Build Guide by Marandil

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Marandil

New Generation Sona

Marandil Last updated on June 1, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Well... The quote below comes from my first sona guide, which I did not release, because it wasn't as effective as I thought. I've wrote it in feb. so it was quite long ago... And there are few things i'd like to change...

Hi everybody!
I always lacked with the ability to NOT to focus on one champion at one time, and since I abadoned Irelia few days ago, I decided to focus on the most powerful support champion in the League of Legends right now - Sona, The Maven of the Strings.
When a friend of mine introduced me Sona, his description was like: "Are you looking for a brainless champion? Try Sona out! All you have to do is to follow the simple Q -> W -> Q -> W -> E (if they / you are running) -> and Q -> W -> Q -> again!". I have to disagree - Sona is one of the hardest champions I've ever played. Even if the skill order is simple, it's absolutely mana ineffective these days. I looked into patch notes and found some cost increases, as well as reduced duration of persitment of auras. You also have to keep in mind, that you will be one of the first targets - your heals/damage/aoe stun may be crucial for the team.

Ok. After the recent patches, Sona became really mana effective champion, not only at low lvls, but in the whole game. That's why I don't need Chalice of Harmony and Soul Shroud in my build anymore ;). People usually misjudge Sona. I don't count, how many times I just raped Rammy that thought that he's immune to my Q->Power Chord combination. Not to mention many other champions. You rarely become first target at all, but if you do... Good for your team... Unfortunately, if your team is good.

In this guide I'm not gonna present my most-played Sona build, which is quite good as a support-mage, but a semi-competitive one, with which I've lost only two games so far... Not to mention that the first was a ranked game, in which i got an intentionally feedding Ashe with score 1/11, and in the other my team was just full of brainless spammers and qqers, but that **** happens when you solo queue...

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Pros / Cons


  • Very good early game harasser, usually misjudged
  • Strong mid-game supporting auras
  • Very strong AoE stun
  • Quite good AP ratios
  • Auto-targetting allows you to focus on thing more important than "hmm, who to heal, who to damage" issues
  • She is telepathist
  • Although she was born in Ionia, she lives in Demacia
  • Aura power diminishes as the game goes on
  • Vulnerable to Crowd Controls
  • Quite easy to focus
  • Auto-targetting might be a problem, because you have to "feel" the range, and you can't "focus" on somebody with your Q while he's in the crowd.
  • Is worth nothing on solo lane

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Well... My choices are pretty obvious, especially for me. Sona has a very good AP ratio on her Q and [R] (Q has effective 1.4 AP ratio, ulti 0.8 AoE), and additional 2 x 8.4 HP on each heal at lvl 1 is still arguably good. That's why I've chosen AP Glyphs and Quintessences. I wonder about changing Quintessences to Gold per 10 sec ones, as they provide like 40% increase of per time gold with Greed Mastery which is pretty much, if you don't farm or kill too much.
People misjudge my damage output a lot, that's why I always want to increase it. I use mPen marks, because I think they are the most effective ones.
As for seals, I usually see Greater Seals of Clarity here, but the most mana-consuming phase is the very early game. That's why I prefer the flat Mana/5s. U can try the others, but after lvl 6 I >>Ususally<< have TotG and Faerie charm which are quite better. In mid/late game the mana regen you recieve from runes is hardly noticeable, and with three mana regen items, you will just have enough. Believe me.

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The 9 in Defense tree is pretty obvious. If you wonder about the Strength of the Spirit, I can just quote the current best Guide on this site: :

Ryze begins with 250 mana and 4.35 health regen. Add in a Sapphire Crystal and you being with around 450 mana. 1% of that is a bonus 4.5 health regen at level 1. Yes you read that right, Ryze more than doubles his health regen at level one thanks to Strength of spirit, and this only gets more ******ed as the game goes on. In regular games I get around 23 health regen per 5 early game thanks to Tear of the Goddess. I end games with around 70 Health regen with NO items that give health regen.

As for Sona: I start with 310 mana and 4.5 hp regen per 5s. With SotS I get additional 3.1 hp/5 which gives me 7.6 hp per 5s. And it matters. At lvl 18, with stacked Archangel: 2520 mana gives me 25.2 hp regen per 5. It's 66.9 (base+items) + 25.2 = 92.1 hp per 5 and like 19 per sec. Add your heal per 7 (or less with the items) and you get your effective hp regeneration.

Ok, a bit too much about Strengths of "the Spirit", let's look at Utility tree... Quite standard, but remember: DO NOT TAKE the Perseverance. Read it again. Do you know what does 4% mean? 4% of 69(lvl 18 mana regen) is... 2.76. WHAT? 3 mastery points for 2.67 mana per 5 sec at lvl 18? At lvl 1 it's 0.56 per 5... No comments. I take 1 rank because I have to.

Experience is always the best choice, but if you feel like mana is more important, that's your choice.

GreedIsGood - this increases your passive gold earned per time by 10%. If you use also gold per sec runes, it's 40%. Quite nice for the support.

Meditation is a key choice to the early game. It increases your early mana regen by over 20%! You wanted to choose that bloody Perseverance, didn't you?
The rest of the tree is pretty obvious as well. Remember, that Clairyvoi... CV the f* mastery with the Presence of the Master gives you 10 sec CV with 42 sec CD... or something like that :P. It's nice as it has effective 32 secs of CD (the time you have to wait until you can see the area again).

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Items are quite key to this build. You are squishy, you are mage, you are support, you are tank... You are everyman! Well, not really. This build doesn't contain the "SonaTank" mode, even if it MIGHT be possible. Yes, you are mage with quite nice dmg output, but it's rather damage that can be used to harras/lasthit/damage enemy champions, not to just take them down like regular mages (Ryze, Veigar, Malzahar) do. You still are squishy support. Supports got funny role in current metagame, as they are more responsible for CCs and Map Awarensess than for heals and other boosts. As they are not the best farmers, and don't get tons of kills, in competitive games supports usually have tons of gold per second items just to fly across the map and ward it. I also find it important, and that's why i've chosen 2 Philosopher's Stones for my Sona. They are just great early and late game items.

Let's just look at my regular items:
- Well, I don't even know what to say... this item is pretty obvious. You will upgrade it into AStaff just as GoldBoost duo is completed, just remember to load it asap. But don't even try doing it in the fountain, or I will kill you.

/ - The choice of the boots belongs to the other team. I am a big fan of treads, as I hate all kinds of CC effects, but if the enemies lack of them (or have CCs like knockups, knockbacks, suppresses, etc, that are not countered by tenacity), or you just prefer the CD red or MPen (I presonally hate Sorc's but that's all your choice), take whatever you like. You can still get some tenacity in late game from the Philosopher's Stone.

2x Philosopher's Stone - Your Key Item. Your ElDorado. Call it whatever you like. HP and Mana regen is always cute, but if the gold comes itself... With the greed, you have 11 gold / 10 sec. If you buy 2 PS: 21 / 10 sec. I just can't describe it :P. 10 gold per 10 means that you earn for a new Sight Ward each 75 sec, not counting minion kills, assists etc. Oh, I almost forgot: you are not a roamer, always follow somebody, unless you only want to put that bloody ward on the dragon. Or elsewhere. I'll talk about it later.

- My favourite item in this build. It increases your survivability by over 9000! You run? Go Q -> W -> E. They are slower, you healed, you are faster. It's your second CC, too bad it's only 15%, in fact Q is Multi-target spell... Oh, and I almost forgot: the AP this item provides is riddic... damn, another word hard to spell... Quite nice :).

- Just as Tear of the Goddess, pretty obvious item, however there are some issues I have to mention. First of all, it's not that effective AP per Gold item, as it costs 1860 and you get 75.6 AP from mana bonus, and 45 AP iself, which means total of 121 AP at lvl 18. It's around 13 gold per AP. Needlesly large rod gives you 1 AP per 20 gold. Assuming you are casting new aura every 3 seconds, the mana takes 12 minutes and 30 seconds to cap. It's not that long, but you will not spam auras all the time. So let's have a short look at similar items, which MIGHT be better in ToG/AS slot...
- I've tried this item in some games, but not as a replacement for Archangel. It is very nice, with 31 gold per AP NOT COUNTING the CD reduction (20% s quite much) and mana regen. Imho, it's very effective item, but I don't like it very much as it doesn't give you any mana buffer. Also Fiendish Codex is not as easy to build up early as Tear of the Goddess and has slightly worse mana regen... Oh sorry, 42% is not "slightly".

- The most beloved casters' item. Pure AP boost, most effective AP pre gold item etc. To be honest, the gold you acquire from Philosophers' Stones will be more than enough. As you are VERY limited to the slots, I recommend you to wisely choose the items you want to build. I remember only one game in which I could build this item, and that was the only game in which I finished my build (even recalled base from the enemy one just to do this ;) ). IMPORTANT: Build Rabadon only if it's very late game, and you don't have to place wards anymore, as it uses the last slot. You can obviously just sell one of the philosopher's. Remember to upgrade it to Eleisa's Miracle before you sell it, so you get 40 gold more. Gold producing items sells at 50% of the original cost, but Eleisa's Miracle is not gold producing, so it sells for 70%. Magic :P.

Shurelya's Reverie - If you wonder what to do with the Philosophers as you finish Rabadon, and still gain gold... Well, Shurelya's Reverie is quite nice, cooldown reducing, aura item. As I said, it's more like ending item than a regular one.

- if you did not buy Mercury Treads, this is a very desired item if enemies have crowd controls at all. Do not rush with buying it, wait some time to get as much gold as possible from philosopher, but just to be safe in teamfights, it's good idea to have this one with you.

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Skill Sequence

Well, my Skilling Order is divided in three parts. The early 1-6 which is always the same:
To poke enemies at lvl one, to increase farming abilities on the lane, et cetera
At lvl 2 you will usually need heal to keep you and your teammate at full HP.
To empower heal AND to keep poking
Same as lvl 2
Best opportunity to take this skill. It's highly probable that you will have to recall soon, and the additional movement speed bonus helps to get back without building up boots.
- Lvl 6 means Ultimate, like usually. Not to mention, that this ultimate is what makes you such great, valuable support...

In the 7-13 lvl period the skilling order is quite situational. In some games you may want to max the first, in the others . Everything depends on the current game situation. Remember to take your on lvl 11. Try to keep max 2 lvls difference between your Q and W. That's why I usually take Q on lvl 7, then W on 8, and then 2 levels of Q.

14-18 is quite simple. Max the and remember to take on lvl 16.

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Summoner Spells

My choices here are pretty simple, however peeople may argue with them:

- You are the support, so one of your main roles is to provide vision to your team. Don't forget to scout enemy territory from the first seconds of the game, in fact this might be crucial for your stategy (choosing lanes, et cetera)

- Great escape machine, sometimes very useful with your ultimate key. Use it wisely.

Other recommended choices:

- Quite good summoner spell. It allows you to avoid buying/upgrading boots, lets you to refill mana and buy more mana regen early game. Also, as a support, you may be needed in various places around the whole map, and Teleport grants you the ability of getting across the whole Summoners' Rift in no time. It also comboes well with your wards.

- As Sona is very mana-dependant champion, Clarity might be very, very crucial spell. I've been using it for like 4 months, and changed my mind four days ago. It's just very strong spell early game, which is sometimes useful in late. Unfortunately, only sometimes, and that's why I've changed it to Clairvoyance.

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Regular Early Game

  • I start with Meki Pedant and two mana potions, as Sona is still very mana-dependant champion.
  • Remember to stack power chord before you leave base... Ofc you don't have to wait and spam your Q. Just press it 3 times before you are in the middle of the map. You will get the mana back in no time, and the additional power chord boost is really nice.
  • Try not to spam your abilities. If you have full mana, try to harass enemies with Q, and always use W if you, or your teammate is wounded.
  • Don't play very aggressively unless you have at least 85% kill opportunity. Try to get two stacks on Power Chord, then come closer, Q and auto attack for huge amount of damage.
  • Your best laning partners are stunners that can just turn runaway into a 2v1 exchange.
  • Be aware of the gangs, and don't push the lane too much.
  • Try to zone your enemies, even if it's 2v2 . After few minutes of harrasing them with Q->Power Chord, they will usually tower hug, so you can simply cut them off the minions.
  • As long as you can, play safe and only lasthit minions. Unless you have Tear of the Goddess, cast Q only if it hits at least one enemy.
  • One important note about Clairvoyance: apart from scouting in the very early game, always use it to avoid gangs before you buy some wards, and not only on your lane.
  • * When mid calls "ss", step into the gang brushes and use CV on the other lane's few seconds later.
  • * If you kill an enemy/he recalled, and he does not come back asap, cast CV to scout both their tower, and ganking brushes. It's quite easy, just cast it on the terrain.
  • Remember to lasthit minions, and don't waste the opportunity to do so. Of course, it MIGHT be wise to give those minions to your lane mate, but you won't be able to buy the necessary items asap. After you buy the 2 philosophers', you don't have to do it all the time, just when noone else would get the gold.
  • I usually recall base as soon as I can afford tear of goddess (605gp), boots (350gp), at least one component of Philosopher's Stone (180 gp) and two wards (150 gp). Sometimes, if something goes wrong, I buy the first stone before the tear. 1285gp is not that much to get before lvl 7-9 (when I recall for the first time), and usually i can afford full Stone, or even one and a half.
  • Remember to buy at least one-two wards each time you are in base. Warding is your very important role in the game, check out for more warding tips.
  • Be sure to upgrade your boots the second time you recall. I always recommend to take Mercury's Treads, but as I said, everything depends on your playstyle and the enemy team.
  • I totally hate when people leave me alone on one lane, usually versus 2-3 enemies, and then they are surprised that I've died... Well, I hate solo defending towers, but sometimes it's necessary. And that's why I hate solo queuing ;).
  • Stick to the others, and not let the others kill you.
  • You have an awesome kiting method which is called your Q. People usually misjudge this spell's damage, so after running for 14 secs you may immidiately turn back, cast your [R]ock This Party, third Q and Power Chord for unexpected kill.
  • * Be aware that this trick works only when people misjudge you, your possibilities, and if they can't just take you down in no time after the [R]ock This Party ends if you did not kill them.

The rest of the guide will be placed in Team Work section, because it's your main role - to cooperate with the team!

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Team Work

Best Friends

I will focus on your best friends in the game. Especially on your best one (in my opinion obviously):YES! Amumu has a very-best friend right now! However he's still sad, because Sona does not answer his question "Where are we going?"... Well, she can not because she's mute, but she can't explain this...
Ok, why are they so awesome? In early game, if Amumu is not jungling (he can, but he does not have to) they are very strong laning pair. Mummy has the most important CC Sona needs on lane - stun, so she can land her Q->Power Chord combo very well. Amumu is very nice tank with high survivability even at low levels. If you combine it with your auras and heal, you can be a very durable duo. Not to mention that his passive just fits yours runes and requirements to land relatively high damage at low lvl:
Cursed Touch reduces the target's magic resistance by 15 (low lvl)
You penetrate 9 of target's magic resistance with your runes
Most champions start with 30 magic resistance, which increase very slowly
Assuming you are both lvl 4, after Amumu curses somebody, your magic damage will be eaqual to 94.34% of the printed, while you normally would deal only 82.64%. This is 14,15% increased damage! Then your Q->Power Chord combo deals 212 magic + some physical damage! Oh, am I the only one so excited abouth this? Huh... Without mummy it would be only 186...
Ok, nevermind. The early game is important, but not the most. Because you become the perfect duo in late game, in which you provide a 3.5 sec global stan for your team! Hell yeah, 2 AoE stuns, both dealing tons of magical damage should be enough to take the enemies down. Unfortunately, you will need a smart team with some nice physical damage, because it's quite easy to stack some magic resistance.

To be continued soon.

Your role in team

For now I can only recommend you to read this guide: ...
And to forget the statements about leaving experience and gold to the carry. Really, I just can't understand the ppl that say that supports do not need money. Of course, you don't have to be as fed as carry, and that's why I prefer to lane with tank. You can also follow another simple rule - farm until the second Philosopher. Then give all the gold to your carry.
I'd like to mention my conversation with friend few hours ago. He said, that he needs the gold early, because he will have to farm later. My answer was simple - For you, as Tristana, killing wholed creep wave will mean just to auto-attack few times, and wipe them out with explosive shot. For me, this would mean auto attacking like 12 times, and pressing Q another 3 times. Or even more later. Just summing up, for carries it's much more easier to farm than for supports and that's why you should set up your gold producing machine asap.
If you wonder about giving the experience to your carry, forget about it. You need the experience even more. If you wonder why, read again what does your skills do at each rank.

I want to show you some educational videos about how TO play Sona and how NOT TO do it, but I have to wait for my friend to stream and record few of our matches, as my PC is just not capable of doing it :P.

To be continued soon.

Oh, I've almost forgot about this one:

Why and when to use [R]ock This Party Secret Key

This is very important part of this guide. your Ultimate abiliy has basically three main uses:
  • rooting down runners
  • following the engaging CC / engaging
  • helping in runaway
It may be surprising, but the first one is usually the hardest one. Although the range is quite good, the animation and projectile speed are slightly too slow to reach the runners sometimes. That's why it's good idea to be only a "supporting" CC. Same goes for engaging, because it's good idea to aim your ulti wisely, usually after the fist one is landed. Helping in runaway is quite simple, because your teammates should run TO you, not FROM, so the enemy direction shall be similar, and they won't run away from it. It helps a lot with huge runaways/retreats, as it holds the whole team, not just one enemy like most of other Crowd Control effects.

To be continued soon.

I have plenty of advices about playing this truly powerful support, but I'm very disorganised person, so it will take me some time to write them down into nice guide, however this build will hurry me up, as I want to improve it ASAP.

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It's highly possible that you have misjudged this guide. Try it out, and remember, that spamming Q and W is not the essence of the champion at all.

(YES, the list is Photoshopped a bit, just to fit all the matches in one image. The scores are not. You can always check my Match History on European League Of Legends server, Summoner's name: Marandil)

I'm looking forward for some constructive feedback. I am pretty sure that this guide can be improved in some ways, however I don't really know how should I do it. That's why I'm counting on you. Thank you for reading.

M. "M." S.

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Update Notes

31th May 2011 - Created
1st June 2011 - Few minor changes, added Summoner Spells section.