Sona Build Guide by Freddy Shopan
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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.
Welcome to the Sona musical support guide! Being a musician and a music major, Sona was naturally one of the first characters in League of Legends to catch my eye. She's the easiest character to listen to, is widely known as one of the most beautiful, and can't say no when you ask her to make a sandwich (saywut?). Therefore, she is obviously one of the best characters in the game.
Seriously, though, she is a very good character, with a lower learning curve. You don't need the apm of a carry, nor the micro of one. Playing a good Sona (as most supports), relies on great positioning, map vision, and helping your teammates rather than yourself. You're like the baritone of a quartet. You aren't heard without effort, but the team sounds dreadful without your help.
Before I continue with this guide, I would like to mention that this guide and build is more suitable for playing in in ranked and in pre-made customs and tournaments. This guide is meant for the current meta. That means you should be giving all of your cs to your ad carry on bottom. If you are not level 30 and you are playing random normals, your teammates are unlikely to capitalize off of the sacrifices you make playing full support. If, however, you find yourself in a game of high-level play...
Pros / Cons
+ Does more damage than most supports.
+ Has a strong ultimate.
+ Has constant auras that boost the team.
+ Has an awesome passive that can act as 3 more abilities.
+ Has nice escape with a built-in speed buff.
- Has only a .35 ap ratio on her heal.
- Has no hard cc aside from her ult.
- Skill set means she HAS to stay alive to do her entire job.
- Her skins aren't all that pretty compared to her normal looks.
Runes with Tunes
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - simply the best mark for any champion that deals magic damage. Being an aggressive support, it is a very strong rune on Sona.
Greater Seal of Replenishment - This is really one of the most noticeable runes to put on a character. You have enough mana to do whatever you want early game with these runes. It's fabulous.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction and Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction - I STRONGLY urge a player to experiment with both of these runes and find their comfort point. The reason to have them at 8 and 1 is that at lvl 18 with Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Soul Shroud, you will reach maximum cooldown reduction.
Greater Quintessence of Health - A great rune on any character. The survivability early game from these runes save your butt all the time.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - An overall good rune, and the ms helps you be at the teamfights to support when they happen.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - These will make you hit harder early game. That's about it.
Greater Quintessence of Gold - You don't farm at all. These help with the money, if you think you can survive. Keep in mind that these quints only give as much gold as 1 mastery point in Greed , though. Not much.
- All of this mastery tree is primarily for the cooldown reduction of
- Not much to discuss here...
- Even though Sona can benefit even more than a normal character from perseverance (because she has healing moves), the reduction of time spent dead is still better.
- You should be placing sight wards all the time. A few extra won't hurt.
- Meditation - You aren't the highest on the buff chain, and you need all the mana you can get.
Flash is great on Sona. This is why:
- Sona NEEDS an escape. She is super squishy.
- You already have a speed buff. Flash + Song of Celerity means you get away from most everything.
- Flash + Crescendo lets magical ganks happen.
- It is almost essential when instant positioning changes are needed in team fights (aka ult moments).
Clairvoyance is used on every ranked team because it's an amazing spell. I have an entire section on using this later, so read on.
Teleport is the main alternative to these spells. It lets you become more aggressive early on, and lets you move around the map to where you are needed. Remember to change your masteries for this spell
Ghost is another escape option. It is easier to reposition yourself with this spell, but you already have a speed buff, so it's somewhat repetitive. If you must, it isn't bad. Remember to change your masteries for this, though.
Ignite is very aggressive on a support. An option, but not really recommended except maybe to counter-pick a very heal oriented team (with champions like Swain or Dr. Mundo.
Exhaust is, for a similar reason as ignite, not the best for Sona. Counter-picked for characters like Xin Zhao.
Clarity is really for if you don't have runes or if you want to be very aggressive. If you are playing ranked, neither of these should be the case. Remember to change your masteries to compensate.
Cleanse is a third escape option. You should really only use this spell if they have an uber amount of cc. In other words, when you think it will be easier to escape with this than it will be with flash.
Fortify should not really be used unless you don't need escape. Seeing as you don't go down the defensive mastery tree, this should be taken by a different player on your team.
Rally was nerfed to the point where it's not that helpful, but if it's good on anyone, Sona is an option. Why? Because Rally and Power Chord, you can push down a turret more quickly than people realize.
Heal simply doesn't heal enough to be worth it.
Smite doesn't help you in lane, since you shouldn't be taking cs from your carry, and it doesn't help secure buffs if you already have a jungler.
Revive isn't useful because you don't have enough damage output to be useful after you return. Compared to every other character I play, I find that supports kill the least and die the least. If revive is good on anyone, it is not a support.
Promote You could be spending your time and mad hax doing something far more useful than this.
- Power Chord is your awesome passive. After every third spell, your next auto-attack will activate an effect. Use these frequently.
- Hymn of Valor doubles your next auto-attack's power. This is useful for harassment early game, and hitting towers. In team fights, only use your other two.
- Aria of Perseverance debuff's the target to hit for 20% less for 3 seconds. This is very useful in team fights, and can help your team survive against strong enemy carries.
- Song of Celerity slows. Use it on fleeing enemies, or carries in team fights. However, never expose yourself trying to do the latter.
- Both aria of perseverance and song of celerity can be useful to use on an enemy who is trying to initiate by running in (e.g. Amumu). It can lessen the damage, or slow them and stop the initiation. Keep that in mind.
- All of these proc on-hit effects, like the damage from Sheen and Lich Bane, the slow from Rylai's, etc.
- Hymn of Valor is your main source of damage.
- The aura buffs damage of allies, so always use it when attacking a tower (with the power chord, as well).
- Will chase an enemy if the enemy flashes away.
- .7 AP scaling is nice, and can do damage if you decide to troll and go AP Sona.
- Targets champions over minions, but if minions are close, it might hit them. Get a feel for the range.
- Aria of Perseverance is your healing move
- The aura buffs the defenses of allies. Best use is in team fights, where you will be healing, anyway.
- Will chase an ally if they flash away. I've had it chase an ally all the way back to the platform after a blue pill :P
- .35 scaling is pretty awful, and the reason why we build minimal ap on Sona.
- Targets you, and the close champion with the lowest percentage of life. It will heal your tank over your carry if their percentage of life is lower. Keep this in mind.
- Song of Celerity is your speed buff.
- Hits all nearby allies, including minions
- Your passive aura will also buff speed.
- Combined with the skill's power chord, this makes for a very powerful chasing tool.
- Also nice in team fights, as it allows your team to re-position themselves freely.
- Crescendo is your ult.
- The range is shorter than you think. Get used to it.
- If you are right next to someone, it can be difficult to hit. let them run a little bit.
- Flash ults can crush faces... musically.
- The damage is rather minimal because we aren't taking much cs. Don't bother popping it for the damage.
- It is basically a stun. It will cancel channeling abilities and ults like Absolute Zero and the like.
Skill order with Sona is very varying (haha. That's funny to say). But what I mean with this is that it will change depending on your play-style, your match-up, and your level 1 team fights. Think of your skills like this:
- Hymn of Valor is strongest early game to achieve lane dominance.
- Aria of Perseverance is strongest mid-game to late-game, early-game when you are being pushed or harassed, and all game when you feel like you are team-fighting often.
- Song of Celerity is strongest mid-game to late-game, and more so when you feel spread out.
Here are the two set-ups for a Sona skill order.
This is the Sona you would prefer to use. It means you are winning your lane, and you are pushing that advantage.
When to use, and when to variate from this order:
- You're ahead in lane, or you think you will be.
- You're an aggressive person (derp), or they are passive.
- Throughout your laning phase, think, "Can I survive without w or e, and still have lane control?" If so, grab Hymn of Valor.
- If mid-game starts, no more q.
When to use and when to variate:
- You are losing your lane.
- You are laning against poke-heavy characters
- If you begin to grab lane dominance, grab q if you will be laning for a bit longer, but w or e if mid-game is coming around.
- If it's getting into mid-game, think, "Are we going to team-fight soon?" If so, grab Aria of Perseverance. If not, grab Song of Celerity.
- Faerie Charm and 3 sight ward = aggressive jungler
- Faerie Charm and 2 sight ward = balanced
- Faerie Charm and 1 sight ward = aggressive lane
- Doran's Ring is the most aggressive, and good for when they have no jungler
- Regrowth Pendant becomes a faster philosopher's stone, and is a nice starting item when you think you will be harassed, or when you have teleport to grab that early philosopher's stone.
- Mana Manipulator. Don't do it. Even if your laning partner is mana hungry, it takes longer to grab that philosopher's stone and holds back warding.
- Ionian Boots of Lucidity are your optimal boots. They are a cheap buy, and they get you half of the way to your 40% cdr. Awesome.
- Mercury's Treads are the way to go if the opposing team has lots of cc. That's about it.
- Boots of Mobility are here mostly because they're HILARIOUS to use. You run so friggin' fast. It's amazing. But to try and back myself, I'll also say that they make warding very easy. You can leave your team, and be back in seconds. ;]
These plus your boots should have you doing great in the mid-game. Your gold/5 is great, your auras are great, your survivability is decent, and your mana regeneration is gonna be great soon. Many guides for support Sona grab a Shurelya's Reverie (and for a great reason. It's an awesome item). However, I build a Soul Shroud and Eleisa's Miracle instead. This is for a few reasons:
- Soul Shroud and Eleisa's Miracle have a better distribution of stats for Sona. Both give more mana regeneration than health regeneration. Sona has a spammable heal. She needs no health regeneration.
- Although it takes longer to build, I very much enjoy the added benefits of a very useful aura, the extra health and the extra mana regeneration.
- There is no wasted cdr:
~01% Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reductionx1
~05% Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reductionx8
+15% Ionian Boots of Lucidity
+10% Soul Shroud
~40% cooldown reduction
- If you ignore the cooldown reduction and health/5 (unneeded), then that leaves us paying 1,385 extra gold for 190 health, 5 more mana/5, an aura of 12 mana/5 and 10% cdr, and 25 tenacity. I find this deal worth it for me.
However, there are other builds that rush an Archangel's Staff. I don't find that these builds create a viable alternative. This is why they're not worth it:
- What are you going to use the AP for? Your Hymn of Valor? Early game is over, and that doesn't help as much. Your Aria of Perseverance? Your heal has a .35 ap ratio. Your Song of Celerity has no ap ratio. Your ult doesn't get used often enough nor do enough damage to warrant its use.
- Your mana issues were minimal all early-game because of your runes and your Faerie Charm / philosopher's stone.
- Any mana issues will be over soon with your Soul Shroud and/or Eleisa's Miracle.
- You are missing out of two sources of gold/5 that will lead into faster late-game items.
- You have limited survivability.
The only reason to rush a Tear of the Goddess and archangel staff is if you have no runes, or if you're Queen Spam-a-lot. The problem with this, though, is that Sona Spam-a-lot is a damn awful name for such a beautiful lady.
Late-game is all about survivability for a support. You should be reaching max cdr, and ap is still not all that helpful. Of course, ap and even more auras are the only roads to go if you find yourself out of harm's way most of the time.
- Soul Shroud is the first item you should get late game. The health, cooldowns, aura, and mana regeneration are quite lovely. Spirit Visage presents itself as a nice alternative if the mana regeneration and aura don't appeal to you, but I prefer soul shroud, as you tend to have more mana problems than life problems.
- Randuin's Omen should be your defensive item of choice, because you already have a Heart of Gold. However, if you find yourself dying too much, Guardian Angel can give you a second life, and Zhonya's Hourglass can give you a liiittle more oomph on your heal, as well as one of the best actives in the game.
- Abyssal Scepter should be your magic resistance item of choice, because the aura is super, and it gives you a little more ap to work with. Banshee's Veil is your alternative if they have lots of cc, or you find yourself dying too much. Spirit Visage probably doesn't give as great benefits total, but it is cheaper, and feels really good with the passive.
- Zeke's Harbinger and Will of the Ancients are more situational. SOMEONE should get Stark's Fervor in most games that get late. Hopefully it's one of your ad carries, but late game, they can definitely benefit from the item. Will of the Ancients is quite nice for any ap carries on your team. It's about in the same boat as Stark's. These are never bad items to get.
Warding and Clairvoyance
My favorite early-game wards (color coded for team):
- Essential Wards - Colored blue, the essential blue spots let you see if the enemy jungler is leaving their side of the jungle. It prevents ganks on mid lane, and bottom lane.
- Other - Colored red, the aggressive warding spot for blue is at the enemy blue buff. It lets you see when an enemy is taking the buff, and sets up for a gank there. You can also ward your red, if you think they might try and steal it.
- Essential - If both wards are set up, you can see the enemy jungler leaving any part of his jungle. Again, there is no way for them to gank either the top or bottom lane.
- Other - You can ward their red if you're aggressive. The same reason as warding their blue. Ward your blue if you think they might try to steal it.
- Yellow spots are situational. The two on the side are if you are being zoned out by a support such as Taric or Alistar. It lets your ad carry harass them if they come too close.
- All of the Yellow wards are also to prevent Teleport ganks, if you suspect one might be incoming.
- Always ward dat dragon and baron.
- Ward dem buffs.
- ^Even your own. If they try to steal your buffs, come in with an iron fist. "NOT IN MY HOUSE!!!"
- Always ward locations that team fights are centralizing around.
- Ward around if someone is going to back-door. Giving the sight will save their life.
- I usually prefer an Oracle's Elixir earlier than later if they ward. Oracles are OP.
- If you think they warded there, pink it (place a Vision Ward).
- Keep in mind that if you need immediate sight somewhere, a ward dropped behind baron, or in a nearby bush can do wonders when your clairvoyance is down, or when you can't walk away to place a ward in a better spot.
- At the beginning, if your team finds themselves at your opponent's wraiths, you can ward next to those for your jungler, too (especially if you grab 3 wards).
Clairvoyance is undoubtedly a super OP summoner skill. Here's what your thought process should be in-game with a clairvoyance.
- Are they about to leave the summoner platform at the beginning of the game? Clairvoyance.
- Where is their lvl 1 team? Clairvoyance.
- Am I off of cooldown, and is there someone mia? Clairvoyance.
- Where is their jungler? Clairvoyance.
- Where is their mid? Clairvoyance.
- Did someone just type "cv" in chat? Clairvoyance.
- Are we doing dragon? Could they be running towards us through their jungle? Clairvoyance.
- Is my friend trying to back door? Did some of their team just disappear? Clairvoyance.
- Are they doing baron? WHY DIDN'T I WARD!?!? Clairvoyance.
- Are we doing baron? Could they be trying to run to us through their jungle? Clairvoyance.
- Where are they? Clairvoyance.
- Am I about to facecheck to place a ward? Clairvoyance
- Bored? Clairvoyance.
- Need to show off your map hax? Clairvoyance.
The answer to all life's questions is obviously Clairvoyance
well at least in LoL
Other tips on clairvoyance:
- try to place it where you can deduct where they are. For example, if you CV their blue some seconds after the first buffs spawn and their jungler already took it, he's probably around red taking wraiths or something.
- If you know your jungle routes and times, it's easier to know where their jungler is with a single CV. If you play support, you should play junglers as well.
- ALWAYS Clairvoyance TO CHECK A BUSH YOU ARE GOING TO WARD. Overzealous warding into bushes leads to 120% of all nooby support deaths.
- Ping if you know where that jungler (or any other mia) is. People appreciate it.
Gameplay as a Support
I already went over tips regarding the usage of spells, clairvoyance, and warding. That's almost everything. The only thing left to talk about is your role as support. Here are your objectives:
- Give everyone vision.
- Keep everyone alive, and stronger.
- Stay alive so that your teammates get the full benefit of your auras.
- Get your AD Carry fed by not taking ANY cs early game except those that he/she will not get.
In today's meta-game, this is the role of the support. Stay out of harms way in team fights. You are fairly squishy. In bottom lane, focus on harassing and healing your lane partner. Don't worry about last hitting minions. Avoid it when you can. Lastly, remember to keep that CV going and that warding continuing the entire game. MAP HAX WINS GAMES. Starcraft pros wish they had wards.
YOU DID IT! CONGRATULATIONS! Hopefully I've given you some insight on a very strong support, and a very fun champion. Sona is a great champion to learn the ins and outs of support, so you must be on your way to becoming someone who can help their team all game long. Have fun.