Sona Build Guide by zilverdael
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Well this is my first build on here, and mostly I am just curious as to what others think of it. I don't have an insanely high elo, which is not suprising given that I don't play ranked as I doubt going solo into that pit of hell will be all that much fun. However it does seems to work, and matches lost can rarely be blamed on me simply just being awefull. Any advice is appreciated though :P.
This build mainly focusses on making her deceptivly tanky by late game, allowing you to survive and heal/buff your allies for as long as possible. The reasoning behind this is fairly simple. Sona, like a lot of supports not counting tanks, is generally relativly squishy, which makes her a favored target to burst down. Granted with her healing she can last relativly long in a skirmish, but focused fire is just to much. On top of that supports have the anoying tendency of making their teammates stronger making it even more likely people will focus you. Which made me want to try a build which countered this. Furthermore being able to eat the initial burst so that your team can then waltz over your opponent while they wait for their CD's to recharge is pretty usefull.
This basicly means you become a very usefull asset to the team, especially with your auras and are capable of turning the tide. However on your own you are virtually worthless and if your team sucks you can be the best player in the world but you will have very little effect on the outcome.
As a final note, since this is my first guide and I won't be able to put in links to abilities/items as I don't know what I have to do for this and can't find it currently :(
Pros / Cons
Deceptivly tanky, yay for bating morrons into chasing you.
Auras provide a nice boost for team members, can turn a losing game.
The longer you live the more usefull your auras are.
Relativly easy champion to pick up.
Using your passive correctly means you can dish out a relative high amount of damage for a support.
Your ultimate is extremely powerfull when used correctly.
Works extremely well in a team.
Aiming when fighting up to two champions and no minions is piss-easy :P
Utterly sucks when you're on your own. Unless your opponent is a morron you will most likely lose any one on one duel. Excluding perhaps when fighting other supports and you're slightly more fed. Similairy you're also pretty horrible at clearing creeps on your own, you can do it decently later on, but it will take a while to kill everything.
Weak early game heal compared to say a soraka or a taric. If your carry refuses to use potions, lifesteal or something like this you will often lose skirmishes due to their healing simply negating your harrasement in cases such as this. Late game this still holds to some degree, but becomes much less of an issue.
Squishy early game, especially in the current meta where you will basicly only get physical damage for a long time in bot lane. However People tend to need some time to catch on to the fact that you've become tanky later on, allowing you to bate some people.
Very dependent on your team. If your laning partner doesn't know what he's doing and your opponent kinda does you will lose, period. Similairy in big team fights, if your team sucks your help will have close to zero effect, regardless of how good you actually are. I had a very good example of this today:
The Sivir I was babysitting was only taking risks whenever I was far away, thus dying because I couldn't get in range fast enough to heal or stun. After a while the opponents were so fed we were forced under our tower. However she now stayed behind me at such a distance that if I'd try to stun the opponents they'd be free long before she'd be able to close the distance and take them down. And without the stun we'd lose badly, even under our tower (they were very fed). Thanks to this I became essentially useless, regardless of what I was doing. Needless to say we lost badly. And this nicely illustrates her greatest weakness, if your team sucks you can't do anything to turn the match around.
Gold is a very big issue for Sona. Your items might be fairly cheap, but your income is also basicly non-existant given that you aren't allowed to touch creeps. On top of that you need to spend a lot on wards. If you don't get a bunch of assists or accidental kills early on you will start to lag behind rapidly which unfortunatly will cause you to be virtually useless as you will die to quickly.
Mana hungry early game if you are forced to spam abilities. From about level 10 this should be pretty much no problem anymore, either you're safe or you're dead by the time you run out of mana.
Deceptivly hard to master. Correctly using your passive, actually healing the target you want to heal, hitting champions with your hymn of valor instead of creeps, correctly juggling your auras. All of this will require some practise.
You're the support, if your team loses and someone is not obviously screwing up people will blame you, if you win people will praise others. Or well *******s will and most people are *******s.
People will hate you for stealing kills, sona does this suprisingly often. However this is not a bad thing as you will simply be a better support if you get your items. Unfortunatly people tend to not understand that it is a teamgame, and that a support with a full build is thus an increadibly powerfull asset for the team. Though don't go around purposely doing this, a carry without any money is even more worthless than you are :P.
Greater Mark of Armor: provide a little bit of survivability early game, given that you will mostly get physical damage this is pretty usefull. The only other viable option I'd say would be AP, however this is so little and you scale so badly that I'd prefer a bit of defense.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: you need mana regen, this allows you to not have to build a lot of it with items.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Some more survivability, allows you to shrug of most of the harrasement of the other support. Late game it syncs nicely with other things to get your MR to a decent level. Again ability power would be an alternative, but I don't think it's worth it.
Greater Quintessence of Gold: you need to get your gold somewhere.
Fairly standard, the 8 points in offense are for the CD reduction, the could go into the Defense tree for some more survivability if needed to. Given that I don't often build CDR I prefer this.
1 point in defense to increase your summoner's heal. There isn't really anything that is worth getting over this assuming you actually use that spel. Basicly all options for this one point are kind of uninteresting.
Utility is again pretty straigthforward. Some points such as the one in Scout and Summoner's Insight could be swapped for something else and are just personal preferences.
Personally I use Heal and Clairvoyance.
Heal has saved my ***, and that of my teammates many times. Allows for bating. And is obviously usefull. I prefer it over things such as flash since it actually helps my whole team, and in general, if flash can save you, so can a heal. The few occasions where I'd have needed flash instead of heal are generally moments where my team walks into the jungle, decides to randomly scatter and I end up facing the enemy team with mayber one or two allies. A flash would've allowed me to jump over a wall, but this is more a problem with the team coordination than it is a weakness of heal.
Clairvoyance, although I dislike this spell, is pretty much essential in LOL. Map awareness will save you. I dislike it because nine out of ten times all it provides is just the knowledge that the enemy is not there. Granted this is also usefull, but kind of meh.. Even when you are used to predicting enemy movement it will often be relativly "useless". However the other choices are kind of ****, and clairvoyance will occasionally wipe out entire teams, or save them from being wiped out.
I generally pick Hymn of Valor first, though you can take Aria of Perseverance first. This is mostly a case of preference. At level two, take a level in whichever of these you haven't picked yet.
Normally at level three I will take one point in Song of Celerity for the utility, even at this low level it will save your ***. However if I am forced to tower hug Il take an extra point in Aria of Perseverance.Furthermore if I happen to level up midfight I put a point in whatever happens to be the most usefull at that moment as it might be the difference between life or death. However by level five you should have at least one point in Song of Celerity as you will start to move around by this point.
After this I will pick either Aria of Perseverance or Hymn of Valor to level to max. This depends on how the match is going and on occasion you might want to alternate between the two.
And of course I level my Crescendo whenever available, a shorter CD on a stun you can lay on an entire team fairly easily is just awesome.
As a first remark: get wards whenever you can. It's sad and you'l spend far to much money on it, people will yell at you for not always having them up all over the bloody place, but they are very usefull. If possible get some allies to chip in at least a bit so you don't have to ward the entire bloody map, but don't expect to much of it. They are worth it, but I'd really like to see some change as to how much they cost as we already don't have any significant source of gold every bit helps. However if you are getting killed badly, or are winning by a landslide you can skip out on it to some degree. This does require you to think though.
I start of with a Meki Pendant and one ward. You will need the mana and the map awareness.
By the time this ward is gone you should be somewhere around 500 gold assuming you've made no kills or assists. If this is the case you will have to hang around a while without a ward until you have a bit more so you can upgrade the meki pendant into a Chalice of Harmony and buy a bunch of wards. If you have assists/kills you can go a back a bit early. This chalice basicly negates all mana problems, and syncs nicely with the other bits and pieces of MR that you have.
After this I wait until I can build a Heart of Gold. This provides you with much needed gold and survivability.
I then buy Boots of Speed and usually a couple of items needed for Aegis of the Legion. This preparation for Aegis of the Legion I do solely because you are essentially only getting physical damage and up until now you got very little defense against that. However if your opponent fails to do damage to you you might want to finish Mercury's Treads before you start on this wonderfull shield for the movement speed.
I then upgrade the boots into Mercury's Treads, these can be changed into Ninja Tabi if your opponent basicly only has physical damage dealers. However if they have a source of proper magic damage you will need this late game to not be bursted down.
I then proceed to finish/build Aegis of the Legion. This shield is wonderfull on a Sona as it syncs perfectly with your natural abilities, making your buffs even more potent.
From this point onward you will no longer be as squishy as early game. Your stats will have gained alot from leveling and both your armor and mr should hover around the 100 or so. And still growing. Furthermore the aegis and heart will give you some health. You're still no tank, but your opponents are no longer big and scary provided they aren't fed. Furthermore the extra aura helps your teammates and the team fights should now tilt in your favor.
I then turn the Heart of Gold into a Randuin's Omen. Once this is finished you have become fairly tanky and unless your opponent builts heavily into armor/mr penetration you will generally survive the burst of any given character, allowing you to nicely play for puching bag. Don't mistake yourself for a full blown tank though, you lack the health to last for longer times. However it does allow you to be a nuisance to your opponent and protect your allies well.
Generally around now most matches have ended however if not there are a number of possibilities to go from here. I tend to go with Lich Bane and Rylai's Crystal Scepter because both of them increase your offense and defense.
Lich Bane means a significant boost for your team's damage, even with the low AP you have, due to the fact that in teamfights you are constantly spamming your skills anyway resulting in a lot of procs. And if the match is actually still going on at this point any increase in damage output will be helpfull as both sides should be mostly done with their builts. Meaning they should both be at maximum damage, and lich bane allows you to outperform the other team's support in terms of damage easily, providing an advantage that can turn the tide in a teamfight. The added movement speed is also pretty usefull at this stage as late game generally involves a lot of running around.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter Makes you even more tankier by giving you some health, which is always nice. The slow is perfect for chasing/running at this point. And the extra AP is nice, though mostly just to help your Lich Bane procs.
Of course there are many more options at this point and it is all situational, below are a number of suggestions.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Will of the Ancients
These are usefull when you want to support your allies even more, pick whatever has the greatest effect in your case.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Still getting killed to easily, pick some of these. Though you should not focus on armor/MR by this point. Any added point is nice, but it will start to scale badly. Health is much more preferable as this scales better, so I'd suggest Item's like banshees veil which give both. Frozen heart is an exception thanks to the aura. Items like Rylai's Crystal Scepter
or Lich Bane can be used if you are not yet satisfied, but are pretty sure you don't need an awefull lot and want some extra damage.
Will of the Ancients
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Morello's Evil Tome
Hymn of Valor and Cresendo scale decently enough with AP to validate building it for damage, however as a Sona damage is not really your concern which is why it takes this long to build it. If you do build specificly for damage I suggest taking at least Lich Bane, given that you are spamming abilities this is probably the biggest increase in damage overal, plus the added MR and mana is nice.
<Fill in any carry item>
<use your imagination>
I suggest you don't actually do this, however they could be valid options in certain cases. Furthermore, usually when you do get to this point you are winning by a landslide so often suboptimal won't be a disaster and it's just a game. An item like Hextech Gunblade is fairly decent. The AP is fairly high, the lifesteal and spellsteal is fun especially on a tanky character, and a bit of extra damage on your auto attack is not bad, and then of course there is the on use effect. Damage wise this might actually outperform some of the above mentioned items in some cases. Another item which shows promise would be the The Black Cleaver, damage, attack speed and more importantly lowering the armor of your opponents further increasing the chance that your allies kill them.
Now a special part for an item that I never use since it is so widespread among supports I expect someone to complain about it:
The reasons for this are pretty simple:
1) It doesn't fit in the overal build statwise. Given that the first four are generally all I have time and money for, it simply is not worth it.
2) The active is kind of useless in case of a sona, you have your song of clarity which has the exact same use, has a far shorter CD and actually provides a lasting aura. The reverie has a better burst, but often the continuous boost of clarity is more usefull.
It is however a valid item, as are many others. And if you want to use it I suggest taking out the Chalice of Harmony for this. However this probably means you're a bit low on MR to actually eat most bursts and need to build an extra item for this.
Well thanks for the reading this giant wall of text that is my first guide, hopefully it is any good, leave a comment with advice and I'l see if it is of any use to me :D