Sona Build Guide by RuigoP
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.
Other than Irelia, Sona was literally one of the first champions I bought and loved her ever since. I was always a sucker for music types and this certainly wasn't an exception.
REMEMBER: Don't follow this guide to the letter all the time. Your build and items change with the current situation and your own personal play style. By no means do you have to adhere to anything I say here.
A great Summoner builds their Champion up based on the other team, not based on what a website says.
All guide writers do is give advice based on their own experiences. Some are flawed, but you might end up learning something in the end.
WARNING: I tend to repeat myself and ramble on about things you might not care about. if you don't want to read anything that's insanely long, don't bother with this guide. I tend to be long winded and get off track
- I have never played Sona in a Ranked game. Once I do though, I will post up a viable build for Ranked, possibly.
- Guide is relatively work in progress. Need to tweak some things.
Pros / Cons
- Extremely easy to play!
- Decent early game damage
- Extremely mobile due to Song of Celerity
- Free auras for those in range
- Her presence by herself nets Assists
- Low cooldowns
- Amazing in Team Fights
- Great Early Laning Partner
- Constantly focused on
- No extreme game changing ability (i.e. Janna's Monsoon, Zilean's Chronoshift etc.)
- Scaling is low
- Somewhat weak at farming if it is not practiced
- Skill targeting is somewhat temperamental
- Damage falls off quickly
- Reliant on a baby sitter
- Weak at actual healing
- Moderate mana consumpion - it's easy to burn
- Squishy Support
- A very hit and run champion
Sona is an all around great champion and heavily underrated when compared to other supports. However, you can easily make her shine and she is an all-around safe champion to play. Her lack of things that are particularly game changing is daunting but when played well, that is often overlooked.
A common misconception I find when playing Sona is people expect me to keep them alive. For everyone who does: don't ever expect ANY Support to keep you alive.
The purpose of Supports isn't to cover up your mistakes or bail you out of a sticky situation. Sure they have the capability to, but that's not what they're there for. Support abilities are often too weak to quickly reverse a huge mistake that's made in a fight.
That being said, don't expect any Support Champion to play out as a huge damage dealer. Every champion has that capability, it's simply more convenient if you don't play out as one. You have much more valuable roles you can fill in than plain old DPS or Burst. It's nice to gain a good K/D, but it's not your job to net a good K/D.
I'm not saying I don't support Damage Dealer Sona builds either. Most of my early play with Sona was in-fact a damage dealing build based around her passive, but it just won't cut it with me anymore. That's just my own personal taste.
Runes are a sticky subject, especially when I play Sona, as many different combinations work. I'm most comfortable with:
Greater Mark of Ability Power - Flat AP helps with your early game just in general. I don't really see as many options for this slot as other people, mainly since Sona's scaling is weak and doesn't do as much damage as people would want. It is enough to boost your abilities early in the game to have just enough of an impact to make you a threat.
Greater Seal of Replenishment - Flat Mana Regen to help with Sona's Mana Consumption at the beginning of the match. The regen becomes greatly negligible by the end of the match.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - Scaling AP, as you don't necessarily build many AP items late game. You end up needing all you can get and horde since you don't build AP unless needed to.
Greater Quintessence of Gold - Yes. Gold per 10 second runes. This is actually quite an odd set of runes to pack at all, but from playing so many games, I say that these runes synergize with Sona very well. Most of the time you are looking to give the Minion Kills/Creep Source (CS) to your laning partner who needs it more. Avarice Quints, combined with the Greed mastery and a Philosopher's Stone will last you through most if not all the game for all your gold needs. Trust me, just try it out. It makes a huge difference.
Other Possible Choices:
Greater Mark of Scaling Ability Power - These play out the same as glyphs. You'll need all the AP you can get, but your early game damage falls off really quickly. You end up being more of an aurabot to be honest.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction & Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction - Cooldown Runes are alright overall since for most of the game you won't have cooldown reduction. Personally, I wouldn't go for these since you gain enough cooldown reduction as it is with Shurelia's Reverie and Soul Shroud. But if you really want to switch out one of these items, feel free to pack some CDR runes. Due to the fact that Sona's skills has such low cooldown as it is, CDR has less of an impact than most people think.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration - This helps with Sona's late game mana consumption, but if you conserve your mana well, you most likely won't need to regen it quickly. You usually have enough regen by the time things get hairy.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power - Flat AP helps with your early game, basically.
There are literally mounds of rune combinations you can use and it's all based on personal preference. Pick ones you're comfortable with.
There is some variation as to what summoner spells are accepted, especially on Support champions. I have tried various combinations and have to say that there isn't one right set of spells to pick.
Clairvoyance is an amazing skill as map awareness is king. Simply using this skill alone, you can cause so much hurt and damage to the enemy team when it's used correctly. Don't ever stop using it. Even when your team is chasing the enemy, pop it ahead in a bush the champion they're going for will dive in. It quickly nets your team a kill. Use it to scout often, check wary bushes often and get those leftover kills. Use it all the time!
Due to the way Heal was changed when the skill was revamped, I now take it much more often than an escape skill. With the mastery, this skill restores an amazing chunk of health and increases the sustainability of everyone in your vicinity. The only problem I see when ever using the skill is when people run away from your general direction when they are low and are out of range of Heal. What can you do though?
OTHER CHOICES YOU CAN SWITCH IN:
Song of Celerity is not a reliable escape tool for Sona to use. While it goes give you a substantial boost, it typically is not enough for you to get away if you are focused. Flash is always a solid choice to pick if you get caught in a sticky situation.
Flash can be an escape mechanism and/or a chasing tool. You are able to use Flash to jump over walls, teleport next to an enemy champion you're trying to kill or simply to get around faster. Yes. There are people who use Summoner Spells with no combat going on at all. I find it kind of silly sometimes.
I'm a Ghost fan to be honest. I've always used Ghost and it's not hard to understand. Just mash the key and run away. You can also use it to chase down enemy champions without much trouble, even if they themselves have Ghost or Flash.
Due to the way the game has changed over time, it's not uncommon to see more offense based skills on Supports now. Ignite is a highly revered skill for it's DoT (Damage over Time) effect and it's healing cutting ability. You can use it to help you take out an enemy champion if you can't get seem to do enough damage output. Just lay Ignite on them and run the opposite direction. Let the DoT do it's work.
You can also initiate a fight with it to give you that extra damage push.
Exhaust is a pretty decent skill, even as a support. It's pretty much in the exact same situation as Ignite. You're able to help pin down opponents for your teammates to kill, and that's always helpful as well as reduce their resistances.
Teleport is probably one of those skills that could be used on a Support. It's extremely valuable to be able to Teleport to anywhere on the map, especially if you ward like insanity. It can also be used as an escape when timed correctly, despite the moderately long cooldown.
Clarity helps you incredibly with the first couple of minutes in the match for both you and your laning partner. You can freely use skills without worrying about Mana issues, especially if you have Mana Manipulator on hand. It's usefulness drops as the match goes on, but pop it when you need to.
Promote is simply one of those skills used to quickly give a lane an extra push to down a tower or inhibitor. I've seen it taken in many kill-based lanes, but I personally don't enjoy taking it.
Perfect compliment to Ghost as it removes all negative effects on you and reduces newly placed slow/snare durations. It has it's uses. You all should know what this does, really. The issue with this spell is that you're too squishy to use the skill effectively. Once you're caught, you are most likely dead by the time you pop it.
Surge is actually quite an odd spell to pack, this actually is somewhat alright for Sona to have due to the boosts it provides. The slot could be better used for something else though.
Revive is the complete opposite of Heal. It's only viable when the match is coming to an end and your respawn timer is massive. You only use it then to pop back up and support your teammates as soon as possible. However, due to it's limited use, no one enjoys taking this skill.
Smite only works on jungle monsters and creeps. You aren't jungling, so I see no point in this...
Summoner spells are certainly your choice and are really determined by your playing style.
Sona does have a moderate item pool and items can be switched about. There's quite a number of them that can be changed and added. Considering that I really only have 3 core items in my standard build, it's up to you to fill in the last slots.
Mana Manipulator ends up being one of the main Mana Regen items many Sona's use. It synergizes well with her kit and it upgrades into a pretty killer support item. No one argues with additional Mana Regen and CDR. You yourself reap the benefits of 520 additional HP as well. Usually, when I do build Soul Shroud or Shurelya's Reverie, I sell my Heart of Gold.
Tear of the Goddess itself gives you a large mana pool. A bonus 1000 Mana. When you build it into an Archangel's Staff, 3% of your maximum mana is converted into Ability Power. I've commonly seen this used on Sona and it's definitely a great item to use. I really haven't found much use for it recently but switch it in if you like.
In most cases, you'll be at about 1700-2100 Mana.
To put it into perspective, add in Archangel's Staff's Flat AP boost of +45
- 1700 max MP = 51 AP + 45 AP = 91 AP
- 1800 max MP = 54 AP + 45 AP = 99 AP
- 1900 max MP = 57 AP + 45 AP = 102 AP
- 2000 max MP = 60 AP + 45 AP = 105 AP
- 2100 max MP = 63 AP + 45 AP = 108 AP
108 AP isn't to scoff at. That's ~69.67% of Rabaddon's Deahthcap's flat AP boost of +155 AP. You can even stack more than one Archangel's Staff since it's 3% max MP to AP passive isn't unique if you can afford it.
If you can help it, get Tear of Goddess as soon as you can.
- For Tear of the Goddess/Archangel's Staff the 1000 Mana Passive takes 12 minutes and 30 seconds to max, assuming you are using a skill every 3 seconds.
Boots of Swiftness are widely accepted as a stable boot choice for Sona. The higher mobility is extremely helpful, especially since you're much slower than most champions. I often roam as well, so there's not harm in getting the additional movement speed.
Boots of Mobility are actually a good boot choice for a roamer. I often end up being a roaming support and focus more on going from lane to lane as opposed to sticking in a lane or to a champion. I would rather go for Boots of Swiftness, but it's not out of this world for me to get Boots of Mobility. Keep in mind, you lose the 5 Enhanced Movement speed when you attack something or get hurt.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity is in fact, one of the items you can use to hit the 40% CDR, unless you supplement it with other items. It's not really needed if you use the standard build as it gives you enough as it is.
Sorcerer's Shoes is also a reasonable choice, as the metagame now is everyone stacks Magic Resistance. It helps with your damage output and is reasonably priced. You can help your team with some damage dealing, but I personally don't like it.
Will of the Ancients has quickly become a replacement for Mejai's Soulstealer since it's not subject to the stacking effect. It's a much more stable item to get on Sona as a result and you won't lose AP when you die and the Spell Vamp is great in general for everyone.
Mejai's Soulstealer, at 20 stacks, provides you with a nice CDR of 15%, as well as 160 AP. This ends up being an okay AP item, as it's incredibly easy to gain stacks as a support. Your very presence nearby practically counts as an assist.
Rabadon's Deathcap provides a flat +155 AP boost and 30% additional AP on top of that? NO BRAINER! The problem with getting this item though is that Sona's scaling took huge hits as time went on and thus AP becomes a less and less significant stat to have on her. I would say only take this if you yourself are doing well. More AP never hurts after all.
Zhonya's Hourglass provides a flat +100 AP and +50 Armor. The active portion of it is great too and keeps you alive. Feel free to use it if needed.
Philosopher's Stone => Shurelya's Reverie
Philosopher's Stone is really what makes everything work out so well. It helps with your Health Regen as well as your Mana Regen but it's also a gold over time item. This helps net in your revenue along with some Avarice Quints and the Greed mastery and sustains your gold level for practically the entire game. Once it's turned into a Shurelya's Reverie, it gives you 15% CDR, Health, additional Mana and Health Regen as well as one mean Support active. And trust me, it's incredibly mean.
Let the Philosopher's Stone sit in your inventory till it's the point where you don't need gold at all. Most of the time this is when you're pushed up so far you don't need the revenue or have so much extra gold you don't need any more. Usually, when I do build Soul Shroud or Shurelya's Reverie, I sell my Heart of Gold.
Aegis of the Legion is a very nice aura item, on top of your additional auras for your teammates. No one can go wrong with additional damage, armor and magic resistance. You can use this to fill in your 6th slot when you want.
Abyssal Scepter provides you with 57 Magic Resistance of your own, +70 AP and -20 Magic Resistance to any enemy champion within a range of 1000 to you. Everyone loves -20 Magic Resistance to enemy champions.
Lich Bane in combination with your passive and your frequent use of spells can be a great asset, and I've used builds that have Lich Bane as an item. The problem with me using this is I don't focus on killing champions. Use it. I don't care. You only have 5 items technically anyway.
Morello's Evil Tome is typically one of the items I buy in lieu of Deathfire Grasp, much to the chagrin of everyone I know. Despite the more desirable effect of Deathfire Grasp, you don't stack AP inherently, thus the tome is actually the item to take. You aren't usually in the middle of a fight so what point does the active come into play? You're never in range to use it.
Heart of Gold is pretty much just an early game item to help with your income and your survivability. You usually sell it once you build either Shurelya's Reverie or Soul Shroud. It's purpose is literally JUST for income. You have to let this item sit in your inventory for a while.
Kage's Lucky Pick =>
This item sequence is alright... Kage's Lucky Pick is fine as an item but Deathfire Grasp is lackluster on Sona. For more overall damage due to it's active, it has generally less stat boosts than Morello's Evil Tome. The range on the active is small and it usually encourages more close-range AP combatants to use it. The Deathfire Grasp is overall weaker on you as well since the build doesn't call for AP stacking.
Elixir of Brilliance is one of those items I've started to fall in love with. It's an amazing item, especially if you haven't fully built all your CDR in early game and even after in late game for that AP boost. If you have some extra Gold to spare and you aren't buying potions or wards, definitely pick one up and pop it. It's not a staple, but it's not a bad idea.
Sight Wards and Vision Wards are practically core items to my Sona almost. I almost never, ever stop buying these. Pick them up and ward everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Every time you are at the base, buy wards! Make sure you constantly have a full stack if you aren't doing anything else or aren't needed anywhere else. Your team will thank you for being the one that plops the wards down and uses Clairvoyance. You can easily change a game around if you are able to see the enemy team. The gold from Philosopher's Stone, your Avarice Quints and the Greed mastery pay for these every couple of minutes, and your build is practically so cheap you'll never be behind on your build if you play your cards right.
Oracle's Elixir is situational. Make sure you grab them to kill enemy wards when you have the chance (if they're using them) since you're more likely to roam and place wards down than stick to a lane in general. Extremely helpful and you can be bait for stealth champions as well.
Be warned though that this item on Sona isn't the best item in the world. People often will request for this item to be purchased on a support without knowing the full story as to why you should not purchase the item at all.
Oracles Elixer pretty much spells out your doom half the time and is a huge "KILL ME" sign above your head. Most of the time, if you're caught alone or out of position, you won't last very long with an Oracles and you throw 400 gold down the drain.
You don't have any spectacular resistances to get out of a fight, at any point in time, no matter how the trends and meta change. The cons of having this item outweigh the pros if you are not careful.
If anything, request the tank or a bulkier character to carry an Oracles for fights. Only carry an Oracles yourself if you know you can keep it long enough for it to be worth it.