Sona, The Mayven of The Strings
Hi there. I'm SleepyShadow (or Mordenkeinan if you prefer), and I'm here to talk about Sona. Why Sona? She's my favorite support champion in 5's, and makes an excellent damage dealer in 3's. Now, I'm not saying that she can't be built as a high damage dealer in Summoner's Rift, but she truly shines as a support in a large team. I've been playing Sona for a long time now and I feel that I have something to offer for other Sona players, both newcomers and veterans.
Just to say this and get it out of the way, the ways that I build and play Sona suits my personal taste. It may not suit yours. You may agree with some things I say and disagree with other things. That's fine with me. The only rule that is unarguable is that this is my opinion on how to play Sona. It works for me. Give it a try before you say no :)
One last thing: I titled this guide "Like a Metronome" because Sona swings both ways.
Not like that >_<
She can be an amazing support, but she can just as easily be an amazing damage dealer. I'll cover both ways to build and play her.
Pros / Cons
Why would you play Sona, you ask? Well, here are some things to consider:
- An excellent support champion, and perhaps the best lane partner anyone could ask for.
- Has something to offer to any situation: Team fights, lane pushing, destroying buildings, ganking, retreating, chasing, you name it and she can help do it.
- Rarely has problems with mana.
- Has the capability to hold her own in any lane.
- Awesome hair.
- Sona is a delicate mage. She's very squishy.
- Crowd Control (stun, slow, knock-up, etc.) makes her sad.
- Sona is a rather poor duelist. There are few champions that she can 1v1 with confidence.
If you notice, I've said that she can hold her own in any lane but that she is also a poor 1v1 character. Why? Sona is a good harasser and has excellent sustain, but there are few cases where she can commit to a 1v1 fight without Crescendo, and even with it attempting to duel an enemy is risky.
The runes I've chosen for Sona don't change whether she is supporting her team or taking the AP Blaster route. Flat AP Quints and Flat AP Glyphs give her early game power, while Magic Penetration Marks are always a good choice. Health by Level Seals provide Sona with much needed health to help compensate for her innate lack of defenses.
For Sona the Supporter (the typical choice for Summoner's Rift), the majority of her masteries are in the Utility tree. You won't be farming minions unless your lane partner has gone back to base, so the experience and gold masteries are very important. Sona is a painfully slow champion, and so to help compensate for that I have maxed out the movement speed mastery in the utility tree
For Sona the Blaster, we take a very different approach. We want to deal as much damage as possible, so the majority of your masteries will be in the Offense tree. We do dip into the utility tree for some mana regen, however. I do not have the movement mastery maxed because as an AP Carry you will end up using more mana more often, and so the mana regeneration is more important than the additional movement speed.
Whether you are Support Sona or Blaster Sona, the builds are very similar. Support Sona wants to be able to heal her allies quickly and efficiently, as well as maintain a constant fluctuation of auras.
I start with a Meki Pendant and a Sight Ward. Unless your lane partner is extremely aggressive and requires you to spam your healing just to stay alive, the mana regen from the Meki Pendant will be sufficient to keep you in lane. Once the lane has been pushed about halfway, be sure to ward the river to protect you and your partner from enemy ganks.
After you acquire your Boots of Speed, a Tear of the Goddess and a Fiendish Codex are your next items. The mana regen from the two items coupled with the cooldown reduction from the codex will allow you and your lane partner to stay in lane comfortably, while you may harass the enemy with Hymn of Valor without having to worry about the strain on your mana.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity are my typical boots of choice for the additional cooldown reduction. However, if the enemy team is AP heavy, consider taking Mercury's Treads instead.
Moonflair Spellblade is a lovely item that provides both AP and Tenacity, something that Sona needs quite badly. However, if you already have Merc Treads, I would recommend building an Abyssal Scepter for the AP, magic resistance, and the aura the item provides.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is next on the list for both the added health and the utility of an additional slow. Sometimes hitting with a Song of Celerity power chord is just not feasible. Having a slow effect on Hymn of Valor can either allow your allies to catch a fleeing foe or to escape from a bad situation.
I put off finishing Morello's Evil Tome because it provides more of what we already have a lot of: mana regeneration and cooldown reduction. However, the recently added activated effect of grievous wounds (cuts the enemy target's healing and regeneration in half) may be worth having sooner if your enemy is relying on healing to stay alive in fights (such as Warwick or Vayne stacking The Bloodthirsters or other life steal items).
Archangel's Staff provides a hefty amount of mana as well as a hefty amount of AP. By this stage of the game the enemy is going to be doing significant amounts of damage, so the AP from this item will help your healing keep pace.
Lastly, Rabadon's Deathcap for the sheer boost in AP. It is likely that the game will end before you get this item, but if the game lasts long enough for you to get this then the enemy team will be at full build as well. While you won't likely be able to heal more than Veigar can burst someone down, the massive spike in AP means that your healing will be significantly high to keep your team in the fight much longer than most could expect.
If, on the other hand, you are playing AP Carry Sona, only one item is changed. However, that one item is the key to blaster Sona's success: Lich Bane. The trick with this item is to time your power chord attack (specifically a Hymn of Valor powerchord) with the Lich Bane passive ability. The damage from that will be both immense and intimidating to the enemy.
The most important thing to remember when playing Sona is that you have teammates. Sona can do many impressive things, but whether she is supporting or blasting she truly shines in a team fight. The more allies she has around her, the more effect her auras will have on the fight.
Is the enemy jungler attempting to gank you and your lane partner? A well-placed Crescendo will turn a bad situation into a good exchange, or at least a clean escape.
Laning with a partner? Your Aria of Perseverance (even if you only have one rank in it) will keep them well-sustained and in the lane much longer.
Team fight breaking out but you're out of position? Use Song of Celerity to get yourself and any other straggler to the scene in time to help out.
If you are Support Sona, your farming strategy consists of one word: Don't. The only time you should be farming is if your lane partner has recalled. With your experience points and gold masteries, you'll still be able to keep up in levels and buy the items you need as well as a few wards.
If you are Blaster Sona, you make a quite effective farmer. Sona's attack animation makes last-hitting a breeze, and later in the game the bolts fired from Hymn of Valor will one-shot caster minions and even melee minions.
In all, Sona is an amazing champion. She's fun to play, offers something for players of all skill levels, and has abilities and flavor not replicated by any other champion. I recommend trying her at least once.
I hope this guide has helped. If so, please vote and comment. Thank you for reading!