Build Guide by BlueLeaderOne
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 all, and welcome to my guide to using Sona, what I believe to be the best support champ around. She has amazing damage, amazing heals, a versatile passive, as well as a teamfight-changing ultimate. In short, if your team has a good sona, the chances of losing are very slim.
I've been playing sona for 300+ normal games now, just getting into the ranked scene, and climbing fast. I started sona by reading a guide, and then altered that to my personal play-style. I recommend that you read or skim over this, play it a bit to learn the style, then make it your own! I respect any and all input, as I am in the process of changing up my item build to make it better. But that being said, the current build has worked wonders for me, and I hope you will have similar results.
A final note: currently, the build is tentative. Meaning, I'm changing it as I go, but the current build has worked wonders for me! Instead of auto-downvoting, please give me your input, and I can try the changes out :)
If you need to know anything about sona's bio or skills, visit mobafire's champion page for her.
Why Level Valor First?
Playing an offensive support, your job is to keep the enemy on their toes, and punish them for overextending. Your damage scales way better than your heal, so high damage early on will result in opponents that will be afraid of getting near you, and that is EXACTLY what you want.
Also, your level 2 Aria of Perseverance should be enough to help in early laning fights and team fights. If your teammate needs more heals, then he/she is most likely overextending. Early sona is VERY mana hungry, so instead of spamming heals, tell your teammate to wait for an opening.
In short, you don't initiate fights, but control them. Let your teammate know that you'll keep them alive, but you won't fight under the enemy tower.
Pros / Cons
+Surprising damage output throughout the game
+Kills are usually in the 8-15 range, assists in the 15-30 range
+Abilities are projectiles, allowing for a little tower diving and great range
+Amazing area for her ultimate, an aoe stun
+Great at kiting enemies, since she doesn't need to stop to cast
+decent auto-attack for last hitting
+Extremely versatile champion
++Passive ability for every situation
++Auras for every situation
-The squishiest champion in any game you will play
-You can't directly carry the team; you must stay around teammates most of the game
-Map awareness is key to playing sona!
-Bad early heals
-A slight learning curve to mastering
--When to use passives
--When to use ultimate
--When to use clairvoyance and where
After reading this and learning her, these cons won't be an issue :)
Masteries / Runes
For these, your primary goals are staying on the field and going back to the base less.
I bring along a 9/0/21. With this, you get great magic penetration, mana regeneration, and cooldown reduction.
Magic penetration marks, to hit harder early game
Greater Seal of ReplenishmentMana regeneration seals, to stay on the field longer throughout the game
Ability power glyphs, to hit harder and heal better early on
Ability power quintessences, to hit harder and heal better early on
Sona's escape mechanisms consist of song of celerity, that song's power chord, and her ultimate. Most of the time, this won't be enough, so your goal with her summoner spells is to increase your survivability and map awareness.
- in a dire 1v1 situation, Song of Celerity -> Flash -> Power Chord -> Song of Celerity will get you safe most of the time. Also, this can help you chase a player to finish/stun/slow him, or to get some instant distance in team fights, where your distance is the difference between staying alive or being dead.
- As I said before, map awareness is key to playing a good sona. It's good habit to put clairvoyance in the back of the enemy nexus at ~10 seconds. You get to see which enemy's going where and what items they have. Knowing who is where can give your team the early-game advantage, as you can set up your lanes according to their counters.
A great deal of my guide involves the use of Clairvoyance. I recommend that if you switch out a summoner spell, switch the first slot, since CV is near essential to playing an amazing support. If you don't want to bring this spell along, that is fine, but be aware that you'll be spending a lot more on sight wards!
- Extra mana is nice, but you can't rely on this to keep your mana up in an extended fight. Possibly more helpful for your team, rather than yourself. Always remember, mana regen > max mana.
- Sona has a built-in ghost, but if you prefer this over flash, then I won't stop you :P
- Sona can move fast as-is, but if you need to move faster, then use teleport. Since you'll keep your team in fights longer, towers may get pushed. I'd say your teammates are better off with the teleports, but if you feel the need to have map control, then try this. If you do, switch out the Good Hands mastery point for the teleport one.
- Better suited for another teammate to bring, in my opinion. The damage and speed reductions COULD save you and/or another teammate, in team fights or solo fights, but the range is so small that it could cost you if you're not careful. If you decide to use this, grab the mastery point for it, instead of the extra crit mastery.
- I've never liked using this skill, but if you do, feel free. Reduces healing of enemies(if you're going against mundo or a support), and damage over time for early game kills, or even to finish players off late game. Still, small range, so be careful.
- Against heavy CC, you might use this...not really much else to say about it ^_^ Keep your distance and you shouldn't need it anyway.
- Another eh...I'm deciding on whether to make this a bad choice or possible choice, but I've never used it. I might attempt it one game.
Everything else, as they don't increase your survivability or map awareness.
- You already have a heal that beats that one.
- Your goal isn't to die...
- Only used for lols.
- You're not jungling, and this takes up a spot you need for other spells.
When And Where To Use CV
Clairvoyance can be a difficult skill to master, but once you get it right, you will be a huge asset to your team.
WHEN TO USE CLAIRVOYANCE
Due to the low cooldown on CV(with mastery, 50 second CD / lasts 10 seconds), you should be using this whenever an enemy champion is MIA. Also, let your teammates know that you can use CV wherever they need it, so tell them to just ping on the map where it is necessary. If you use CV and see an enemy, you should either ping on the map or mention it in chat; your map awareness can AND will save your team.
WHERE TO USE CLAIRVOYANCE
Wherever there is a red circle is a great place for a CV; this is only half the map, but you get the idea.Thanks go out to Kibblinator, who posted this pic on his guide, The Tooltip Tome of Summoner Spells.
A Look At The Auras
The last line in sona's passive states "Sona's Auras persist for 2 seconds after deactivating and set off a 2 second global cooldown." Each spell sona sets off has a specific aura, which gives your teammates different buffs for different situations. They are offensive, defensive, and for chasing/running.
Hymn of Valor aura(offensive) grants nearby allied champions 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20 bonus Damage and Ability Power. This extra attack damage and ability power is great in team fights, even if it's just a small amount. If your team is doing fairly well in fights, try to keep this aura up.
Aria of Perseverance aura(defensive) grants nearby allied champions 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20 bonus Armor and Magic Resist. This added armor/magic resistance is a fair amount, especially if your team isn't stacking defensive items. Keep this aura up if your team is having a bit of an issue with damage.
Song of Celerity aura(running/chasing) grants nearby allied champions 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20 bonus Movement Speed. It isn't much, but it definitely makes you faster than your enemy's base speed, if using the same tier boots. Activating the spell also gives surrounding allies 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 14% additional movement speed for 1.5 seconds, which gives an initial boost to cover a little extra distance. Use this repeatedly to speed you and your allies up, for chasing or running, depending on how the fight is going.
Some tips on these auras:
-Since auras persist for 3 seconds after another spell is cast, you can effectively have two auras up at once. Switching between Valor and Perseverance is good for team fights, and switching between Perseverance and Celerity is great for running/chasing(if you're in range and your team is OK on health, then Valor/Celerity is good).
-For those who wonder what the global cooldown means, it's that all your skills get a CD after each skill is cast. The global CD time is reduced by CDR, so make use of that!
-The global CD does not increase the CD time for abilities cast. To clarify, if Hymn of Valor has a 5 second CD and the global CD is 1.5 seconds, the CD for Hymn will only be 5 seconds.
A Look At Power Chord
Since the v220.127.116.11 patch, Sona's power chord passive auto-attack has different effects. This was an effort to put skill into playing Sona, and if you learn how to use these abilities at the right time, then your effectiveness in fights will be even more amazing!
Power Chord now deals 14 damage + 9 x lvl in bonus magic and a bonus effect depending on Sona's last song played. The effects are...
Hymn of Valor(Stacatto): Deals double power chord damage. Use as a nuke for massive damage. Great to use on everyone except the tank.
Aria of Perseverance(Diminuendo): Debuffs the target to deal 20% less damage for 4 seconds. Use on the enemy team's main damage dealer in a fight.
Song of Celerity(Tempo): Slows the target by 40% for 2 seconds. Use in a chase for your team to catch up to your enemy, or while running, to put more distance between you and the enemy.
-Since the v18.104.22.168 patch, Sona won't auto-attack when power chord is active. For me, this was a huge help; she doesn't auto-target minions accidentally anymore! For others, forgetting that you stopped attacking *might* hinder your playing. Just be aware.
-Depending on how much hp your enemy has during a chase, using Valor + power chord may be a better alternative to Celerity + power chord, especially if your team isn't around.
-The damage for power chord is somewhat low if not used with Hymn of Valor. Try to always use hymn + chord when damage is your objective.
When To Use Crescendo
When using Sona's ultimate, Crescendo, it's important to get as many enemies in the stun as possible. A well-placed Crescendo can turn a fight.
-Use Crescendo a few seconds into a fight, after your enemy has gotten up close and personal with the rest of your team.
-Use Crescendo to stall an enemy from running back to their own tower.
-Use Crescendo to cancel enemy spells, such as Katarina's Death Lotus.
-Don't use Crescendo to initiate a fight! The stun isn't very long, so your enemy can make their escape if you use this at the beginning of the fight.
-Finding a good spot to cast may get you closer to the fight than you want. Be careful, and don't over-extend yourself.
Crescendo contributes to power chord casts, but doesn't change the active aura. If you have Hymn of Valor active, 2 casts in, use Crescendo >>> Power Chord >>> Hymn of Valor. It WILL hurt :)
First 10 Seconds(Optional)
GOAL: Start the game off right.
Wait until around the 10 second mark, then use clairvoyance(CV) near enemy spawn. This gives you the advantage of knowing who's going where, and what items they have, so your team can plan your lanes accordingly. This CAN make a difference in your early game, and fuel your team into late game.
Early Game (Levels 1-6)
GOAL: Hold the lane, keep your opponents underleveled, and make them fear you.
Grab Hymn of Valor and cast it twice under spawn, to get an early power chord out without using mana. If you casted Clairvoyance, then try to go for a lane that has less CC. Laning with your carry is the best decision, since he/she will need your support early on to stay in the lane. Focus on keeping the minion line near your turret while last-hitting. Doing this will keep the enemy underleveled and underfed.
I recommend at this stage you be fairly aggressive and show your enemy that sona is not to be messed with. Some things you have to watch out for:
-You are still very squishy in early game. Try to hit your enemies from just at your spell range, then back off.
-MIA(missing in action) calls and junglers. If an MIA call is made, place your CV somewhere down the river. You should be able to see them coming if they are.
-Make MIA calls yourself. If you notice an enemy in your lane goes missing, just type "MIA [champion]", and if he/she returns into the lane, just type "re" or "re [champion]".
-Play hard, but always play safe! Don't do anything without analyzing the situation first. Can they stun you? Can they slow you? Is your teammate backing you up? Just know what's going on before you get yourself in trouble.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM LEVELS 1-6:
A kill/assist or two: and . Your enemies will stay away from you, and your laning partner should be pretty fed as well. Buy a few while you're at it to keep you in the game!
No kills/assists: and . Buy a few to keep you in the lane. You're not fed, but your opponents shouldn't be fed either. If you've been staying on the offensive, then the enemy might be wary of you, but still waiting for you to overextend. If you've been on the defensive, then the enemy will look at you as a support, thus an easy kill. This could be helpful, but be careful, as they will extend quite a bit to kill you.
A death or two: You can go either the or . will help keep you in the lane. Play cautiously, at least until you get leveled up. The enemy will go for you for "easy kills", so stay near the turret or bush, farm minions, and poke with your Hymn of Valor every so often.
Early Mid Game (Levels 6-11)
Start this phase with...
GOAL: Kills and assists, stunning/supporting in team fights, and get your AP up.
In this level range, you'll be hitting hard with your Hymn of Valor Power Chord combo and your Crescendo is a fight-changing stun. Stick around your teammates in fights, as your auras give you auto-assists, and assists = extra gold for your next item, . If you want to go back to base for the first, then that's good too.
If you're pretty fed, grab two or three sight ward , and place them in high-traffic areas. Along the river in front of baron, in front of the dragon, the bush above blue team's bottom tower...all decent spots for you to use wards at.
Some things that you may forget...
-Stay safe, and keep your distance in team fights; you're still very squishy.
-Keep using Clairvoyance when necessary(when some enemies are missing).
At the end of this phase, you should have Morello's Evil Tome,, and working on your . You'll be hitting very hard in fights, and you'll notice that your mana regeneration is keeping you on the field for very long periods.
Late Mid Game (Levels 11-16)
Start this phase with...
GOAL: Push towers, support in team fights, map awareness, and keep boosting that AP!
Sona can be a great pusher when paired with your team's tank, or tanky dps. While most of the enemy is distracted, see if you and a teammate can rush an enemy tower. Most of the time, you'll be able to do it no problem. Just keep Clairvoyance on in the nearby jungle(or better yet, place sight wards!) and run away when they start getting close. If you notice that the likelihood of getting away is low, then either let the tower take you out(so the enemy doesn't get a kill), or finish up the tower(players respawn, towers don't).
If you're still having a little trouble with mana at this point, try to grab the blue buff to fix that. Keep pushing towers and working those team fights, and you'll have and finished by the end of this phase. If you find yourself feeding, then getting your before will probably help you more.
-Cast Clairvoyance alongside your team, to watch for ganks.
- Mana Potions can keep you in fights longer(if you don't have blue buff).
- sight wards / Vision Wards in key areas can save you for when Clairvoyance is on cooldown.
-You never stop being squishy, so don't over-extend yourself(even with Guardian Angel; you don't want to waste it).
Late Game (Levels 16-18)
Start this phase with...
GOAL: Keep your team alive.
Keep doing what you've been doing, but always stay near your team. Careful of ganks; place Clairvoyance at jungle spots near/around your team. Stay in the back of your team, and support like a boss in fights. Keep an eye on the minimap and watch for towers being pushed. If they are, ping them and get someone to go push it back. If you get the gold, finish up your .
And finally, if your team aces the enemy at this point, then it's game over. Good job, your team couldn't have done it without you!
Completely steamplowing the enemy team? Mejai's Soulstealer instead of Morello's Evil Tome. Personally, I believe snowball items are too flimsy to be effective, but if you're just not dying at all, then try it out :P
More than one enemy with magic resistance? Abyssal Scepter instead of Will of the Ancients. The scepter is better than Void Staff because 1) It's a magic pen aura, which helps your team, and 2) You can get your opponent's magic resistance into the negative.
Things in here are simply notes from my personal playing, as well as anyone who submits their own notes, who I will mention if they wish :)
5/23/11: Just played this match. Laned very well with garen(mah buddy) and dominated early ryze/vayne, as well as anyone else who crossed us. Being targeted by vayne late game was an issue, most my deaths are by her >_< Conclusion, work on earlier defense. http://riotstats.com/matches/us-140279002
Changelog / Wishlist
5/15/11 - Published on mobafire.com
5/15/11 - Added Alternative Items section(will add more)
5/18/11 - Changed primary build around. Will of the Ancients instead of Lich Bane. 5/18/11 - Glyphs/quints of potency instead of insight and fortitude
5/23/11 - Added Play notes section. Looking into other item sets for survivability and magpen.
-Change text sizes around
-Test out items to improve survivability(tenacity, AP/armor/resist/regen auras)
If anyone has ideas of what they want me to add and/or change, feel free to comment or message me. I'm posting this for the players, after all.
Special Thanks (soupper speshul :P)
Hearts go out to Snowlore, for constantly telling me I play so well with Sona :)
Friends and teammates, for putting up with my shenanigans and insanely aggressive play-style.
Opponents I've facerolled with this build(too many to list...), for testing purposes! Good sports are ftw :D
Opponents that have facerolled ME, so I could learn how much caution is necessary to play this champion. I've had a few complete upsets, and I'm man enough to admit it.
The guys(and ladies!) at Exiles of Demacia, EoD, for giving me kickass people to play with. If you're a decent player, and have ventrilo(really does help, geekiness aside), feel free to check 'em out, here's a link to their recruitment thread: DA LINK!
Kibblinator, for the nice picture in my When To Use CV section. Go check out his guide, The Tooltip Tome of Summoner Spells, and give it a thumbs up; after all, he put his time and effort into it, and it's a huge help!
And last, but definitely not least, everyone on here that checks this out and tries it! Leave a comment, let me know how ya did. If you have some constructive criticism, I will gladly appreciate it; I'm a big boy! Just don't downvote because I don't have enough pylons. I have plenty of pylons, I checked.