Sion Build Guide by N33tj3
Not Updated For Current Season
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.
Hello everyone, I'm N33tj3. I recently fell in love with Sion and I've been playing him for the past weeks, trying out different builds, from AP to AD/tank and everything in between those. My personal favorite is a pure DPS Sion, but it has absolutely no viability in any team fights. Sion is not a carry melee dps like tryn or yi. Once you get cc'd, you're ****ed...
AP Sion never was my thing, I just hate waiting for cooldowns all the time and running in between my shield bursts. Even though I noticed AP Sion is very viable if used right, he's just not my type of champ.
I've had some clear negative feedback on my old build, and I had to admit that I was stupid for going for defenses first. I have now reworked the main build, and I will add some variations to it later when I have some more time.
Pro's & Con's
Why should you play Sion this way?
- Literally walks over most champs late game. (I have yet to see a champ perform better late game than an AD Sion)
- one of the best solo laners (without innate lifesteal that is).
- great dps output from low levels using .
- Has a stun.
- eats squishies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- can get triple kills from a 1 vs 3 using his ult.
- Is a slow starter vs some champs.
- high health champs are susceptible to % based damage .
- You don't have a finisher move.
- No natural escape.
- This build is very expensive.
Most... Useless... Passive... Ever.... Maybe not but late game having 50 damage reduction BEFORE armor calculation isn't really what I like. Early game it may help you survive minion aggro.
I love stuns, assuming they don't land on me. Use this to get closer to that annoying ranged squishy that keeps running from you. I also love to use it on any near dead champ that decides to dash.
A little shield, that can blow up in the enemies faces. Scales well with AP, but we're no AP ho's here... I use this when I'm low on health in a 1 vs 1 fight. This little shield is more a psychological barrier for the enemy. Dang it, I just can't kill Sion again...
This is your main offense skill, early to late game. It's great for farming minions and raising your health with it's passive. Remember, your atma's turns every 50HP into 1 AD. That's 1 AD every 17 minion kills once this hits lvl 5.
This is what makes Sion the powerhouse that he is. 50-100% lifesteal and 50% AS is what turns you into a solo team killer. If you combine this with some Armor and MR, you will rape face. You will heal yourself beyond their grasp AND heal your nearby allies. Also remember lifesteal is NOT capped. If you get a vamp scepter you heal yourself for more than you do damage to the enemy!
Masteries & Rune Build
I go 21 into the offense tree. Especially early game, this makes it a bit easier to kill in the early skirmishes. Once you reach lvl 2 and got your enrage, you won't have to worry about the damage you do. There are very few champs which can reach or go over 100 AD on lvl 2/3.
I usually roll with 21/9/0, I could see 9/21/0 working too if you are afraid you're going to get a lot of damage early game. The new masteries tree I like a lot more for the physical dps characters, because you get Vampirism . It's a little boost to negate your enrage costs, so I get 3 points in it.
My runes build is on the offensive, I usually use greater mark of desolation and Greater Quintessence of Desolation for a lot of ArP. Because Sion's Enrage gives you a lot of AD to start with, I don't think I need any AD quints or marks. Since the new Greater Quintessence of Life Steal are out, I've been enjoying them a lot. I can now have 6% lifesteal from my rune page and 3% from my masteries for a total of 9% which is a lot considering the damage you do. The choice between ArP and lifesteal is yours to make.
I cant find the quints of vampirism in the list, so they are not included in my build on top of the page.
I see a lot of people use Greater Quintessence of Health for the early game survivability. I like the though of having 78 extra HP those first few levels, but the use of it is soon negated by the sheer amount of health you get through leveling and your E passive farming. I like the ArP a bit more.
I use Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration for the mp5/lvl. You start out with a little mana pool, and I don't mind being careful using my stun the first few levels. After those first few levels I don't have to watch out using my stun/shield that often.
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed AS on Sion is an amazing combo with your Enrage. I don't like this one anymore, the AS boost is too small and after reading Searz' rune tips (Rune tips) I figured I'm better off with MR/lvl. AS glyphs are underrated glyphs, it is better to get Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist to get a little more buff in the end game against casters (especially nukes).
Everyone has his favourites. The use of summoner spells make or break their power in game. I'll discuss the ones I use most often and which ones I feel that are good on Sion.
Ignite : Great for first kills. It's damage is more useful early game than it is late game, but most people tend to overlook the fact that it also reduces healing by 50%. If you see a squishy carry with a lot of lifesteal and damage, or a healer of any kind, this is a very useful spell.
Exhaust : You already have a stun, but ulting on people makes them run in fear right after that stun wears off. This is to keep them from running and dieing for sure. It also shuts down any damage output from the target, saving you if they manage to do more damage to you than you to them (not likely, but **** happens).
Teleport : I like this more and more. Sion has great lane dominance, so why not use that to your advantage by going back when you saved up some gold but still are full health? You can teleport right back after b, not losing any xp and off course, lane dominance. Late game it's useful for pushing back minion waves, and farming that HP of yours.
Flash : This is something that is perfect for any champ, but it does have it limits. It's great for escaping and chasing. You can pop through walls with it. The limitations are the rather short range. If you don't manage to catch up to that champion you wanted to kill so bad, you wasted your flash. Same goes for escaping. If you flash out, and you still get a CC of any kind, you wasted your flash too. It's awesomeness with limitations.
Cleanse : CC hurts sion. Cleanse is the answer to all your prayers. 'Nuff said.
Surge : I love this one for early kills too. Sion can never have enough attack speed, especially because he's a high AD champ. The extra ability power will make your shield tougher and your stun land a bit harder.
Ghost : Sion is one of the fastest champs in the game. Therefore he is a great kiter. You also have a stun to make sure you can get near anyone. I don't think you need ghost for that. I don't like this in classic, but I've recently found out this build is also a very good dominion build. I DO prefer ghost over all others in dominion for map control. Therefor I moved this one into the preferred list.
I can see the use of the next ones, but I don't think they are as useful as any of the above:
Fortify : I love troll games where everyone in my team has a fortify. You will have the enemies raging at not being able to push any towers. Still, even 1 may save your towers for a while and if you stun enemy champs in tower range with tower aggro, the double tower AS might give you an easy kill. I find it useful, but it belongs on a tank or a support. <-- No longer in the game
Heal : I find it very useful early game but it's effects are diminishing by your high health late game. Squishies feel the effect of this one more. It's acceptable, but I don't prefer it.
Clairvoyance : Map awareness is a powerful tool. Wards only cost 75g though, and they give you 3 minutes of map awareness each, not limited by cooldown.
I already told you guys I hate doran's items. The reason I hate it is that this is an expensive build and doran's items are only useful early game. There comes a time when you'll have to sell them to be at your best. Not everyone will agree with me, so I will discuss some starter possibilities:
Regrowth Pendant: Health regen is always a nice starter. You can work this into a Philosopher's Stone for some extra gold. If you go this route, try to hang on to this as long as possible.
Brawler's Gloves: If you are going to push a crit build, this is a nice starter. You can turn this into an Avarice Blade, giving you a little bit of extra gold. I don't intend to keep this till the end, sell it when you need a better weapon.
Vampiric Scepter: My favorite item. It negates the cost of Enrage, and this is one item I can last an entire game with. With the recent lifesteal runes and masteries, I have conflicting feelings for this item as a starter. I now get 21% total lifesteal from the start, which is awesome, but I do feel like I better get my boots because I can last well with the 9% from runes and masteries.
Doran's Blade: little bit of lifesteal, lot of hp for the early game and 10 ad. It's awesome, but only early game.
Doran's Shield: Armour, lots of hp and hp regen. If I have to take a doran's item, this will be it. (best early game Garen counter imo)
Boots of Speed: Movement speed is always useful. Be sure to get health pots with this one, or you'll have to b a lot in the laning phase.
Once you choose your starter, I rush Berserker's Greaves. They're the cheapest boots around, and get me precious attack speed and movement speed. Attack speed usually makes it a lot easier for me to last hit minions. After this you *should* be able to last a while in your lane phase. Save up some gold then head back for a B. F. Sword and a Recurve Bow. This combo will give you around 200 AD and a reasonable attack speed. I usually upgrade my bf sword into an Infinity Edge, so why do I prefer the recurve bow over a Zeal? At this point I don't have much crit chance, and I intend to go a while again. The little bit of crit I get I find to be unreliable, but the extra 20% AS the recurve bow has over the zeal IS reliable. (I can always refuse to upgrade the recurve bow and sell it later on)
Usually, this is the point where everybody starts roaming the map trying to push certain towers, ganking in certain lanes etc. Beware of this and try to score some kills when the enemy fails ganking you, or get kills through ganking other lanes. This is the point where your build gets expensive, but also highly rewarding. You can use every bit of gold right now.
At this point I upgrade my bf sword first. It doesn't really matter what you build it into, for instance The Black Cleaver gives you damage, an ArP debuff on your target (not on turrets) and attack speed, while being the cheapest BF sword upgrade. The Bloodthirster gives you sustain when your ult is on cooldown, and gives (when fully stacked) the second highest AD of all the AD items. The most expensive upgrade (and also my favorite) is the Infinity Edge. Having this late game turns my crits around 700-800 damage every hit.
Next up: Bulking yourself up with some defenses. At this point, all you have is your big health and a lot of damage output, probably making you the primary target in any teamfight. Get a Chain Vest and a Negatron Cloak to buff you up a bit. We will upgrade the chain vest into an Atma's Impaler (I will not tolerate any other armor item than this!!!). This gives you an AD boost of about 50-60 (depends on how well you farmed), another 18% crit to stack with your IE and armor to take some beating. There are not many items which synergize so well with sion. The negatron cloak can be upgraded into various items, I prefer Banshee's Veil over the others. The passive will, in most cases, save you from an early case of cc, the health adds to your bulk and atma's AD boost and the mana will allow you to spam your stun and shield more often. If you're against an heavy AP team, you might want to get the Force of Nature. It has more MR and a little bit of movement speed to help you run through their spells.
I rarely come beyond this point in the game, but from here it can only get better for you and worse for the enemy team. This is also the time to take a good look around the enemy team. How can you do more damage to them? Are they high health, then finish building Madred's Bloodrazor from the recurve bow you've been carrying around since the beginning of the match. If they have a lot of armor and MR, but not that much health, it's probably best to buy a Phantom Dancer, to get more AS, more crit and a hell of a lot of movement speed. Note: on a heavy AP caster team of any team dealing a lot of magic damage, it can sometimes be better to go for Wit's End instead of madreds and finish your Phantom after that. You can also sell your recurve bow and get 2 phantom dancers so your crit chance will reach 100%.
This is a pretty nice build already, you've got 6 items that complement well on Sion and make him the prime target of the enemy. This is why I usually swap my Berserker's Greaves for Mercury's Treads somewhere late game. It doesn't really cost that much to do, but because of the 35 tenacity, you will feel less of cc - effects. It doesn't help if you get mass disables etc, but it helps mitigate a lot of the cc that will affect your ability to rape face.
And assuming your feeling lucky, sell your boots and get a second phantom dancer. You will still have a lot of movement speed (with FoN you should still have around 450 MS), your will have 100% crit (that's a 700-800 crit every hit! ) and combined with your ult, you have now officially reached the AS cap of 2.5 attacks per second. There will be no stopping you any more. You can 1 hit every minion but the cannon minion, and you 2-hit that one.
How to play Sion
Ok, it's a little late for a chapter like this, but there are some limitations to Sion, so it does deserve it's own chapter. I haven't really gone into the basics of playing AD sion, so I will in this chapter.
Sion is best played in a solo lane vs another melee champ. This usually means solo top if both teams have a jungler, but if only your team has a jungler this means your up against 2 champs. Worst case scenario, you end up in a 2 vs 2 lane or in a 2 vs 1 lane with the jungler on the enemy team.
The reason you want a solo lane is your Enrage. You need minion kills early game to be more bulky late game. Don't push the lane though, just last hit them. It's no use pushing back the minions all the way to the enemy turret. Not only is it a hazard because you're near the enemy turret, you're also a long way from your own turret leaving you open to ganks from mid lane/jungler. If your opponent is stupid enough to constantly attack the minions and push back to your tower, just let him. Request a gank from your jungler if your lane gets pushed to your tower. It's a guaranteed succesfull gank, and most people that get ganked this way usually fall for it over and over (yes, ****** players are abundant in both normal and ranked).
By all means, favor your own life over the towers. This is the risk of a solo lane, and your team should know this. Also beware of your lane opponent. You have no natural escape, so stuns and slows land extra hard on you. Don't get caught in a situation where you can't escape from, unless you can fight your way out of it.
Against 2 opponents in your lane, stay well behind the minions and try to get as much last hits without taking too much risk. Stay under the cover of your tower and don't push the minions back. If they do try to get you under your turret, use your stun wisely! One of them will get turret aggro, and you should stun that one after they havee taken a couple of hits from the tower. Again, favor you own life over that of the tower. Run like hell if they turret dive you on low health.
You might also want to consider starting with a Regrowth Pendant, to work it into a Philosopher's Stone asap. You'll be missing out on minion kills, and you'll have to compensate for the gold loss. This also makes laning a tad bit easier imo.
The last situation is when you are with 2 champs in your top lane. Whether it is against 1 or 2 lane opponents, I would suggest you go jungle. Sion is an amazing ganker with his stun, so you don't have to rush to lvl to 6 for a succesfull gank. He is an amazingly fast jungler if you start with a vamp scepter and 1 point in Enrage.
Just know that certain champs are no good in a solo top situation. You can't always just head into the jungle and expect Ashe for instance to take on a Rammus / Alistar combo solo... Even though it is not in your best effort, suck it up and lane with an ally. Again, no need to push back the minion waves. The turret is your best friend, and you only need to last hit. If you need more gold, get a Philosopher's Stone.
Mid game the early teamfights usually break out. This is where the true power of sion comes to show: damage soak while your ult is on. Most people tend to think you can simply kill sion if you charge into him en masse. It is possible, but still very hard to do. Sion's ultimate will save you out of most situations, but when you are the main target of enemy fire, the rest of your team should be right behind you to correct their mistake and take out the enemy team. That's right, Sion needs to lead the way like a tank in team fights. Not because you are a tank, but because you have 50-100% lifesteal for 20 seconds and enough health to buffer a lot of the enemy nukes. You will be the hardest target to kill, yet you will do too much damage to be ignored by the enemy team.
You should try to start by targeting anything with low armor. If it has high health and low armor, it is also fine because you can heal yourself by targeting him. If you are capable of getting in range of a carry, for god sake, do it. Late game, these are the targets I can 3 hit to death even before the teamfight actually starts. Make sure your allies know this!!! I usually run into the enemy team expecting my team to follow me and finish what I can't. Lately I've tried this several times and ended up getting mass CC and getting killed without doing much damage because my team decided I should try to fight solo... It's a team game and if nobody follows up on you, you're a dead man for sure.
Note: Also beware of opponents with Thornmail. Because of the amount of physical damage you do, this item can make you suicide yourself. It also shuts down your ult's main power, the lifesteal. Try to avoid people with this item, or at least target them last in teamfights.
This is going to be my final chapter. I'm going to go through several champs I find rather difficult to counter, or need some special attention. This list is not going to be a complete one, but I will add champs as I play against them and learn them myself. I don't play this game 24/7 so an update might take a while!
Ashe: This was my first unlocked champ. I love playing her, because of her extreme kiting skill. This is also what you should be aware of. Try to avoid her and rush your atma's asap on her. If you are going to try to kill her, commit to it. Stun her to close the gap if she keeps running from you when you charge her. When (I should say if) you start running from her, you're as good as dead. Commit and hope she ****es up somehow. She is squishy and should not be a problem unless you (or someone else) feed her.
Caitlyn: Extreme long range of her auto attacks, her passive Headshot, long range skills and the ability to place traps that stun you for a while makes her the ideal harassment tool. Dammit she even has her own flash 90 Caliber Net, which also slows you if you get hit by it. Try to avoid her harass and never allow yourself to become low health, her ult Ace in the Hole secures kills from far away. Don't charge her until you're absolutely sure you can go in for the kill.
Cassiopeia: Long range skills, annoying slow, dots, stun/slowing ult. Harassing you is her favorite game... I'm not going into this one any further because all I can do to counter her is getting both FoN and Wit's End, and I still don't like commiting to a fight with her even then. Try setting up some kind of gank against her, her spell range is both her best offensive tool and her best defensive tool. If you're coming from 2 sides she can't do both.
Gangplank: Melee champ with one of the most annoying skillsets. Counters your stun with his gay little 'I eat fruit and flip you off', his freaking Parrrley harassment and the fact that his new skin makes him even more manly, should have you running at the sight of him... Well not really. Try to stun him when he has just used his Remove Scurvy. You can tell he has if he heals himself. While it is on cooldown, he cannot prevent cc, allowing you to commit to fighting him. He should be an even match for you early game, so restun him when he uses his Remove Scurvy again. ONLY USE YOUR STUN WHEN YOU SEE HIM HEAL.
Rammus: Because of his passive, he will stack a lot of armor turning him into one of the hardest targets to kill for a melee champ like you. He usually gets enough armor to tank turrets, so don't think your turret is going to save you. Beware of his taunt too. It is one of the longest taunts in game and autoattacking him really doesn't hurt him that badly.
Recently, I've seen several people play him as a jungler. As far as I know, he is one of the best gankers from the jungle through his Powerball. It is impossible to outrun this, and if he pops out of the bushes with this and you happen to be in a bad spot, consider yourself an easy target. Try to go a bit tankier if rammus seems to be your only problem. It's a tank so he should not be your primary focus throughout the game.
Warwick: One of the best junglers around because of his sustain. He thrives on high health champs. His passive Eternal Thirst makes it hard to kill him if you commit. Every strike that hits heals him, and the next strike heals him even more... Hungering Strike is his most used harassment tool, and it deals percentage based damage, which also heals himself for 80% of the damage done. His ult is a supression, hurts you and heals him. If warwick isn't jungling but laning against you, request a lane change. There's no way you can hurt him. I've tried several times to commit to this one, stun him, ult while running into him and trying to kill him. His sustain is as good as yours is, probably even better. DO NOT FIGHT THIS CHAMP SOLO!