Build Guide by Paygan
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
Sona The Epic Ranked Support (19/04/2011)
*Build heavily inspired by Chrispykreem's Sona Epic dmg, Epic win build found here http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/sona-epic-heals-epic-dmg-epic-win-updated-1-21-11-19367*
This is the build that i've been using in ranked so far and am currently running a 100% win ratio on Sona in solo 5v5.(Edit: my 100% was lost last night unfortunately but still going strong with only 1 loss) This build works in ranked and normal games and with a bit of skill promises to net you a good few kills as well as keeping your team moving at pretty much all times (excluding those times where someone clearly loses their mind and decides to try and solo the entire enemy team).
I started off by using ChrispyKreem's build as noted above and then started adding my own changes to it over time to more suit my playstyle. I've shown a few others my way of playing and building Sona and they too have had a fair amount of success so i figured i'd share it with the community at large.
Pros / Cons
+ Great support through early, mid and late game
+ Fantastic damage for a support character through using her Q ability effectively
+ Good survivability
+ Brings a bit of everything to a team
+ All round good champion when played well
- Easily one of the most commonly targeted champs
- Requires time to fully heal champs (unlike nidalee)
- Requires a good degree of skill, you're not gonna faceroll a win
- Succeptable to CC effects
- Ability targeting is sometimes a little messed up
As Shown above but you will sometimes need to change it up a bit depending on who you're laning with and against. As Sona if you are up against a particularly heavy damage team (i.e. Sion and Pantheon) then you're going to need to hang back a little more and heal a lot more so simply switch the Hymn of Valour for the Aria of Perseverence at all stages, this small change will drastically help you out.
Rune choices with Sona will vary greatly with each persons playstyle, i prefer to take Magic penetration Marks, MP5 seals and mana per level Glyphs. This is my personal setup however pretty much any caster setup will work to some degree with Sona, the only ones i would say are necessary would be the Magic Penetration Marks.
Quintessences are also up to personal preference i take FLat AP and one HP quints just to help out with early game survivability.
Masteries with sona are pretty much a standard 9/0/21 build making sure to get Improved Clarity and improved Teleport. Due to the fact that in an ideal world you will be laning with a very strong Carry Greed is a great point to spend. i know it only seems like a **** 1 gold every 10 seconds but it does add up over time.
The rest of the masteries pretty much speak for themselves, should you not wish to take greed then another point in expanded mind would still help a lot.
My choice of summoner spells with Sona is almost always Teleport and Clarity, these spell pretty much speak for themselves but i'll go into each one further below and why they are good or bad for Sona.
Teleport: Teleport for Sona as with many champions is a great choice, due to her particular skillset saving turrets is and easy job for sona and with a Lich Bane backdooring with Sona is remarkebly fast. Should you die and res Teleport will allow you to get yourself right back into the action and make a huge difference to the outcome of any form of fight.
Clarity: For Sona to be effective you will be using spells very quickly in order to keep the most auras up as you possibly can at any given time. This can unfortunately make mana a little difficult to manage and so Clarity becomes amazingly useful. In the end Sona is a support character and so bringing Clarity to your teammates is another great thing that you can bring to a team, this along with her current aura's and healing can mean that both you and your teammate never need to leave your lane.
Clairvoyance: Clairvoyance is a pretty handy spell all round, it makes no real difference to Sona as a character however the usefullness to a team is great. I would not personally take it but should you feel the need to replace one of the above i would recommend replacing teleport.
Heal: Handy if you are not very confident in your healing abilities however totally not needed with a Sona.
Flash: As with any champion FLash is great for either chasing a low hp enemy or more importantly as a great escape mechanic. This ability works very well on Sona and so is the best alternative to Teleport in my opnion. I very rarely use it so that i can learn to deal with situations better than relying on flash to get me out of nasty situations.
Everything else is pretty useless on Sona to be honest so i'm not going to waste your time or mine by adding them.
Creeping / Jungling
Jungling...yeah dont do it until mid-late game and then grab yourself a blue buff if there's no-one that needs it more i.e. Anivia.
Sona is an amazing asset to a team but that does not mean she's immortal by any means. As Sona you should be hanging out towards the back of your team at all times and should only get stuck into a team fight when going in to use your Ulti (Crescendo). As a support champioon its your job to be a jack of all trades in team fights, you need to know when to apply pressure on the enemies using your damaging abilities and when to aid your team by using your healing and/or control abilities.
When to unleash the Dance:
There are two main answers to this that will require you as the player to keep stock of everything the enemy team is doing at any time. Ideally the best time to use it would be when you get as many of the enemy champions caught in it as possible....however that is not always possible so you need to ask yourself a few questions before using it.
1) Is anyone going to die if i dont use it right now?
Basically you may have to think like a battlefield surgeon here and see if you're going to save anyone by doing it, if yes you then have to see if that save will possibly lose you the teamfight and potentially the game. Using it too early could leave the enemy team free to use many of their Ulti's too and although that one person that you used it to save may survive you could lose two or more teammates instead.
Do they have channeled devastating ultimates such as Bullet Time, Absolute Zero, Death Lotus etc.?
If the answer to this is yes then you should be using Crescendo to counter these abilities and effectively take as much of their damage away as possible. By forcing the enemy team to dance you will cancel any of these abilities with ease and leave those characters open to any form of damage that your team wishes to impose on them, i would say however make sure that they get 1 tick of these abilities off (or a couple of seconds of charge for Absolute Zero) so that you can be sure that their abilities are forced into a cooldown state.
What is Aura Twisting with Sona and how do i use it effectively?
Aura twisting is simply using an ability of Sona's followed by another ability in fast enough succession to have the aura from both abilities up at once for a short period of time, usually in teamfights you'll want to start twisting pretty fast so the usual combo when joinign a team fight will be to use your Q ability (causing damage to two targest and increasing your teams damage output) followed by your W ability (heals and resistance) as fast as possible, that way for about 5 seconds you will have both auras up and will see a clear advantage to your team.
What do i do in lane?
Grab yourself a Meki Pendant and a few Health pots and head to your lane. Then farm and push, try to only last hit and leave doing the bulk of the damage to your teammate (ideally a beefy dps/bruiser or a good burst damage champ). As a support your damage and healing even as low as level 2 will be very surprising and using your Q ability you will actually find it very easy to last hit minions and/or champs should you need to. Remember to priorotise correctly based on your situation;
Is your teammate getting pummeled?
yes - heal them
No - do damage its that simple really
As soon as you have the gold and your lane is safe head back and grab a tear of the goddess and basic boots. As a support if you can make the difference remember to use teleport to cover other lanes (if your jungler isn't) and to save teammates getting pummeled mercilessly. Continue to do this and grab an archangels as fast as you can, soon you'll find that teamfights start happening, when this does refer to the above statement on using crescendo.
Mid to late game Sona becomes a whole new beast, with about 350AP (archangels and Rabadons Deathcape) your Q ability will be hitting the average champ for around 430 - 500 this is amazing for team fights and last hitting. Its at this stage that you need to start paying attention to your passive Power Chord.
Should you need mroe damage make sure to save your Q ability use for when you have Power Chord active and Q followed by an auto attack, this will give you a suprising amount of burst damage for a support character that will make most squishy carries think twice about stepping close to you. Should you need more healing then make sure you have heal available as you use your power chord, and should you find a tryndamere or shaco diving out of a teamfight or over a wall to chase you then your E ability with a power chord to apply a slow and speed yourself up will help you escape ganks such as this.
Mastering this is a game in itself and is what will seperate the good Sona's from the Great Sona's out there.
Your prio no matter what situation your in should be minimizing loss for your team so if you find yourself getting focused ( you WILL find yourself getting focused) then mastering your use of power chords will help you dramatically survive. Remember that your heals not only heal allies but they heal you also so spamming that heal button every CD will help you survive whenever focused, if your team is any good at all then they will help you survive by peeling that pesky Eve or Shaco off your *** if you dotn scare them away yourself. If you do however find yourself alone then just remain calm, pop your e ability (power chorded if needs be) and start heading to the nearest safe zone you can find. If you still have someone on you then make sure to keep twisting those auras and keep healign every single CD, this should allow you to get far enough to safety that an enemy wont dare follow you or it will possibly even allow you to kite and kill an enemy champ.
On thing that constantly makes me laugh in games is the willingness of others to die to attempt a kill on a Sona, so a Sona under a tower is a prized kill for anyone. A nice trick is after kiting like i mentioned above sit under your turret for a few seconds on mid - low hp, if your opponent is ballsy/dumb enough to try a kill there then you can either heal and kite them around under your turret or Crescendo and Q along with teh turret to kill them off nicely.
In Team fights making sure you prio correctly is the mark of a great Sona, making sure your team survive to get all of the enemy team killed is better than getting one or two kills yourself and letting your team all die (and evidentally you will die too with that much focus on you). So make sure that you are keeping your heals up instead of hunting for those last hits...remember an assist gets you gold too but a death gets you nothing!
Build 1 is my standard build that i use (with a few modifications per game depending on what is most needed) it should pretty much speak for itself but basically here's a quick run down of how this build affects Sona.
Starting off with the Meki pendant and a few hp pots will get you laning strong from the very start, the Meki pendant will give you enough mana regen to keep you in lane for as long as you like as long as you are not spamming your Q ability in order to harass too much. With the Meki Pendant should you burn through your mana you simply need to keep yourself safe for a minute or two an you'll be topped up in no time.
Building the Meki Pendant into a tear of the goddess should pretty much speak for itself, its a big step towards the archangels staff and itself gives a ton of mana and will leave you no longer running out of mana except in the most extreme of circumstances.
The next item in this build is your basic pair of boots or if you have the gold the Ionian Boots of Lucidity, cooldown reduction is an amazing thing on Sona in that you dont need much of it to see drastic effects. Her heals are on a nice short cooldown at max rank already so the small amount of CDR you get allows you to pretty much keep twisting the Q and E auras almost all the time making your lane and/or team incredibly strong.
So now you have a good star you need to start maxing your healing output through AP, The Rabadons deathcap is easily the largest increas in AP in the game and gives you a ton of extra AP on every item you have (+30% ability power). This is pretty much a standard AP/caster item these days and for good reason, whilst expensive it gives the most bang for your buck out of any item in game.
With Rabadons and Archangels staff with maxed out mana stacks from the tear you should be seeing yourself sitting at around 350-370 AP quite easily in a short period of time. So the next item on the list is Sheen, the Sheen will help you with last hitting and grants you bonus mana and ap (+ bonus AP from Archangels and another bonus 30% ap from Rabadons) but more importantly it builds into a Lich Bane. Once you have your Lich Bane you can say goodbye to towers in record time and enemy champions with them. Should your game go long enough to get this then it's getting serious! I have only ever had a game go long enough to get this item once!
At this point it's probably a very nice situation for you and you're not getting focused hard in any team fights, that will soon change to grab yourself a Banshees Veil and feel a bit more secure.
The last item can be weaved into this build at any point after the tear of the goddess and boots, This last item will be completely situational so below i'll list a few good examples for you.
Whilst up against a very tank heavy team containing plenty of MR a very good choice not only for yourself but for your team as well is the Abyssal Sceptre, the extra aura brings bonus Magic Pen to your team effectively and it also grats you a nice amount of AP and MR.
If up against a very dps/carry heavy team then you have a few choices, should they mostly be AP then you can still use the Abyssal Sceptre or you could go as far as grabbing an Aegis of the Legion. This will make you substantially more tanky for a relatively low amount of gold and grants a great aura to your team ( +12 armor, +15 MR, +8 damage).
If you've gone to late game and havent grabbed an item already then Randuins Omen will help your team in many way due once again to the persistent aura that will make your team nice and tough. Should you find yourself on one of the many very comman and incredibly annoying full AD teams (apart from yourself obviously) then you can easily make them all incredibly happy and make your enemy team cry and laugh at the same time by buying a Starks Fervour. It's not often that your enemies will see a Starks sona but when they see the outcome of an entire AD team boosted by it + your original damage auras they'll soon start believing it's the right choice.
Build 2 is f ull aura ***** build, not one i commonly use but someone asked me for a quick build listing as many useful auras as i could use, this build is not a reliable build for yourself really but will greatly help your team even if your damage and healing output is pretty terrible.
Remember Nothing is set in stone, never be afraid to adapt any build to suit your enemy team or your own team, you're not a solo champ after all you're support!
This section is being reserved for any questions any of you have about fighting it out versus any particular champs, not guaranteeing success but should your need help against anyone who continuously whups you then maybe i can shine some light on whats going wrong, just leave a comment asking for help and if i can i'll post up a bit of info on here.
Extra Tips and Tricks
as they make their way to me i will note any extra Tips and Tricks to playing Sona here, some may be obvious but others will not be.
Thanks to Aveliel for this:
Before heading into lane for the first time fire off a couple of spells to get your power chord ready in your fountain, then head to lane and have a shot ready to scare the living hell out of your opponents.
Finally this guide will eventually have a few videos demonstrating each of the things i've noted above, it is by no means totally finished yet, please feel free to leave any comments (constructive only pelase) or questions you have at the bottom and i'll do my best to answer as soon as i can.
To clear up any previous Confusion (i worded some of it wrong i admit) here are just some of my good results with Sona over the past few days