Sona Build Guide by Bubicica
Not Updated For Current Season
Look at me ma', no boots!
General build order
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.
Threats to Sona with this build
|Soraka||Try going for Soraka instead of the carry. Avoid Starcall to not let her heal up.|
|Bard||Low range, low damage, low heal. Just be careful for portal ganks.|
The reason I'm posting this build is because I've seen quite a few builds for Sona, which doesn't really emphasize her strenghts, and most fall flat, or are just the "general support" build.
This build is aimed at maximizing your unique skills, good AP ratios, and supporting while also doing decent damage, so you don't just become an "ult bot" by the end of the game.
Currently I'm around Platinum IV-V. If I want to win a game, I play Sona, if I want to lose I play Bard.
Well, with that said, let's dive right in!
Rune choices & Masteries
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
You can take flat armor if you want, I personally prefer scaling as it surpasses the effectiveness of the flat armor ones at level 6. Other runes are not really worth considering, as this is almost al of the defense you'll ever have.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Same as above, although I highly recommend the scaling ones, unless you are up against some crazy AP bot, but that is unlikely. You won't need too much Magic Resistance early on.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
You want to maximze your early poking potential, currently there is no better way to do this, then getting some Magic Pen. This will also affect your passive, which makes it quite worthwhile.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
This is my preferred Quinteessence. You could take the standard bonsu gold income, but with Sona harass power, your Spellthief's Edge will generate you enough income. Your little bonus AP is great however for some extra poking, and bit more healing and shielding.
There is not much to explain with masteries. It's an offensive 9/0/21 support build. Maybe it's worth mentioning that I did not take Culinary Master because I do not use potions with this build. I spend the starting gold on Stealth Wards, and because I have a decent Mana regenration and a quite nice heal early on, I never felt like I'm missing potions/cookies.
All you are trying to do with your masteries is maxing out your support/utility and adding a decent early game poking ability. Let's move on.
Skill sequence and usage
Get Hymn of Valor as your first spell.
Survive until you get Aria of Perseverance.
Are you doing good?
Doing good means your ADC and you are at maximum health or near maximum, you got plenty of mana left, and there are no signs of this changing in the near future.
If that's true, go for another rank of Hymn of Valor.
Are you not doing so good?
Maybe your ADC or you got caught by a Blitzcrank pull, or you got an early Shaco gank, or your ADC just loves to facetank damage.
In this case, you'll be better off with another rank in Aria of Perseverance.
Apart from some rare cases, Song of Celerity should always be your level 4 spell. This is about the time when enemy Junglers finish their path and set up an ambush. Your Song of Celerity makes escaping such an attack way easier, both for you, and your ADC.
Are you STILL doing good?
Still no problems with keeping your health high and still got mana? Winning your lane? Awesome! Get another rank in Hymn of Valor
Are you not doing so good anymore?
For some reason your ADC is getting caught all the time? That nasty Sejuani just won't leave your lane alone? Get your defenses up with some more Aria of Perseverance!
Naturally, get your ult: Crescendo. Not only is it one of the strongest ultimates in-game, but it also amplifies all of your other abilities. There is no reason not to get it.
Level 7 - 18:
From here on, it's all to you. If you are winning your lane and/or winning the game in general, it is more advised to max out Hymn of Valor first. Of course, if you need more defenses, go for Aria of Perseverance. You can leave Song of Celerity last. Not that it's not great, but your other abilities are superior. Always get Crescendo when it is available.
Hymn of Valor
This is your harassing skill. Experiment a lot with it's range, master it. Keep in mind that it prioratizes champions when it selects it's target. If you manage to hit 2 champions at once your Spellthief's Edge procs (it's passive executes) 2 times. If you can't land it safely on 2 champions, do not be afraid to use it on one. Try to harass the ADC, especially if he is paired up with someone tanky like Leona or Thresh.
For maximum harassment, you should always switch auras to Hymn of Valor before firing your Power Chord. Even if Power Chord is not up, try to land 1 autoattack on your opponents after each Hymn of Valor. You should alwys try to "power up" your ADC with your aura after doing so.
Aria of Perseverance
Be careful with it in early game, as it is very expensive to just spam around. For the best cost efficiency you want to be near your ADC, and when he is about ot be hit by something, like Ezreal's Mystic Shot so your shield can soak up most of the damage. If you just use it for healing, you are basically wasting half of it's damage negating potential. If you use it from afar for the heal, don't forget to "touch" your ADC afterwards, even if it shields him from a few minion hits, it's still something.
I also don't recommend using it unless your ADC (or you) is below 80% HP. It's high mana cost won't allow you to use it whenever you feel like it, so save it for when it's needed (naturally you can use it when for some reason you are on full mana). In later stages of the game, like, from mid game (when you have your Tear of the Goddess feel free to use it to proc up your Power Chord.
It's Power Chord ability is most useful when you and your ADC are in a dangerous sitation, and you don't seem to be winning. For instance you are being ganked by a Rengar while the enemy Vayne and Janna are pushing on you. All you want to do is retreat as quickly as possible. In this case, you could use your "green" Power Chord to shut down the damage of Rengar and you can still Exhaust Vayne. Poof, 2 major damage sources gone.
Song of Celerity
A great skill, although not all that useful in early game. In late it's basicly a free Talisman of Ascension every 7 seconds. You can use it for engaging and for escaping, and it's the relatively cheap to proc your Tear of the Goddess. Use it only when it's needed, don't go wasting it.
It's Power Chord is great to catch up with enemies your team is chasing or to let someone who is being chased escape.
I personally think this in one of the most powerful ulties in the game. A mass 1.5 seconds of stun can make or break a teamfight. Although there are some cases when you can engage with this (more about this in the tips and tricks section), I mostly use it after the fight has already begun, because people tend to cluster up then, and you can get a nice 4-5 man stun.
After using it, I recommend casting a Hymn of Valor and landing a Power Chord and getting out of there as fast as you can. Use an Aria of Perseverance on the way out, and if it is safe, reengage.
It's also a great tool to save people, do not hesitate to use it in a defensive manner, to let your teammates escape.
When you are in the laning phase, and fight erupts, if you have the time, get into a position so you can stun both the enemy ADC and the Support. Just be careful not to be "too late". Don't worry about your personal safety, the stun duration will grant you time to get out safely.
Items - what to get and when?
Items against a "regular" team
Always start with this item, don't bother with other gold income items. Your Hymn of Valor let's you essestially proc it twice, and it's big brother Frost Queen's Claim gets you all you need. A bit of a cooldown, AP, mana regen and a nice active. You don't need Talisman of Ascension, your Song of Celerity is a way better speedboost.
Get 2 of these for starters. I feel like you don't really need Health Potions as your heal is decent enough, and you should have access to it from level 2. Save gold on potions, and use it on wards instead, a ward can potentially save you and your ADC from a horrible fate.
Just the usual starter for supports. You can never have enough wards.
First trip home
Get this quick to double your gold income from harassment, also for the extra bit of mana regen.
Sona is an extremely mana hungry champion. You'll need more of these in the future, if you find yourself with 180 extra gold, get 2 of these.
Stealth Wards and Vision Ward
Get 3 Stealth Wards and 1 Vision Ward if you have the money for it. If you can get all 4 wards, I recommend switching trinkets to Sweeping Lens. If you could only afford 1-2 wards keep your Warding Totem.
NEVER EVER GO BACK ON THE LANE WHITOUT WARDS!
Second trip home
Tear of the Goddess
Get this. This will (mostly) cover all of your mana needs. Whenever you are full on mana, cast something to proc it. I much prefer this over Chalice of Harmony as you'll find yourself on 0 mana in extended fights very quickly, where as with a large mana pool you can manage it how you want. Also, this will build into your main AP item, Seraph's Embrace.
Enough with the wards, time to get serious. Sadly you cannot get this item earlier, cause whitout a decent mana sustain, you are next to useless. DO NOT UPGRADE into Ruby Sightstone. That 1 ward and +200 HP isn't worth 400 gold. Instead, try to build the below items as quickly as possible
From here on, build in this order:
Your bread and butter item. It gives you everything you want. AP? Check. Mana regen? Check. Movement speed? Check. And it's passive? It's just made for Sona. Now granted not all of your team will be AD, but even APs autoattack sometimes, so it can't hurt to gives them some attack speed.
Remember that Ardent Censer gives it's attack speed bonus and a magic damage bonus on heal OR shield. That means that whoever you touch with your Aria of Perseverance aura gets the buff. Try to apply your shield to all of your teammates.
Frost Queen's Claim
Time to finish your starting item. The AP boost is nice, and the active is great for engaging and/or fleeing. Combined with Song of Celerity you can outrun anyone on the field of justice.
Who even needs boots? Get this, with your finished Ardent Censer and your movement speed bonus for Aether Wisp you should be moving as fast as any champion. Not to mention your Song of Celerity which by now has a pretty good AP boost, thus you'll be outrunning most champs. Boots are for the weak.
Build your Aether Wisp into this item. You'll see a massive amount of damage increase from now on, and your mobility is higher than other champs. But you are super squishy. Your main goal should be to defend allies (with heals, shields, and escapes) but go in with Hymn of Valor shoot off your autoattack for a nice Power Chord. Enemy squishies will be surprised that you shot down half of their health, but after doing so, I recommend getting the frick out of there undil Hymn of Valor recharges. Until then, support your team., you know, like a support.
By this time your Tear of the Goddess should be full. Time to put it to good use and build an Archangel's Staff. At this point you should feel that your Hymn of Valor packs quite a punch, and your Song of Celerity is equivalent if not better than a Talisman of Ascension's active.
Banner of Command
Wait what? Why would you even... just... listen! You want to support your team more, right? You need a bit of extra survivability, right? You would get a Locket of the Iron Solari normally, but why do that, when you already have Aria of Perseverance which basicly does the same, only better? So what you are doing here, is exchanging the 200 HP from Locket of the Iron Solari to 60 AP. Sounds a lot better right? Yeah, the active is pretty ****py, but it's actually quite useful if you have a baron buff. Ever seen a minion as big as Cho'Gath?
Items against an AP heavy team
Against an AP team you will need (or at least should) build a bit differently. Follow the normal build until your first Faerie Charm but then, you should take a different turn.
Against lots of AP I recommend getting this early. It covers some of your mana regen needs, gives you a nice boost of MR, and because Mages tend to have stuns/roots and such other nasty stuff, the active is great to save your ADC buddy. I would get this against a team like Malzahar mid, Annie support, Amumu jungle. Note that you can still run out of mana.
Locket of the Iron Solari
You'll need to build this fairly quick against an AP team. Aegis of the Legion will help negate some damage for everyone around you, and the active can help save your mates from some bursts.
Athene's Unholy Grail
This is also a viable choice if you are facing multiple AP users and you want to keep your AP-support status. Don't get Mikael's Crucible if you get this however, their passive is the same, so one will be wasted.
Why Mercury's Treads? Ionian Boots of Lucidity isn't needed, as you will reach the 40% cooldown cap anyway, and Sorcerer's Shoes would just boost your Hymn of Valor and Power Chord a bit. I feel tenacity is worth way more than that.
Items against an AD heavy team
If you get this, you'll go tanky. This is far from ideal, you should not really be in the range of enemies to use this item's active. However, if the enemy is really heavy on AD, say a Zed mid, Riven top, and a Rengar jungler, it's worth getting.
Same as above really, although I recommend getting Randuin's Omen instead for the extra health.
Again, not ideal on Sona but there are not many better choices for her. The bit of AP will help you maintain your damage, and the AoE slow is nice after a Hymn of Valor - but there are better items. Get this only if you really need that extra armor.
When you start off, use your Hymn of Valor to charge your Power Chord. Place your Warding Totem so you can see any invaders. Help your Jungler (if you are on the lane where he starts) by using a Hymn of Valor and keep autoattacking.
If you are feeling really cheeky, you can charge your Power Chord only 2 times. Autoattack the Jungle minion which your jungler is taking, instantly Hymn of Valor after, and then autoattack again. A fully charged Power Chord resets your autoattck times, so with this method you can do a bit more damage.
Also remember to give the blue aura from Hymn of Valor to your allies, for some extra damage.
Early game is probably the best stage of the game for you. Your Hymn of Valor plus Power Chord autoatacks make for fearsome harasses. What you want to do, is whenever it is possible, you go in range of the ADC or/and the support, cast a Hymn of Valor and immidiatley use a Power Chord, then move at as soon as possible out. Even if you do not have Power Chord ready, because of your aura, your autoattack will do a fair amount of damage. You can do the autottack -> Hymn of Valor -> Power Chord combo, but be careful, your autoattacks have less range than your Hymn of Valor, meaning they are not as safe. After a successfull harass, try to charge your ADCs autoattack with your "blue" aura.
Be extremely careful on level 1, don't risk stuff, go in only if you are 100% sure you can harass safely, better wait for level 2 for Aria of Perseverance.
I recommend saving mana for at least 1 Aria of Perseverance in case you get ganked, or your ADC goes too risky, the heal and the shield can save him/her. After level 4, save some extra mana for Song of Celerity for a quick escape.
The brush is your friend. Stay in it, and move out to harass, when the enemies come into range. Be careful with champions like Vayne who can pin you to the wall. With your low survivability, it's pretty much 1 mistake, and you are dead.
This may sound strange, but do not worry about stealing kills. It is perfectly fine if you take the kill -> a dead enemy is still better than one that escapes, or kills your ADC just because you wanted to leave the kill to your ADC. of course, if you are 100% sure your ADC can kill the enemy SAFELY, let him/her. With this build a "fed" Sona can keep up and control the bot lane just fine.
Even if you are feeling that you are doing great, and dealing massive amounts of damage remember that YOU are the support. It is still your job to Ward the place, keep an eye on Dragon , and keep yor ADC safe, so he/she can win the lane. If you are doing bad, don't hesitate to max Aria of Perseverance instead of Hymn of Valor like it is descriped above at the Skill Sequences section.
You have 4 main goals when playing with your team:
1. Landing your Crescendo as effectively as possible
2. Try buffing everyone
3. Keep the map well warded
4. Try to peel off nasty attackers from your squishies
1. Land your Crescendo
From experience I can tell you that in a teamfight engaging with Crescendo is not only hard, but also very dangerous and predictable. As soon as the enemy team sees you closing in on them, they will scatter, and start poking you from afar, which you cannot really sustain. I therefore recommend saving your ulti for mid fight.
Ideally your Jungler/Top bruiser will engage on the enemy, and they have no chance but to cluster up on him/her. That's your time when you should be able to land your Crescendo. Keep an eye out though for any assassins like Talon or Akali that might directly jump on your ADC, your Crescendo might be worth more if you use it to save your partner, even if it just stuns 1 enemy.
2. Try buffing everyone
As you know, Hymn of Valor, Aria of Perseverance and Song of Celerity all have auras. When you use a skill, try touching everyone with your aura. This is especially true for Aria of Perseverance as you can never know when a rouge Nidalee spear will hit. Also from mid game you want to keep up the buff from Ardent Censer on everyone, even your AP carry (that little bit of extra damage is always nice).
If you see one of your teammates in trouble, you can rush over to save him/her, preferably with your Power Chord charged to "purple" or "green". Hit the attacker with it, follow up with an Aria of Perseverance for a quick heal and shield, and escape with a Song of Celerity. Use the active of Frost Queen's Claim to widen the gap between your friendlies and the chasers. Don't hesitate to use Crescendo if it is the only mean to escape.
3. Keep the map well warded
There's nothing new to say here, just the usual. In the laning phase keep the tri-bush and the river warded (at the dragon , later on keep an eye on dragon and baron nashor . Place your wards smartly. Yes, there are guides on warding, but there is no 100% saying where you should place wards. Keep an eye on the map and ask yourself: "Will a ward there notify us of incoming enemy?" - If yes, place it.
Also, if you have no idea where the enemy is please don't facecheck. It's better to waste a ward from your Sightstone then rushing in a brush which you are not 100% sure about.
4. Peel off attackers
In most teamfights the enemy assassins and bruisers will try to go for your ADC/APC. In a teamfight you should not go and chase targets, but stay with your mates and buff them (see point #2). Stay within safe distance of your carries, whenever you have an aura up, go near them. If you see enemies closing in on them use your Frost Queen's Claim to make distance between them. From mid game your Hymn of Valor should hit pretty hard. Based on your judgement land the right Power Chord. Note that you may not have time to just switch between auras in a quick fight, so most of the time landing ANY Power Chord will do fine.
Your damage output should scare away assassins, and with your other skills, you should be able to keep your mates safe. Most of the time people will not focus you. That does not mean you are safe. Don't forget you have a Seraph's Embrace for an extra shield.
Tips & tricks
- If you see your team is about to engage the enemy, or you are chasing them you can do a fany Flash and Crescendo combo to let your teammates catch up
- In late game your damage output and kiting ability cause of your high AP is great. You can 1v1 some champions with Hymn of Valor and then running aways with Song of Celerity. Rinse and repeat.
- People don't expect your damage. In early game if the enemy ADC is about the retreat because of his/her low HP, you can Flash in under their tower for a quick Hymn of Valor + Power Chord to get the kill. Be careful for Heal though, don't get yourself killed
- When sieging a tower, switch to Hymn of Valor for some extra damage for you adn your ADC. Power Chord also works on towers
- Your Crescendo's range is actually greater then the template/tooltip it displays
- Banner of Command's active is better then it looks. Use it on a Siege minion to push a lane your team is not pushing or use it with your team if you have a baron buff. Also remember, that casters can only autoattack it, so choose your lane wisely
All in all, the build I have described is a very squishy one. I recommend using it once you have mastered the range of all your spells, you know when you can fight and who, and you know how to save teammates.
Once you are all good with that, give it a go, and see how it works for you.
I think that Sona, especially with this build is one of the few supports who can carry a match easily.