Sona Build Guide by astrolia

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League of Legends Build Guide Author astrolia

Season 4 Support Sona

astrolia Last updated on May 10, 2014

Title










images broken? intro * runes * summoners * masteries * items * skills * gameplay * support






Champions who are capable of being useful to their teams with their skill set and items take up the role of the support. They lane with their marksman, allow them to take minions, protect their marksman in team fights from enemy threats, and also help provide vision around the map. In this guide, I will discuss one support - Sona.

In lane, Sona is valued for her ability to do a little bit of everything. She has low cooldown poke, a heal, and buffs. She can be played defensively, or she can man up and be offensive. In a team fight, her ultimate, Crescendo, is an AoE stun which can single-handedly turn games around. However, Sona's a very fragile support with weak defensive stats and very little mobility. To allow her to do her job, she's usually built with a mix of tanky and supportive items.

In the guide, we'll discuss your pre-game setup, what items you should look out for while shopping, what to do in lane, and what season 4 has changed for supports.







Defensive


Armor


Health


Resist


Armor
For defensive runes, I recommend running Greater Mark of Armor, Greater Seal of Health, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and Greater Quintessence of Health. HP is a solid choice to make up for Sona's early game squishiness. Armor reduces damage from the enemy marksman, minions, jungler, etc. Magic resist might sound dumb for bottom lane when the enemy marksman does physical damage, but enemy supports and marksmen have skills that do magic damage. I recommend flat over scaling because flat will be stronger at levels 1-2 (when you first walk into lane) and level 6 (when enemies get their ults and will try to secure kills).

For offensive runes, I recommend Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration since you auto-attack to trigger Power Chord effects. You should also be auto-attacking to harass while your spells are on cooldown. If you can't afford hybrid, use Greater Mark of Magic Penetration or even Greater Mark of Attack Damage. Seals should still be HP, but glyphs don't have to stay magic resist. You can do a combo like Greater Glyph of Ability Power and Greater Quintessence of Ability Power for some early game oomph to your spells.
Offensive


Hybrid Pen


Armor


AP


AP









and



Flash works on Sona as it does 90% of all other champions in the game. It gives her a gap closer (she has none!) and a way to go over terrain. When used offensively, Sona can setup plays for her team with Flash and Crescendo.

For a second summoner, I recommend Exhaust. Exhaust means you can single someone out as a focus target, like an enemy carry, or reduce the power of an enemy bruiser or assassin who is on your carry.

My second recommendation is Heal for the heal and movespeed buff. But since your marksman will more than likely be taking Heal, I highly recommend you stick to Exhaust.







Defensive
0/9/21




click to enlarge
From the defense tree, the damage reduction and flat HP from Block , Unyielding and Veteran Scars help you trade damage with enemy laners early game. Recovery is a filler mastery used to unlock tier 2. The other option is Enchanted Armor which is a bit weak since it only scales off of your bonus defenses. Juggernaut will give additional HP that will scale with HP items. 3% might not sound like much, but considering you spent 3 points in Veteran Scars to get 36 HP, it's good enough.

In the utility tree, Meditation helps with how much mana Sona can guzzle early game before you get other mana regen items. Summoner's Insight is always nice to have since Sona has no gap closer besides Flash, and it's good if you're an expert at Flash and Crescendo combos. Fleet of Foot , Phasewalker , Alchemist , and Culinary Master are all decent fillers. Greed , Scavenger , Wealth , and Bandit are all to help with gold generation. Intelligence not only gives CDR but also has the unique effect of reducing item cooldowns. And now that Boots of Mobility have been nerfed, Wanderer gives you more roaming mobility.


Offensive
21/0/9




click to enlarge
When you do an offensive Sona build, you're pretty much going for all or nothing. With 21/0/9 masteries, pick up various AP masteries like Arcane Mastery, Mental Force , Arcane Blade and Archmage . You should also get the general damaging masteries like Devastating Strikes , Executioner , Havoc , Blade Weaving and Spell Weaving . Expose Weakness is a fairly supportive offensive mastery to increase your carry and/or team's damage a bit, and Sorcery is just for your cooldowns. You don't quite build as much CDR when you go for items like Rabadon's Deathcap and Lich Bane, so having a little extra CDR helps.

For the other 9 points, your damage and utility is very spell based, so I do recommend the utility tree for that extra regen over the defensive tree. You gain some extra regen ( Meditation , Alchemist , Culinary Master ) and you can reduce your Flash cooldown with Summoner's Insight .









Tanky

Start with...


Ancient Coin builds into the very useful Talisman of Ascension. Its passive also makes your behavior less predictable compared to Spellthief's Edge and Relic Shield which makes it more suitable in arranged team. Your marksman should also be buying a Warding Totem so you'll have two wards to use in bot lane. If you want another ward, replace Health Potions with a Stealth Ward.
Pokey

Start with...


Spellthief's Edge and Frostfang are awesome for laning. Spellthief's Edge actually has more gold value than Ancient Coin due to its base stats as well. You'll do extra damage while harassing and get some coins for your trouble. The new Frost Queen's Claim is pretty good - you don't need to target an enemy and the initial slow is quite strong. You can easily combo it into Crescendo (or vice versa).


Tanky & Pokey

Then work on...

( / )

Since you can only put down 3 wards, Sightstone (and later Ruby Sightstone) are really all you need for warding. Upgrade your gold item when you can, remember to buy Boots of Speed whenever, and grab Vision Wards for dragon and bush control.


Replace

With


The support (and likely the jungler) often swap their Warding Totems for Sweeping Lens so they can clear out wards. You don't really "need" a Sweeping Lens until objective and vision control become issues (though some psychic power is required to predict when this will occur since your trinket will go on cooldown after purchase). Typically you'll want to replace your Warding Totem after you buy your Sightstone and aim to help control the first big objective, dragon .


Tanky

Core Items


These 3 items make up your core items. Talisman of Ascension's active is very useful to have on every team. It has both offensive and defensive uses. The passive stats are also amazing for supports as you get 20% CDR.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity gives you another chunk of CDR and faster base movespeed than the new Boots of Mobility would after setting wards and buffing. If you end up building more CDR items later, feel free to replace these boots.

Chalice of Harmony was already a pretty awesome item for Sona for mana regen. Now in season 4, it still builds into Mikael's Crucible which gotten much cheaper. The active is like having a portable Cleanse that you'll likely end up using this on your marksman. (Note that the 10% max HP is based on your target's max HP.)



Pokey

Core Items


Chalice of Harmony and Sorcerer's Shoes makes for pokey laning. You lack the same sources of CDR you do as a tankier support, so turn Chalice of Harmony into Athene's Unholy Grail. Sorcerer's Shoes adds some extra harass damage early on as the enemy marksmen doesn't exactly walk into lane and build a Banshee's Veil first. After, Lich Bane synergizes with Sona's low cooldowns and autoattack poke.

Alternates


If you end up turning your Chalice of Harmony into Mikael's Crucible instead for the active, try going Ionian Boots of Lucidity instead. Less damage, but you need to make up for your CDR somewhere as Crescendo can be very game changing but not when it's on cooldown.


Tanky

Final Items


Locket of the Iron Solari is a situational pick. If your jungler hasn't bought it, you should definitely buy it. If your jungler does have it, you could still build it if you want, or build another tanky item in its place. Randuin's Omen is a strong defensive item to round off any build and you can use it to peel bruisers off of your carry during team fights.
Pokey

Final Items


The final 2 items for the pokey build are pretty self-explanatory. Rabadon's Deathcap's will make your Lich Bane damage proc stronger, and also improve the scaling of your heal and debuffs. Frost Queen's Claim's is something you can definitely build earlier.


Tanky & Pokey

Upgrades


You should definitely upgrade to Oracle's Lens for the much lower cooldown. On the other hand, if the enemy isn't really warding much, there isn't much point to having Oracle's Lens. You could go for Greater Stealth Totem instead. The 3 ward limit has made Ruby Sightstone less important and it can be upgraded whenever.


Enchants


You can get any enchant you want, but these are the two I recommend. Most of the time, players save their enchantment for when they need to suddenly get out of base ASAP, and they upgrade to Enchantment: Homeguard. For Sona though, Flash and Crescendo can be pretty game changing, so Enchantment: Distortion is pretty good too.




Tanky

Alternate Items



If you're overflowing with gold, adding Rabadon's Deathcap to your build will increase your utility and heals. Boots of Mobility are alternate boots for roaming. Other tanky items like Frozen Heart or Banshee's Veil can work, and Iceborn Gauntlet works as a more defensive Lich Bane.

Pokey

Alternate Items



Even when you're doing the pokey build, Talisman of Ascension is still useful for your whole team. Other AP items like Twin Shadows or Morellonomicon that give AP but also have some kind of supportive value also work with this build, or just a regular AP item like Zhonya's Hourglass. Ionian Boots of Lucidity are alternate boots for the CDR.








P
Power Chord is Sona's passive. After casting 3 basic spells (QWE), her next autoattack will do additional magic damage based on her level and her AP. Her autoattack will also have an additional effect based on what her last used spell was. Once Power Chord is charged, Sona won't autoattack nearby minions or champions, so you can purposely save the Power Chord charge to use a specific effect.

+
Staccato
Staccato's double damage is very good for harassing enemy laners since at lower levels, bottom lane AD carries and supports have 30-45 magic resistance and 500-600 health. The double damage effect also works on towers. The damage falls off late game as HP pools get higher and enemy champions start building magic resistance.

+
Diminuendo
Good if Sona can autoattack someone who does damage. Early game and in lane phase, it's incredibly easy to use this on an enemy jungler or enemy carry. Late game and during team fights, Sona is more of a backliner and you'll probably end up using it on assassin-type characters who dive into your team.

+
Tempo
The 40% slow effect is useful all game to slow enemy champions. Potentially, it can help setup kills. It's also her only crowd control pre-6. Don't use it when you're running from someone unless someone is on their way to help you. Turning around and attacking will slow you down.


Stance
Sona and Udyr both have an additional passive stance mechanic. In Sona's case, this affects her basic, non-ultimate skills. After using Hymn of Valor, Aria of Perseverance, or Song of Celerity, Sona sets off a 0.5 second global cooldown which prevents her from using her other two skills. Depending on what skill she used, Sona will emit an aura which buffs her and her nearby allies. The aura will last until one second after she uses a new skill. During that one second window, her previous aura and her new aura will stack,. The aura buff will take effect immediately after casting a spell, so, for example, Hymn of Valor will always take the AP from the aura into account.


Q
Early game, this can be useful as both an aura to buff Sona's lane partner and as an attack to harass people with. Versus weaker laners, it's beneficial to max Hymn of Valor first, as it will help Sona and her carry harass better thanks to the damage and the aura buff. Hymn of Valor has 2 ranges. A "max range" of 700, and a "champion priority range" of 550. It will hit the closest thing within 700 range, but it will only prioritize enemy champions standing among minions if they're within 550 range. When you hover over the skill icon on the HUD, it will show you the 550 champion priority range. 550 range also happens to be Sona's autoattack range, so keep in mind that being in autoattack range also means that Hymn of Valor will target champions.


W
A minor heal which heals both you and your nearest most wounded ally while providing a short defensive buff that's twice the strength of Aria of Perseverance's passive aura. The double resistances is a bit counter intuitive since you would want to use a heal after someone gets hit rather than before they get hit. Since Aria of Perseverance heals both you and your nearest ally, you would be wasting mana if you use it to heal only yourself. Health Potions or Crystalline Flask help you conserve mana. It's nice to have versus aggressive laners. The downside to maxing Aria of Perseverance first is the higher mana cost - it's preferred that Sona use Aria of Perseverance twice to stack Power Chord, then use Hymn of Valor and autoattack for the Power Chord double damage effect.


E
Movespeed is incredibly useful for running back to lane, chasing, escaping, kiting, and just giving more mobility to your team. This skill synergizes with champions that have strong initiation and champions with gap closers or chasing ability making it a powerful skill to have during team fights. Combine with Talisman of Ascension for even more speed. At max level, Song of Celerity effectively upgrades Sona's team from movespeed 2 to movespeed 3, but it's a skill you'll max last. Due to the auras and other effects of Hymn of Valor and Aria of Perseverance, you'll use them more than Song of Celerity during team fights.




R
Nice ult for team fights. It synergizes well with other AoE ultimates. Since Sona isn't the tankiest person in the world, it's best utilized as a secondary initiation after the main initiator does their thing. Early and mid game, Sona can afford to casually use this on one guy (like when your jungler comes to gank bot lane), but late game Sona should really save it for team fights, or use it for tactical retreats when her team doesn't want to be pursued.




#1

#2

#3

#4
Take Hymn of Valor at level 1 for the burst damage. It's useful for level 1 fights and harassing right when you get into lane. You can force people to chug potions before they hit level 2.

Your first skill priority is to level Crescendo at 6/11/16 for the reduced cooldown. Your second priority is to max Hymn of Valor for harassing in lane.

If you are getting owned or heavily harassed (or your AD carry sucks), you can max Aria of Perseverance instead. Even if you max Aria of Perseverance first, I recommend getting Hymn of Valor to level 2 early on because getting it to level 2 will double the damage.

After, max the skill you didn't max first. A single point of Song of Celerity is good enough for the Power Chord effect. You can also hold off getting any points in Song of Celerity until level 8 or 13 if you don't need the Power Chord effect.









Overview


As Sona, you'll be responsible for marksman's livelihood. Let your marksman kill minions while you harass enemy laners and ward around bottom lane. In bottom lane, Sona has a strong level 1. Start by leveling Hymn of Valor and casting it 2-3 times on the fountain for quick mana regen. Do this to charge Power Chord and you'll have the double damage effect when you go into lane. If you need to pull for your jungler, only cast it twice so you don't waste Power Chord on a jungle monster.
Synergy


This early burst of damage makes Sona a good support to pair with a marksman who has some early damage. In example, Ashe's level 1 Focus crit and Volley or Lucian's Piercing Light and Lightslinger double autoattack combined with Power Chord can really chunk someone's health. This can force an enemy laner to chug a Health Potion early and give you a slight advantage in lane. By poking, harassing, and damaging enemy laners, you're looking to create a safe zone for your carry to farm.




Harassing


A typical harass combo will be something like:

1. Build 2 stacks of Power Chord.
2. Autoattack an enemy champion.
3. Use Hymn of Valor to fully charge Power Chord and damage the champion.
4. Your autoattack animation timer will reset when Power Chord is fully charged so you can autoattack the enemy champion again to trigger Power Chord's double damage effect.

If you're using Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration or Greater Mark of Magic Penetration and enemies aren't using Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, they'll have a decent chunk of health taken off.
Caution


Be smart though - you can't just get in people's faces all the time. Your highest damage is Hymn of Valor and Power Chord, both of which have cooldowns. Simple autoattacks make excellent filler in-between cooldowns. But cooldowns aren't your only restriction. Sona's low health and defenses make her very vulnerable. If you're in a position where you can't harass much, remember to use Aria of Perseverance to help your marksman sustain while they farm.






Danger Zone


Some enemy laners will be particularly threatening to you. A Lucian and Taric lane has high kill potential due to Taric's stun and Lucian's damage output. Sona can easily be dropped or taken very low during the duration of Dazzle. This is where you'll realize that starting with Health Potions, Alchemist and Culinary Master all help in lane. You can't just sit there and cast Aria of Perseverance the whole time when it has a mana cost.







Awareness


It helps to be very aware when playing bottom lane. Not just map awareness, but also being able to predict things. If Lulu is behind you in levels and her marksman has less minions but she suddenly walks up to you, casts Whimsy and goes all aggressive when she's been passive the whole time, you're probably about to get ganked.

On the flip side, say you Crescendo and Lulu blows her Flash to dodge it. You didn't get the kill, but Flash has a much longer cooldown than Crescendo. You know that you can Crescendo her again later and her Flash won't be up yet. You could even invite your jungler to gank and you can try to focus on Lulu knowing her Flash is down.





Sometimes you'll be able to catch an enemy off guard and eliminate him/her before a real fight begins effectively making it 4v5 in your favor. Otherwise, full 5v5 team fights break out when someone (anyone) initiates. During a team fight, try to stick to your carry and help him or her live through the fight. Your marksman will try to get the big tanky guys off of them first before trying to clean up. They can't very well expect to be effective when Shyvana is on them with a Randuin's Omen.

You can use Crescendo multiple ways in a team fight. If Renekton jumps on your marksman, don't be afraid to defensively stun him. On the other hand, if you're sieging the enemy base, the next wave of your minions has arrived to soak some turret damage, and the enemy team is all conveniently lined up for a 4-5 person Crescendo, get on that.

Because of her low cooldown spells and various active support items, Sona doesn't just ult then become useless. All of your spells have auras that will grant your team more stats. As far as items go, Talisman of Ascension is a great item for using at the start of a team fight (or you can pick your battles and use it to run away from one) and it has a fairly short cooldown.

Then there's Mikael's Crucible which has a much higher cooldown. You can't just casually use it to heal someone. Save it to use for a situation where your marksman is stunned or feared and they need to run. If you opted for it, Locket of the Iron Solari will also help your team soak damage, or Randuin's Omen can be used when enemies are on your carry and you need to use the active to help peel.










Since marksmen have ranged attacks and aren't constantly taking damage at close range, they build offensive items like Infinity Edge and Last Whisper and turn into glass cannons later. However, they need a lot gold to buy those items, and that all starts by farming minions in bottom lane. But a marksman can't just walk into lane and kill minions like it's no ones business. There'll be an enemy marksman and an enemy support there too. And that's pretty much where you come in.

In terms of map awareness, the changes to vision has made map incredibly dark now compared to season 3. You and your marksman both should've bought Warding Totems at the start of the game. I recommend using your Warding Totem to spot jungler ganks rather than ward in the bottom lane bushes. No one knows where the hell the jungler is these days and ideally you'll want to control the bottom lane bushes by standing in one to gain vision.




Mid game isn't defined by a time or anything. It's marked by objective control (towers, dragons, buffs) and some roaming. As a support, you won't be much of a big roamer as you'll still be surgically attached to your marksman's hip. However you will play a part in objective control. Dragon is usually the first "big" objective. You'll want a Sightstone and Vision Wards to help scout out enemies approaching dragon and clear their wards. After you've built Sightstone you can also look into replacing your Warding Totem with a Sweeping Lens. Other high priority spots to ward are gank paths, such as the bush behind the blue team's red buff.

It's also important to learn about lane control. When your marksman is killing minions instead of just last hitting them, he is aggressively pushing the lane toward the enemy turret. If your marksman isn't pushing as hard, then he's trying to "freeze" the minion wave to passively farm. If you lose an outside turret, it's dangerous to be far out in lane especially with the map being darker, so marksmen will freeze a wave of minions near their inside turret. Whether you're being passive or aggressive, you'll need some kind of ward coverage to spot incoming ganks.




By late game, there's less roaming and more grouping. Both teams have farmed up a storm and are ready to take each other on 5v5. With your limited wards, where you place wards is going to be dependent on how well your team is doing. If you can barely leave your base, then try to use your wards to scout the enemy team in your jungle area. Baron becomes a high priority area as well. By now you should also have Oracle's Lens which you can use to sweep enemy wards. It's hard to coordinate this in solo queue though. Remember that charging Power Chord will reset your autoattack animation in case you need to autoattack a ward quickly to kill it.










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