Sona Build Guide by Victors Demon
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.
Hit and Run Sona
Not Updated For Current Season
Hi, I'm Victors Demon and this is my first guide.
I play ARAM more than any other game mode, and since it is very different from others and there are almost no guides, I decided to make one. Any suggestions and help will be welcomed, as long as it is polite ;)
Also help on grammar and spelling would be nice, since english is not my first language.
This Guide is aimed mostly for players who don't usually play Sona, and got her (maybe from free champ rotation) on an ARAM.
And now you use the loading screen to tab out and search for a guide that could tell you fast and easy how to play good and have fun the next ~30 Minutes.
If you are one of these:
Stop reading, loading should be almost over.
Either you don't usually play ARAM, Sona or both and want to get information/help before (or after) you tried it.
Or you're just curious about this guide.
So continue reading, but be aware this should be a short Guide to give you some help on starting, not an in-depth-guide.
Sona is very squishy, and ARAM is all about teamfight.
So to prevent her from being instakilled first or assassinated she needs some armor and magic resistance.
Flat armor bonus and scaling mr because most of the games the AP-champs need some time to scale their dmg, too. While AD-champs like Caitlyn, Sivir, Varus and so on already have much dmg on low levels.
Some magic penetration to make your passive + Q + Lich Bane combo hit just a bit harder.
And finally some more movement speed from your Quints to help you evade, run away and put that one combo-dmg-shot where it is needed. This way and with your E you don't need boots and can get other items.
But since most of you won't prepare a rune page for Sona in ARAM, just take one that makes her a bit less squishy.
Regenerating mana, a bit health and passive gold income
+ everything you need to make your combo hit hard.
CDR for more combo and more healing, Expose Weakness works well with your Q in a teamfight.
But, like the runes, almost no one will make Masteries just for Sona in ARAM, so from the ones you might already have take either a supporting champ for the mana regeneration and gold income, or one used for an APC.
Shopping in ARAM
Shopping in Aram is different than in other modes:
You can only shop upon death.
So you will get situations where you defend your base, just a flash from the shop, and with 5000 gold, but unable to buy anything.
Sure you can let them kill you, but this will give them gold. Plus your team will lack your healing and suffer from the decreased sustain, so choose the timing wisely.
If any possible try to get executed by creeps/towers when no enemy champ hit you for some time to deny the gold from your death.
Keeping this in mind, you want to shop as effective as possible when you can do it, so maybe it is more useful to get two more small items and have almost 0 gold left than finishing one big Item and have 300 gold left. Also, if your team isn't in great danger, it might be worth to wait for up to 70 gold to get an item. Just inform your team about that, so they don't think you're afk or such, and use the time to look at the enemies items etc.
Now this is maybe the most important chapter, since your choice of items is the only thing in ARAM you can adjust to your enemies.
Rigth at the start you have a problem:
You want to get Tear of the Goddess and Frostfang as soon as possible.
First one to get the mana regen. and built up the mana pool of it, second one because it gives you significant higher gold income (if done right you get 1 gold per second from Frostfang, and only 0,5 gold per second from Spellthief).
Sadly, your starting money is not enough to get both.
Most times I take Tear of the Goddess, since this will get me Seraph's Embrace earlier and also the mana regen. helps to be useful longer after the start (more mana -> more heal).
The second option is only really good if they have almost only melee champs or very weak poke, since you can hit them more often to get gold and will need less heal.
Use the rest of your gold for potions, and since you heal focus on mana potions.
Whenever you die, your first goal should be to get Tear of the Goddess and Frostfang.
Next should be Frost Queen's Claim, since it's active will help you and your team escape and chase. Also, with an almost useless basic attack (at least without the passive) just hitting W whenever possible can get boring, and you don't even have to aim any ability except the R.
Having one more "spell" is more fun.
Plus: Accidently killing a minion with your Q doesn't disable the gold income anymore.
Next item depends on how much gold you have.
Archangel's Staff will give you some nice AD, making your healing and Q better. But since the Q alone doesn't much dmg and can't be aimed anyway, this might not be the most important yet. But it also fills the mana pool way faster, so if your team is doing very good or very bad, get this. Very good, because than you can afford to have a "not so good now" item as investment for later. Very bad, because than you need all the healing you can get.
If your team is neither very good nor very bad, try to get Lich Bane first, if not possible at once get Aether Wisp before Sheen (no need for double base dmg when you do almost no base dmg). Once you got it, you have a really big one-shot-burst-dmg-combo from Lich Bane, Q and Passive.
Next item if affordable should be Rabadon's Deathcap, since it will burst healing as well as
your dmg from Lich Bane. More (team)sustain, more dmg, nothing more to say.
Now you could decide the Combo you want. Liandry's Torment plus Rylai's Crystal Scepter is always a good Combo for AD champs with relatively low dmg but multiple hit and/or low cd spells.
Specially vs. tanks with high health, your repeated Q could slowly, slowly cripple them or at least completely block their regeneration. Without the ability to go back to base to heal or an own healer in the team, they get much less useful. Without CDR you have 8 seconds cd, while the effect lasts for 6 seconds -> almost all the time active on multiple enemies.
Also, both give you some more health to prevent getting insta killed, some AD to help on your W, Q and Burst. And Rylai's passive supports the Hit-And-Run-technique i will describe later.
As an alternative there might be Morellonomicon and Athene's unholy Grail as Combo, both giving you CDR and Mana regen, so you could just spam your W and Q more often, and also hit with your burst more often. Personally, i see this as the more defensive option, since you lack the continued dmg from Liandry but give your team significantly more heal.
Witch one to take depends on your favorite style and your team as well as the enemy team.
You might consider to switch Frost Queen in very late Game (if it lasts long enough) since gold income will be useless than and the cdr from it will be useless, too (with Morellonomicon and Athene's already having the cap of 40 cdr). But honestly, a game almost never lasts that long.
Another alternative is the more supporting Sona with Abyssal Scepter if your team is AP-Heavy and/or Hextech Sweeper if Teemo is in the enemy team. Ardent Censer could also be a great choice with some autoattack relying champs in your team, since you can shield them all at once (if they are close), giving each of them 25% attack speed boost for 6 seconds. This is something to be considered as worthy as some Ultimates, and you can do it every 10 seconds (without cdr), giving all your ADCs 25% attack speed for 60% of the game!
Other choices might be Void Staff for the pure, big dmg on your burst or Zhonya's Hourglass for AD-Heavy enemy teams or ones, where you just want to have this stasis. Personally i don't like those two, but i have seen others play really good with them, so i mention them here.
In some occasions Ancient Coin would be better than Spellthief's Edge at the start, specially when the enemy team will make farming almost impossible (look in "farming" for more info).
There might be other, more supportive valuable choices, but since this guide is focussing on a Sona with some offensive capability, i might only mention them later in a second build.
DON'T get one of those:
Rod of Ages. ARAM is almost always a short game, so Rod of Ages will only be useful if bought really early. But Sona has Frost Queen's Claim and Archangel's Staff to finish first, so a third "you got to buy it early" item is not good.
Will of the Ancients. You have low dmg and a good Heal. No need or use for Spell Vamp, specially since your Q hits two targets and thus Spellvamp has lowered effectivity.
There are of course way more you shouldn't get, but those two are the ones some people could want to try. Don't do it.
But if you're curious and want something unique try Runaan's Hurricane and tell me if it stacks with Lich Bane and your passive.
Some may question, why there are no boots in the build.
The Answer: You don't need much movement speed on ARAM, since there is not much roaming around the map or such. Lich Bane gives a bit movement speed, and so do your Quints. That's enough to evade most spells you possibly can evade (like Janna's Whirlwinds and such). In an emergency, you always have E to escape/chase.
Q is your "farming" spell, although "farming" is done by hitting champs and using your gold item. But with this + one basic attack you can hit with all the 3 charges your item can hold. But it's more about "just hit them" than "hit them hard", so just get one point in it and max it later. Also, the 40% bonus damage with your passive don't scale, and you can't aim it for enemy champs.
W is your (and your Teams) Bread and Butter. It gives Sona an unrivaled heal and Team-sustain through the whole match. The shield for the entire Team (with well positioning) is also a bonus. You can save all with it, and really annoy the enemy. With your passive, you can take 20% of the total dmg from an enemy for a short time, using it vs. an ADC can change an entire team fight.
E is not as useful in ARAM, since there is only one lane, and not much to run to or from.
But it can help you and your team help escape, chase an enemy, or just get you back to the fight fast after death. Or, of course with your passive slow an enemy (although you will be using your active item for that more often).
But more important: it helps you build up your passive very fast!
So one point in it, and that's enough.
R is really an Ultimate. With good timing and positioning, you can stun (and dmg) an entire team, letting your allies kill them without risk. Also it has a passive to increase all your other abilities. Just use it wisely to make the most of it.
Flash is always useful, specially to evade some ults (Ezreal, Nami, Jinx, Ashe etc...) or just make that one close escape. With this build, Sona can even use it to execute an enemy if no adc is close enough to do so.
Clarity is great for Sona, since on her, Mana is health, and health for the team. Much better than Heal.
Barrier and Ignite are also worth a thought, but usually there is so much poke in ARAM, barrier is not of much use, specially if you can just heal after being hit. And already so many take ignite, you usually have 2-3 of them in your team, so clarity will be better for all of you.
Team Work and Playstyle
This is essential in ARAM and even more for Sona, so i want to mention it in an extra chapter.
Although this guide looks a lot like an APC, Sona is NOT an APC. She still is a Support, and should behave as such. Stay safe, buff your Team, and talk with them.
Yes, you can deal a lot of dmg with this build, and yes, you have an active to shield you and to slow an enemy, and yes, you can even stun all of them. And you can even heal yourself!
All of that look like you could just run into the enemy, cause havoc and get all those kills.
Sadly, this is not the case, mostly since Sona is one of the squishiest champs there are, and your great dmg can only happen every 10 seconds or such.
So let your team fight the enemy, stay safe, heal them, shield them, and when you're ready (and all the minions are just down) run to the front, fire a fast Q at them to get Gold, boost your Teams dmg, and burst with your passive. Then retreat.
I call this the Hit and Run style.
You are useless staying in the front row, since you would sure die, but have such a good dmg potential it shouldn't be wasted by just standing back.
Remember to talk with your team, specially to coordinate your ult with them. No use to stun them, if none of your ADC can finish them then ;)
Also make sure to always hide behind/between your team, since a Yi, Warwick, Rengar or such jumping out of the bushes or Blitz catching you would kill you in split seconds. Running around and through your team makes aiming harder for them, and your team get the most out of your auras.
But sometimes catching a spear from Nidalee or such might be worth it to safe a teammate. Remember: you heal 4 times as fast as any other in your team, since every W heals you and only one of them. Just make sure to not die from what you catch.
So make her a passive-agressive Sona ;)
And ALWAYS look for what your team needs. You are support, if no one else is, it's your job to find all those shrooms teemo planted, and get all those other items your team might need, but nobody want to buy. This build here is the optimal, utopia-like build for when everything is fine and/or you have another support who does that job.
This will be complicated at the beginning, since you farm from enemy champs, not minions. More than that, before getting Frost Queen's Claim killing a minion will only give you the worth of the minion -12 (potential) gold.
Anyway, it's better to leave the minions for your teammates.
But you will also not have many kills. Assists, yes, but not kills. So not much gold from that.
And only the passive income will not be enough.
So, farming from champs with Sona, how is it done?
You need to hit an enemy champ (or tower) at least 3 times every 30 seconds to get the maximum income.
The good thing: Your Q hits 2 enemies, and your basic attack (preferably with your passive loaded) will hit the third time.
The bad thing: You can't aim your Q, and it doesn't prioritize champions, but just the next enemy unit. So most likely it will hit a minion.
To prevent from this, you have to get a good timing on your hit-and-run. Whenever the enemy minions are down, sprint towards the enemies (maybe use E for it), hit Q and one basic dmg. Then run, before they react or dmg you more than you could heal.
Depending on the enemy this will need some training to not just suicide, specially vs. careful, long range teams or if they have a lot of catches, stuns and such.
Sometimes you just have to stay safe and back, and not farm. If you see this at the start, try taking Ancient Coin instead of Spellthief's Edge.
It's active when full build is not that useful in ARAM, specially since you already got almost the same effect on your E, but it will be more reliable in your gold income.
With unrivalled Healing, Team Buffs and a big AOE-stun as ultimate, Sona really is the "Queen of Aram".
The only real disadvantages are difficulty in farming, low dmg (wich i try to counter in this build, at least for one attack every few seconds) and very low health/armor/magic resistance.
But well, everything that doesn't kill you can be healed, as long as you have enough mana.
Try it, give it a chance, hit-and-run on them, and keep healing everything. And then give me feedback on it, and suggest what could be done better.
Thanks for reading, and if you vote please let me know why you vote that way.
(Probably see this a s beta-version, i'm gonna put nice pictures of all the items and abilities in soon. Just not today, and i want to see it published^^)