would be much more beneficial to keep Frozen Heart and drop Ionian Boots than vice versa as I not only find Frozen Heart to be a better item than Randuin's Omen but I also find Mecury's Treads to be better than Ionian Boots of Lucidity. However, I choose to get Ionian Boots of Lucidity because I want to reach that 40% cap as quickly as possible.
Q: Why don't you take MR/level blues and why don't you take Merc Treads?
A: I don't take MR/level blues because I already have high MR due to my passive. Aside from that they won't do you much good in lane, even heavy harass supports like Sona don't make it worth it to take MR runes. And outside of lane they aren't that great, they won't provide any game changing amount of MR to stop you from getting crushed by a mage. I don't take Merc treads early because I want to get CDR capped as quickly as possible, even in the even I go slightly over. CDR is probably Soraka's best stat followed by AP. To me CDR is absolutely essential on her.
5/7/2012 - Guide released
5/7/2012 - addressed a few questions regarding CDR in the FAQ section. Also addressed Merc Treads further.
7/28/2012 - changed Greater Seal of Armor to Greater Seal of Gold in the preview build