Sion General Guide by Acid Reigns
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.
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 Mobafire, I'm creating this guide because I have yet to see a single person build Sion properly, and it makes me sad when I get told I'm building Sion wrong, and that I should build like glass.
It also makes me sad, when I see a Sion building in such a way, and then when they go into a fight, they get ignited, and or exhausted, and die in about 2 seconds without doing anything.
So without further ado, I will show you all my secrets, and teach you how to utterly destroy your enemies with Sion.
This guide is going to be very to the point, and simple. I will simply state what works best, and then explain why it works best. If you're looking for lots of pretty pictures, I suggest a colouring book, you can find them at the dollar store. :D
Ok, so we'll start here. This isn't all that important, if you don't like these runes, don't use them.
For now, this is what I use, however, I am contemplating buying MS quintessences, because Sion is a very slow zombie, who dislikes being kited.
There is a lot of room to do what you like here, I've gone 21/0/9, 14/0/16, and 14/8/8.
I always make sure to get the 4 points in Swiftness , because it is one of the key masteries for Sion
Other than that, do what you like. I focus on dps in masteries, because early on I build defensive, and don't really need the points in that tree.
Maxing Enrage as fast as possible is incredibly important! It gives you enough damage to be a threat without items, and more importantly, it increases the amount of health you get per minion each level. This means the faster you level it, the more health you'll have late game.
Death's Caress takes priority next, because even without AP, that shield gets pretty strong.
We max Cryptic Gaze last, because the stun duration does not increase with level, and the damage is unimportant to us, that is for AP Sion.
Obviously you'll want your ultimate Cannibalism whenever you can, as it's probably one of the most OP spells in the game!
We've arrived at the important part, and likely the only part that most will even bother to look at. Ah well, that doesn't bother me much. Anyway, here's a bunch of pretty items, what they do, and why you should get them.
Boots of Speed + pots is the logical thing to start with. First of all because it's the recipe for our first item, and second because it improves Sion's weakest area, his movement speed. We get these, so that we can run up, and get last hits, and retreat without taking too much damage.
Mercury's Treads Are bought because we need tenacity, and this is the only logical item to get it from. Additionally, these along with Spirit Visage will keep our MR closer to the level our armor is on, which is great!
Spirit Visage Is one of Sion's best items, and for some reason no one seems to realise it. The MR is great, the health from this + Trinity Force makes up for the health you lose by not getting Warmog's Armor, the CDR means more ultimates for sustain in lane, as well as more stuns for fighting, and the passive, is just ridiculous on Sion.
Trinity Force comes next, because Sion greatly benefits from every single stat that this item has to offer, and if a champ benefits from everything this item gives, it's likely that they should build it. It gives a little of everything which helps us a lot, as well as our favorite stat, movement speed. The Phage effect helps us a lot with chasing, and staying on a target because other than our stun, we have no cc at all. The Sheen proc is also great because we have high base AD, and because we like to stun and immediately attack, which with the proc is a good chunk of damage.
Atma's Impaler next is only logical, our health is starting to get high from our passive, and the boosts from Spirit Visage, and Trinity Force. Also, at this point our MR is a good chunk higher than our armor, which is something we need to remedy. Additionally, this combined with Trinity Force means we will start critting more often.
Infinity Edge comes next, because by now, we have all the utility, and bulkiness we need, and can start building pure damage. After you buy this, you should try and keep a green pot on as much as you can for the rest of the game.
Now, the next item is situational. the game will usually be over by now anyway, but never the less, you need an item to build here in case the game goes on. You have five main choices, all of which have benefits.
Phantom Dancer Will put your dps through the roof, and give you even more movement speed
Last Whisper. If you find your enemies getting too tanky, build this, and destroy them.
Guardian Angel is another good choice. If you just can't tank all 5 of the enemies with your ult on, then this will help. You'll get back up, their mages will have burnt everything on you, and you'll simply eat them all. It will also give you the defensive stats of a tank, yet you'll still have your obscene dps.
The Black Cleaver provides a lot of DPS, similar to Phantom Dancer. I don't like it as much, because it is a sort of hit or miss item. It CAN make your dps higher, however, it will hurt your critical strike chance, meaning that you have to rely more on luck. On paper this does make your DPS quite a bit higher though, it's just that if you go into a fight, and don't crit, then you really are gimping yourself, you also lose out on the MS bonus. Another thing I dislike about it, is that most of our targets are going to die in 3-4 hits anyway, so we really don't get as much use out of this as we'd like.
Quicksilver Sash is the final item on the list, and is highly advised if the enemy team has a lot of CC, or if they decide to build an Executioner's Calling. Overall a great item, and very cost efficient.
You should almost always run Teleport, and Ghost on Sion.
Teleport is so that you can stay in your lane, and farm as much as possible. A farmed Sion is a happy Sion.
Ghost is preferred to flash on champs like Sion for a variety of reasons. The main one being that you absolutely cannot be seperated from your target. If you are, you will die. Ghost will keep you on your target longer, whereas Flash will only put you on them once, and will not be able to help you if they decide to flash away themselves, or if say Janna decides to Monsoon you away.
If you want to snowball, you can replace Teleport with Ignite and secure first blood, and then simply destroy them from there.
I once did this to a Teemo, and I ended up denying him so hard, and securing so much farm for myself, that I bought my Trinity Force in one buy. When I came back to lane after that, I just began killing him over, and over again, every time he showed himself.
Another added benefit of Ignite, is that they may mistake you for an AP Sion and assume you're mid, which may give you an early edge.
Generally the most optimal time you can pick Sion is when your opponent is a magic damage based champion, who enjoys harassing. Think Teemo, Yorick, Nidalee etc. This is because you build hard MR early on, and can sustain through the harassment, with your ult. You may have to be careful early, but after that, you can just freefarm. He also fares decently well against true damage, due to his free health.
When should you definately NOT pick Sion? A heavy burster can be deadly (think Brand, Annie, etc), Ryze, Swain or similar champions who can stop you in your tracks are dangerous, because you have no blink to negate the snare. You may also have to be careful against good duelists early on, but lategame no one can duel Sion, and they will no longer be a problem.
If there is one champion you should always lock Sion when you see, it's Yorick. This is because not only does he fit into our catagory of ideal matches, but also killing his minions counts towards your Enrage, and will give you bonus health, every single time, which means if you're good enough, you can end the game with a free 1200+ health just from your E. The fact that you can clear 4k health without building an item from Giant's Belt is a bit ridiculous.
Do not auto attack minions, unless it's going to kill them, or if you have your ult on, and need to heal. Your only escape is your Ghost, which won't be up often enough to constantly escape ganks. Additionally, if you blow your Ghost surviving a gank, then you may not have it up, when a tower dive would have been possible, and you may have to back out without it.
Anyway, try and get a feel for exactly how much damage your auto attacks do, and try and hit the minions when you can kill them. Alternatively, you could wait til the minis are JUST about to die to your own minions, and then kill them. This will allow you to move the lane closer to your turret, and make ganks easier for you.
Farming under pressure:
This is when your enemy has a strong harass that you can't directly deal with yet, and you're having a hard time. Stay just behind your minions, until an opening presents itself, then sprint up, and kill your target minion, and run back behind your minions again. Keep doing this every safe chance you get, and you should be ok. Additionally, if you fear taking harass in your attempt to do this, simply pop your shield before you go, and you should be fine. DO NOT waste mana on stuns, because then you'll run out of mana, and won't be able to shield anymore. Your stun is for emergencies, and for assisting in ganks.
This is when you have an opportunity to be a bully, and deny your foe CS. This will happen in a lot of cases after you're level 6, and you must abuse your power as much as possible. In this situation, you should not be hiding behind your minions, but rather making your enemy hide behind his(hers). Stand right in with the enemy minions, and make aggressive advances towards your enemy every time you aren't doing anything (last hits are unavailable). This will force them to back off, and deny them last hits, and experience. Do not get too absorbed in scaring them though, getting last hits for yourself still takes priority.
Farming under turret:
A lot of players don't understand how to do this properly. It's similar to the normal farming, only takes a bit more understanding, and reaction time, as the minions will be taking a lot more damage a lot faster. In general, you can let a tower shoot a melee minion twice, and then hit it for a kill, or you can let a tower shoot a ranged minion once, and hit it for the kill. This might seem difficult to get the hang of at first, but with practice, you should be able to get all of them. Minions may interfere with your methodical farming, as they may damage the hostile minions too much, and the turret may have the power to kill them in two shots. If you see this starting to happen, you can attack the minion before the turret hits it the first time, and then squeeze in an auto attack before it's second shot hits, killing it.
Bsically, for farming under your turret just remember:
Melee minions: 2 turret shots + 1 auto attack OR 1 turret shot + minion aggro + 1-2 auto attacks
Caster minions: 1 turret shot + 1 auto attack OR minion aggro + 1-2 auto attacks
Farming with shield:
THIS DOES NOT MEAN THROWING YOUR SHIELD ON FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF FARMING MINIONS IN LANE, THAT PUSHES OUR LANE, WASTES OUR MANA, AND IS ALL IN ALL A BAD IDEA!!!
Now, what I meant, is if you have your shield on, to negate an enemies harassment, and there are multiple minions around you who are low, you can use it, in combination with auto attacks, to secure minions you would normally miss. It is better to detonate a shield with 1 auto attack's worth the charge left, in order to secure minions, than to let the enemy break it. However, if it isn't going to help your farm at all, don't detonate it, it'll push your lane, and get the minions low, so you risk losing some to your minions.
You should set goals for yourself, to force yourself to get better at farming. Back when I first started playing LoL, it used to take me 25-30 minutes to get around 100cs. With determination, I set a goal for myself to start getting 100 within 20 minutes. After I started consistantly doing this, I pushed myself to start getting my mark within 15 minutes. Recently, I've been pushing myself farther, and in good games can usually reach my goal around 13 minutes or so. Looking back, I now realize, that I'm farming TWICE as fast as I used to. You too can make these advances, by setting goals for yourself. First make notes of around how many minions you're getting within 15 minutes, then decide how many you think you SHOULD be getting in that time. Start keeping track of your minions within 15 minutes every single game, and always press yourself to do better. You may record it if you like, or you may simply keep a mental note of around where you're at. I promise you, keep pushing yourself, and trying as hard as you can, and your farm will steadily get better, and better each game.
In lane, your main goal is farming (see above), however, you have some other objectives as well.
After your initial shopping, EVERY TIME YOU SHOP, if you have extra money, buy a ward or two, unless you really don't have a need, or you desperately need to rush something.
This is where you want to keep a ward at no matter what. It gives the farthest possible vision down the river, while still showing you if anyone is coming from the tribrush.
Baron is also a good place for a ward if you can afford it. It gives further vision down the river, vision over baron, and vision over the path into the blue jungle. Early on this ward is useful, but by no means mandatory, however, late game, this is the #1 spot for a ward, and should be pink warded at all times.
If you're on the blue team, you may also ward the enemies red buff, so that you may counter jungle, which brings us to our next section
If you have extra time, you can go into the enemies jungle, and attempt to counter jungle.
If you're on the blue side, stealing golems is very easy, just push your lane up a bit, and walk down through the river, then through the tribrush, and towards golems. If you think you're in danger, then get out immediately, dying isn't worth 1 camp. Additionally, if you have knowledge that the enemies buffs are still there (Wards, CV, or simply noticing that no one has any buffs), then with the help of your jungler, you can go steal them. Also, if the enemy jungler shows up at bot lane, you're perfectly safe to go, and steal them alone. However, if while you're doing so, the enemies top, and mid lanes, both go missing, there's a good chance you should abandon your attempt, and get out of there.
Although farming takes priority, and you usually won't get an oppotunity to do this, it can help. Your method of harassment will vary depending on who you're laning against.
Against a melee champion, you can sneak in an attack, or two every time they try and get cs.
Against a ranged champion, you may not be able to direcly harass them, but you can try and bully them back a bit, so they can't cs as well as they should be.
Against a squishy champion, it might be worth the mana to use your stun. If your mana is holding up well, you can even get your shield involved. Just start up your shield, and make it look as is you're gonna use it to clear minis, then run towards them, stun them, run up, get as many hits in as possible, then detonate your shield.
Against a tough champion, don't bother, you're probably just gonna waste your time, and mana.
Ganking your lane:
If your jungler has any hard CC, then ganking should prove very effective. If you think you have to, lead in with Ghost, and stun your enemy as soon as you're in range. After that, just stay on them, and try and get in as many hits as possible. Post 6, you can usually tower dive fairly easily as well, AS LONG AS YOU CAN STAY ON TARGET. If your enemy can kite at all, or stun you, don't bother trying. You should also check to make sure they don't have an Ignite to throw on you.
It may be unclear when to use, or not use your skills.
Cryptic Gaze should be used in the following situations, in order of importance.
-To protect yourself
-If the enemy is squishy enough, it can be used to secure free harassment
-To negate enemy harassment, when trying to kill creeps
-To secure minions you'd have otherwise missed
-To defend you when you are being ganked
-This skill should be on the entire game, never take it off ever
-Use it whenever you're around half health, or a bit lower, depending on the danger level of your enemy to push yourself back to full health. This is by far the most important use of the skill, and should not be ignored
-If dueling an enemy
-If ganked with no chance of escape, can be used to try and kill one
Akali: She can be tough, but luckily enough, she isn't terribly strong until you have your ult for sustain. I recommend playing passive. Absolutely do not push, and above all do not die to her, her snowball potential is insane!
Blitzcrank: An easy matchup, just don't push to hard, so he can't pull you into his tower, and try and use your minions as a shield. Post 6 you're probably free to start bullying him very hard.
Brand: Luckily he's rare these days, as he's somewhat of a pain for us. His burst potential is huge, and so is his range, and we don't have a real answer to it, if you find yourself in this lane, play passive, let him push with his AoE's, and ask for a gank.
Cho'Gath: He is going to be a problem early on, but after we get our MR built, and our ultimate, he shouldn't be a real problem. We can't really stop him from farming though, which sucks, but he can't stop either, which sucks a lot more for his team.
Evelynn: You're doomed, quit the match, uninstall LoL, break your computer, and likely you should commit suicide too.
Fiora: Not much of a problem. We can't really trade with her early, so if she comes at you, just stun her, and walk away. You'll be able to sustain her post 6.
Galio: This is an easy lane, he can't really do anything to you, and his MR is meaningless against you. If theyt send him at you, just be glad, and destroy him.
Gangplank: Don't bother stunning him, he'll just eat oranges, and be k. Try and avoid his harass if possible, and every time you see him Q a minion, abuse his cooldown, and use that time to get free last hits.
Garen: He isn't much of a problem, unless he gets an early kill on you, in which case you're kind of screwed. A simple solution is to not risk anything early, and just work on farming, you'll destroy him at 6. Also, if his spinning is proving too much, you can stun him, and run out of it.
Heimerdinger: I don't think I'e ever faced one as Sion, but I can see it being a pretty big problem. If he's pushing too hard on you, ask for ganks.
Irelia: If either one of you get an early kill on the other, you'll snowball the other one incredibly hard. It's better not to risk this, because if neither gets a kill, then you'll become stronger, and win the lane.
Jarvan IV: Try and dodge his lance as much as possible. Also, if you see a gank coming DO NOT let him ult you, you have no blink of any kind, and will almost certainly die. Use your Ghost immediately to avoid this.
Jax: Probably the only champion in the game who has a chance of dueling you. Post 6 his damage is really suprising, and you have to be careful about that. If you are having problems, ask for a gank, or just try and farm.
Katarina: A pathetically easy lane, just ignore her harass, and save your stun in case she tries to ult you.
Kennen: Can be dangerous. Try and avoid him when you see his W charged up, and try and stay behind your minions for cover from shurikens. If he Lightning Rushes towards your minions, back up a bit, so he doens't get your minions, and you in one rush. You could also stun him before he gets to your minions, denying him the chance to tag anything with it, don't do this too much though, or he'll simply make you waste all your mana.
Lee Sin: He has an edge over you early, quite a big one actually. Try and stay alive til you get your ult, and then just focus on farming, and avoiding damage, ulting whenever you need a heal.
Nasus: Punish him every time he goes in for a Siphoning Strike, and you should do ok. Depending on the danger leel of the jungler, you could even push him to his tower, and try and deny him even more.
Nidalee: Try and avoid harass, and shield every time you think her spear is going to hit you. You shouldn't try and directly fight her, as she's quite strong early game. Don't worry, she'll fall off later, where you'll get incredibly powerful later.
Olaf: Don't let him get Reckless Swing off on you, stun him to avoid it if you have to. He's a huge threat early. Try and build up your health pool through farm, so his true damage does less to you.
Pantheon: He isn't that big of a deal, just make sure you don't take harass for no reason. If he throws his spear at you, make sure you get some cs in return for it. Post 6 you should have no problem sustaining him.
Poppy: Avoid wall stuns, and you'll do just fine.
Renekton: He's certainly a lot stronger early on than Nasus, but we can make it through, and when we do, we will destroy him.
Riven: Similar to Irelia, do not risk letting her kill you, or she can snowball you. She's another one you should be able to sustain post 6
Rumble: An EXTREMELY fun lane. That's about all I can say about it. This one is hard enough to give you a nice fun challange, but isn't frustratingly hard. Get your MR fast, and you should be alright.
Ryze: Probably your hardest lane, be extremely passive, and don't try and fight him. You're going to miss cs, but that's better than dying. It will get better when you get MR, and your ultimate, however, he's gonna get Frozen Heart, and you aren't going to be able to do anything to him.
Shen: You should be ok, but don't try and kill him, it's just a waste of time.
Shyvana: Extremely dangerous. Just try and farm, you won't win fights early.
Singed: An easy lane, try not to let him farm early, and avoid getting flung into his turret.
Sion: Odds are he's gonna be rushing Phantom Dancer Because for some reason Sion's love doing this. What this means, is that you won't be able to fight him early on, but you'll out shine him by A LOT later on in the game. I would personally consider an early Executioner's Calling to shut him down. Alternatively, if he builds AP, he shouldn't be a problem, stun him and run every time you see him pop his shield, and try and survive until level 6, where you will dominate him.
Swain: He isn't a huge deal, though you probably can't kill him, he won't be able to kill you either, and you can farm safely.
Talon: I've yet to lane against him as Sion, and I'm very glad about that. Looking at the champs alone he's honestly probably Sion's worst matchup, however, I can't say that for sure, since I've never tested it.
Teemo: Haven't seen him since his buff/bug fix. He used to be incredibly easy, but I'm unsure now, as I haven't seen him yet. I doubt he's that much worse, just get your magic resist up, and farm early. When you get your Trinity Force you'll be able to dive him over, and over again, for free gold, and experience.
Trundle: Another I've yet to face as Sion, and honestly, I'm unsure if I've ever laned against him at all. I don't really have a lot to say about him, since I've never really seen him outside the jungle, other than to watch for ganks.
Tryndamere: Watching his rage bar is extremely important. If it is down, do not be the least bit afraid of him, bully him as hard as possible. However, if he has rage, fear him, he can kill you easily. In order to win you need to keep abusing him while his rage is down, and denying him from getting rage. When his rage is up, you need to play safe, and survive until his rage is down again.
Udyr: VERY, VERY dangerous early. Play with extreme caution, and wait until you're 6, you should be ok after that.
Vladimir: He isn't all that strong early, the problem is, you can't get to him early, which means he's still gonna be sustained. Don't try and go for him either, because you won't get him, and you'll just end up taking damage for no reason. Depending on how the first few levels go, you might be able to win it out after level 6. If possible, try and make him use his pool, it hurts him a lot to use early.
Volibear: Another one who you shouldn't bother trying to kill. It isn't that he's stronger than you, it's just that he's too tanky, and it's a waste of time. Try not to let him bite you. Every time you see him get his stacks up, play a bit more carefully, and stun him if he gets too close. Additionally, if he does bite you, it has a long cooldown, so abuse that time it's down to get some work done.
Warwick: I've never had a problem with him. He's pretty strong early, but you can handle it, and post 6 he's a joke. Don't try and kill him early on, he'll just heal it back.
Wukong: If he dives at you, try to get a hit or two on him before he uses Decoy. You must also not waste any time attacking his decoy, if he suddenly stops moving, you should back up, to save time, and avoid damage.
Xin Zhao: Will be tough early on, and will probably be very aggressive. Use your potions to sustain yourself until you're stronger, and can deal with him. His ultimate is no where near yours, and you should be ok after that point.
Yorick: Your all time favorite lane ever. Most champs hate and fear him, you love him. Early on, he's gonna be annoying, just like he always is, but once you get your MR, you'll notice a dramatic drop in his damage output, and when you hit 6, you can basically sustain forever against him. Try and kill as many of his ghosts as possible, without missing cs. Ghosts are good to kill, as they give health, but minions are still better, because they give gold. Also, remember that his ghosts die on their own, so wait until they get low, and finish them off. Eventually, you'll start to get so much health, that you won't even notice his damage anymore, and you'll just be happy that he's feeding you minions. At this point, you're actually enjoying his presence, and it hurts you when he leaves lane or goes B, you'd rather he followed you all over the map for the entire game trying to harass you. My best game ever against Yorick consisted of me getting 400cs in just over 30 minutes. The game ended, when I chased their entire team alone through 2 turrets, and killed all 5 of them, while the rest of my team was killing Baron. They surrendered immediately after, cursing me for 'being OP'. I responded by thanking Yorick for the ELO, and telling them it was a good game, and how much fun I had ^.^
Well thanks for reading, Mobafire and I hope this helps you all.
If there's anything I left out, or any questions anyone has, feel free to let me know :P
Please vote, comment, try out, and give your opinions on this, I'd be greatful.
March 31 2012:
-Guide finished, and published.
April 24 2012:
-Fixed some spelling/punctuation errors
-Added intro picture, cause Warmonger Sion is teh sexy
-Added a section on Farming
-Added a section on Laning
-Added a section on Match Ups
-Added all kinds of pretty colours ^.^
-Added The Black Cleaver to items, and removed The Bloodthirster