Sona Build Guide by LessThanPleasant
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Hey guys! This is my first build and I thought it would be fitting to create one for the first champion I had bought and absolutely fell in love with - Sona. I've tried numerous guides and played around with my own and found that this particular build fits my play-style and overall role of a Sona more sufficiently.
So, please consider trying it out before voting!
Disclaimer: This IS my first guide, so I sincerely apologize for a lack of visuals beforehand! Also, I am by no means a 'pro' player, but I find that this build really works for the most part, so I thought I'd share it with you guys :)
Aug. 10, 2011 - Changed named to 'Offtank Sona' and added images / revised overall guide.
These runes are pretty self explanatory:
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Gives your Q and R a nice little 'oomph' of damage
Greater Seal of Health - Sona suffers a devastatingly low amount of health in early game and thus, compensating for this will make her less squishy.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction - Allows you to spam her abilities, and aids in allowing you to reach your CDR cap by late game.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - Getting into action faster is a necessity as an off-tank support with a bunch of auras! Not to mention they are the most versatile runes and can be used for any champion.
I run a similar Mastery Tree to most Sona players, besides a small tweak.
Unlike most Sona users, I run a 0/9/21 mastery. Why? Because if you have a Tear of the Goddess, those 9 points you place into the defensive tree ('Strength of Spirit') will give you a great recovery of health and stay in lane/fights longer.
Most of you will think: why not 9/0/21? Well, that's easy. You don't need the extra CDR if you build the items that I've listed. Also, you are more of a support champion as opposed to an AP nuke like Annie.
Item Sequence and Situational Items
For the most part, you'll want to start off with a Sapphire Crystal and a Health Potion+ Mana Potion. This gives you good staying power from the Strength of Spirit mastery and your own heals.
On your first recall, you should get a Tear of the Goddess to start building up your mana pool. This is paramount, or else your own AP, survivability and ability to cast spells will suffer in late game!
Later on, depending on how well you're doing, you can opt for a Mejai's Soulstealer and/or Kage's Lucky Pick. As you're a fairly mobile support champion with amazing utility, you will be able to pick up assists fairly easy (Note: When you build snowball items, people tend to target you first...which is what we want). Likewise, as a support champion, you probably won't get much farming done and the extra gold from Kage's Lucky Pick WILL help. This is completely up to you.
Note: I buy Kage's Lucky Pick because it's the cheapest of the gold/time items and since you're going to sell it later on, why not reap the same benefits but pay less?
When the opportunity arises, get yourself a pair of boots. I will build this into Mercury's Treads for the maxed Tenacity and MR.
Now this is when you begin to get more of your luxury items. First off, get a Catalyst the Protector for its passive and increased health + mana pool. By this time, you should also start trying to get more CDR, so invest in a Glacial Shroud, which you can later build into a Frozen Heart (for its passive CDR and attack speed debuff on AD champs).
Finish your Banshee's Veil for a much needed spell shield and magic resist, and then purchase an Abyssal Scepter for more magic resist and a boost of AP. By this time, you will have a ton of auras to offer for your teammates and be loved by them.
Now, you can complete your build by selling your Kage's Lucky Pick and finishing off Archangel's Staff, where you'll get a major increase of AP from the mana pool you've been building all game. In contrast, you don't need to build it in this sequence, but I'm just suggesting that the staff doesn't have to be rushed. Experiment and see when you feel you need it.
Note: If you did NOT buy a Mejai's Soulstealer in the beginning cause of a slow start - then you can get a Rabadon's Deathcap to substitute the AP. Both items are equally good (in terms of acquiring AP), but I prefer Mejai's Soulstealer because stacks are relatively easy to acquire as you're present for most of the kills - and quite beefy to take some punishment and not lose them.
If you feel like you need to become even tankier, then purchase a Rod of Ages for some AP, health and mana. This makes you an even more balanced champion and have more capability to tank damage.
Get your Hymn of Valor first and charge up your passive at the fountain. This gives you a nice head start in your auto attack when you arrive in lane. Then, just level your Aria of Perseverance and Hymn of Valor in alternating order. Also, remember to get your Song of Celerity at level 4 just in case you need a haste to chase or run away! As always, prioritize and get your ultimate when you have the opportunity.
Note: You can choose to max your Q or W depending on your needs - if you're doing well zoning the enemies, then keep at it and harass them with more damage. However, if you're not laning so well with your teammate, then getting your W to heal for more would be better. Prioritize whichever one you think will benefit your laning stage.
For spells, I recommend getting Clairvoyance and Flash.
Clairvoyance is helpful for tracking down the enemy jungler or checking spots on the map to prevent / initiate ganks. This is one of the most important spells a support champion should have...but if you don't want to, then use whatever you think suits your play style.
In addition to Clairvoyance, Flash is a great spell to have. It can be used both defensively and offensively and possibility one of the best spells for you to have.
Again, use whichever spells you think are suited to your play style and needs - just don't be stupid and pick unnecessary or redundant ones.
Why Off-tank Sona?
Now, to answer a question you have most definitely thought about: WHY IS YOUR SONA SO BEEFY AND HER HEALS / DAMAGE SO LITTLE!?
Quite simply because Sona is a support champion that helps a team more by CONSISTENTLY dishing out heals and damage. Here are some reasons why this unique build for Sona can be helpful:
1) You have built-in passive auras on top of the item ones. You just BEING there helps the team, so dying is a grave lost.
2) By being tankier, you can survive most of the punishment the enemy team deals on you, and even lift some of the responsibilities from your tank's shoulders so your carries are 100% safe (since they'll want to target a healing Sona anyways).
3) You're a SUPPORT champion. You do NOT need the AP to make your damage output higher when there are better champs out there to fulfill that role.
4) Sona's heals don't even scale that well with AP, so if you wanted to heal your teammates with larger chunks of health - then go with Soraka. Sona is not your champion if you want to be a full-time nurse.
5) By being a tankier support champion, you pose a threat to the enemy team since you can heal your teammates back to full health, thus making them want to kill you. Similar to point 2), you are able to relieve some of the damage your tank may be taking to ensure your carries are dealing insane damage for longer periods of time without disruption.
How to play Off-tank Sona
Playing Survivability Sona is not too different besides the fact that you're a meat shield now. You should be blocking the shots that your tank can't so your carries can stay alive to keep dealing damage. Here's a breakdown of the game when you're playing...
At this stage of the game, you are still quite squishy and healing/harassing whenever you can is all you can/should do. Try to let your carry get most of the minion kills while you try and zone out the enemy champions (this is easy with your homing missiles in the form of Hymn of Valor). This ensures the carry's ability to buy the items they need to own later on in the game. Also, not getting the minion kills won't be that big of a deal if you're getting gold/time and whatnot. The assists help in your income a lot too :)
This is where you start to get beefier and when diverting enemy attention occurs. You will begin to sacrifice yourself whenever your carry seems to be dying and/or need help. As most people have this preconceived notion that Sonas are squishy, they won't hesitate to switch targets just to get rid of you. That's okay, let them - you're probably not going to die and be able to heal back or have saved your carry's life (who probably had a killing spree) and allowed them to continue farming/ganking.
This is where you MUST be with the team. You are the centerpiece to the team's ability to stay in team fights and win them. For the most part, you should heal your team whenever needed and Q if you get the chance, or E if you and your team needs to get to a location faster. As most team fights begin, your carries are usually prioritized to be killed. Don't let that happen - make yourself a target instead by doing as much as you can to keep everyone alive and kicking. Spam your Q and W whenever they're off CD, and even ult if necessary for those few precious seconds to let your carry continue wreaking havoc.
Note: You can also ult to initiate a fight, but again, your ult doesn't have much range and you're not really a tank - so just let your tank do that whenever they can. A good ult, besides using it to protect your carry, is to use it when you can get a clear shot of most of the enemy team. This means 2+ champions MUST be affected for you to even consider using it - realize that your ult is a game changer and can be the factor between winning or losing.
To sum it all up...
Well, quite simply you just need to know these 3 things:
1) Stay alive
2) Don't hesitate to take it for your carry and be the meat shield - you're quite tanky anyways
3) Spam your abilities like no tomorrow
I hope this build works for everyone and that the emerging meta-game of off-tanks realizes this build of Sona is very much viable and even favoured.
ALSO: PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE ME FEEDBACK - I'm not the best Sona player by any means and there are tons of room to improve, so please share!