This is my first written guide I have published and I want to share my way to play offensive support in ranked 5vs5 games. I am playing around 1800 rating at the moment at EU East server and I have supported the whole way up there.
This guide focus on aggressive game style, which Sona prefers. This isn't guide for AP or AD Sona, this is a simple guide for aggressive played support. This way you might give a real edge in the game by feeding your AD carry by champion kills or by creep kills.
This guide can also be found at Solomid:
These are the runes I prefer the most and have seen to work the best. This combination gives you great dmg and healing possibilities at early and mid game, which this guide is focused. Even though you are leveling up Q first, your heal is still effectively because of AP runes even at rank 1.
Magic pene. increases your dmg greatly and sets most enemy champion to have low magic resistance at early game, which is the part where you shine.
Gold/10s seals are nice for support. This gives you chance to generate gold even without farming and is must have as support, in order to gain enough money for wards and items.
AP runes increases your dmg and healing abilities.
Same reason as with glyphs.
Other options for runes:
These rune sets mostly focus on survivability and especially against AD heroes. Current meta game, which means having AD carry + support at bottom lane makes all these armor rune choices useful.
Armor or HP runes are also usable, I would prefer using armor marks over HP ones.
Armor or mana regen. runes are also usable, I would prefer using armor seals over mana regen.
Magic resistance / per lvl or Cooldown Reduction runes are also usable, I would prefer using magic resistance / per lvl glyphs over CDR.
Gold/10s, Armor or HP runes are also usable. I would prefer using gold/5s quintessences over the other ones.
My masteries are meant to increase your support and offensive abilities. 9/0/21 build gives you great CDR and nice increase in AP also, without forgetting the important support abilities as gold generating and movement speed.
Also viable choice is to go 0/9/21 masteries. This way you will lose the offensive power but you will gain more survivability. If I would use the survivability runes I would ran this build instead my offensive build.
Flash and Exhaust / Ignite are the way to go. This gives you escape ability and exhaust can be used offensively and deffensively. I pick up ignite against Soraka mostly, to counter her heals.
Also pick heal if your AD carry won't pick it. Replace it to exhaust or ignite.
Why no CV? The use of CV can be negated by using wards. Flash and exhaust is more superior in order to dominate your lane. Also CV is rarely used anymore in high ranked games for the reasons I stated before. Playing without CV might be a bit difficult at first, but you will get used to it. Of course if you don't feel comfortable with this you can go typical flash + CV combo.
You will skill up Q first in order to be able to harras more. The one point in W will be enough to give sustain heal for you and your AD carry thanks to AP runes.
Sometimes you find yourself being babysitted by their jungle or you are just for some unknown reason losing your lane, when this happens it's wise to level up W first and play deffensively instead feeding your opponent. This happens rarely in bottom lane, especially when you are putting wards so jungler has hard time to gank you.
I won't be listing when to buy wards, oracle or potions. You should buy wards when you need ones, I prefer having 3 - 5 with you all the time.
You will start with Faerie Charm + 2x Sight Wards + 1x Vision Ward + Health potion. This is only possible when having point spent on the utility tree and having the Wealth talent. Vision ward is picked up because this way you can counter one enemy ward and this way you give room for your jungler to gank. This also give psychology effect on the enemy players where they can't push that much, when they don't have vision on the map.
(You can also start with Faerie Charm and 4x Vision wards.)
First trip back you should try to buy p.stone atleast, with good luck you might be able to buy boots also. P. stone is needed to gain money as support (because you aren't stealing your AD carrys creeps) and it also gives health regen and mana regen, which means you can harras more effectively.
Second recall you should focusing buying boots and if you have generated enough money, buy Kage's Lucky Pick. This completes your Core build. I pick up Kage's Lucky Pick instead of Heart of Gold, because I will be playing offensively. Also Kage's Lucky Pick is cheaper than Heart of Gold.
After this you should focus on building the other items I have listed at the top of the guide in the order it's shown.
Why Mejai's and Boots of Mobility? As support I have found that it's extremly easy to gain assist points, especially with champion as Sona where you can spam your aura kills and get assist points. Mejai's will be gaining stacks fast and this gives you huge edge against enemy team, where mostly their support is just support. Their support won't be doing any dmg nor their heal will be match against yours when you get Mejai's stacked up.
NOTE: If you are doing bad and you have bought Mejai's, don't be affraid to sell it. It's useless if you don't gain stacks in it.
The reason behind boots is following: You are missing a lot of survivability, so it's better to build movement speed in order to stay alive. You will be fast, also spamming E will even further increase your movement speed. Also having movement speed you will find it to be more easily to ward and destroy enemy wards with oracle. You will be warding a lot, this means you lose experience easily and might get ganked. These boots negates this effect. Also usable choice for boots are the survivability boots (Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads) or having the Ionian Boots of Lucidity (CDR).
If you get a lot of stacks on Mejai's (10+) consider buying Rabadon's Deathcap before buying Aegis of the Legion. Also if your jungler have bought Aegis, what they mostly do, don't build second one.
Sona's hardest ability to master is so called Aura Dancing. This means you are having a right aura in situation when it's needed. I prefer having Q aura on most of the time, because it gives your AD carry more dmg.
Note: You can use Q even without it charging its lazers anywhere in order to gain the aura effect.
Her passive makes also the Aura Dancing important. I mostly try to use W passive to reduce their carries dmg (it gives 20% less dmg for couple of seconds). Also when catching the champions it's important to slow them with E passive, instead trying to nuke them down with Q passive.
You should focus on harrasing enemy champions as much as you can. Be careful when spamming Q, because you might steal a lot of creeps with bad Q:s and also your mana pool isn't that huge. Use heal when it's needed. Example if your AD carry is at 90% hp and have even one life steal item. It's not necessary to use heal at all. He will regen his health because of life steal.
You should be dominating your lane. When they are afraid to go out of their turret you have done good job. This way turret will eat ALWAYS couple of creeps and their AD carry will lose money. This of course means your jungler can't gank so effectively, but that way he can focus more on mid and top lane. Also be careful when pushing this hard, because bot lane will ask jungler and mid to gank you. This is why you are using wards and remember to keep eyes on minimap. Spam ping for your AD carry if needed.
If they attack you you will most likely to overcome their dmg by your own dmg, meaning you will deal more dmg than they will. This edge come from you, because their support most likely won't deal any dmg. Think of Janna and Soraka for example. Also after lvl 6 your ulti is just superior against their ultis. Stun + dmg is just overpowered.
NOTE: Focus the ulti on AD carry, unless you are making a critical catch on the support and you are sure their AD carry won't nuke both of you down (your AD carry and you).
Here is where Sona shines. Her Ulti can make game breaking events and most likely you will win because of good ulti. You should focus to catch atleast 3 enemy champions within it and more importantly their carries. It's not useful to spam it on tanky champion where you can't nuke them down and their carries will just destroy your team. You can also use your ulti to save your AD carry.
Sona's Q can't be overlooked also. It makes great dmg to 2 enemy champion if in range. When builded as I build, this really DO some dmg. Also your heals are really good, especially when you can spam them.
How to counter other supports
I will list here the champions that you will most likely to be faced in ranked games against you. This list doesn't count the heroes which isn't "meant" to support.
These might be hard games or rather easy ones. Taric goes oom easily so he have to focus on healing or stunning, he can't do both effectively. If the Taric is good, one of his stuns on you might be lethal. Harras their AD carry, because Taric heals are more effectively on himself than on others.
I consider her to be the easiest one to play against, even tho she is consider to be the best support at the moment.
I mostly harras Janna first, because she has low HP pool. It only needs around 3 Q hits to her being under 50% HP. After that I focus on their AD carry. When Janna is forced to stay back she can't use her knock back against you and take advantage of her great movement speed. She can't heal even tho her ulti does it, but it is mostly used as knock back and it doesn't heal that much. Mostly easy games.
Hard lane to play against. Nunu makes him and his AD carry really fast, and they will outrun you and your AD carry early. Also Nunus slow is really nasty one. They will also do superior dmg over you due the reason Nunus slow also reduces your AD carrys attack speed and also he buffes his ad carrys attack speed.
Try to harras Nunus AD carry here, because Nunu can regen with his Q so your harrasing against Nunu would be pointless.
One of the hardest supports against you. Even Blitz doesn't have any healing abilities he will counter you pretty easily. You can't nuke him down because his passive (he is also one of those lane setups where you shouldn't rely on bursting your enemy down). Also her ulti makes you useless for a long time. If you try to harras them you are forced to leave the cover of your creeps, mostly. This way you give Blitz chance to hook you ---> you dead. Very hard lane setup to play.
I try mostly to get blitz around 50% health in the all possible ways, because this makes him playing more carefully and MIGHT NOT try to make hooks which would be just ending in trading kills for AD carries (You die, he die). If you can get him that low you can start focusing on their AD carry. Getting both of them down makes them to retreat to their turret, but fun fact here is that it gives blitz advantage also. He can make ninja flash + hook pulls you or your AD carry in their turret ---> dead.
He does have very sustainable heal and one of the best CC abilities in game. These games are really hard and hard to be played offensively. As Alistar heal costs so little mana he can just spam it and your harrasing will be meaningles. Also if you try to harras, you have to get close of them which means Ali can easily caught you in his W + Q combo --> you are dead.
If you are able to harras you have to keep on it. Alis heal can be spammed, but it heals little health at each time. Alistar won't go oom spamming his heal, but you can force them to retreat to their turret so Ali can heal them up again.
She doesn't have heal, but she is very tanky. She also do have great set of CC abilities which can caught you off your guard and make them kill you easily.
Main rule here is to try to keep them low with Q spam, but be extremely cautious about Leona. She can stun lock you to your death. These can be hard games or easy games. It varies.
This is kind of tricky. You will go oom before she will. Also these are games where you just can't harras effectively. If you want to win against her you have to nuke them down in a single burst, else they will just recover and be pushing you. I suggest to try playing with cautious and trying the nuke when both of you have dinged lvl 6.
Sometimes you will find yourself being able to harras effectively, this means you can keep her AD carry low most of the times and she have to spam her heal on him constantly. This way Soraka MIGHT go oom and force them to stand on their turret, but don't rely on that. This happens sometimes, but a lot of other factories applies here (ganks, bad playing etc.) It's just happening too randomly.
You won't see her much, because she is rarely picked. The way to win against Karma is to make her oom. She can't keep harrasing and healing her AD carry at the same time. If she tries --> she goes oom ---> you won. She will be nasty if played right. Her shield has huge dmg radius so you will most likely to get hitted by it couple of times. Your Q will still have more range than her shield.
How to play against AD carries
I am not listing here any support + AD carry combos, just their nasty abilities and what to look out.
One of the easiest AD carries to play against. Ashe becomes dangerous only when she have dinged lvl 6 and she gets her ranged stun. This might caught you sometimes off your guard, but nothing else to mention here.
She isn't hard to play against, but her shield is annoying. Try to make fake Q attempts to her so she will pop her shield for nothing and loses mana. Also be extremely sure you won't use your ulti on her shield!
He does great dmg and his smoking grenade is really nasty. This makes negates your Q:s prioritize on champions over creeps. Be careful when playing against him, to harras him it's mostly based only on you. Because his passive gives him great chunk of armor which makes your AD carry hard time to harras him (expect yours AD carry is Kog'maw or Corki).
She isn't that hardly to play against, but she do have a long range. Also her traps makes it hard to use bush advantage properly.
Vayne deals great amount of single target dps. She isn't hard to play against, but just don't stand near walls. If she can nail you on wall --> you are most likely dead. If you stay away from walls, she will just push you back. In these games I don't suggest using bushes that much as you normally do.
He isn't hard at all. Even tho he do have a great range on his attacks, his slow is kind of weak. It's hard to land so it would work as full time slow. His ultimate is easily being avoid if not played like a ******.
He is hard to play against, because his jump is superior to minor dashes like Graves and Vaynes. Also he deals true dmg and can blind your AD carry giving him a increased miss chance. Corki will most likely out dmg your lane. Use cautious against him.
As Corki her jump is superior to minor dashes. Also she have healing reduction skill which can makes your healing meaningless when she is played properly. Also be careful with her Jump + Flash combo. This might put her in position where she wouldn't be expected and she can knock back you with her ulti. I consider she to be the hardest one to play against.
As Tristana, Miss Fortune has more sustain healing reduction on you and your AD carry. She can constantly negate your healing attempts and she does great chunk of dmg. Also her E slow + her speed combination makes it hard to run away from. She will out run you so be careful.
Stand behind your creep waves so Ez can't harras you. Rather easy games, but his jump might get annoying due the reason it's a lot faster than for example Tristanas jump.
He is mostly played as jungle now days but you will see him as AD carry in high ranked games. His stealth is annoying and sometimes forces you to buy Vision Wards or early Oracle. Even tho you will still mostly kill TW easily if he tries to sneak behind you and attack. You can just nuke him down, he is rather weak. Especially against Sona.
Video samples in action coming soon...