Sona Build Guide by LigaLegendas

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author LigaLegendas

Sona - Golden Rhapsody

LigaLegendas Last updated on November 12, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21



Hello, reader, and welcome to my guide!

My in-game name is Tumblar, this is actually my first guide and I'm a rather new player to LoL and the genre altogether. However, in this short time I've been playing, I've already fallen in love with one of the League's champions,

Sona, the Maven of the Strings.

As for the guide itself, it's for a rather aggressive, damage-dealing Sona. Through hundreds of games, it's clear that she can shine everywhere and every time her team needs her to, be it attacking, defending, moving around, going for kills or fleeing. The point is that while you'll still be able to greatly support your team with your ultimate, healing and movespeed, you'll also be able to nuke impressively and have fun picking kills when the enemy team goes for an 'easy target'.
My best and funniest games were played like this, and I do not regret going against the masses not even a bit. I will try to explain with as many details as possible how I do things, which items I choose, what skills I level up first and overall gameplay.


This guide was not written for Ranked Games. The reason is that those generally turn your free time LoL for fun into a serious, competitive match. This by itself does not mean that if you followed this guide in a Ranked Match, your outcome wouldn't be good. However, for those, you generally duo queue or team queue or simply put all of your faith into that AD carry you'll be laning with and fully supporting with for the current meta.
Still, if you are play LoL for the fun of it, wishing for laughs and fun moments with your friends and maybe even those random teammates matchmaking gave you, then please, by all means, read on - you won't regret it!

Pros / Cons


+ Auras without items
+ Benefits both AD or AP
+ Can quickly switch stances
+ Three-in-one passive
+ Assist collector
+ AoE stun
+ Only you can hear her, Summoner!

- Squishy.
- Mana-hungry.
- Long-cooldown stun.
- You'll be focused.



Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

Runes chosen:

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration Will help you deal extra damage with your skills, especially early game.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration Same as above, useful for piercing the enemy's magic resistance for extra damage.
Greater Seal of Replenishment These help Sona mostly in her laning phase. As we won't be starting with mana regeneration, this will help you just enough to manage.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction Will allow you to spam your three basic abilities constantly, granting you and your allies all three auras while your mana lasts.

Other viable options:

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power If you already have an AP runebook with these, it's fine. I personally prefer magic penetration, but these help with your damage alright.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction The main reason why I chose CDR/level is because early game you cannot really spam your abilities mostly because of your mana, and these soon fall behind the per level ones in the mid-levels.
Greater Seal of Ability Power and Greater Glyph of Ability Power would also work, in case you already have them. Not optimal though, as the seals aren't even primary.
Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist would increase your survivability just as much to spare you every now and then. They're generally good on any squishies, but fit Bruisers and Tanks better.


Note: As of Friday, 11/11/2011 22:30, Riot announced new Mastery Trees for the upcoming Season Two. This section will then be outdated, but it will be queued for rewriting accordingly. Please bear with it until then. Thanks in advance.


Masteries chosen:

Archmage's Savvy Not much to think about in this first line. You'll pick this for the little AP boost and...
Deadliness ...this to get the 4 points in Offense you need.
Sorcery Nothing to complain here, right? We all like CDR.
Archaic Knowledge The very reason why you go 9 in Offense. Don't think twice, pick it!

Perseverence What's not to like here? Regen! It's not that great of a boost, and will probably only shine when you have regeneration items of your own.
Good Hands This is actually kind of nice, but we're hoping not to die. You may switch these or balance them if you so desire.
Awareness It's just better than Expanded Mind , at least for Sona, so here goes your next 4 points.
Greed Yes, I'm greedy. You should be, too.
Meditation Add this bonus to your Greater Seal of Replenishment and you have yourself a free Meki Pendant.
Quickness Half a boot level, for free.
Intelligence adds up to Sorcery for almost 10% CDR right off the bat.
Blink of an Eye and Mystical Vision because you're running Clairvoyance/ Flash, right? ...Right?

Other options:

A quick note now, I really don't see why you would use other masteries here, but for the sake of completion, I'll list possible, albeit weaker choices you might stumble upon.

Expanded Mind It's a matter of doing the math. With the 2150 mana you'll be having, this mastery would grant you 107.5 additional mana. Shouldn't be worth the loss of experience.
Utility Mastery This is actually an option, but personally, I believe you should leave the neutral buffs for those who need them more.
Cripple, Spatial Accuracy and Haste could prove useful if you decide to use other Spells. More on those in the next section of the guide.
Burning Embers and Insight are exceptions - don't pick them! Don't get closer to them! They kick and bite!

Summoner Spells

Let's go over again about why you are choosing these Spells and what other options you have.

The two we're talking about:

Clairvoyance Short cooldown for a spell, rather long duration for one of its kind, too. Helps locating enemy junglers, checking Dragon and Baron without putting yourself in harm's way and prevents incoming ganks. Usable anywhere, everywhere. What's not to like, really?
Flash This helps you fix your position in a fight. This helps you catch a fleeing target. This helps you escape a gank. This helps you juke. This helps you leap over walls. Why wouldn't you take Flash?

Other spells to consider:

Ignite: Popular with almost all champions. Viable to ensure kills and deal extra damage on top of what we'll be building. Not a primary choice, thought, but if your team already has someone with Clairvoyance and you feel like having some extra fun, this is it. Just remember not to follow up with Burning Embers , it's not worth it.
Exhaust: If you're really not going for Clairvoyance, this might be even better than Ignite. The reason being Exhaust can be used both offensively and defensively, and you have enough point mobility to pick Cripple beforehand.
Teleport: Lane control, quick supporting comeback, this works for those few little roles you may want to play now and then. But as I said above, Clairvoyance comes first.
Ghost: I'm only putting this here because just like Exhaust, your masteries allow you to improve it if you want so. Not that recommended, though.

Please don't pick the following:

Clarity Mana is nice. But you have tons of other means to regenerate it. Not to mention it is one less summoner spell for when late game comes.
Cleanse The spell itself is not exactly bad, but look at all the better options you have above. It also won't stop damage, remember that.
Fortify I like this spell, but it simply doesn't fit Sona. If you feel like entering the match with Fortify, ask someone else (your tank?) to get it.
Heal Cheat code: If you press W during your game with Sona after level 2, you'll get this for free. With almost no cooldown. Shhh, don't tell anyone!
Rally Nobody picks this, why would you? You cannot afford the mastery and you're not even AD. Forget about this for your own good.
Revive Uh-uh, don't you dare.
Smite Ah, right, Sona jungling. Yeah, sorry, no.

Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

For our rather offensive Sona, we'll be focusing our skill points on Hymn of Valor, because that's where all our early damage will come from.
For the other two skills, you would normally get them both one point each before you hit level 6, and then usually max Aria of Perseverance second, and obviously leveling Crescendo whenever possible at levels 6, 11 and 16.

I would like to note, however, that leaving Song of Celerity untouched until later levels (13 at maximum, but probably until level 8, similar to how we'd go for Anivia's Crystallize) is also viable, because your improved heal is generally better welcomed during the laning phase. In this scenario, one would normally use Song of Celerity only to slow a chasing opponent or help you and your partner to flee from a gank, which shouldn't happen if you have your lane warded properly and your team is calling mias.

This is really a matter of opinion though, and I'm not going to say something is right while the other is wrong. You may just test it out in different ways and see how you adapt better.

Skill Descriptions and Usage

Power Chord: I honestly believe this to be one of the best passives in the game. Not because it's musical, not because it's shiny, not even because it's Sona's, but simply because it is extremely flexible and works so well with all of your skills, be it offense, defense or movement.
This skill is used once it is fully charged, that being three charges total. You get one charge for every skill you use, and the effect will depend on the last skill you used. More on that below!

Hymn of Valor This is our core skill for this build and for our gameplay. It targets the closest two enemies (the tooltip says it prioritizes enemy champions, but don't trust that too much) for a homing, automatic bolt of sound that deals damage to them. It requires vision of the enemy champions to hit, so beware.
Hymn of Valor's aura increases allied AD and AP values, including yours.
Power Chord: Your Power Chord will deal twice as much damage.
Hint: When you use Hymn of Valor, the AP increase is calculated before the actual damage is applied. You can, however, use it to empower your next spell, such as a slightly greater heal or that extra damage on your ultimate.
Also, using Hymn of Valor inside a brush will not reveal you. Use this to your advantage if you have the upper hand on your lane!

Aria of Perseverance Your forlorn heal, now more of a defensive/resistance buff. This is what they hit these past few patches. Similar to Hymn of Valor, once activating the skill you will heal yourself and send a bolt of sound to an ally in range, namely the one with less HP% at the time you cast it.
Aria of Perseverance's aura increases allied AR and MR values, including yours.
Power Chord: Your Power Chord will reduce 20% of your target's damage, except true damage. Good to debuff enemy carries or to strike someone who's chasing an ally. Another good example would be to hit champions who'll be dealing a lot of splash damage to your team, such as Fiddlesticks, Karthus, Kennen, Anivia and so on.
Hint: If you have an invisible ally close to you, or an ally inside a brush nearby, the bolt of sound will spoil their location. Be wary of this not to ruin a gank!

Song of Celerity: A quick and strong movement speed buff. You could even call this a taste of Shyrelya's Reverie, except somewhat weaker. Pop this when a teamfight breaks, not only it'll grant your allies some extra mobility to better position themselves but this will also make you collect assists from everyone close by.
Song of Celerity's aura increases allied movement speed as long as the aura lasts.
Power Chord: Your Power Chord will slow your target's movement speed by 40%. Good for countering chasers or to help your team catch up to a fleeing enemy.
Hint: This skill's active does work on minions, however, its aura doesn't.

Crescendo: This is what'll make your enemies dance, literally. An AoE stun that hits for maximum damage and duration regardless of how many enemies are hit. Knowing when to use this skill properly will get you and your team kills, the upper hand or maybe even an ace. Be advised that the area shown while you aim this skill is slightly bigger than its actual AoE. Also, it has a brief channeling time (0.2s) and the effect is not instant but rather travels forward until it covers the entire area. Keep this in mind not to waste your ultimate on someone who is fleeing and 'slightly in range'.
Crescendo has no aura effect, and it won't affect your Power Chord type. It will, however, count as a charge for it, even if people insist otherwise. In this case, the Power Chord used will be that of the last skill before Crescendo.
Hint: Unlike Hymn of Valor, this skill does not require actual vision of the enemy to hit, and similarly, it will not reveal you once you use it inside a brush.

Items and Gameplay

Early game / Laning stage:

Regrowth Pendant is my choice for the starting item. The pot is not really mandatory. This is because you'll be keeping all your mana to poke the enemy champion(s), healing yourself just as a last option, and this covers the enemy's harass (or so it should). Also, ask your eventual lane partner not to suicide just because he has a healer beside him. Your mana is not even infinite!
Following up, you will need gold items. You're not a great farmer, and you don't need to rush expensive items for your presence to be felt in teamfights. Also, gold/5 is just so awesome, there's nothing to dislike here.
Philosopher's Stone, then Heart of Gold then Kage's Lucky Pick is how I usually build them. If you plan on building an Archangel's Staff later, switch Kage's Lucky Pick for an early Tear of the Goddess. It's also fine to build it before Heart of Gold, but never before Philosopher's Stone.
With a good start, you'll be refunded their cost and start the profit stage by the 20-minute mark, if not earlier. Get some Boots of Speed between them somewhere, but only upgrade it after all three gold items are yours.
Don't forget to Sight Ward/ Vision Ward your lane constantly, if applicable.

Mid game / Skirmishes:

Rod of Ages is my next recommended item for you. Don't worry, if all is going as it is supposed to go, you'll still get it before the 25-minute deadline, even with (and maybe because of) your gold items.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter should follow. These two items will grant you some much appreciated HP and AP and will keep you up with the game's pace { Rod of Ages) while also adding an automatic slow for an extra ( Rylai's Crystal Scepter).
If all is going well, buy a Needlessly Large Rod to start your Rabadon's Deathcap.
Resist at maximum the temptation of selling one of your gold items to finish one of the above. The longer you keep them, the higher will be their ending profit. You use all of their stats anyway, so there really isn't much of a reason to.
Remember to upgrade your boots to Ionian Boots of Lucidity when you have the chance. It's a good deal to do this after you're done with the time-dependent Rod of Ages.

Late game / Teamfights / Pushing:

Here is where Sona gets 'promoted'. A well-placed Crescendo, for an example, could mean two enemy turrets down (and 300g for you and your team). But that's not exactly the catch here, and we'll get to that soon.
Rabadon's Deathcap should be in your inventory by now, and you are managing to poke them fine with your Hymn of Valor and punish them accordingly with your Crescendo, not to mention your Aria of Perseverance should no longer be healing its mediocre base amount anymore with all your AP.
What'll literally transform Sona from this point onwards will be the (late) core of the build, which synergizes with all your other items: the Lich Bane.
Having a Lich Bane means every time you touch your √Čtoile, you'll empower yourself with an extra 100%-AP-ratio nuke. This means that you'll be hitting them hard even unintentionally. Say you're using your Aria of Perseverance to heal an ally - this probably means whoever dealt damage them is getting painfully lectured.
Riot changed Sona's skills, mainly Aria of Perseverance in their latest patches, hoping she (and other supports) would get closer to combat, didn't them? So we're about to show them Sona will more than enjoy doing so.

Extra game / Endless match:

Okay, so the game's almost one hour long and you have all that gold to spend. For a sixth item, I would normally go for a Zhonya's Hourglass for the extra awesome AP and for the amazing Active. Don't forget to buy your constant supply of Elixirs ( Elixir of Brilliance > Elixir of Fortitude > Elixir of Agility) if all your slots are filled, and even an Oracle's Elixir if you have all that money to spare so you can help your team shut down the opposing team's wards (and possibly even enemy champions themselves).

Not all games go smoothly, not all teams are the same - optional items:

Abyssal Scepter You could replace some item for this one in case you need heavy magic damage countering. It will still grant you AP and even add up some flat magic penetration, nothing to dislike there. Your team will also thank you for the aura, especially if it is AP-oriented.
Archangel's Staff If you're feeling good and can predict the game is going to last considerably, this is also an option. Don't forget to get the early Tear of the Goddess as I said above to use this item to its maximum as soon as you can.
Banshee's Veil This item actually gets lots of appearances. Reason being it literally blocks death itself with its passive, not to mention the extra HP, MP and magic resistance.
If you need such a bodyguard, no reason to think twice!
Deathfire Grasp Very situational. Only try this when victory is guaranteed, and you can't help but troll a little. See, your Kage's Lucky Pick is already there even.
Mejai's Soulstealer You often see these in supports due to their ability to stack with assists. What I dislike about this item is that, other than the AP itself, it really has no other benefit, unless fully charged (not really going to happen, unless the enemy team has two leavers and a level 1 Summoner in training). Still viable if you're willing to go 'OP' and abuse an easy game.
Shurelya's Reverie A great option to build your Philosopher's Stone into. You really can't regret having one of those. We're aiming for a more damage-oriented Sona, however, so you shouldn't need one.
Sorcerer's Shoes I'll have to admit I've played my share of games with these boots. Early game they're pure win with your amazing pokes, but again, another item that should only be made on easy, guaranteed games. These will still fall behind Ionian Boots of Lucidity in terms of sustained damage, though.
Void Staff If what you're lacking is damage, but your team is able to defend just fine, you might want to try this to stop those 200-MR enemies from laughing at you. Also remember that this item will add up with Archaic Knowledge for an epic amount of 55% magic penetration. See their three-digit MR fall down to that of a squishy!

Sona is a really flexible champion, and being that the case you'll find plenty of defensive or aura items that may also suit her depending on the situation. I'm not going to list those because they would require a much greater change of plans (and build) since the very beginning of the game, and that is not what we are going for in this guide.

More on Gameplay Hints

For this section of our guide, I'll be covering some important aspects of gameplay which you, as Sona, should be aware of. Actually, your whole team should know about this, but you got the point, right?

Situational Items or Skill Usage or both:

Please refer to the above sections. Plenty of information has been given on those subjects, and if you happened to skip them for some reason, well, you shouldn't have.


The image above shows common places for your wards. So as not to leave you with some coloured dots, let's go over what each of those dots basically mean:
  • Green dots are your early game, lane-control wards. Sight Wards will suffice. Among these, the main one is the one in the river brush, because that's where 90% of gankers pass when heading for your life. The lane brushes don't usually need wards, but if you feel like warding them, just make sure you place your wards inside one of the brushes. The slightly out-of-place brushes close to the river one are only necessary if you're overextending, which you shouldn't by default.
  • Yellow dots are your jungle and river control wards. Sight Wards are also enough for these. With the yellow spots covered, you'll know when the neutral buffs are up, if someone's taking them or just hanging around alone in their woods, hoping to be torn apart. Also, wards work like an eye, really - make sure you place them inside the brushes in a way you'll be granted vision of the monster camps and as much surrounding area as possible.
  • Red dots are for the late game, where that free kill will give your team the 5v4 advantage so you can push for victory. Just like the above, Sight Ward should suffice. These serve the sole purpose of finding that lonesome poor enemy champion who's going to melt by your whole team's awesome brush surprise.
  • Pink dots are your 'core' wards. For these, you should always go for Vision Wards, even if there's no Twitch or Evelynn around. Why? Because they're popular spots, of course! The enemy team will probably have them warded, and here's the bargain - they'll probably use common Sight Wards for it. So you put your Vision Ward there and break theirs. Crafty, isn't it?
  • Purple dots are, uh... the... extra wards. I just put those there because some people say you should ward dead towers to compensate for the lost vision. Not something I really believe to be crucial, but if you want to go for it, then try these locations, especially the side brushes where that low-health champion will be recalling after they fail to push your tower.
Note: You may want to replace some of the above Sight Wards for Vision Wards if there's a stealth champion on the enemy team, mainly your lane control ones to avoid being ganked past your useless Sight Ward.


There is no predetermined pattern, time or place to use this. But since some hints won't hurt, here they go:
  • When the game begins, you may want to Clairvoyance their fountain, to try to spoil their lane match-ups, but mainly to check on their starting items. Your cooldown is short, so you'll have it back even before the minions spawn.
  • Also, if your team attempts a level 1 gank on their jungler or in any lane, make sure you use Clairvoyance to track their position to ensure the kill. Just beware, some players may flee at the sight of your eye, so don't use it too early before your team arrives.
  • After your lane is properly warded and no one else on your team needs it, you may want to Clairvoyance their neutral camps for their jungler. Even if they don't have one, an idle ally may need a rune and this helps you check if it's up for them.
  • Clairvoyance Dragon and Baron if you don't have wards there and suspect the enemy may be killing them. In rare cases, even if your team is far away, you may even try to steal it with skills such as Ezreal's Trueshot Barrage or Lux's Finales Funkeln. If you succeed, enjoy the enemy team's rage, especially if they were at Baron.
  • Pay attention to your teammates. If one of them is chasing an enemy for an example, it is a good idea to Clairvoyance ahead of him to prevent the enemy champion from juking your ally. You may also want to Clairvoyance your ally's surroundings, as he may be overextending and may be in danger.
Note: Clairvoyance can be used through the minimap. More than that, try to position your Clairvoyance in optimal places, similarly to what you would do with the 'yellow wards' mentioned above. It doesn't need to be inside a brush to grant vision of it, so you can just place it near/between various brushes to try and detect more possibly hidden champions.


As explained in our Introduction, this is not intended for Ranked Play, so you might as well just farm while on lane. Just avoid attacking minions randomly, or 'ground attacking', as this will push your lane, leaving you vulnerable to incoming ganks (even if warded) and also it may anger your lane partner.
As for farming itself, here are some things to note:
  • Power Chord should not be used on minions if there are enemy champions in lane. It's a too good of a harass for you to waste it on that turret-condemned minion. As of patch V1.0.0.118, " Sona will no longer automatically acquire attack targets when Power Chord is charged". See? That's what this was for!
  • Hymn of Valor is a very nice farming tool. Press Q and earn two minion kills. But please, do NOT use it at levels 1-2 to farm. Just don't. Even your auto-attack is stronger than it when at level 1. So please, don't waste your precious early mana on this for farming.
  • Crescendo does not affect minions or creeps. They don't know how to dance, see. So just don't waste your ultimate on that juicy huge wave coming bot lane, it'll be utterly useless.
  • If you've got plenty of mana to spend or plan on going back to base very soon and your team is going for Dragon / Baron, quickly switch between Hymn of Valor, Aria of Perseverance and Song of Celerity in a set order, making sure your Hymn of Valor is your third spell so you can constantly use Power Chord to deal extra burst damage to your target.

Can Sona solo?

Yes, she can. Pretty easily most of the time, if you ask me. You can poke truly hard and you have a heal for your lane sustain. But as always, situations may vary, and you should note the following:
  • Don't solo top if it means going against two champions (when they don't have a jungler and your team does). As much as you can solo, in this scenario two champions may be enough to just tower-dive you time after time (picture something like a Singed and Xin Zhao duo lane... creepy, right?).
  • Don't solo anywhere if you have a better character to do so. With this, I mean you shouldn't say something along the lines of 'Hey Annie, let me mid, I carry :D'. Gladly accept mid lane only when it's either you or, say, that Amumu who forgot his Smite.
  • As with all other champions, there are certain lanes you simply cannot win. Don't be foolish and stick with the idea just because you could finally try your solo as Sona. Ask for help, ask for a lane switch, as for your jungler's support, anything, just don't go feeding because of your selfish ideas.

Final Comments

We have finally reached the final section of this guide. I hope it was a fun and enlightening journey!
If you've followed all the instructions up to now properly, your Sona should already be rocking like this:

...And that is exactly what we were going for!

I'd like to thank you, reader, for your patience on reading this whole guide, and I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it, and maybe that you'll even see Sona in a new light from now on.

I appreciate any feedback you may have, as long as it's constructive criticism.
Thanks for the already given suggestions also, for they helped greatly this guide's completion.

Enjoy Sona, enjoy LoL, and play appropriately by the Summoner's Code.

Tumblar bids you farewell!