Sona Build Guide by Not Gonna Be Your Hero
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Hello, everyone! On the NA server, my summoner's name is I Wrecks It. I'm level 30 and season 5 ranked Silver III. I main the support role, my top 3 supports being Sona Leona Soraka. Sona is my top champion with 143k champion points.
Anyway, I'd like to give a disclaimer. This is my first guide, and although I hope that it helps anyone out there wanting to learn about Sona I know it can't help everyone and not everyone is going to like it. I am confident in my build, in myself, and especially in my Sona. This will reflect in my guide, but I in no way think that I am the best, that this build is the best, or that it is perfect. There is always room for improvement.
has and always will be a support's CORE item. I can't tell you how aggravating it is, as a support main, to play ADC with a support who doesn't simply rush Sightstone. Especially now that vision wards are not purchasable otherwise. I'm not saying "it's the support's job to ward" but I'm saying it's the support's duty to buy a Sightstone and use it. Pink wards are and always have been a poor way to make up for no Sightstone early on in the game. They are obvious, and often destroyed by the enemy team within minutes of putting it down (that's only if they didn't see you place it). They also, in my experience, start the silliest fights. TIP: DON'T FIGHT OVER PINKS unless you have the upper hand. Honestly - if you haven't died yet, it's your first back, you have at least 800 gold, and you don't buy this thing - I'm disappointed.
I know, it's weird. Why buy a tank item, if the rest of the suggested items aren't tanky? In my opinion, Sona doesn't need to buy Locket of the Iron Solari because she already gives shields, and they are on a much lower cooldown. Her shields paired with Windspeaker's Blessing and a Rank 1-3 Crescendo passive are pretty strong. Honestly, Locket is a waste of gold on Sona. Not only does she already have shields, but she has what she's most famous for: heals. Spirit Visage is going to give her a good bit of MR and HP, and paired with Boots of Swiftness it makes her very... tenacious to the CC that enemies will try to put her under. Not only that, but it gives her the edge she needs to go up and poke the enemy's face without having to worry about getting bursted. Spirit Visage's passive, paired with her whole kit, makes her a kiting monster. Don't chase a Sona with Spirit Visage. I have managed to escape fights where my team had the disadvantage because of this item's strength on her. The longer you're alive, the longer you're providing your team with utility. In other words, the goal is to not die. And trust me, if you're making any kind of difference with your heals, the enemy is gonna come after you.
After my core of Sightstone, boots, and Talisman, I always build Spectre's Cowl at least and eventually finish off this item by the end of mid game. Spectre's Cowl's effectiveness is NOT nullified just because the enemy team doesn't have any AP. The passive goes for any damage you take from a champion. Spirit Visage paired with the Perseverance mastery choice, (and let's not forget your own Aria of Perseverance) makes you basically unkillable. After this, you honestly shouldn't need to be any tankier. If you're still getting destroyed and bursted down... hell, let's face it, you're not!
With all 5 of these items, you're only left with one more slot. And your options are not limited, either. It's a tough decision. What you build last depends on how well your team is doing. If you still need the extra HP after Spirit Visage, you can go for upgrading your Sightstone > Ruby Sightstone - however I usually wait until finishing my build to do that since I already have enough HP from Spirit Visage.
If your team is mostly auto-attack based, I would recommend going for Ardent Censer (btw Frozen Heart and Ardent Censer even each other out so if the enemy team has one built you should definitely go for Ardent Censer). It's really good on Sona, considering its passive and her AOE heals.
If your team is not auto-attack based, and no one built a Frozen Heart (or if they did and you still win team fights they may as well not have one), I would recommend going for Zeke's Harbinger and linking its active to either your ADC or your mid laner. You should just slap it on your ADC and stick to them, but if you ever find yourself and your mid roaming - say - to push top, you could afford to link it to them.
I prefer Zeke's Harbinger > Ardent Censer, but if your ADC is getting killed quickly in fights then maybe Ardent Censer will help them out more.
These suggestions are not going to work in every situation, or every game. Relying solely on one build path, for any champion, is extremely foolish. At least 1 of your items should be situational.
If the enemy team has a lot of hard CC, or if they are able to lockdown your carries easily, I would recommend building Mikael's Crucible.
If the enemy team is full AD, and you're not comfortable building Spirit Visage then I would recommend Randuin's Omen instead.
As Sona, you always want to take
for the extra effectiveness of your heals and shields on both you and your allies.
I put 5 into Unyielding instead of Recovery because, while they're both good, I don't need even more health regen on Sona especially since I'm also taking Perseverance, starting with Ancient Coin and will eventually buy Spirit Visage.
Bandit is a must for supports; you need as much gold income as you can get since you won't be getting farm or kills.
I choose Explorer over Tough Skin because in the lane phase, I tend to poke from the bushes. It allows me to move through the bushes faster, to get in range of my poke faster. And if it's warded, or the enemy bot lane tries to throw blind skillshots, I usually have enough movement speed to get away safely. Explorer also helps to get through the river to places like baron and dragon or the other lanes, but I mostly get it for the way I play Sona during the lane phase.
That's All, Folks!
There you have it! The build that saved my Sona game play. Before this build I was a terrible Sona support and could not get a decent game with her. This build has worked for me since the day I crafted it, and I trust it in almost every game I play with her. I designed the build around what Sona specifically needs and wants, what helps her to provide decent utility to her team while aiding her own kit, and helping her to survive the fights. I am open to your thoughts, constructive criticism, and I want you to vote/comment honestly! :)
For future reference, I will probably revise this, give a much more in-depth Sona support guide, fix some errors or annoying issues. So any tips or input from you commentators is very much appreciated!
Remember! You can't win every game, and getting outplayed is always possible. I just hope that my guide helped you, and if it didn't I am sorry. My play style isn't going to work for everyone. Maybe you enjoy building Frost Queen's Claim, Luden's Echo, and Mejai's Soulstealer on Sona support. Maybe Solwolf is an inspiration to you and you enjoy breaking the meta by taking Sona top lane with Doran's Blade and crushing Darius' dreams.
Whatever you decide to play, however you decide to play, whichever champion you choose to play,