Soraka Build Guide by Yaoi Fanboy
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Introduction: Your new role
If you read this, it's probably either because you played against a Tanky Soraka who just carried its team to victory (Or maybe with, who knows) or it's because you used to play Soraka, and with this ******* nerf on her heals, you have no idea of how to play her anymore.
Well, i'll be honest, Support Soraka builds suck these days. Pathetic heal/time if you compare her to what she was before, or even to other champions. As her heals were nerfed by more than a half and her cooldowns boosted to 20 seconds rather than 10 seconds, you will really need to reconsider how you build Soraka. Here is my idea, and it is a very viable one. However, as I will explain later, one of your most letal weapon is suprise. The second one is healing burst. Because of this, my build won't work in High-Elo games, but sure works in Low-Elo and Mid-Elo ones.
What Riot hoped to do with this nerf -- at last I think, is to changer her position in the battlefield but also her role in her team. The best way to play Soraka before was simply get mejai, rabaddon, some hp and support your carry turning him into an undestructable machine of death. Now, what you do is basicly act as a general pain in the *** for the whole game. You do not exactly support your team, you rather act as a "Bruiser" and make life difficult for enemies. You are a Ap-ish Tank supporter.
If you don't want to read all of the above, I'll resume it in once sentence : Your role was healer before, now you become a ***** of the battlefield.
My recommendations when it comes to runes is the following :
===> Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
===> Greater seal of Defense
===> Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
===> Greater quintescence of Avarice
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ MARKS ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
These are offensive runes, like you know. I like to have magic penetration here because it helps early-game harassing, getting you a significant bonus damage right from the start. However, ultimatly, your goal is not to deal damage, so you might want to change those for Armor & Magic Resist marks, or even Health per level / Flat Health marks.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ SEALS ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
Armor is your only option. You might want to take Flat Armor instead of Armor per Level, but I think your early game is easy enough already. What is more worrying is lategame.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ GLYPHS ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
Other options would be Ability power per level, flat Magic Resistance, Cooldown reduction per level or Flat Armor. Again, i'd tend to say Ability Power per level is not something you would really put your efforts in, but it can boost your heals, a bit. Magic Resistance has more interest to me, however. Same with Cooldown reduction per level. Flat magic resistance and flat armor, just read above.
¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ QUINTESCENCES ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤¤
Now, I bet everyone actually wonders why I used the most powerful runes of the game to give me in-game gold. Well, it's pretty simple; With this item sequence, you won't need (or rarely will) more armor. As for magic resist, it sure could help a bit, but again, you should have way enough to get passed through ap carries. You don't want offensive quintescences and the health bonus is only a bit tempting. It's only 150 health. When you consider 3gold/10 seconds gives 810 gold after 45 minutes, and that a single elexir or ruby cristal outcaps this 150 health...
Other than that, your other options might be Movement speed or Cooldown reduction per level quintescences. Being able to run fast is always handy.
Core items cannot be changed in ANY way. These items are :
- (you will need mobility advantage to poke enemies and get around everywhere easily)
- (Health, AP but most importantly : SLOW. Starcall spamming gives a permanant 35% slow on every enemies near you. It's a must. Even Rod of Ages won't do it.)
- (Your survivability depends on your capacity to heal yourself, and this item gives your burst heal a significant bonus, gives you health, magic resist and Cooldown reduction. It's like your bread and butter)
Optional items are the following.
LUV THEM TIER:
--> ( Nice aura that combines well with Starcall, Armor and health. Why not?)
--> ( As you should have tons of health, this will be very effective for you, plus gives you mobility bonus and magic resist. Heart this)
--> (Armor, AP and "panic button" that allows you to recharge your cooldowns a bit or get passed through enemy nuke, if your enemies are very Amumu-katarina ish.)
--> (Significant armor bonus, and on top of that, returns back MAGIC damage [you lower magic resistance with your Starcall]. The only thing this item lacks is Health.)
OCCASIONAL ITEMS TIER:
--> (To be taken with Thornmaill, or if the enemy team is completly magic-focused or physical-focused.)
--> Will of Ancients (Gives you some other source of regeneration, AP and a nice aura to give to your team mates. This might get you a little squishier than tank items, tho)
--> (Can be nice, if the enemy team is combo-based or focuses all of its force in single blows. A spell shield is nice, magic resistance, mana and health too, but Force of Nature is more handy, it's better.)
--> (Basicly, it's a free cleanse that gives you magic resist and is inexpensive. To be taken on CC-heavy teams)
--> (Nice Aura, AP and magic resist. Combines very well with Warmog and Thornmail despite being a bit expensive build)
OKAY ITEMS TIER:
--> (It's okay, I mean it's not bad but, it's like if you need ap and health but already have a rylai. Might not be the best option, but can be useful in some cases)
--> (Nobody is immortal, not even you. You are simply harder to kill and get tons of assists.)
--> (Mainly for cooldown reduction, secondly for AP bonus. Might be a good final item, but it's not something to be focused on)
--> Shurelya's Reverie (Speed boost for a short time, Cooldown reduction for the rest. But I usually sell that philosopher stone.)
Build 2 : ADAPT YOURSELF
With the second build, things change a bit; you now have two bonus skills with a 60 second cooldown. One massive speed boost, and one massive speed down with attack speed down. This build is more effective, however, you will need to know how to adapt yourself with this one. Here are some typical situations you may encounter.
--> The enemy team is very reliant on attack speed. There is only one AP carry in the other team.
In this situation, Screw magic resistance.. Be sure to constantly mute the ap carry and ask your team to focus it. Get a Frozen Heart as last item and, if you really are needy of more defense, trade your boots of swiftness to Ninja Tabi. But trust me, unless enemy team is REALLY badly fed, and even there, you shouldn't have to trade your boots of swiftness. Also, when enemies get that attacking you is futile, switch your heal-focus to whoever they will try to focus. Make sure however you only heal useful team members (you won't always get the brightest bulbs of the box).
--> The enemy team is NOT reliant on attack speed, but there is only one magic-damage input.
The first mistake you would be tempted to do is to build Omen. DO NOT BUILD RANDUIN'S OMEN. Instead, sell your Heart of Gold when you'll have gained enough money of it, or just don't buy it. Continue to mute the ap carry over again and again and it shouldn't be of a problem. Buy a THORNMAIL and a SUNFIRE CAPE. Why? Both of them deal magic damage, and you shred magic resistance. Time to punish the impudents that dared to attack you!
--> The enemy team is very tanky.
Try to find the weakness in their team. If the enemy team lacks magic defense, well, no problem for you, your Q will get them. Inform your ranged dps of the situation and tell them to buy a Bloody Madred Razor, if they havn't already did. You know, Madred deals magic damage *WINK WINK*. You should get them.
You have no choice but get those two summoner spells : Heal and Exhaust.
1- Everyone will have a tendancy to think you are a noob if you take Heal, thus, play more agressivly against you. That's something you want.
2- Healing summoner spell is like a second ultimate, but close-ranged. And as Soraka's position in the battlefield is now like in the center of everything, you will have no problem when it comes to getting everyone in your heal zone.
3- Suprising enemies with a non-expected heal burst gives you a suprise advantage
4- Heal spell will be boosted soon. Soon enough.
5- Spirit Visage's passive syncs with Healing summonner spell.
6- Gives general support for your team
7- Exhaust shuts down an enemy carry in late game, or allows you to escape death / get a kill in early game. It's just awesome.
8- Flash is not really a good option because you want to take the blows, you want the enemies to focus you and you want to be able to stay in a fight, not being able to escape it. You WILL have to die in late game anyways, just face it.
9- Cleanse is not useful unless the opposite team is CC-heavy
10- Ghost can be handy, However you have enough mobility and mobility reduction to be able to chase without ghost, or escape without it.
11- Ignite should not be taken by you. You don't want to KS, after all
12- Teleportation is... kinda useless.
13- Rally gives significant boost but can be shut down by Enemy AOES. And if you are going to move, well it's useless
14- You don't want to have to use Revive .
15- You are not a supporter, so screw Clairvoyance .
I got clear enough?
Pros / Cons
- Very, Very strong early game
- Very strong suprise element
- People will have a natural tendancy to focus you as you are usually a heck of a squishy and just a pain in the ***.
- Best use of burst heal
- Can have very powerful combinasion with some champions, especially Magic-based champions.
- Starcall somehow gives 35% slow with Rylai even through it's multi-targetting. EXPLOIT TAH BUG.
- Infinite mana is infinite
- Infuse will let you shut down some casted spells, like Nunu or Katarina's Ultimate, Malzahar's Ultimate (if he doesn't use it on you), Fiddlestick's Drains or even Summonner Teleport.
- Somewhat less powerful if not a solo, but you can't solo against SOME charas.
- It can be difficult to withstand some heavy-harassers in solo versus two.
- Expensive build means no money for warding, or only little for it
- Since you are a bit of a Mundo, natural igniters or Executionner's Calling will shut you down. For this reason, it won't work in High-ELO
- Suprise element will be gone once this build is liked by everyone.
The champions you love to team up with.
Galio is a fantastic helper. His Bulwark will make you even tankier, mass taunt to go with your Starcalls, and Galio will be happy to have someone to spare him some Mana, too. And since most of Galios like to pick Abyssal Scepter, you two will work very well together.
Sona will actually help getting the "supporter" part that you cannot afford to. Plus she gives Auras, and their benefits are doubled if you are targeted by her Aria of Perseverance. Her Crescendo is also very useful in teamfights.
Again, when it comes to support, Zilean helps. You give heals, and slow everyone, he speeds you up and make sure you don't die. Plus, he can directly place his bombs on YOUR head since you will be in the very center of the teamfight, which will do significant damage on enemies because you keep starspamming them.
Your starcalls, his ultimate. The sum of those? Stuns and Magic resistance shredding. How lovely!
OP crowd control with Drain and OP ultimate are your friends. You can also time your silences to counter AP carries and again your starcalls will benefit him.
This is actually one of the only champion that will make YOU become a supporter rather than a tank. It's pretty simple; Swain's abilities rely on the enemies' ability to move away from him. Sadly, they also face a Soraka that slows them down, gives armor and magic resist to this already-tankish Swain, supplies him in Mana and shred your magic resistance? This is defenitly one of the most OP combos of the game, especially that because of the presence of Swain, enemies will have a tendancy to ignite him rather than you, or will at least have to split ignites which will make them twice less effective. Unicorn caster goes along with crow furry. Yup!
Potential Threats & How to deal with them
Tristana mid (or top) is more and more rare, but it happens and, sadly, you hate her. The first ability she will max is her Explosive Shot which reduces your heals by half. She will spam it to you until you are low enough to die -- even through you have Heal and Exhaust, she has Rocket Jump to slow you down and Buster Shot to finish the work. However, there is a solution.
Do not harass her until level 3. When you are, mute her BEFORE she has the time to apply her debuff on you. Harass with one or two starcalls, one or two autoshots, and retreat. Repeat the same process until you drop her low enough she has to back, or low enough you can kill her. The best is to wait her to get pissed off and jump on you even through you can kill her. At higher levels, it's about the same. However, in teamfights, you might won't have the time to focus her directly for Infuse. Good news -- your Astral Blessing should get yourself strong enough to face Tristana even in teamfights.
A bit the same as Tristana, however she is of a lesser threat in Early Game (as her debuff ignite does not deal damage over time). In Late Game, through, she might be of a pain. Simply time your heals right, exhaust her in case of need and if she has a Trinity Force, try to mute her as often as possible to prevent her triggering the passive effect of it.
If you face her early game, just hope Luck is on your side, because there is only but small hopes for you against Karma. You can try the same technique as with Tristana to prevent her from soaking up your harassing with her shields, but she heals as well and farm better than you. In late game, she can also deny you one of your most precious advantages : Mobility.
She is not that dangerous to you, however her Spell shield is something you'll need to counter, and so is her ultimate. Try to get away as soon as possible, because if you are stunned, you are much squishier than usual.
These two will deal you True Damage that will get passed through all of your defenses. And this has no way to really be countered. Just avoid them, and hope you don't face them. You can try to mute Olaf, but if he really wants you dead, he can uses his ultimate to finish you.
Stun, damage over time and a shield that keeps on regenerating, plus natural lifesteal, buh! A sustainable tanky that is favored with aggression. Against him, try to focus on farming rather than Harassing, because even if you infuse and starspam, you put yourself at risk plus he has lifesteal. Lame it is, lame indeed.
He is more of an annoyer to you. Silencing and neutralisation are not something you really like as Soraka Tank. You'd better infuse him before he calls the void upon you.