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Sion Build Guide by Sevresth

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sevresth

Sion Double Bundle: A Guide to Both AD and AP

Sevresth Last updated on October 28, 2012
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
4
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
2
3
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
2/
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 8

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 1


Guide Top

Introduction

Sion is another one of my personal favorite champions because it's a fun feeling to walk into the middle of the fight and know that the other team is thinking, "Mwahahahahaha!! Newb Sion, let's all attack him" and after a 2 minute battle, I ace them and probably walk away with more health than when I went in.
Now,there are actually 2 different ways of building Sion, a bruiser/juggernaut style that focuses on AD and accumulating health, and an AP style that focuses on burst damage and durability from the shield on Death's Caress.
This guide will make it its mission to tackle any questions involving either one as well as introduce the basic concepts and ideas behind playing Sion and give a build to make sure that whichever route you choose, you are a force to be reckoned with.


Guide Top

My Ideal Lane Setup

Sion has a very effective stun, Cryptic Gaze and it lasts a long time, even at level 1. So, I tend to prefer lane partners who have a lot of DPS, like Anivia, Xin Zhao, or Ryze.

The other place that I play Sion is in the solo-top lane; where I can use my durability, shield, and stun to last a long time in the lane as well as set up really strong ganks for my jungler.

Sion is a sturdy champion with quite a bit of burst with AP, or strong DPS with AD. So, 'squishy' champions, or champions that don't have a lot of resistances or health, tend to be my preferred opponents. Meanwhile, enemies with early game sustain or heavy CC tend to force me to play a more defensive game.

Champs I like to Lane With:
Akali, Anivia, Annie, Graves, Jax, Kennen, LeBlanc, Ryze, Talon, Tryndamere, Vayne, Veigar, Xin Zhao

My favorite lane opponents:
Annie, Ashe, Fiddlesticks, Katarina, Kog'Maw, LeBlanc, Master Yi, Miss Fortune, Ryze, Shaco, Sivir, Talon, Teemo, Twitch, Vayne, Veigar

Umm..Can I have a lane swap please?
Cho'Gath, Dr. Mundo, Gragas, Irelia, Olaf, Renekton, Riven, Rumble, Singed, Swain,


Guide Top

Laning

Whether you're playing as AD or AP Sion, one thing is very important; farm. This typical fact of playing is especially important because not only is it your most important and abundant source of income, it also makes you stronger in the late game thanks to the health bonus from Enrage.
The following information describes my typical placements and actions when I'm sitting at solo top and hold pretty true for both AD and AP.
If you decide not to go solo top, than make sure to coordinate with your lanemate to optimize damage and ganking opportunities.

Level 1:
Here, you have your first item and your first skill. Head to your respective lane and wait for minions to show up (please don't face check...Please?) after that, establish yourself as the controller of the lane by sitting towards the back, in between the enemy melee and caster minions. Anytime that the other guy gets close, shoot a Cryptic Gaze into their face followed with an auto attack and then return to your position.

Levels 2-4:
This is a transitional period and perhaps the most important part of the entire laning step. Keep an eye on the other guy as he starts to level up and gain more of his skills. This is also about the point that faster junglers will try and gank. Thus, you want to keep the wave just outside turret range, that way the turret isn't killing your income and you have a short way to run in case of a gank. Continue to last hit and only get aggressive if you know you can walk away with the kill or they initiate on you. Otherwise, you present a juicy target for the jungler.

Levels 5 & 6:
Now is about the time that you, the other guy, and mid should be getting your ultimates. Be aware of global ults ( Karthus) or ults that could potentially kill you ([crowstorm]]). Keep farming and make especially sure to call MIA since this is about the time that people begin to gank.

Level 7 & 8:
It's about this time that you're going to want to move around a little. Place wards down the river, especially at Baron Nashor and maybe hit mid for a gank or 2. It's about this time that teamfights will start, so be aware and head that direction when it happens.


Guide Top

My Playstyle for AD Sion

I like to play my AD Sion as more of a bruiser/AD caster because this build lets you put out very consistent damage while being able to take more than a few hits and his abilities are useful for their utility as well as their potential damage.
In a fight, I'll normally open up with the shield from Death's Caress just because it's that much more durability. From there, I lead with Cryptic Gaze to get in close and score some unanswered damage. From there, I just use basic attacks to deal large amounts of damage and let Frozen Mallet keep them close. Any blinks like Flash are countered with another Cryptic Gaze. If I get into a fight and find that I have bitten off more than I can chew, I pop Cannibalism and maybe even Surge to get an all out advantage against my opponent (don't forget you have Exhaust too).

In teamfights, I normally engage right on the heels of my tank. Make sure to activate Death's Caress and Cannibalism before you get into the brawl, that way you get into the fight with a little bit of damage mitigation and your lifesteal as high as it can go. After that, focus down the carry with your auto attacks.

VERY IMPORTANT: You still have a very potent stun: Cryptic Gaze. I normally save this for either the mage like Ryze or Anivia or for champions who have powerful nukes that require channels: like Fiddlesticks or Nunu.


Guide Top

My Playstyle for AP Sion

The idea behind AP Sion is that you have 2 attacks, Cryptic Gaze and Death's Caress, that both deal a lot of damage. Death's Caress gives you a LOT of durability because the damage and the shield itself scales off of AP as well as an AOE nuke that destroys both champions and minions alike. Cryptic Gaze will serve 2 roles for you. It will keep the enemy close to you so you can deal damage with Death's Caress, and it will consistently deal damage and turn uneven fights into your favor (or turn the fair ones around).

While playing AP Sion, your main burst combo is going to be to activate the shield from Death's Caress. Then activate Deathfire Grasp and follow it with Cryptic Gaze. At this point, just walk up and reactivate the burst for Death's Caress. If this doesn't kill them, proceed to auto attack them to death (proc from Lich Bane helps a lot in this endeavor). The beauty of this combo, is that you have about a 1k burst from Cryptic Gaze and Death's Caress after the enemy loses a full 3rd of their health; meaning that anything with less than 2k health is a very easy kill.

During teamfights, I play a fairly aggressive style of Sion. I activate the shield on Death's Caress and follow on the heels of my tank. From there, I run in, cast Cryptic Gaze at the carry, and activate the burst on Death's Caress. After that, I use Cannibalism to keep my health bar high and continue focusing the carry. Once my cooldowns are back off, I reactivate Death's Caress and prioritize who is dealing the most damage or who is the biggest threat and target them with Cryptic Gaze. That person becomes my new focus as I wade in closer, continue my auto attacks with Cannibalism and burst them down with Death's Caress.

During teamfights, the earlier you can cast Deathfire Grasp, the better. This is because hopefully, it will come off of cooldown to use again, and more importantly, it does 30% of current health, meaning that it will deal much more damage to an enemy with full health than it will against a champion who already has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.


Guide Top

My First Build: AD Sion

Runes
Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
3
Sion is extremely powerful during the early game where Cryptic Gaze and auto attacks can deal a lot of damage and during the late game when you become a juggernaut and rarely have to worry about dying, however during the mid game once your basic attacks start to fall off a little without items and before you start to amass health, you are very vulnerable. So, what this rune page does is help to give you as much of an edge during this mid game slump as possible while still giving you bonuses to help out your early and late game. To do this, I take greater mark of desolation to bypass damage mitigation, Greater Seal of Armor to lessen the effects of minion, monster, and physical attacks, Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction to keep Cryptic Gaze and Cannibalism off cooldown as much as possible, and Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed to increase the rate I deliver attacks and therefore, increase the rate that I regenerate health with lifesteal.



Masteries
Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/1
4/1
1/1
1/5
3/1
3/1
1/
3/5
3/1
2/1
1/5
I take 21 points in the offensive tree, taking every AD oriented mastery available, preferring Deadliness and Lethality to Havoc . Down the Defensive tree, I take Resistance and Hardiness for a little bit more survivability in the lane. I wrap up my defense investment with Durability because it's basically free health that starts to stack up as the game goes, giving Atma's Impaler a little bit more to work with. In the utility tree, I just invest enough to get improved Flash. This makes sure that I can deal as much damage as possible while maintaining a strong lane survivability/durability and thus, a more threatening presence in the lane.


Summoner Spells


This is a very powerful spell on Sion. It not only boosts the effectiveness of your other abilities for a short time, but it increases your attack speed by 40%; which when combined with Cannibalism, adds up to a 90% attack speed increase and 117% lifesteal (with Wriggle's Lantern); pretty freakin OP.


I take Exhaust because the utility of the spell is phenomenal, use it to slow so you can get away, use it to slow so you can catch up, use it to weaken so that you have the edge in those 1v1 situations, the uses are almost endless.





Skill Sequence
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
This build is all about getting your AD as high as it can possibly go; and Enrage is basically a free B. F. Sword and 2 Long Swords at rank 5; so I max it as quickly as I can. After that, I prioritize Death's Caress and then rank up Cryptic Gaze at the end of the game. Wait? What!?!? You don't max Cryptic Gaze second? That's right, I don't. That's because as you rank up Cryptic Gaze, the cooldown reduces and the damage increases; which turns it into a nuke if you invest heavily into AP, however we're not doing that for this build. The thing that really makes this skill useful, the stun, never changes duration and only hits one target. Meanwhile, Death's Caress as you rank it up does more damage and increases the durability of the shield. This makes it so that Sion is nearly invincible during the early levels unless judiciously focuses and it makes farming a lot easier, which helps in the long run because Enrage makes no distinction between minions killed with auto attacks and minions killed with abilities. So, since you can increase you durability and kill more minions with Death's Caress than you can with Cryptic Gaze, I prioritize it.


Guide Top

Items for AD Sion

Early Game
I start the game with a Vampiric Scepter because it helps my lane sustainabiliy and, more importantly, it nullifies the cost of maintaining Enrage; meaning that you permanently have a dramatic increase to your AD at level 2. After that, I take Berserker's Greaves for the attack speed boost. Attack speed serves the same role for AD based champions as cooldowns do for mages in that it limits the rate that I can deal damage with my damage source. So, to increase my rate of damage, or DPS, I increase the rate of my attacks and therefore, lower the 'cooldown' on my basic attacks. After this, I upgrade my Vampiric Scepter to Wriggle's Lantern for increased AD, armor, and lifesteal. It also has a VERY useful active that eliminates the need to spend money on a sight ward; so really, it more than pays for itself throughout the game.

Mid Game
Atma's Impaler is a VERY powerful choice for Sion because it gives you AD based on the amount of health you have, and since you are constantly farming health with your Enrage, by killing minions and playing the game, you are actually getting stronger. This perfectly fits into one of Sion's strengths and makes his DPS much stronger. The other item that I get is Frozen Mallet. This is to augment my health and make Atma's Impaler more potent as well as apply a slow to the enemy that you're trying to kill, increasing the chance that you walk away with another number under the sword icon in the upper right hand side of the screen and decreasing the chance that the other guy gets away.

Late Game
Warmog's Armor is the last item of your core build and makes you a true juggernaut; able to withstand hordes of enemy units while being able to sustain it all with lifesteal and deal it all back out. I normally choose Infinity Edge as my final item because it increases my base AD as well as my critical chance and damage with critical attacks, which synchronizes well with Atma's Impaler and leads to over 1k crit strikes.


Guide Top

Some Other Situational Items for AD Sion

-I take this when I'm facing a significant magical threat such as a high DPS caster or a champion who is utilizing effective on hit abilities like Madred's Bloodrazor


-I normally take this item if I'm getting snubbed because it helps build up some health for survivability and it's a nice gp/5 item that helps me generate enough gold to farm back into the game.


-This is the ultimate AD damage mitigation item; so I only really get it if the other team is heavily building armor against me.


-This builds well into the health statistic as well as give me some armor for more durability. I tend to take this whenever I need to build a little bit tankier for my team.


-This is a rarely seen and underutilized item. It's cheap, gives a lot of magic resistance, and is basically a Cleanse. If I'm having trouble with CC, this is the first item that pops into my mind.


Guide Top

Atma's Impaler Vs. B. F. Sword

So, right now, B. F. Sword has the highest base AD bonus of any basic tier item, making it mandatory in almost every AD build ever made, so I'm going to use it as the measuring stick for this demonstration.

Atma's Impaler increases my AD by 2% of my max health, meaning that to grant the same amount of bonus AD as a B. F. Sword, I need 2025 health. This seems like a lot and a pretty big deal, however remember that Atma's Impaler also grants critical strike, meaning that I have a 20% chance to deal twice that damage, in effect making it as strong as a B. F. Sword at 1012 health; which is MUCH more attainable. Also factor in that it gives armor to add to my sustainability and it becomes much more valuable.

So, while it is true that a B. F. Sword gives a decent amount of AD, that's all it gives. Meanwhile, Atma's Impaler gives comparable AD that scales into the late game with health and gives critical chance and armor; making it a stronger choice for this particular build than its more popular alternate.


Guide Top

My Second Build: AP Sion

Runes
Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
9

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
1

Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction
2
So, with AP Sion, you have a lot of burst potential, so what this rune setup does is make sure that you have the resources to have that burst up and ready as much as possible. To do this, I take greater seal of replenishment to keep a steady supply of mana throughout the game and Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction to keep my cooldowns as low as possible. Since Sion is so burst reliant, I want to make sure that I can pull off as many bursts as I possibly can as quickly as I can. The other major rune type that I take is Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, which cuts through magic resistance and makes my attacks more effective. I use my quintessence setup to extend the more important benefits of my metagame, in this case magic penetration and cooldown reduction.



Masteries
Masteries
1/5
3/1
4/5
1/1
1/5
3/5
4/1
4/1
3/1
2/5
3/1
1/
This is a standard 9-0-21 mastery setup, taking magic penetration in the offensive tree and cooldown reduction and increased gold count and generation in the utility tree. This item build is relatively expensive, however Sion has the farming potential to make it more than plausible; that being said, any help that is available from the meta game helps a lot 8).



Skill Sequence
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
I start the game with Cryptic Gaze for the utility of the stun and rank up Death's Caress next; alternating each until level 5 when I get my first point in Enrage. I get Cannibalism at level 6, 11, and 16, alternating Death's Caress and Cryptic Gaze as I go. This is to ensure that I have a more balanced damage output between the 2 skills as opposed to having an all out nuke and nothing to follow up with.


Summoner Spells

I take Exhaust because it's a spell with a lot of utility and uses. It's great to slow so you can get away or catch up, and it can weaken an enemy to the point that you have the edge in those 1v1 situations; overall, the uses are almost endless.


I take Flash because it is the ultimate 'GTFO!!' ability and it's great for jumping over walls for escapes or ganks.


Guide Top

Items for AP Sion

Early Game
kage's lucky pick
I start the game with a Doran's Ring so that I can get plenty of cheap health, AP, and mana regeneration to hold my own in the lane. If you're having a hard time, don't be afraid to stack Doran's Ring so that you get enough AP to farm back into the game. Next, I invest in Sorcerer's Shoes so that I can bypass more damage mitigation and deal more damage to the enemy, because the more damage you do, the more likely they are going to die (gotta love that common sense stuff). My final item for the early game is kage's lucky pick. This gives you some early game AP as well as a gold producing passive that helps you build into your future items. But most importantly, it's necessary for Deathfire Grasp.

Mid Game
These next 2 items complete your core build and truly make you deadly to just about any champion in the game who is not investing heavily in defensive items. Deathfire Grasp is possibly one of the best items in the game for burst AP champions because smart champions will build resistances or health in order to protect themselves from you, but this item makes it so that this effort is futile by blasting through 1/3 of their health. This combined with the massive bonus in damage from Rabadon's Deathcap makes you pretty darn scary.

Late Game
I very rarely make it this far into the game because by this point either somebody DCed or we already won, but if we're still playing, my next purchase is Lich Bane so that anyone unfortunate enough to survive my initial onslaught is only one auto attack away from death. Finally, I conclude with Guardian Angel because it gives me decent resistances to every damage source as well as a very good passive that lets me come back from the dead and continue my reign of terror.


Guide Top

Some Other Situational Items for AP Sion

-This item gives you a significant health boost as well as AP. While the slow is subpar because the only real ability that it procs on is Death's Caress (which is an AOE), the other stats that it gives are powerful enough to make this forgivable. I typically take this if I'm having trouble with one character with a lot of burst taking out my shield very quickly and leaving me open to the rest of the other team to have full reign over my health bar.


-I take this because it gives me plenty of AP and spell vamp, making me more durable especially in teamfights where my Death's Caress can hit multiple targets. It also gives me a little bit of dueling potential as well as helping out my fellow AP allies. I normally take this when I'm on a team that is magic based, that way I can contribute a little bit to everybody.


-I take this as my preferred magic resist item because it does give a bunch of it as well as AP and an aura that lets both you and your AP allies bypass more damage mitigation and therefore deal more damage overall. I take this whenever I'm having some big problems with a caster on the other team.


kage's lucky pick-This is good because it's a gp/5 item as well as cheap and worth a lot of AP for the early game. However, I tend to prefer Fiendish Codex just because I like all of the different benefits that it gives more than I do the AP. However, it is an ok item if you're getting snubbed pretty hard.


-This is a pretty good item for bruiser type casters, however in this build, I focus on burst, so higher AP items like Rabadon's Deathcap are better and I already have plenty of survivability from my shield on Death's Caress.


-I tend to only get this if the other team is heavily investing in magic resistance.


-This is a rarely seen and underutilized item. It's cheap, gives a lot of magic resistance, and is basically a Cleanse. If I'm having trouble with CC, this is the first item that pops into my mind.


Guide Top

Tips and Tricks

  • Once you get about 60 AP, it is possible to use Death's Caress to clear an entire minion wave.

  • Cryptic Gaze is one of the longest lasting single stuns in the game, and you get its full duration at level 1; making it devastating if you have a laning partner with high DPS like Xin Zhao.

  • When chasing, Flash can give you that last little bit of distance to land Cryptic Gaze and ensure you or your team the kill.

  • Wriggle's Lantern retains the proc from Madred's Razors, making you a very high baron and dragon threat.

  • Communication with a teammate with Teleport while you have Wriggle's Lantern may lead to very strong ganks from across the map.

  • Enrage uses health as a resource instead of mana; but it's a relatively small cost; meaning that a little bit of lifesteal (like from Vampiric Scepter) negates the cost and effectively gives you a Pickaxe for 450 gold.

  • Blue Buff is fairly important until you can get your Deathfire Grasp, so ask your jungler to donate it to you or ask for assistance in getting it.

  • Death's Caress deals a lot of damage in the AP build, but that damage goes away if the shield is broken. So keep an eye on it and wait until the last minute to detonate it, that way you get the most out of the shield while still dealing a large amount of AOE damage.

  • DON'T FORGET YOUR ACTIVE ITEMS!!! What I always do, is I always put my actives in the same item slot so I know where they are all the time; for instance, Deathfire Grasp is always in my number 2 item slot.

  • The AD build has a lot of health, making it vulnerable to health effects such as Madred's Bloodrazor. However, this does magic damage and can be mitigated. So, if you see an enemy make this purchase, buying a small amount of magic resistance, a Force of Nature for instance, leads to a higher chance of you coming out on top


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Conclusion

Sion is a pretty neat champion with a little bit of something for everybody. He is a strong off-tank, AD DPS, AP DPS, CC, and solo top player; making him not only a viable choice for almost any team, but a strong fit for most play styles.
Thanks for reading this guide. I hope you enjoyed it and I wish you the best of luck on the Rift.
gl and hf


Guide Top

Change Log

12/17-Guide is published
12/17-Added sections: My Playstyle for AD Sion, My Playstyle for AP Sion, Some Other Situational Items for AD Sion, Some Other Situational Items for AP Sion, My Ideal Lane Setup, and edited Tips And Tricks to include stuff about Wriggle's Lantern
2/5-Added an end paranthesis to Atma's Impaler vs. B. F. Sword as well as redid the math on my critical analysis to account for the change in deadliness mastery in the same section.