Soraka Build Guide by SmokedCarpenter
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Starting Items Option 1 + Notes
Starting Items Option 2 + Notes
Starting Items Option 3 + Notes
Some parts of the build below are still outdated for season 2. I am currently working on updating them as quickly as possible, however college has kept me rather busy. The cheatsheet is up-to-date and play-tested however, so don't be afraid to use this guide just because the text is slightly outdated. Thank you! :)
Hello all! First a quick disclaimer:
First things first, this is my very first guide so feedback would be very much appreciated! If there is anything you think I could improve, please leave a comment! Don't forget to vote one way or the other please, I don't mind the downvotes, as they let me know I'm doing something wrong.
Secondly, I am in no way an expert on League of Legends or Soraka herself. This does not mean however, that I don't know how to handle myself on the Fields of Justice. I promise you this guide will be informative and helpful, yet quick and concise.
Lastly, a large portion of my guide was inspired by probably the best Soraka guide on Mobafire, Your Friendly Neighborhood Support, by Halipupu. I have made some unique alterations of my own that better fit my playstyle, and I believe are more up to date within the current metagame.
Pros / Cons
In this chapter I will list some of the pros and cons of using Soraka as a support as opposed to other supports.
As you can see, Soraka is very powerful as a support, but lacks any sort of real damage or CC. This means that you must play a more passive-aggressive game with her, which we will go into more detail about later on.
I opted for the 1/8/21 mastery set in Soraka's case for a few reasons:
- Extra starting gold for more wards
- Extra gold per second so you can still make money early on when your carry is farming
- Cooldown reduction is important due to Soraka's long cooldowns
- Mana and mana regen are important early game so you can sustain yourself longer in lane
- With Summoner's Insight and Mastermind your Flash cooldown will be greatly reduced
- The extra armor, magic resist, and health allow much better laning early game as you will be able to stay in lane longer
- Exhaust now also lowers their armor and magic resist
Greater Seal of Gold
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Gold
I chose these runes because the flat armor runes help tremendously early game; especially in bot lane. The GP10 runes help greatly as a support because you will not be farming, and the magic resist runes will help early game and later on as well.
As I've said before I am not yet level 30, but I do have access to tier 3 runes. I do not recommend that you purchase any runes before level 20 as it is nothing but a waste of IP. If you can't afford a specific set of runes for each individual champ you play, then I suggest you purchase some of these rune as they will benefit any champion:
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Health
Next we will go over my personal choices for summoner spells as well as some excellent alternatives to them.
Excellent Summoner Spells
Flash - Flash is good on almost anyone. It is your only escape tool as Soraka and is therefore almost always a must-have.
Exhaust - An excellent support spell. It shuts down AD carries in teamfights, and helps your teammates to chase down and finish off opponents.
Clairvoyance - With a 90 seocond cooldown, Clairvoyance is one of my favorite support spells in the game. Use it to check bushes early game, and check baron, dragon, and the enemy jungle later on in the match. An excellent alternative to exhaust if someone else (such as the tank) is already using exhaust.
Decent Summoner Spells
Heal - It's always nice to have three heal spells on one champion, but it can sometimes be a little overkill.
Teleport - A very good summoner spell in general that can be used to save turrets, push lanes, and quickly get back into the fight after dying. However, this spell is much more effective on champs that excel in backdooring and Soraka isn't very good at clearing minion waves anyway. Only take it if no one else on your team will.
Bad Summoner Spells
Ignite - Ignite simply doesn't fit the role of a support character. All you'll end up doing is stealing your carry's kills, and no one wants that.
Ghost - If you build Boots of Mobility on Soraka, this spell is just overkill. Even without those boot, there are simply better options out there.
Clarity - Soraka rarely has problems with mana, so this spell really isn't necessary. Once again, there are spells that just work much better than this one on Soraka.
It is very important to build your skill order correctly as a support. Choosing the wrong starting skill can cost your team first blood or simply cause you or your carry to recall prematurely, thereby putting your lane behind in farm.
We choose Astral Blessing first because if you intend to initiate a bot lane fight before minions spawn the health and armor can save your carries life and hopefully net them a kill and you an assist. We also max this skill first in almost all cases, but sometimes if you have a very mana hungry lane partner you should max Infuse first.
At level 2 it is important to choose Infuse because the silence will completely shut down the enemy support, allowing you and your carry to poke more freely. It will also help you sustain your lane partner by providing them with free mana. This skill is typically maxed second.
It is important not to take Starcall too early because you need to boost up your Astral Blessing and Infuse as soon as possible. Do not underestimate the power of this skill. In teamfights, using it to reduce the entire enemy team's magic resist can change the tide of battle. I typically take starcall at level 3 or 4, depending on the situation.
Obviously you want to put a skill point into you ultimate, Wish, whenever possible. This skill is incredibly useful in netting you assists by using it when someone in another lane is about to get a kill, thereby providing you with more income and ensuring they survive the fight. Later on in teamfights this skill can change the tide of the whole fight if properly timed.
Remember: it is important to adapt your decisions to the game's current situation. Do not follow this guide to the letter, you will need to adjust on the fly.
IMPORTANT: The build order for items that I provide above is not set in stone! You must learn over time to adapt to whatever the game throws at you, and adjust accordingly.
Early Game Items
In terms of early game you should stick as close to this build as possible; I think you will find not much variation is necessary early on. Besides, these items will directly build into your core items later on.
It is important to start the game with a few Sight Wards in your pocket. These are NOT optional! Even if the enemy team does not have a jungler, wards are still a necessity in all stages of the game. If the enemy team has a jungler, start with a Faerie Charm and 3 Sight Wards. If not, feel free to try starting with a Regrowth Pendant and 1 Sight Ward instead.
Try not to recall to base until you have enough gold to purchase a Philosopher's Stone, and once you have enough, immediately buy it so you can start benefiting from it as soon as possible. The next time you recall should be to buy a Heart of Gold and Boots of Speed. If you need to, go back and just get the Heart of Gold first, then recall again for the boots.
Mid Game Items
The most important mid-game item to build is your level 2 boots. I'll go into a lot of detail here as boots are probably some of the most important items in the game. Here I will list some of the best and worst boots to choose for Soraka.
- Ionian Boots of Lucidity - These are my go-to boots for Soraka due to her incredibly high cooldowns. Sometimes I will buy these first and switch them for a pair of Boots of Mobility later on.
- Mercury's Treads - Merc Treads are good on pretty much any champ in the game. The magic resist and tenacity bonuses make you much more resilient to CC if you seem to be getting focused too much. I would not choose these typically, only if I'm dying waaaaaaay too often.
- Boots of Mobility - These boots are great during the roaming stage of the game. They allow you to rejoin the fight quickly after dying, and reach teamfights in time to do some good. The second best choice of boots in my opinion, but it's really pretty evenly matched with the Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
- Ninja Tabi - If the enemy team is focusing you a lot and they are heavily AD oriented, these boots may be your only option. Definitely only buy these if you truly need to as there are many better choices out there.
- Boots of Swiftness - These are a decent choice of boots if you like to have mobility both in and out of combat. They will help you dodge skill shots and chase down enemies more easily.
- Sorcerer's Shoes - DO NOT BUY THESE AS A SUPPORT EVER. These are the worst boots you could possibly choose as a support character of any type. Your role is to buff your team and disable the enemy team, not to deal damage. Besides, your Starcall shreds enemy magic resistance, so these are really not necessary.
Ok, now onto the other mid-game items! During mid-game you need to start building aura items to help your teammates out in team fights. Having multiple aura items in a team fight will turn the tide of a battle in your team's favor. It allows you to aid your team while protecting yourself at the same time.
- Oracle's Elixir - When the laning phase ends you will typically need to buy this item. However, sometimes it is not necessary to buy an oracle's so early. Make sure you don't wate the 400 gold on it if you don't need to yet. I put this item at the end of the build because it can be built at ant time; whenever the situation calls for it. As the support it is your job not only to ward but to destroy enemy wards and traps. Be careful, this item is consumable and only lasts until you die! Always buy another one!
- Aegis of the Legion - The best aura item in the game. This item gives you some defensive capabilities as well as providing bonus armor and magic resistance to your nearby teammates. This item is almost always a must. Just make sure no one else is building one as well.
- Shurelya's Reverie - This is an active aura item, very effective if you remember to use it...fairly useless if you don't. Use this active ability to help your team chase down stragglers or escape from ganks.
- Locket of the Iron Solari - This item has both a passive and active aura. The active shield doesn't block that much, but it can be used quite often and may just save your or your teammate's life when being ganked or chased.
If you haven't already noticed, those last 2 items are all built out of your 2 GP10 items you built early game. There are other items you can build with your GP10 items, but I think these aura items and actives are incredibly useful as a support.
Late Game Items
- Zeke's Herald - This should be the last item in your build. It helps your AD carry immensely! The cooldown reduction and other bonuses also benefit you, but its really most useful for teamfights where the aura can buff your AD carry and the whole team in general.
- Vision Wards and Sight Wards - You should always leave one item slot empty to purchase wards throughout the game. Late game you will be able to afford Vision Ward more easily so if they have stealth champs, traps, or are warding a lot themselves then you should definitely build Vision Wards.
*Note: Remember to always buy an Elixir of Brilliance after completing your final build every time you recall. This will allow you to max out your CDR and give you a little more AP as well. These elixirs can also be purchased throughout the game prior to a baron attempt or big teamfight.
Early Game/Laning Phase
As Soraka, you will be able to help your fellow laner secure kills by using your silence on the enemy and healing and buffing your teammate. Don't forget to exhaust the enemy AD carry if you think your carry can get the kill. Your Astral Blessing will help your carry when tower diving. Use it to lessen the damage from the turret so they can get back out alive. Do everything in your power to make sure neither of you die, even if it means playing a more passive game as Soraka.
Mid Game/Roaming Phase
By this time you should be beginning to build your aura items. Be sure to show up at all the teamfights; it is essential that you are there to support your team. Let someone else backdoor; that isn't your job. I'll go into a more detailed guide about teamfights later on, no worries! Don't forget to start warding Baron Nashor at this stage in the game!
When pushing turrets, if someone wants to tank the turret themselves, remember to use your heal on them because it increases their armor as well. It should always be your primary goal to keep your teammates alive, but don't risk your own life if you know neither of you are getting out alive anyway. If they rage at you for not helping then just ignore them. You made the right call.
Remember to consistently purchase wards throughout all stages of the game. As the support it is your duty to ward areas such as Baron, Dragon, and the other neutral creep camps.
Remember to constantly be warding these areas! Baron and Dragon are more important mid to late game while the wards for preventing ganking and counter-jungling are more important early game.
- Yellow: Vital to protect the jungler on your team
- Blue: For protection depending on which lane you're on
- Red: To guard Dragon and Baron
- Orange: In order to Counter-Jungle
AD Carry Pairings
Ok, now onto possibly the most important part of the guide! Which I may have forgotten to include in the original publication.....oops. Knowing your AD carry pairings is sooooo important. If you just choose Soraka to support every single game regardless of your AD carry....well you probably won't do consistently well. It is important to have the best synergy possible in the bot lane. Refusing to vary from your favorite champ WILL lose you games. Anyway, let's get on with it, shall we?
First allow me to quickly summarize Soraka's strong suits:
- One of the best heals in the game (Comes with a built-in armor buff!)
- Can give fellow champs more mana! Excellent for those mana-hungry AD carries
- Excellent harass with her Infuse, Starcall, and basic attacks
- Her passive doesn't do much during the laning phase against an AD carry, but afterwards becomes useful
Ok, so now that we know what she is good at, let's see if we can pair her up with AD carries that would benefit most from her abilities. Keep in mind that Soraka has zero CC, so it would be advantageous if her lane partner did. Let's get started:
Corki - Corki is such a great pick for Soraka because he is very mana-hungry early on, which is very easily fixed with your Infuse. He also needs a healer support because he gets bullied easily before level 6 due to his short range auto-attacks. The armor and magic resist buffs you give him will also help against him being harassed, and your silence will shut down the other support constantly.
Graves - Graves is probably one of the best combos with Soraka. He has his own slow, which makes up for your lack of one, and your silence synergizes well with it. Graves already has a passive that gives him armor and magic resistance, so with your buffs he will become very hard to kill. Graves is not as mana-hungry as Corki, but early on your Infuse will definitely help him stay in lane just a little bit longer. Overall, one of the best bot lane pairs in the game, EXCEPT when playing against a kill lane. In this case you will need to play much more passively than normal, because a kill lane will KILL you if you aren't careful. Just do everything you can to help Graves farm.
Tristana - This match-up is really the only one you should avoid. Tristana and Soraka have very little synergy with each other. If your AD carry picks Tristana then you should seriously consider another support champ.
Those are really the only notable pairings with Soraka. She will work well with carries other than Graves and Corki, so don't be afraid to experiment. These are just the best and worst choices you could have in my opinion.
So by now this is what you should have learned:
- How to build Soraka as a support champion, while allowing some wiggle room for on the fly item changes
- How to play Soraka as a support champion in a passive-aggressive and effective manner
- Which champs Soraka is most effective to lane with, and which are the most difficult to lane against
- How and where to ward properly, if you would like a more in-depth guide to warding then check out this guide: Warding helper - More than your eyes can see
- How to play a support character in general; these strategies work well with other support champs as well!
- How to be a better summoner overall, and to know your role on the Fields of Justice
Hopefully the end result after playing some games following this guide will be something like this:
Unfortunately thats the only match history picture I have saved on my computer at the moment. I'll be sure to add more and more as I go!
- Updated masteries to include Veteran's Scars in the defensive tree and modified the utility tree slighty.
- Updated runes for more gold Quints.
- Removed Kage's Lucky Pick and Morello's Evil Tome and replaced them with a Zeke's Herald.
- Removed Rylai's Crystal Scepter to leave a slot empty for wards!
- Changed the skill sequence so we can get Starcall a few levels sooner.
- Moved Oracle's Elixir to the end of the purchase order becasue it should be bought when the situation calls for it; not at a specific point in the build.
- Changed masteries to a 1/8/21 setup rather than 0/9/21.
Goodbye and Good Luck on the Fields of Justice!
I hope you found my guide to be helpful and informative, as well as concise and to the point. If you have any comments please leave them so I'll know what I did wrong or what I did well! If you're still reading I appreciate it and hope to see you one day on the Fields of Justice!
Special Thanks To:
- JhoiJhoi! Her epic guide can be found here!
- Halipupu! Her Soraka build guide can be found here!
- All of my friends from home who taught me how to become a better player! Love you guys! :D
~Phalanxdef's Lizard Elder Support Soraka S3~ May 2013 P1 Gu
Soraka, A Comprehensive Resource
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Support
Soraka Pro Support Guide!