Sona Build Guide by Jivix
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.
I've been playing Sona as a support for about a year now. She's always been a great support, capable of dishing out a good amount of (often KS'ing) damage, while also providing some decently good heals. With the recent changes in Sona, I've been considering her potential as a lane (or possibly mid) fighter, for the following reasons:
1. Good lane presence early (pop a blue Power Chord on an AD carry and they won't forget it).
2. Capable of insane amounts of sustain.
3. Pretty strong slow for ganks, has a strong stun ult.
Hopefully this build will give everyone some ideas.
Pros / Cons
-Strong burst every 6 seconds
-Excellent in teamfights
-Strong early game counters other strong earlies (like Graves)
-Allows an AD carry to stay in lane for just about forever
-Needs to work with AD fighters (Wukong/Xin Zhao/Lee Sin) or AD Carries with slows
-Can be killed easily if unprepared/ganked
-Often focused HARD when playing against skilled players
-Can be easy to fumble abilities a la Lee Sin
It seems that everyone is always up in the air with runes. Flat AP for early game damage. Mana/5 for better sustain and lane presence. Move speed for better escapes/ganks, and Magic Pen because it's hard to get in-game.
My philosophy with runes/masteries is to sand down the rough edges of a champion. What this means is I try to cut down their worst flaws while enhancing their strengths. I'll explain why I chose these runes in the following rune layout:
Marks - Greater Mark of Insight (.95 magic pen)
Everybody loves these runes. I like them on Sona because if we want to increase our magic damage, then this is a great way to do it. A lot of people think flat/scaling AP marks is the way to go, because Sona will also have stronger heals, but I disagree on this point. When you get to level 18, that extra 18-28 AP will not be as useful as cutting down the MR on enemy champions by 8.5. The only magic pen you get with my build is the Void staff, and that doesn't usually happen until mid/late game when everyone starts investing in MR.
Seals - Greater Seal of Replenishment (.41 Mana/5)
Ugh, not another guy with flat Mana/5 runes. Well, I chose these because the Chalice isn't enough to sustain a full AP sona. These flat runes help in the early game when a triple burst of your auras (for power chord) will take away 2/3 of your mana. They allow you to recharge a bit faster so that you have more opportunities to heal your team, etc.
Glyphs - Greater Glyph of Celerity (-.05% cooldown/level)
Cooldowns are important when you're fighting, as it allows you to burst more often. This is particularly important on sona, so I chose cooldown/level because late game when you're wiping out towers with your power chord + lich bane, you'll have the mana regen to be able to cast more often.
Quints - Greater Quintessence of Potency (4.95 AP)
I'll admit I usually just use 3 move speed quints, but you don't really need them on Sona, with her 'E' and all. So I put only 1 move speed quint on and gave her an early 10 AP she can use for a nice solid early game power chord. You could probably put something better on like more Magic Pen, but I haven't tested it at all.
Compared to the Archangels' staff Sona build, this build requires very little attention so you can focus on the game flow rather than filling up a Tear of the Goddess.
The #1 rule for Sona: Don't EVER use the green power chord! It's just about useless. I think it's only there because green is the color you are most often on, so careless Sona players will blow their power chord on a stray autoattack. Don't let this happen to you! Both the Blue and the Purple power chords are 10x more useful.
This is when Sona is most intimidating. An AD carry that starts with boots/pots can easily lose half their health if you smash them with a Q and a blue Power Chord at level 1. You'll want to avoid any stuns though, because you can die just as easily if you get caught. Play style is pretty simple here - Run up and Q, then run away to the safety of your lane partner. Heal them, wait 6 seconds, repeat. It would be wise to make sure you are always above 140 mana so you can burst both auras at once if you need to.
Just keep casting to proc your power chord, and dominate some champs. Make sure you stay away from minions (or close to enemy champs) when you Q, because you don't want to kill minions or take CS from your lane partner, who likely needs it much more than you.
By this time you should have your Merc Treads completed and are starting to save for your Deathcap. Now you have to shift positions from being primary lane damage to supporting your lane. You'll mostly be casting W and E (unless you are crushing the enemy), with an occasional Q for a blue power chord. If your lane is doing well, using your E to quickly move to another lane for a gank can be very powerful, especially when using the purple power chord to slow your target first.
You should have at least a Lich Bane by now. When your team pushes a tower you should be able to take out at least one quarter of the towers' health every 7 seconds, using Lich Bane procs combined with your blue power chord. Cast E, autoattack, wait 2 seconds, Cast W, autoattack, Wait 2 seconds, Cast Q, autoattack. You should be doing as much or more damage to the tower than your AD carries.
You can apply the same attack method to teamfights if you are not getting focused. If you are, then you should hang behind your teammates. If the enemy is dumb enough to dive you through your team, feel free to use your ult (Crescendo) on them. You can also use Crescendo on an escaping enemy during a gank to help secure the kill. If you see anyone escaping and your team is struggling to hit them, firing a purple power chord is the surest way of helping.
Sona is, by nature, a support class. All of her abilities are either buff or utility. As such, you may see yourself get forced into a support role. This is fine, as the endless mana from the Chalice should provide you with enough mana to get in some offensive as well. Eventually you'll have so much AP your heals will be sufficient to keep your entire team healed, but until then you'll probably need to be constantly healing in teamfights. The beauty of Sona is she can get in a LOT of damage while not being a constant presence in the front line, similar to an AP carry but she can stop attacking and support instead of running around in circles behind the fighters.