Hello, I'm Phryggian, I'm a diamond Sion main. I've played over 200 games with him since preseason 5 started. Recently I've been playing him a lot in the bot lane. I use an interesting build for him that I feel makes him not only viable, but quite powerful against most matchups.
Why it works
Sion has 3 forms of CC; his Q is a massive zone control AOE stun, his E is a very long range/low mana cost snipe/slow, and his ultimate is another AOE stun. To top it all off, he's tanky, loves building health items like face of the mountain and sight stone, and his passive allows you to not only win a great deal of 2v2 fights, but maybe even 2v3 if you play them correctly and your ADC doesn't get caught too far out of position.
Pros / Cons
|+ Provides massive lane harass
+ Provides excellent peel for your carry
+ Has a very strong initiating/escape tool
+ Extremely long range poke/slow, ability to snipe kill unexpectedly
+ has very unpredictable all-in timings
+ has the ability to turn enemy ganks in your favor if played well
|If you're a good shot and your ADC is on the same page, very few lane matchups will give you much trouble. However, if neither are true you'll end up looking silly. This pick requires practice to be any good.|
|- Pushes really hard, leaving you susceptible to ganks
- Ult is only form of escape(when running exhaust ignite)
- does not provide sustain, buffs, or means of escape for your ADC
- All-ins fail and make you look stupid if your ADC is too scared.
- If you both get out poked, or your ADC takes too much damage, you may both end up zoned away from cs.
- No takesy backsies on exhaust ignite all-ins
|As stated earlier, a lot of Sion's usefulness relies on your accuracy and your ADC's play. If your ADC eats too much harass at level 1-2, and stays in lane hiding behind turret all game, you lose and the team will blame you because we live in a blamey society.|
Please note that the runes and masteries that I use may not be the most efficient, or best suited to your playstyle. I encourage conversation on the matter, show me something that works for you!
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Precision
Greater Quintessence of Precision
Greater Seal of Armor
- greater quintessence of Hybrid Penetration: your W and E provide high base damage but low scaling, your auto attacks, Q, R, and passive all rely on armor pen for damage, so hybrid penetration is great... Another "popular" choice is movement speed which helps you move faster dead and alive.
- greater mark of Hybrid Penetration: See above... Hybrid pen or more tank stats here.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Can be swapped for scaling magic resist, or CDR. I suggest flat MR seals for pokey lanes, and CDR for non pokey lanes.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Can be swapped for health seals, which will slightly boost your W shield... Armor might be better if you play super aggressive and are expecting to tank minion damage.
MasteriesMastery Tree view
the build is 12-9-9. I go for Executioner in offense because Sion can get snipe kills with E really easily on people who don't expect it. I'm not certain whether to get Martial Mastery(+10 AD @ 18 and +4 flat AD) or Arcane Mastery(+16 AP @ 18 and flat 6 AP). The AD has much higher scaling due to high MAX ratios on your Q and R, but you may be landing more E's and W's to make up for the poor scaling.
Defense masteries are self explanatory. for the Support tree, Mana regen is more useful than move speed, but move speed isnt' bad either if you don't cast much; helps your passive. Trinket range is nice since you don't have an escape you can ward/clear from a distance, Summoner's Insight shaves 21 seconds off of your exhaust/ignite all-in timing(Trivia: Flash is on a 300 second cooldown, Exhaust and Ignite are on a 210 second cooldown). And biscuits to top it off because biscuits are nice. Remember that the extra health/mana restored by biscuits only work for the first biscuit queued, so eat your biscuits one at a time.
- Why the weird masteries?
Because I like mana regen and damage early, tankiness and utility can come later... If you're up against an extremely pokey lane, I would suggest going more defensive however, something like 0-21-9.
First skill depends on matchup. If you're up against a short range AD or a melee support(or both) I get Q first, as landing a big stun on either/both at level 1 can really set the tempo for the matchup. If both supports are ranged like janna/cait or something like that, I get E first. If both champs are ultra pokey, W might not be a bad choice, but that'd be rare circumstance. Otherwise, skill order should be R>E>W>Q. You can choose to get W at 3 or 4 depending on how scared the other botlane is; if they're super scared, get another point in E for more harass; if they're still up on the front lines, get W for some harass/blocking potential
A lot of people like to max Q before W. I've played with it a few times, the pros to maxing Q is more base damage, faster CD(1 second per level) and extra base damage. The pros to maxing W first is having an actually relevant shield, more damage(% health magic damage scales way better than your Q does since Q is mitigated heavily by armor). Honestly, I'm not sure what is better to max second at the moment, it's utility vs damage. I'll keep messing around with Q and report back.
Sion Wiki for spell clarification
Passive: Glory in Death
- This is what makes exhaust/ignite such a tasty choice; armor is in short supply during laning phase so if you get killed first your likelyhood of getting retribution is pretty high.
- good players will try to avoid killing you first for this reason, but ignoring you may not be a good answer either since Sion's base spell damage is so high and he offers a great amount of peel
- Be aware that movement speed and tenacity can help you be stickier during your passive
- items like Iceborn Gauntlet and Frozen Mallet still work when you're dead, for Iceborn, remember Death Surge counts as a spell cast
Q: Decimating Smash
- this ability is AMAZING in the first few levels due to it's absurdly high base damage and ratio(180% AD damage if charged fully)
- You won't get many fully charged Q's unless you're ambushing.
- You may have to cancel your Q charge early for a slow if the enemy is slippery or has quick tools to CC you out of it.
- Q works great for stopping gap closers like Lee Sin, Pantheon, Leona, etc if you have enough time and presence of mind to start charging it
- Opens a large window for your ADC to harass/also cc
W: Soul Furnace
- The passive isn't so useful for you since you're only CSing for relic shield procs.
- The shield value is easily popped with 1-2 auto attacks early game, so keep that in mind
- 10% hp damage means consistent damage throughout the game until everybody has MR
- Can be triggered during your ult to detonate spell shields before slamming into people, or for drive-by executes for style points.
E: Roar of the slayer
- Use this to punt minions at the enemy; it's your primary harass skill; super long range, lots of damage, low CD, heavy slow, low mana cost.
- When hitting a champion directly you do less damage, but 20% armor shred - which makes your Q do more damage if you're fast.
- if last hitting with E, the enemy minion doesn't die until the end of the trip which is usually out of Relic Shield proc range, so try to target high hp minions
- I get Executioner mastery because for some reason people like to think they can stay alive hiding behind their turret. I have so many unassisted snipe kills because of this.
R: Unstoppable Onslaught
- Even after several hundred games it doesn't get easier to steer
- I highly suggest landing an E before engaging with this, makes it a lot easier.
- your ult is your only means of escape, which is ironic because some times Sion yells "COWARDS" while running away.
- Common combo for me is E>R>W>Q>E. This way you stack CC for the longest time possible
- Works extremely well when the enemy lane decides to push to your turret once you and your ADC have backed... go back to lane with your adc, land an E, charge and kill them both. Works in most matchups.
- Incredibly low CD late game: 36 seconds at level 16 with full cdr.
ADC's with some form of escape are very nice, as you want them to stay safe while you die. Bonus points if they have poke that they can follow up your E harass with; good examples of this are Cait, Ez, Lucian and Graves.
A Jinx who knows what she's doing is a very good choice, because Stun into chompers can often mean an outright kill or at least burned summoners; that and her reset can give her a great escape(or more kills) if you manage to get her a kill/assist before you expire. That being said however, I don't think there's a "wrong" choice for ADC in a support Sion lane; I personally like supporting Vayne lanes the least, simply because I don't really like Vayne with any support... too much babysitting.
What the opponent picks is a different matter. Here are some specific examples:
- Super ganky junglers like Lee Sin, Shaco, Xin, Panth, etc can be a serious threat if they manage to get on to your ADC. Your ADC dying before you do is typically the worst case scenario; do everything in your power to save your ADC first; if he's safe and competent he can provide additional dps/cleanup for after you've died; if your death lead to the enemy team backing/respawning and your ADC still farming, then you've done your job.
A good Janna might be one of your tougher challenges. She can interrupt your stun, her move speed makes hitting E harder, and her shields mitigate your harass. Tips:
- She'll usually open shield level 1, which is good for harass but can't stop your stun; if she goes in for harass, close the distance and try to get a big Q on her and her buddy. Some good early Q harass will make her think twice about vying for bush control.
- Try to maintain bush control for as long as possible. If she gets it, you won't be able to harass her much at all.
- don't rely on your Q unless hers is on CD or she's out of position to stop you
- don't try to E the person she has shielded
- keep her poked down low so she can't join the battle to CC you during passive
- Try using a half charged Q-E instead of E-Q combo; makes landing E much easier.
Leona is usually a good matchup for you; you can counter her early engages with your own stun as long as you or your ADC aren't caught too far out. Tips:
- If she E-Q's you, wait for her stun, then stun her in return. Bonus points if you catch their ADC as well.
- If she catches your ADC, you might want to try either stunning their ADC or zoning him with your Q. Be aware people will aggressively flash over it, this might not end poorly for you though if you held on to summoners.
- She's pretty tanky, I'd suggest focusing harass on the ADC when possible.
Thresh's entire kit is fairly strong against Sion, but the lane is still easily won if played correctly. Tips:
- Threshes usually have very low armor. Take advantage of this with some early Q harass.
- Try to catch hooks for your ADC; if you've done any harass before you might turn their all-in against them.
- If Thresh is fast, he'll stop your Q from reaching stun capacity with a quick flay; consider not charging it so high.
- His kit is very strong at nullifying your passive; focus harass on him if possible to reduce his presence in fights.
/ / / /
for enemy poke "supports", just poke and zone better than them and you win. Don't get your Q interrupted by their spells. If you and your ADC get beaten up, it is often more profitable to back and heal than it is to CS under turret for too long.
Annie is not very difficult to deal with. If you land an E and a Q on her early then she can't really engage for a long time... they don't usually build much defense, focus your harass on her.
Soraka will frustrate a lot of harass oriented supports. Focus on her, be sure to dodge her Q so you don't heal her, and don't expect to get any fully charged Q's off due to her silence. Try to use your W on both her and her lane buddy when possible to drain her HP pool faster... if they're both sitting really far back, you might want to stay out of her Q range all together.
Blitz is a pretty easy matchup in my opinion. It all comes down to not getting hooked under their turret. his Q,E and R all stop your Q, keep that in mind.
Nami heals and can stop your Q. Focusing damage on her usually works(stick to whoever has the least defensive stats)
I ALMOST always start with Relic Shield 3 pots and a yellow trinket. If your ADC is Draven or Vayne and your enemy is extremely pokey, you may want to start out with a Doran's Shield; the reasoning behind this, you need to absorb some hits so your ADC isn't poked down to nothing.
Early Item Choices
There are a lot of choices to make on your 1st and 2nd backs depending on your situation; these choices can very easily determine the success of your laning phase. Some general tips:
- Try to get a pink ward on your first back at least; guaranteed vision of the closest river bush to your side really helps, and since you push so hard it's easy to keep it up for a while.
- Since you don't offer your lane buddy any sustain at all, upgrading your relic shield to a Targons early can help keep them just a little bit healthier. Remember if you punt the minion too far from your ADC, they won't get the gold/health from the relic shield proc; you can still last hit from range using your other abilities, or E against a wall if need be.
- An early kindle gem means 10% more harass, and a lot of extra HP in case of a gank; I very commonly get this before I get a sight stone. If your lead is strong enough, the jungler might not come bot at all so wards may not be useful.
- If their jungler is just all up in your business, rush a sight stone; wait for him to appear elsewhere in the map, then go ward as deep as you can without putting your adc in danger. Communicate to your adc to be careful while you're doing this.
Mid game Choices
By mid game you should have your core: Face of the Mountain, tier 1 boots, a sightstone and a red trinket. What you get after that varies heavily.
- I usually go CDR boots because Sion loves him some CDR, but mobi's are equally viable. That being said, if you're planning on getting a frozen heart, go mobi's so you aren't wasting cdr(cap is 40%)
- Randuins is usually a great item after face of the mountain; try to buy giant's belt first for general tankiness
- Frozen Heart is great against teams with lots of auto attackers(Jax, Yi, etc).
- Iceborne is really good for peeling, if you can layer it in with your other CC abilites(remember slows don't stack)
- Aegis is of course the go-to for heavy AP comps, I usually buy the kindle gem first when going this route.
- If you're crushing the enemy team horribly, frozen mallet is a very mean item to get.
- A lot of people like to get Spirit Visage, which helps your passive keep punching people for longer. It's a straight tank item, not very supporty though.
Since you have no escape, you need vision. If you don't see the enemy coming you may be caught on full cooldown. Here are some tips:
- If the enemy team has a jungler like Lee Sin, J4 or Pantheon, you may be ganked very, very early. Place your trinket ward after the lane has started to watch the river.
- If you're going to buy any green wards at all, only buy one at a time, they waste money.
- A well defended pink ward can pay for itself.
- Make sure to have a pink ward up and running at all times
- If pushing hard and you spot the enemy jungler top or mid, try to get deep wards on his buffs or lane bushes. Always alert your ADC that you're walking away for a second.
- Try to pink ward the closest river bush to your turret. Only do so after your wave has pushed past it however, or it may not last.
- don't try to place a pink ward if your ADC is gone or about to back, otherwise the enemy lane will just push you off and clear it
- If playing against lane ganking junglers like Lee sin(or anybody if their support is a thresh) getting a ward in the bush behind their turret can save your life... but don't try to ward that bush if the whole team is MIA.
- Do not try to clear an enemy pink ward unless you have a good idea where the enemy mid/jungle/bot lane is. Try to get your ADC to back you up when clearing.
Laning phase/general tips
this is where the magic happens. First, take a look at the matchup:
- Are they short range/are you starting gromp/krugs? take Q, and get a stun level 1 if possible; stun does a LOT of damage at level 1.
- If they're both long range like cait/janna or something, get E first.
- Get into a habit of checking their armor, magic resist, and items every time they come into lane. Targeting the weaker of the two can often pay off.
- Try to maintain bush control for as long as possible, it makes your E trajectories harder to predict, and allows you to charge your stun for longer if they want to face check.
General lane tips, not specific to Sion
Well ****, my ADC and I got poked real low, I can't engage and we're getting zoned
- This will happen most frequently if you're laning against a poke lane with a Vayne as your adc or something like that.
- If at level 1-3, you're both below 20-30% hp, and the enemy is above 60-70%, don't waste time and possibly your life struggling for that 1 extra CS per wave; back and restore your health. Once you and your lane partner have all of your abilities you'll put up a much better fight. Spending too much time hiding under tower is only going to get you further and further behind.
- If your ADC decides to back, it's usually a good idea to go back with him, otherwise you'll end up "desynchronizing" your lane
So by now you should be pretty tanky. Sion is an excellent champion for mid/late decision making, you have some very powerful ambush/catch potential with your E > R combo, you might just make the game ending catch! Here are some important tips
- Keep your wards up at all time clear enemy vision whenever you can Sion's stun makes him great for facecheck ambushes, sweep the area to make that happen.
- Make sure you use your Face of the Mountain on whoever is in most danger(usually your carries)
- Keep exhaust ready for the highest source of enemy damage. If they're being carried by one person, you can nullify them in team fights by focusing your CC chain on them.
- Remember your ult still stuns at point blank range, and at late game it comes off CD very fast: don't be afraid to use it to secure a late game kill, and don't forget to cancel it if you miss your target!
- If you get caught late game, you can (almost) always ult out of hairy situation... better to do that than to bait your team into a poor fight.
First, note that I'll try to add some video and gameplay footage when I start actually recording it; maybe this week. I don't have plans to start streaming, but that could change.
Sion is perfectly viable as a support. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be in Diamond right now because most of my games played recently have been Support Sion. He has weaknesses just like any other support, and a bit of a learning curve, but I feel like his strengths make up for them.
Note that none of the builds, runes and masteries may be the most efficient to build on him, I encourage experimentation. Thanks for reading, and always remember to forget the faces of the slain.