Sona Build Guide by Miku Lv99
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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.
Hi, I'm Miku, the vocaloid. I'm currently in Gold I so I wouldn't consider myself low elo anymore, maybe mid elo if there is such a thing. I got there essentially just by using Sona every game, even though I don't recommend her if your team doesn't have a tank, is heavy on split pushing, or you're up against one of her lane counters. So I don't recommend you just always pick her, but I'm so good with her that I do anyway. Here are my stats with her (probably going to be slightly outdated; I'm not going to constantly update it):
I realize most guides include their summoner profile. So I have added it here. I have 110 more wins than losses in solo queue and currently at 81 LP in gold I. I don't really play much other than ranked solo and tbh I'm pretty bad at the roles other than support. But, I might still be able to get into platinum!
This is my first guide and it's on Sona, the closest champion to Miku so far in League of Legends. I believe she is very strong in the current patch and is very easy to at least be decent with. If you haven't found a support you can play decently, Sona is a very good choice.
Pros / Cons
- Easy to play for the most part
- Good heal/sustain
- Good shield that can be very useful in tanking turrets or baron
- Useful poke
- Easy to get assists
- Ultimate is a very good aoe stun
- No good escapes except flash or her ultimate
- Hard to save your adc from trouble before level 6
- Hard to gank for before level 6
- Bad at dealing with enemy ganks before level 6
- Can be zoned hard by anyone that can kill her in one burst
- Can push her lane by poking
9x Seal of Health
9x Mark of Armor
3x Quint of Armor
6x Glyph of Mana Regeneration
3x Glyph of Magic Resistance
You need health and armor to not die too easily. The quints now give a better exchange rate on armor so they should give the armor and the seals should be used for health. The marks give you a good bit more armor to the point where you can often survive things such as even blitz grabs if they aren't ahead. This helps protect you from the zone control that is really often the biggest thing to fear in the laning phase. If you don't have the armor marks it's often too dangerous to even poke and then you're just a walking bunch of health pots. The glyphs of mana regen are nice since you can poke and heal much more often. Even if you don't poke, it's still a lot more heals that will help you outsustain the other team. And finally there is magic resistance so that you don't take too much damage from magic from having too little magic resistance.
Block, Unyielding, Recovery, and Veteran's Scars: obvious since they're the only useful defense masteries in the first 2 rows.
Juggernaut: Way op, do not pass this up. Can easily be around +50 health.
Fleet of foot: Obviously useful for anyone. But feel free to change this one if you think something else is better with how you play.
Meditation: Use your abilities much more. Sona is especially mana hungry and absolutely needs this.
Summoner's Insight: Really good on Sona if you want to pull of more flash ults, which you definitely should. This makes it much easier to catch an enemy or hit a group of enemies much more safely and easily.
Strength of Spirit: More sustain. You should stay in lane quite a while before your first back trying to outsustain the other team so this should get you quite a bit of health then. Feel free to use something else if you want though as this doesn't do all that much.
Alchemist: Get more hp from your pots. Very useful for the very early game as you can recover from being low on hp without having to go back.
Greed/Scavenger/Bandit/Wealth: With the low income of supports, extra gold income masteries are very useful. Do not pass these up.
Culinary Master: Extremely useful early especially against opponents that don't expect it and the extra hp and mana allows you to win a fight where they thought they had you. As long as you have this you shouldn't be afraid to pick up and extra biscuit or two on your early backs.
Expanded Mind: Use more abilities. And once you get chalice, you'll be at a lower percentage of your max mana more of the time so it actually does get you more mana regeneration to use your abilities more often. I only bothered with 1 point to get the +2% as the other points only give +1.5% which isn't as useful.
Intelligence: CDR is good but with the extra item bonus it's even better. This is a nice boost for trinkets, locket, and Mikael's.
Wanderer: Great for getting back to lanes as well as getting in good position before a fight starts. You can even use w and e and still keep the boost so you can potentially have it up until you use your ult in a fight if you need the extra speed.
Masteries I don't use:
Sorcery: CDR, but at the cost of defense. Most of the time, your mana is going to be the limiting factor, not cooldowns. And you can build CDR so as to reach 40% CDR with items endgame for using your ult as much as possible then anyway, so this still isn't that important even then.
Inspiration: Tbh, I just find this to be absolutely horrible. At the higher levels, you can easily be around 1000 experience away from gaining a level. So at 5 XP every 10 seconds it'd take you 33 1/3 minutes to gain that level from this alone. And not only that, but you also gain less XP from the same enemies dying when you're on a higher level, meaning that extra XP is really not very useful as you can often catch up anyway. And if you do get some extra XP, then it hinders your XP boost since you get to a higher level sooner so you start gaining less XP sooner until you've got only a tiny bit more XP than if you didn't get a boost earlier. And this does nothing early game when you and your ADC are on the same level.
Good itemization on Sona is a bit more complicated than you'd probably think at first.
Against Blitz, Thresh, Leona, or Braum (from now on referred to as kill lanes) I recommend you start with ancient coin, a sight ward, and 2 biscuits, and of course the yellow trinket. The reason for not spellthief's edge here is that, if they're good, they can mostly zone you out of poking. But if you somehow know they're horrible before the game starts you can get spellthief's edge anyway.
Against any other support, I like to start with spellthief's edge, a sight ward, and 2 biscuits, and of course the yellow trinket.
On your first, against a kill lane, rush sightstone. Otherwise, follow this:
If you have no wards, buy a sight ward if you're not going to buy a sightstone yet. Change out your trinket for a red one whenever you get sightstone. Now, consider how much gold you have left.
180: fairy charm
360: 2 fairy charms
500: upgrade your gold income item
880: Get chalice and don't upgrade your gold income item yet should you be able to afford it
1160: Get a sightstone and 2 fairy charms
1560: Get a sightstone and 2 fairy charms and null-magic mantle
1680: Get a sightstone and chalice
2005: Sightstone, chalice, and boots
2180: Sightstone, chalice, and upgrade your gold income item
2505: Sightstone, chalice, upgrade your gold income item, and boots
But keep in mind that not everyone plays the same. If your lane is really passive with very few exchanges then give more priority to the sightstone. From what I've gathered, in really high skill games this is probably usually the case. But the people I play with let me makes tons of little exchanges here and there which really add up to a huge advantage if you have the chalice. If you don't think they'll let you do this then get the sightstone first.
On your other early backs, do pretty much the same thing except you can exclude buying the things you already have. Once you've bought this stuff, feel free to pick up more biscuits, sight wards, or vision wards with your extra gold that you couldn't buy more of the permanent items with.
After you have your first upgrade to your gold income item, sightstone, chalice, and boots, here's what I'd do next:
1. Upgrade boots to ionian boots of lucidity.
2. Get ardent censer
3. Get locket if you're up against a heavy magic team and upgrade your gold income item again otherwise. Either way, you should be at 40% cdr.
4. Now look at the enemy team. You need to get an item specific to their team. If they do tons of physical damage get a Randuin's Omen. If they do tons of magic damage get locket, and Spirit Visage if you already have Locket. Sell your gold income item if you have to in order to make room for one of these. If not, then after making one of these you can sell your gold income item once you can afford another one of these.
Feel free to upgrade your sightstone whenever, but doing so is not of that much importance.
You can also upgrade your chalice to Mikael's whenever, and consider it more important against teams that have more cc or cc that lasts longer since then you get more out of it.
It's good to pick up alacrity or homeguard sometime. It's not that important but get it whenever you can spare the 475 gold and can't buy something better. Homeguard is better when your team is well behind but otherwise I prefer alacrity. It won't take all that much longer to recall with alacrity but it is useful in fights. Positioning is really important so even a little advantage in it can make a huge difference.
You can consider buying some items I haven't listed but I don't buy the other ones very often. For example, I know Lich Bane can be useful but I almost always prioritize defensive items instead. Maybe if you're just so good at positioning or your team has tons of good tanks/peel you could try it.
Passive: This is a pretty good passive as it gives you quite a few more options in a lot of situations. It charges up every 3 uses of q, w, and e, then empowers your next basic attack. You waste it if the target dies before your attack hits so don't blow it on some minion that's about to die from something else anyway. If you then last used q, it does good damage, even to buildings. If you last used w, it reduces the enemy's damage. Try to use this on an enemy that dives your adc or otherwise just dives in. And if you last used w, it slows the enemy. This isn't usually all that great but I like to use for one of two things. I either stop an enemy from running away, or I stop an enemy from getting to someone on my team. If you find yourself dying to ganks too much you can put a point into e earlier so that you can slow the enemy jungler which probably helps enough to at least let your adc get away.
q: Your poker, and also your gold maker with your spelltheif's edge. Poke with this almost every time you can where you get away with it, unless you're really low on mana and need to save it for heals for you adc. For stronger pokes, try to do an auto attack, then q, then another auto when you had 2/3 of a power chord built up. You'll be surprised how little time you have to stand around to do this and it does pretty good damage. And make sure you know the range of this since if the enemy is just barely outside of the range it'll attack minions instead. This is bad since it pushes the lane and can deny your adc cs. If it helps, you can hover your mouse over the q icon and it'll show you what its range is. When you do land a q, you'll draw minion aggro. Try to pull those minions all onto the same one of your team's minions if you can, or just get it off yourself as soon as possible so you stop taking damage.
w: Sustain. Really not much strategy here as you don't even get to choose who it heals unless you go way out of position to make it so that the person you want healed is the lowest one in range. This ability is amazing once you have ardent censer since it can give your entire team a shield and attack speed buff. Consider this a power spike once you get ardent censer. One more thing I'd like to note with this is to make sure not to give away an ally's position with it. If you have your junlger hiding in a bush by your lane, and you use this, your enemies will be able to tell you have someone there if it heals them. So either don't use it if he/she has less %hp than your adc, or get far enough away that it goes for your adc anyway.
e: Movespeed. Use this out of combat, when chasing, when running away, or just to help build up a power chord.
r: aoe stun. Stun one enemy that's out of position, one important enemy, or multiple enemies with this, and don't miss. If you flash right before you use it it's a lot easier to hit with it. But be mindful of enemies with gap closers as they will often use them if they can see this coming and you'll likely miss. But if they've already used their gap closers there's not much to worry about. After her rework, this also powers up all of Sona's other abilities meaning you do get somewhat of a power spike every time you rank this up.
How much mana to use on the unimportant abilities: It's pretty simple. You must always have enough mana to use your ult when you want it. As long as you do that, feel free to use all your other abilities to your heart's content. If you really want to use your ult, or you try to flash ult and don't have enough mana for your ult, YOU FAIL.
I thought this was obvious but apparently some people don't know so I'll say it anyway. If your adc fights, you fight too. Even if he doesn't want to fight. So if he gets hit by a Leona e, you don't run away and let him die. You w and walk over and shield him so that he's as likely to survive as possible, and then you keep fighting as much as you can get away with as long as you don't die, as long as your adc is still in the fight.
On the flip side, whenever you're fighting, make sure your adc is fighting with you. Almost never start a fight when your adc is really far away or else you're probably going to end up losing it. Even if it looks like 1v1 another enemy can usually show up to help before you can win the fight. And since they can run from you, they can probably move to their backup sooner than your adc can join the fight, so you probably can't win it. But feel free to poke when your adc isn't around as long as it's not a you poke one enemy while multiple enemies all poke you at the same time, unless you have chalice and are relatively high on HP.
Using your ultimate in lane: This isn't as difficult as it seems. I've reached the point where I don't use it much unless it either saves someone on my team or kills someone on the enemy team. The rest of the time, you keep it off cooldown so that the enemy laners aren't safe unless they're very high on HP. They don't want to risk dying to it so they'll just have to leave every time they're kind of low to avoid feeding you. Good players will rarely let you kill them with this in lane but you still have a big advantage for having it.
As long as I have mana for more uses of w, and I have a decent amount of health, I like to poke the enemies and then heal myself as much as I can get away with. Just consider what's the most damage they can do to you in one combo and be sure that they can't kill you each time you go to do this. Do it enough times and you should be at a big advantage. And be more aggressive with willing to do it the higher on health and mana you are. And especially if you have chalice, even if you don't have much mana, but you still need at least some health.
In general, you want to be extremely safe when the enemies outlevel you and be very aggressive when you outlevel them, unless it's not safe to. If your adc is a really passive farmer that ends up just last-hitting lots of minions under the tower and you're often outleveled then sadly this does mean there isn't much you can do. But when you're on equal levels to your opponents, consider the following strategies:
What, I'm going to tell you about Sona's enemies but not her allies? Well, the truth is, the way you play shouldn't change much whatever adc you're playing with. Where you need to change your strategy is almost entirely depending on who your enemies are. Just consider how strong your adc is at the current point in the game when trying to figure out if you can win an all-in or not, but that's about it. When you do this, try to take everything into account. Who has better items? What level is everyone? How much health and mana does everyone have? Which abilities are on cooldown? Are any roamers nearby? I can't really tell you exactly how to determine who would win an all-in in all cases but you can estimate it pretty well with enough experience.
Ashe: She's kinda weak early so go aggressive with poke and you can often even survive getting caught by an all-in but don't let it happen at low levels or when they out level you or when you're all level 6 since then they'll probably kill one of you anyway. Consider getting Mikael's earlier than normal since it can very well counter Ashe's ult sometimes.
Caitlyn: She's annoying early game but just put forth the pressure of poking to make sure your adc can cs. Don't poke her often until you're at least level 3 so you can heal yourself decently. And her ult is barely anything to be afraid of unless your adc sucks and won't let you block it.
Corki: Pretty much an ordinary adc but with some extra poke. Try to dodge it. Otherwise just play like it's anyone else.
Draven: This guy is a monster to face with Sona and it's very hard to beat him without any ganks. Put forth the pressure of trying to poke all the time but stay safe. Only trade much with him once you're at least level 5 so you have enough healing to sustain yourself well. I really don't like playing against his passive with Sona so I recommend you get your jungler to gank him as much as you can possibly convince your junlger to do. If he gets ahead you're pretty much screwed. And from there, your team is likely pretty much screwed. He snowballs too hard.
Ezreal: Another kinda normal adc. Just dodge his pokes and you should be fine. He probably won't have the mana to spare to try to poke you too much and you should be able to poke him sometimes unless they have a kill lane.
Graves: This guy is deadly in a kill lane, make sure you let their support zone you very hard if this is the case. Otherwise, poke whenever you'll come out of the exchange without him getting to do much and you should be able to get ahead. Almost always try to attack him from as close to the end of your range as possible.
Jinx: Not too much to be feared but be careful of her traps and zaps. Usually not much of a problem but if she catches you with them it can be deadly. Another champion to fear if part of a kill lane.
Kog'Maw: The adc with the nasty long range poke that can really hurt if you let it get you. But if you use lots of w you should be alright.
Lucian: This guy is really hard to beat right now. Even if he's way lower on HP than your adc it seems like he still often wins an all-in, so be careful challenging him to one. Play very safe, especially at low levels. Poke only if you're at very high HP and mana and your adc is at very high HP. Try to ult him if he ults.
Miss Fortune: Pretty much normal adc but with more poke. Just use w every time you see it coming. Although if you're in the bullet rain your healing is reduced so keep that in mind. Try to ult her if she ults.
Quinn: A pretty easy opponent. Just poke whenever you can get away with it and you should outsustain her. Usually worst case at least it's an easy lane for you adc to farm all day in.
Sivir: Kinda genernic adc but she has a spellshield. Your passive does count, so keep that in mind. Try not to feed her too much extra mana, but still do poke when you can. And when you want to ult her, try to use a q or power chord so that it hits right before when your ult does so that it's really hard for her to block your ult. Or just use it when her spell shield is already down.
Tristana: She's a beast right now, especially for Sona. She can poke, inflict grevious wounds to reduce your healing, has a gap closer and a displacement effect once she has her ult. And she gets huge range endgame. You can try to bully her early but be very careful of every possiblity you can think of that she can do with her gap closer. If you're even slightly out of position and she jumps forward and flashes so that she's behind you and ults you backwards, consider yourself dead. Do not mess with her pretty much at all if your adc isn't around.
Twitch: Pretty much generic adc. Use w whenever he poisons anyone and the shield will likely help block a contaminate. And if not, you still saved some HP since he probably would have done contaminate if you hadn't put up the shield. Just watch out for his invisibility especially when you don't know where he is. If you see him turn invisible, just think of what you would do if you were him and act accordingly. If in doubt, play safe.
Urgot: Lol free win no one ever even uses him so idk.
Varus: Pretty normal adc just wait until neither you nor your adc has grevious wounds before using w. And be careful of his ult as it's often very threatening when he uses it.
Vayne: Just don't let her condemn you into a wall and you should be fine. Poke her a lot.
Alistar: This either is really nice or really bad. I recommend you poke as much as you can get away with but don't get caught by his headbutt + pulverize when you're in a position where they can kill you. As long as you stay alive from this threat, this lane should go great. But if they can kill you from doing this then this lane is probably going to go bad and there's not much you can do to fix it anymore.
Anivia: I didn't know this bird could support, but I hear it's about to potentially come into popularity with the combo of her wall + vayne's condmen counting as colliding with terrain. That stun combined with Anivia's other stun could probably do some pretty significant damage before you can get out of it, but you'll probably survive since it's only Vayne, and then just play really safe until you heal up. With any other adc you probably won't see Anivia and if you do, just poke and outsustain her.
Blitzcrank: Sona's hardest matchup. His grab pretty much spells doom for you and for a forced all-in of its kind, its one of the fastest moving and thus one of the strongest pieces of zone control. If he's good, he can force you pretty far away and it's very difficult for you to do much in this lane. If he's bad he might give you a chance to poke him from behind minions but if he's good he can force you to be too far back to do that. It is usually better to use up even your flash than it is to let him grab you. And if you push against him then it's not even safe for your or you adc to be close enough to cs anymore so you'll either miss lots of cs or the other team will get a kill so absolutely do not push against him.
Braum: Let him zone you somewhat so that you don't get killed from his skillshot. Otherwise, poke as much as you can get away with. Almost never all-in against him.
Fiddlesticks: Play really safe at low levels and use w every time he tries to poke. Get past the start and he shouldn't be able to do much that scary anymore unless you get caught off guard by his ult.
Gangplank: Poke for days. Easy. How is he even on this list? Lol
Heimerdinger: Haven't played against him much, but his turrets aren't great at offense but more of a you can't safely go where they are thing. So just stay safe at low levels and then you should be fine.
Janna: Poke as much as you can get away with. She has lots of tools for helping her adc not die or anything but doesn't present much threat. You should outsustain her.
Karma: Play as safe as you can get away with for the first few levels as her poke in insane start game. But again, if you can get to a good level without having been poked out yet, you should be able to outsustain her with your heals. Do not try to poke her early on at all.
Kayle: She does a lot of the same stuff you do, but worse. Poke a good amount and as long as you make at least slightly decent of plays you should be fine.
Leona: Try to poke her like crazy when she's at level 1 as she can't fight back very well. But a good Leona will play safe at level 1 and not allow this. Once she's 2, you have to play very safe and let her zone you hard. And if she's really good, she can even flash e you to kill you where you thought was safe from being hit by her e. So either be so far away this won't be able to get you or be ready to escape with your own flash.
Lulu: Hard to win the poke battle against but still poke back when she tries to poke and outsustain her. Don't go out of your way moving forward trying to create more little poke exchanges since she'll probably beat you in those.
Lux: Just play safe trying to avoid her poke and you should be able to outsustain her. Don't really bother trying to hurt her much as she'll probably go back from being out of mana rather than low on HP. But if she is out of mana then you can go crazy against her since she's pathetic.
Morgana: A difficult opponent. Play pretty safe and make sure you don't get caught by her q. You can poke but only when it's safe to do so. Remember, safety first.
Nami: An about even matchup. It's almost all skill here so just try to make what seem like good plays. She has pretty good sustain to the point where she might outsustain you, so try not to waste too much mana against her.
Nunu: Huh, I don't even remember playing against this guy support. But apparently he is one. His kit doesn't look too scary though except maybe his ultimate. Just poke him as much as you can get away with but play safe and get you and your adc's HP back up whenever you get low and you can probably beat him.
Orianna: Huh, she's also a support? Never faced her support, but I figure you should just play good and you should outsustain her.
Sona: Okay, I guess this isn't a ranked game if you're playing against yourself. Just try to come out of each exchange ahead, or at least even. For each exchange you lost you shouldn't have gotten into that exchange so hopefully you learned something.
Soraka: Just be really aggressive and poke like crazy. She's so weak right now you should easily beat her.
Syndra: I don't know what to say about her when I've never seen her as a support. Just play pretty safe as she has some pretty nasty stuff in her kit but she shouldn't scale well to endgame so you shouldn't need to defeat her in lane in order to be more useful to your team after the laning phase.
Taric: Just don't get caught out of position by any of his stuns and you should be fine. Poke when you can and heal when you want to and you should be able to outsustain him.
Thresh: Ugh, another kill lane. You have to let him zone you and don't get hooked unless you've poked so much you can win an all-in.
Zilean: Just use w every time he uses a bomb. He really doesn't do much else so he's kinda pointless once you have a good enough level of w.
Zyra: Beastly poke where you actually need to play pretty careful throughout the whole laning phase since she can put the hurt on you a lot faster than you can heal if you let her. You really can't poke her much but you can still try to outsustain her.
Yes, warding is so important that it deserves its own chapter. Here's how you ward.
Look at where the minions meet in the 3 lanes and draw straight lines between them. Think of that as like the line of scrimmage or something like that. I.e. where the important action happens and it matters when an enemy tries to cross over into your territory and it's much more dangerous to tread forward into enemy territory. In any case, around this line is where it's most important to try to keep wards up. So when all lanes are neutral, try to keep wards around the river. But if you have then pushed back, then you should be putting up wards somewhere in their jungle. You know, where they might actually go sometime within the next 3 minutes so your wards actually do something useful. And almost no teams every have enough wards up so try to have a vision ward up as well so that you can have 4 wards up at once for better vision. If your wards run out and your sightstone is out of charges, I've found that, unless you're needed for a fight that's just about to commence or is already taking place, you pretty much have to go back. You can't let your team's vision run out or you just lose control over much of the map. Then someone on your team will think the other team might be going for something in the jungle and die trying to find out and then the other team takes tons of goodies from the jungle and your team is at a huge disadvantage. This even happened to Could 9 in the lcs playoffs so don't try to say that your team is too good for it to happen. No vision = impending death on your team unless all alive enemy champions are visible OR just a huge amount of playing safe by your team which denies them farming part of the jungle which costs them significant gold and experience. In either case, it's a cost suffered by your team to not have the vision.
You should also try to clear enemy wards. Again, try to clear them close to what I called the line of scrimmage, or close to objectives like the Dragon or Baron.
Mid/late game strategies
After the laning phase where you almost entirely should have stayed with your adc, you can kinda stay with anyone. Go where you want to ward but then go to where someone else on your team is. I usually like to stay with the biggest group I can since then Sona helps out more but feel free to roam to being whoever you think you can help most.
In the endgame, I really like to have all 5 of your team together. Sona is very useful in helping your team when they're grouped. Usually the best way to attack the enemy base is to push mid until you get the inhibitor, then look at whichever side lane your minions are further forward on and go push that lane until you get that inhibitor. Once you have 2 inhibitors you should pretty much have the game won. And when an enemy inhibitor is down, keep applying pressure to a lane or get baron. Don't just let them off for free until the inhibitor respawns. I know it probably sounds obvious and dumb to good players, but I've seen lots of games where my team just peacefully farmed the jungle and minions on its own side of the map until the inhibitor came back up. Also, don't just try to end the game by going all mid with 1 inhibitor down unless much of the enemy team is dead and they have very little chance to stop you. And in teamfights, it's usually best to stay with your adc and let them get the benefit of all your auras since it most likely increase their effectiveness more than that of anyone else on your team. But also try to not let yourself be too easily killed.
I hope you enjoyed my guide. It is my first one and I hope you were still able to learn a lot from it. I know it probably has some flaws so feel free to tell me about them in the comments. And if you liked my guide, also tell me what you liked about it in the comments.