Sona Build Guide by morrkevi
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.
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.
Preface: This part of the introduction has nothing to do with the guide. It is just an introduction on me and why I made the guide and how I came into Sona. Feel free to skip this if you don't want the long story.
Special Consideration and Thanks
If you enjoyed this guide please considering +Repping these people for their hard work in helping me and others with their guides.
JhoiJhoi - Thank you very much for your guide on how to make a guide. It helped me a lot when I was first starting out. Also thank you very much for the review you gave my guide. I am doing my best to improve and work on this guide every day that I play.
Teyso - Thank you for giving me some great ideas early on on what to do with match-ups on bottom lane, formatting, lists and overall editing. Much appreciated.
PepsiM4A1 - Thank you for taking the time to review my guide. I will be adding a Pros and Cons list soon just for you!
Thanks to Teyso, for taking the time to review my guide and tell me where I can improve.
Also thank you to JackAubrey whose picture I found on the inter-webs and used!
+ Fantastic poke
+ 3 great auras
+ AoE Stun
+ Heal and Speed Boost
+ Great in the early game
+ Great in the late game
- Slow movement speed early
- Don't mess up her Ultimate
- Q pushes the Lane if you're not careful
- non-specific casting
Sona was the champion who made me love supporting. I don't think I truly recognized the versatility of the support role until I started to play her. As you can see in the section marked "old" below, Sona was my favourite champion. In all honesty I used to almost strictly play Sona and I got pretty good with her. Things have changed. At the end of season 3 we saw Zyra wreak havoc in the LCS. However Sona still had a good place there.
Overall I really enjoy playing Sona support. She has a place in the current meta even with the nerf to all AP supports. Her ultimate Crescendo is still potentially one of the most game breaking ultimates in the game.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
- In the 3.14 patch everything changed for supports. Suddenly you have gold, you can't buy as many wards and you don't know what to do with yourself. Using your main source of early potential to get some extra gold is no longer necessary. This boost to your ability power will help your early game harass and sustain.
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
This will help you seriously deal some damage in the early game. If you want to see why I choose Hybrid penetration over Armor Penetration or Magic Penetration please see this blog.
Greater Seal of Armor
Flat armor will greatly help you in lane against the ADC if they decide to attack you.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resistance.
This will mostly help in later levels. You will not need too much Magic Resistance early, but later on when you are up against AP opponents having the extra MR can help.
For your masteries I recommend going 4/5/21. My main focus when I am looking at the masteries is on:
2. Cooldown Reduction;
I spend 6 skill points on income. I look at income as an investment into the late game. The longer that you stay in the game the more these masteries will pay off. And since most games last 30-40 min you should get a lot from these masteries.
You can have 10% cooldown reduction(CDR) at level 1 with no items. Not to mention 10% CDR on activation items and 10% on summoner spells. I therefore spent 10 points in CDR so that I can have my ultimate more often, Flash more often and I will be able to use my activated items more often.
I spend an additional 10 points in sustainability. This will allow you to stay in lane longer, harass more often and keep the pressure on the enemy team. If you can prevent yourself from going back and you can hit level 6 before your enemies you are at a huge advantage.
Inspiration - I spent 2 points here because if you are at a level disadvantage you need to catch up as quickly as possible or you will fall drastically behind. This should help to keep you on par with your ADC.
Phasewalker - To be honest, I took this because it has saved my butt countless times. I know 1 second doesn't seem like much, but when you're backing and you see the enemy coming for your bush you're going to be very thankful.
For the most part here I recommend using Exhaust and Flash with a few exceptions.
Exhaust - I recommend using exhaust because especially after using your ultimate you can completely slow your opponent down if you think he or she has a chance of getting away.
Flash - The non-negotiable king of summoner's spells. This spell is especially good for Sona as her Flash- Crescendo combo can be game breaking.
When to get Ignite:
The only time I recommend getting ignite is if you have more than one person on the enemy team who rapidly heals during a team fight. With the current meta being that ADCs typically get barrier there is typically only 1 or 2 ignites on a given team. So if you're up against champions like Dr. Mundo, Fiddlesticks, Swain, Rengar then I recommend getting ignite.
Starting ItemsSpellthief's Edge early on would be a good idea as you can only buy 1 ward as a result. I REALLY didn't like the idea, but I tried it out a lot and it turns out that with 2 Warding Totems (assuming your ADC grabs one) and a Stealth Ward, things turn out alright.
First BackSightstone. This usually works out to be around the same time that the Marksman has enough gold to buy their B.F. Sword. Also when you grab your Sightstone it is a good time to sell your Warding Totem in favour of a Sweeping Lens.
After that grabbing Boots of Speed is usually a good idea. Beyond that it depends on how much gold you have when you happen to go back. Ideally if you can stay in lane do so. It does get risky if you stay in lane when your opponent goes back to base however because they will come back at an item advantage.
Finally Fiendish Codex is the perfect item to give you some needed CDR for your ultimate and ability power. If you are falling behind then instead of spending so much on this you can try to rush and grab Ionian Boots of Lucidity in order to grab the CDR. Just remember that the CDR is more important than the damage. You want to have your Crescendo up as often as possible.
This is your core build. After you buy your Ruby Sightstone you should only need to buy 1 ward every time you back (You can have 3 wards on the map at a time Ruby Sightstone gives you 5 ). Frost Queen's Claim will give you some extra Ability power and an awesome single target area of effect passive.
Since you already have enough Cooldown reduction I recommend getting some Magic penetration with Sorcerer's Shoes which will give you a bit more damage with your boots.
When you're behind or if your enemy team has a lot of CC:
Twin Shadows I use primarily for warding. This item gives you some extra movement speed and the ability to see if anyone is in the enemy jungle before blindly walking in to ward.
Morellonomicon is key to this build. It gives you 20 cooldown reduction which allows your ultimate Crescendo to come off cooldown faster. In addition it gives you some extra ability power and a great passive.
For the most part I want to leave this open for now. This final item will really depend on what you feel your team needs if you should make it to this point in the game. Usually you will need something a little different if you're in a bit of a grid lock and you actually get to this point. I might recommend Mikael's Crucible or Ohmwrecker as they might give you the advantage you need to break through the enemy's wall. If you feel you could just use some more Ability power then Rabadon's Deathcap is a great choice.
Sona's Spells and Spell Order
Power Chord This is Sona's passive and what makes her such an aggressive support. After casting 3 spells her next attack does 8 + (10 x level) EXTRA magic damage. In addition to this depending on what Spell you previously used you will either do double damage with Hymn of Valor, de-buff the target causing the champion to do 20% less damage for 4 seconds with Aria of Perseverance or slow the target by 40% for 2 seconds with Song of Celerity
Hymn of Valor This is a great spell to poke with in the early game. Try to be really careful with it though otherwise you might steal CS from your ADC. If you have 2 points in your Power Chord feel free to move forward use this Hymn and auto attack your opponent to take out a ton of damage. Once you get a second level in this it really starts to deal a ton of poke damage. (not burst)
Aria of Perseverance This is the spell that will allow you to sustain your lane. It gives your allies bonus armor and magic resist and it heals Sona AND a nearby ally. In addition Sona and the nearby ally have the aura doubled for 3 seconds. If you are getting poked down W then E is a good combo.
Song of Celerity Gives you and your allies bonus movement speed. This is useful for pushing in quickly or pulling out quickly. Gives your allies a movement speed boost, and any nearby allies get a little extra boost if they are near you when you're casting it.
Crescendo This is your ultimate ability and one of the main reasons why sona is such a great champion in the late game. The best thing about this ability is the main utility of it is not the damage but the stun and the stun is not effected by having extra ability power or attack damage. As a support this is amazing because you will likely have neither of this built up. I usually make sure to have this skill on smart cast so that when a good opportunity comes, you can use it to stun 3-4 people at once without having to press R then click.
I recommend going R-Q-W-E and not moving from this order.
In the first 6 levels I find this is the best way to start. I have tested out other ways to see if I am better off but overall I usually recommend this. Getting Hymn of Valor first will allow you to be aggressive right off the bat. Make sure to grab it when you are in town and use it twice while at your summoning pool (so that you get the mana back right away). I recommend only twice so that you are still able to help with blue buff, or hit something without using your power chord. Then when you get a chance on your enemy press Q then attack the ADC. This should take out a significant chunk of health, especially if your ADC is on point and dealing some damage as well. This sends their ADC a message that if they are caught out of position or trying to get a last hit that is a little too close, they are going to be punished for it.
After that getting Aria of Perseverance is usually a good idea as either you or your ADC may take some damage. Feel free to use this spell as needed by your ADC. If you see he pops a health potion, then don't waste it.
Next up is Song of Celerity. This will help for the early ganks that might happen. It will help you engage if you're about to gank, or escape if you are the ones being ganked. It gives both you and your ADC a quick boost in movement speed and if you use this in combination with your power chord attack you will slow an enemy coming after you.
Getting your second point in Hymn of Valor allows you to deal a ton more damage. By this point you are level 4, so your quick poke will deal 100 damage from Hymn of Valor and 96 damage from your power chord. This is nearly 200 damage (2 bars of health). This is when you should actually start using Q. Level 4 is where Sona becomes significantly more dangerous (so try to save your mana until you hit this level).
Once level 5 hits you will deal even more damage with your Hymn of Valor. Then once you hit level 6 you will get your Crescendo which will allow you to stun your enemies when they get out of position and punish them hard.
Alternative Spell Order
If you feel confident that you are not going to be ganked or that you have a good means of getting away if you are ganked then you could consider this spell order to deal more damage at level 3 instead of level 4.
This will give you the 200 poke damage at level 3 which will allow you to deal a ton more damage early on. This could be good if you know you are going to get a nice gank from your jungler at level 3. Just be careful not to get caught out of position as you will have very few means of escaping.
Now that the vision ward is visible you have to carefully consider where you place it. There are a few places that you can put it to benefit your team, but when you are specifically looking at the bot lane I recommend placing the ward in your tri-bush.The reason that I recommend this spot in particular is because it will allow you to keep vision control for you and prevent the enemy from keeping a ward in there. After you have placed one vision ward I recommend always having one in your inventory just in case. The vision ward may save your life (and die as a result). Typically a jungler will try to gank from tri-bush if you are on the blue side. If he sees the vision ward he will usually kill it then head somewhere else.
Since you can have more than one of these I usually recommend doing a few things with them. One ward the dragon pit as well as 2 potential ganking paths.
This ward will protect you from 2 potential ganking paths and stop junglers almost entirely from being able to easily gank your lane. There are still a few junglers you have to worry about such as Lee Sin, Sejuani, and Vi because they can jump from their jungle into the river bush. For this situation I would recommend warding either blue buff.
Later in the game you can ward both the blue buff and this position if you plan on trying to take down the second tower in either bot lane or mid lane. This should give you enough time to get away from most people coming to get you off of their tower.
ADC + Sona
I do not have experience with ALL of these champions, but I will do my best to give you an idea of what you should do with these champions. Right now I'm testing out ADCs to see how their skills work with Sona. I think I've listed most of the main ones that work well with Sona.
I will be grading these champions based on synergy with Sona from Great to bad. Also if it is anything less than Great I will give who I would suggest playing with.
Synergy: Good (I prefer Janna with Ashe.
- Ashe really needs to focus on getting creep score. Her Hawkshot gives her extra gold whenever she kills a minion. When I'm laning with Ashe I try to focus on sustaining her. To this end I usually start with W, then Q then E. Once you both hit level 6 it is a good time to ask for a gank from your jungler. Combined you have a ton of CC and can hold a person in place for up to 5 seconds depending on how far away Ashe is when she shoots the Enchanted Crystal Arrow.
- Tristana with her Rocket Jump is able to engage and disengage very quickly. She has a fair amount of burst damage as well. If you feel you have a good spot to stun your opponents and Tristana is within jumping range then I feel it would be a good idea to engage with your stun.
- Ezreal is great to lane with because he has a lot of poke and can get away very easily with Arcane Shift. With this combo you can usually start with Q to deal some decent damage early on. I usually try to wait until I get two points in Q before trying to poke, otherwise it takes up a lot of mana but doesn't do too much damage.
- Miss Fortune and Sona are a very good match. Fortune is able to do a lot of poke damage at long range. If you are both ready with your ultimates then feel free to get Miss Fortune to start her ultimate followed quickly by your stun to keep them within the Area of Effect.
Synergy: Good, I prefer Taric
- Draven does a **** ton of damage very quickly. He works very well with Sona's poking ability but him and Taric just work so well together. With taric you can Dazzle a target and Shatter their armor allowing draven to go to town and get a kill with all the DPS he does.
- Varus and Sona have great synergy. If you "Wombo Combo" their ultimates together you can have a group of enemies stunned/rooted for a very long time allow you to deal a great amount of damage.
- With Valkyrie Corki is able to engage in or jump out of a bad situation. His Gatling Gun can also deal a ton of damage to your enemies. If you feel that the situation is right then feel free to stun. Corki can jump in and deal a ton of damage fairly quickly.
- Graves has a lot of great utility in his abilities. Particularly being able to blind your opponent and dash forward. These abilities will allow Sona to be able to poke harassment free more often. A nice combo with Quickdraw, Smoke Screen, Buckshot, while Sona uses Hymn of Valor to get her Power Chord then an auto-attack to deal max damage in a poke.
- Sona works very well with Vayne. Their combined poke hurts a ton. It is really nice that Vayne has a way to jump into something to deal a ton of poke too. Since she is an assassin she is able to take full advantage of your crescendo. She is also very squishy so it helps a lot to have your healing and Armor/Magic Resist aura up. You can also give her a nice boost of speed when she extends herself a little.
Synergy: bad Taric, Alistar
- Sivir can deal a ton of damage to her enemies. But I don't see Sona's skills really complimenting Sivir's skills at all. Her stun won't be all that helpful. The sustain is nice, but others can provide sustain and help her more.
- Caitlyn is always nice to have in the lane. Her Yordle Snap Trap helps to keep the enemy support out of your bush, which allows you to punish the enemy ADC with your poke often. Her Ace in the Hole takes full advantage of your poke when one of their team gets low, she pulls this out and nails the kill.
Synergy: Good Nunu, Taric
- Kog is really good at getting his minion kills and can deal a ton of damage that is hard to escape. He also has amazing range with his ultimate. Sona can help bring his enemies low while sustaining him in the lane which is very helpful. But I feel that he could use more consistent CC to keep his enemies slowed or stunned.
Who does Sona work well with?
I find that Sona works well with anyone that has a significant area of effect spell.
Some of the more deadly combos I have seen are with these champions:
Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy
- If there is a group of people together and Amumu uses Bandage Toss to get in then uses Curse of the Sad Mummy, follow it up with your Crescendo. If your team is around it is gg.
Miss Fortune's Bullet Time
- In bot lane once you and MF both hit level 6 this is also another deadly combo. If you work together closely and poke your opponents down a bit before doing it, you can use your Crescendo to keep your opponents in place while MF uses bullet time to destroy them
Nunu's Absolute Zero
- If you allow Nunu to start his ultimate then use your Crescendo to keep them in place it will deal a ton of damage to them.
Malphite's Unstoppable Force
- When Malphite initiates with his ultimate, run in after him and use your Crescendo. This is GG.
- Same as the others, fiddle does his ulti you do yours.
Ezreal's Trueshot Barrage
- If your Eze is ready and you're in a good position, ping to let him know then sona-ulti followed by Eze's Trueshot Barrage
All of these are great area of effect spells that just rip an enemy to shreds very quickly. Keep this stuff in mind when you are making up your team composition. Don't waste your ultimate when you could be waiting until someone else initiates then push in together.
revisions and edits
13/02/2014 - Added some alternative beginning builds and an explanation on why I choose Frost Queen's Claim on Sona (rather than other GP_ items).
- Added a section on warding as per advice from EdisonKhoo. (Check out his Syndra guide here.
03/02/2014 - Changed the introduction to be more up to date.
- Changed the items to reflect new meta.
- Added an option if you are behind you can grab Ionian Boots of Lucidity to replace the Sorcerer's Shoes and Morellonomicon and how that effects other items.
29/12/2013 - Checked the 3.15 changes, nothing significant for Sona or her items.
- Changed the title slightly.
06/12/2013 - Changed runes and masteries based on 3.14 patch.
- Added details to "Why Sona?".
- Changed the runes section entirely.
- Completely changed the masteries section based on patch 3.14
- Changed summoner's spells based on experience.
- Removed all of the old/irrelevant information in 'items'.
- Deleted wards and counter warding for now. I will add this section back in when I have played around with the new vision system some more.
23/11/2012 - added "Team Work", "revisions/edits" and "Conclusion" sections.
04/12/2012 - added Clairvoyance section, made Items look neater. added alternative items, added ADC + Sona, added Play Style. Did a complete overhaul of some sections and made the guide neater.
11/12/2012 - added "Why Sona?" section. Took out Clairvoyance section and added it to Summoner Spells. Added some more to the Introduction and added spoilers to a few points in the guide where I felt things we're unnecessary to see but nice to have in case people are interested.
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. I have been playing Sona for a while and despite the fact that I am sitting around 1149 ELO, I have a 83% success rate with her in ranked games.
I am always finding with Sona that I'm able to come back from some of the worst positions and that is why I love her so much.
If you think I should add anything to this guide please let me know in the discussion section.
Please vote whichever way you see fit but PLEASE leave a comment so that I know why you voted that way. Hopefully if you down vote I can change my guide based on your comment then convince you to upvote =-D (or explain myself a little more).