Soraka Build Guide by Prismik
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Introduction to this "thing" called a guide
Maybe you know what "Elo hell" is. Well, my first 10 games of ranked could be classified with this term, as they solved in horrible defeats. I started asking myself what made me loose all these games, and it appeared quite simple: we had no good support.
So support I started to play, and ever since, I've discovered many mechanics on how to make my team win. Not by getting kills, nor by having this "UBER GODLIKE MONSTERIFIC" score. Simply by warding at the proper places and by babysitting effectively. And this is all what this guide is about: How to be effective with Soraka.
Also note that I tested several guides before making this one. None could suit me so I made my own, with a classic build offered, an in dept explanation of what alternative items you can get in many different situations (sticking to one build is a VERY bad idea in my opinion), and the basic purposes of Soraka in a game: Healing, warding and wining.
Pros versus Cons
[+] Amazing healing capabilities
[+] Global healing that can give free assists
[+] Silence that is helpful in many situations
[+] Capacity to grant mana to ourself/allies
[+] Great AoE magic resist debuff with Starcall
[-] Poor damage output early game
[-] Not "allowed" to farm
[-] Long cooldown on most skills
[-] Low AP ratio with most of her spell
[-] Squishy until mid game
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Health
With a starting 20 seconds CD on your Astral Blessing without any CDR, you will want to lower that somehow. Since the basic build does not reach the cap of 40%, we will get a bit more from all the Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction, in addition to the 6% from the masteries (0-9-21).
Here, it sounds a bit weird to get armor marks instead of armor seals. But as a support, your job is to stay alive, so getting marks like Greater Mark of Desolation won't help you to support properly by actually staying alive. We also are already getting enough hp from our seals. Now if you have a good laner with you which will prevent the ennemy from targeting you too often, there is always the option of getting Greater Mark of Vitality to disencourage the ennemy from hitting you, since you will have quite a lot of health bars early game (1 bar show for each 100 HP you have).
Now for the seals, Infuse gives a **** load of mana, so why would we botter to get any mana regen at all ? No, we won't take any of those. We could get flat HP runes for quite a punch at lvl 1, but that would be saying that we consider 50 HP early game is better than about the 129 HP we would get with HP/lvl runes. We are smarter than that, and this is why we won't take any flat HP runes.
You can switch these seals for Greater Seal of Gold if you consider having a slight boost in money flow (wards can cost a **** load of money, especially when trying to keep control over the dragon) is more important then a slight boost in HP.
Wtf, no CDR from the offense tree ?
Well ... actually no. You will get enough CDR depending on the items you will build, and reaching 40% is not your priority, as being durable is more important than being fast (this is why superman is stronger than flash, right ?). So let's explain what to get in both Defense and Utility tree.
Here, it is really up to you getting the number of points you want into Hardiness and Resistance . Just make sure it makes a total of 4 points. Then you really want that HP boost from Durability and Veteran's Scars which will make you, in addition to the runes mentionned, tougher than a normal Soraka would be. Think about all the HP bars you'll get ! Remember, a strong support is a living support. You won't heal anything once you are dead.
A lot of people could argue about Summoner's Insight being more usefull than Improved Recall . But let's say you need to go back to base really urgently, grab an item or 2 (hopefully you will get wards as you should be doing everytime you recall), that 1 second can make the difference between, let's say, a gank that worked & a gank that failed because your mate died before you could reach him (trust me, sometimes it really is a matter of seconds).
Next come a boost in maximum mana and mana regen, nothing to say there.
Scout can make your wards more efficient when they are well placed (refer to the guide mentionned below).
Since you won't be getting any kills (or at least you should not) and neither will you farm, Greed is a proper choice in adittion to gold generating items. Note that I did not take Wealth as 20 early gold is almost useless compared a slight boost in XP (you will find yourself behind & under leveled compared to your teammates because you will be running all around the map to ward key spots). Finally come CDR and Summoner spells CDR which is quite appreciated (especially with the huge CD of Clairvoyance of more than a minute)!
What items to get
This item offers a good ammount of defense & magic resist to your allies, and the effect is even bigger on yourself ! Also gives you a slight boost in HP. The best of the best IMO (tends to be less viable the more you get close to end game).
Need some HP in addition to a fair ammount of CDR converted into an epic aura that your allies will absolutely love ? Well, what are you waiting to get this item !?
Counters other Soraka's Consecration in normal games, but this is not what this guide is about (also good to deny the other team Aegis of the Legion. Usually an AP Carry item, only get if nobody is getting it in your team.
This item comes handy because it is built from our Philosopher's Stone, and the speed bonus can help you to either catch up with a fleeing ennemy or to stay alive. I usually get this item last, because it stops me from getting gold from Philosopher's Stone (it harms my warding if I get it too early).
If you have a strong AD team and nobody plan to get this item, the Lifesteal & attack speed you get from it is gorgeous.
This item should not be part of you core build, but let'ts say none of your teammates took it, the spell vamp is very good in teamfights as it gives you a fairly good ammount of survivability with your Starcall spam that you should be doing all the time (in addition, grants bonus to your allies) & a slight boost in AP which might give you a correct boost for most of your spells (the scale of AP on Astral Blessing is not really good).
Things you put on your feet:
Since you will be walking around, warding like a smurf, it's a good thing you don't waste too much time (and eventually get killed because you are not fast enough). This is why they are my favourite.
For the CDR lovers, they will be perfect for you, but you still lack the awesome speed boost from Boots of Mobility which help you a lot to ward the **** out of the map. Not too much for me, as I prefer staying alive and healing throughout the entire teammfights & this one gives no escape options or resistance at all.
If the ennemy has very strong CC such as (slow, snare, fear, stuns), these could save your life more than once. If you intend not to get these, you might as well consider getting a Eleisa's Miracle to get the tenacity you lack.
This items is very good on Soraka as it gives her Starfall the ability to slow your ennemies ! 15% does not seem much, but it's a huge CC effect in team fights when it hits everyone ! Also grants a nice ammount of HP.
I know this is not a usual item to get on support, but let's say you get feared by Fiddlestick for 3 seconds, and they CC you as ****, you need to heal your team ASAP to make sure it survives this CC storm. Quicksilver Sash put all debuffs away from you, which is a free cleanse but in an item, and let you heal like the pro healer you are. Also good against Mordekaiser's ult & Ignite.
Quite good against teams with a strong AP carry or annoying ults like Kartus's. The extra HP & MP is also appreciated.
Not really a fan, but in case you did not get Mercury's tread, this is a way of getting an additional Philosopher's Stone early (which grant you even more gold) in addition to the CC reduction (without loosing speed from not getting Boots of Mobility.
Since it is one of your priority to get Hearth of gold, you should get this item when needing additional armor and not forget to use it's active in team fights.
Trust me, you really cannot live without both these items. They will give you that money that you lack from not farming (in addition to runes / masteries depending on how you do the build). Also, Philosopher's Stone & Heart of Gold gives you the survivability you need to be able stay in lane if, let's say, the ennemy decided to target you (damn, that horn shines a lot and brings the focus on me)!
As a support, one of your job consist in warding key spots of the map to give some map awareness and to keep control over: buffs, baron, dragon & to deny those nasty ganks the ennemy hope to make succeed.
Mostly used to counter-ward the ennemy wards at baron & dragon.
Make the other support rage quit by destroying the **** out of his wards.
Warding the map
Here you can see key spots where to put wards. I will be honest with you, there is no guide nearly as good as this one to show you "the way of the wards" in depth: Warding helper - More than your eyes can see
Laning as a babysitter
There are few things you must know before you become a good duo partner.
First of all, your teammate life is your priority. If it means dying for him, then die you should. After all, it's not you that will get the killing spree bonus (or at least it should not be you).
Secondly, you try to always use your Infuse as soon as the CD is over, either to harass the ennemy or to heal both your partner & your own MP (alway target a mate if you can).
If your partner is out of range and this is a matter of milliseconds before he dies, flash near him (brains are allowed, if this is a suicide where both of you die, just try to reach him without puting yourself in danger) to be able to cast Astral Blessing.
You should always do something (harassing, healing, warding). Staying in a bush waiting for something to happen won't help at all.
Remember to buy wards each time you go back to base so that you can constantly ward.
Do not, ever, try to take a kill if your carry has the capacity to get it. Communication is the key.
- Taking control over the bush help you to spam Infuse & Astral Blessing
- When your laner is full HP, you can use Astral Blessing on a minion before the ennemy last hit, but this is not always recommended because you might need it during the CD.
- Your auto attacks make more damage than you think early game
- Starcall should be used as a debuff/assist spell & not to push lanes
- Ward at key spots
- If you can, use Clairvoyance before warding a bush
- Use Infuse on key targets such as an strong AP / AD carry, or to disrupt spells such as Malzahar's Nether Grasp & even Teleport
- Healing priority stands on the one who deals the most DMG and has lowest HP left
21/01/2012 - Changed the order of Soul Shroud for better survivability
I don't claim to have "THE" way of playing soraka, but this build has proven to work in many situations. Many players tend to max out CDR, but at the cost of having less support capabilities from auras. I prefer to stack what auras benefit my team the most, at the cost of a slight ammount on CDR, but you can differ on that point.
Also, note that this is my first build, and english is not my main langage, so be cool and I will be open on critism (don't be Trundle's) and will try improving this guide as much as I can.
~Phalanxdef's Lizard Elder Support Soraka S3~ May 2013 P1 Gu
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