Sona Build Guide by Chrispykreem
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.
Sona: Maximizing Potential
Standard Item Build
Hate Mejai's/Facing Mundo?
Not Updated For Current Season
Here is some Season 3 proof of effectiveness
If you'd ever like to play you can find me on the NA servers...username: Chrispykreem
Current elo: 1503
Currently with Sona in ranked: 9 wins (81.8%) K/D/A Ratio: 6.4:1
Introduction/Latest Patch Thoughts
For those who want the short story: Trigger your passive on Hymn of Valor and immediately auto-attack. With high AP, Power Chord and Lich Bane procing 50+75% of your AP in extra magic damage, you do insane burst damage that can be repeated every time Hymn of Valor cools down. Theoretically, 1411 damage at level 18 if you have 500 AP.
Here are all of the changes that have been made to Sona since her creation.
Update 1/30/13: Still working on making the guide current for S3, and switching the focus to ranked strategies!
Keep in mind, your primary role is still to support your team.
... but you can still get kills and have fun while doing it.
Sona's Power Chord, which procs after every 3rd spellcast, will give you a nice amount of damage [2*(8+(10 x your level))] with your auto-attack if used after Hymn of Valor. If you combine a high AP build to help buff your team and damage your enemies with the almighty Lich Bane, you can do some real damage with your attacks.
As with all support characters be ready for bad games if you have a bad team (solo queuing without a tank, for example). That being said, the focus of this guide is to increase Sona's AP to help her team and by doing so also making her auto attacks powerful through Power Chord, Lich Bane, and Hymn of Valor.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
Your runes are preferential. I like CDR, mPen and Mana Regen because I believe they are the most beneficial to my playstyle. I don't like being OOM, I want my damage abilities to do damage, and I want to be able to dance between auras and rapidly increase my mana pool with tear.
Clarity - I'm a big fan of clarity, especially early game. It gives you staying power to increase the amount of gold you collect before you go back, giving you the opportunity to build the bigger items quicker, level quicker, play aggressively, and snowball. While clarity may lose it's value late-game, chances are you will find a situation where you can help out an ally or keep the team in a fight longer (I always do).
Exhaust - This is the other main option. Some people will insist/be a jerk if you don't take it, but I think your teammate and enemy team comp matters for these reasons:
I like playing with aggressive ADC's, so we burn through mana quicker. Having your mana replenished in lane means you can stay in lane longer, constantly pump out heals, gain more CS + gold, and get more kills due to using your abilities more/more often.
Are you facing an enemy Leona and Jayce on bottom? If you're up against a tanky lane of champions on bottom, or you're up against a team that has 4/5 auto-attacking champions it is a good idea to take exhaust. It's also a great idea if you're playing with an ADC who won't play aggressively, because that means the enemy team will be attack you instead of the other way around.
Power Chord - After casting 3 spells, Sona's next attack deals an extra [8+(10 x your level)] damage. This doubles when Hymn of Valor was your last used aura! Additionally, Sona's Auras persist for 3 seconds after deactivating and set off a 2 second global cooldown.
[*] This passive is what will give your Lich Bane extra damage. It is controllable. Later in the game you will find yourself bouncing between your healing song, movement speed song, and then attacking your target with Hymn of Valor to get your 3rd spellcast. Once you have Lich Bane your next attack will do a ton of damage on top of your Hymn.
Q Hymn of Valor - This is your damage aura. It has a .7 AP scaling which is great since is used to be .5 AP scaling. At level 18 with 500 AP that is an extra 350 damage. 610 magic damage, plus another 425 damage on your next attack from Lich Bane, and 376 damage from your passive. That would make our grand total 610+425+376=1411. Yes. Rinse and repeat with each cool down.
W Aria of Perseverance - This has a .25 AP scaling, nerfed from .5, Not bad. This one is more self-explanatory. If you're laning and your partner is taking a lot of damage, try to have this aura toggled on for the extra armor and mRes. Extra CDR increases the frequency with which you can heal, always a good thing. 500 AP? You get an extra 125 healing. Burning down your enemies much faster with lichbane attacks and healing more often with increased CDR. Cool.
E Song of Celerity - This is your movement speed increase. It has nothing to do with your AP.
R Crescendo - Your ultimate has a .8 AP scaling up from .7 scaling. At 500 AP you will be doing an extra 350 damage which would bring you to 850 damage as well as a hold to anyone it comes in line with. This ability is great in conjunction with Lich Bane. Use your damage abilities wisely, especially this one which can hold your enemies in place.
Early Game Strategies
The goal is to get a Tear of the Goddess and Boots of Speed early on.
I don't complete the boots until Mejai's Soulstealer is done.
The more you use your abilities the more your mana will go up, which will continue to benefit you throughout the game (until the 1000 max mana mark). This is why I recommend starting with Tear of the Goddess as you need more mana and you need the regen early on. Having Clarity will help you get to this goal faster, and keep you in the lane longer to generate more money and help your partner.
I leave Hymn of Valor on almost all of the time to aid either the damage or AP of your laning partner. I prefer laning as you are the most help to your team immediately in the game. If you're being harassed and have to play defensively, change your active aura to Aria of Perseverance to mitigate some of that damage.
It is your choice on when to start taking Song of Celerity. I put only 1 point in it before level 6 and forget about it until the end of the game. Damage+healing/armor/mres is more important in my opinion. It is useful for stance-dancing. Some highly mobile teams may like you to level it up earlier, however. They would probably also prefer you get Shurelya's Reverie
As a general rule of thumb I try to keep my laning partner topped off in health the best I can. As a support character, you are there to aid their decisions and the decisions of the team. Try to keep your partner and team from dying, help them get where they need to go as quick as possible, and add on damage to enemy champions when they choose to.
It's all about synergy.
If you get close enough to an enemy champion and use Hymn it will generally choose the champion over any nearby minions. This isn't the case if you're standing directly next to a minion. You need to just use the ability often and see how it works.
Note: If you are bad at avoiding death, you're having a bad game, or they are really focusing you, but you still want to use this build...here's what you should do to skip Mejai's Soulstealer. After Boots of Speed, proceed to build Sheen. Then complete Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Immediately following that, complete Lich Bane and build Guardian Angel before finishing Archangel's Staff. Complete Archangel's Staff and then build Zhonya's Hourglass. That should keep you in the fight no matter how they focus you.
Mid Game Strategies
In the mid game, you should have your .
You will/should end up with more assists than kills. You will/should stay with your team and do your best to keep them alive while avoiding death. This will/should allow you to max out your Mejai's stacks giving you 15%CDR which will allow you to beastly aura dance while having substantial AP to do damage.
Mejai's Soulstealer is a key factor in this build.
This is where many guides will start differing from mine. That's ok. Some of those guides will probably be better than this one. Some might not be. It depends on if you like the kind of playstyle that I do: supporting your friends while also being able to kick some ***. By the end of mid game you should finish into Ionian Boots of Lucidity for CDR, grab Sheen, and begin working towards Lich Bane. Sheen and Lichbane will make your aura-dancing support turn into supporting while dealing great damage.
At this point you should be casting the necessary hymn, song, aria and attacking between each cast. DO NOT STOP CASTING.
If you are starting a fight, be sure to attack with Power Chord when Hymn of Valor is toggled for the most damage you can pump out.
If you are winning the fight and they are running, be sure to attack with Power Chord when Song of Celerity is active. It will let you and your team chase them faster, and that attack will slow them.
If you are losing the fight you have two options: Attack while Aria of Perseverance is active and mitigate their Carry's damage, or attack while Song of Celerity is active and try to slow whichever enemy will catch up to you.
Good luck and good gaming.