Sona Build Guide by Hoyafar
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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.
Welcome! My name is Hoyafar and this is my first build on Mobafire and it's about my #1 favourite support in the game; Sona. Long story short, I bought Sona six months ago, having no clue what kind of hero she was, just because I figured I needed to be able to play a support. And I absolutely fell in love with her unique spellstyle. In one way, she is a very simple hero; spamming the Q, W and E button constantly until your team or their team is dead.
In another way, it takes alot of practice to master her perfectly, managing your mana earlygame, using the right Power Chord on the right target and, most importantly, timing your ultimate.
If you want to play a support who is easy to learn, always benefits his/hers teams alot and is really fun to play I thouroughly suggest Sona.
+ Strong harass and strong damage earlygame if timed correctly with Hymn of Valor + Power Chord
+ Healing spell that doesnt require micro-management, unlike Taric and Soraka
+ Speed buff, amazing when chasing/being chased
+ Auras, you dont notice them, but they help alot
+ Slow and damage reduction if Power Chord is timed correctly
- Manastarved earlygame
- Weak healing compared to other supports like Soraka and Taric
- Bad scaling with AP
- Takes time to learn how to use Power Chord and Crescendo
I admit, without this Sona would be just a spellspammer with an ultimate. However, this brings in alot of fun and clever thinking to Sona.
How it works: After three spellcasts, your next attack deals bonus damage and applies an effect. The damage is only noticable in earlygame harass, but the effects are the important stuff.
Use with Hymn of Valor to deal double damage to a target
Mostly useable in early ganking (before level 4) and harassing in lane.
Use with Aria of Perseverance to reduce the damage done by target with 20% for 3 seconds.
This is really hard to time, but if you can time this on a Brand or Annie before they are going to eat up your poor Ashe, it could very well mean the difference between life and death.
Use with Song of Celerity to slow the target by 25% for 2 seconds.
Use it whenever you are chasing, obviously. Dont use it while being chased, the range and duration is so small that it's not worth it.
Hymn of Valor
Sona's only damaging spell, besides her ultimate. Great harass earlygame, but the damage inst much lategame. However, if you keep spamming this in teamfights next to their squishy, it will deal significant damage. The aura is alot better than the activation, always turn it on when taking down towers or dragon/baron.
NOTE: This can be maxed first if you are dominating your lane and really want to put pressure on your opponents. This is very risky however, since your allies will barely feel your Aria of Perseverance then.
Aria of Perseverance A great healing spell. It automatically finds the hero in range that got the lowest HP and heal him/her and also yourself. This can be annoying though, since it will heal a Rammus with 500 HP and a Guardian Angel instead of your Twitch with 600 HP who is getting chopped to pieces. It also doubles the aura effect, meaning at rank 5 this will give 40(!) armor and magic resist for 3 seconds, which you can keep up for more than half of the time with 40% CDR!
Song of Celerity
Great spell, both the activation and the persistant effect. Upgrading this doesn't do nearly as much difference as upgrading Hymn of Valor, so that's why I'm maxing this last.
To spam or not to spam?
In early- and midgame teamfights you may not have enough mana to constatly spam all three abilities. The most important one to save mana for is of course Aria of Perseverance, followed by Song of Celerity, movement speed can really give your team an edge.
Hymn of Valor is nice, but is not really needed in fights, you're not supposed to deal damage.
When you got some mana from your Tear of the Goddess however, you should be able to spam all abilities through most teamfights.
This is what makes Sona a viable support. Period. This ultimate can and have changed teamfights and games. This is without question one of the best AOE stuns in the game, only thrumphed by Curse of the Sad Mummy and Idol of Durand.
Using this correctly separates the good Sona players from the bad. The best tip I can give about this wonderful spell is to remember that it can be used both offensively and defensively.
If you see the whole opponent team rushing towards your team in a narrow passage and you can hit 3-4 with it, dont hesitate to use it. It will give your team the time to engage and take out a dangerous target or two. However, interrupting abilities like Death Lotus, Infinite Duress or Nether Grasp could save lifes. It can also be used in conjunction with other stong AOE spells, Bullet Time, Summon: Tibbers, Crowstorm and Absolute Zero to name a few.
An example of what I mean:
(It's a bit overkill, but you get the idea.)
All of Sona's spells are auras, except her ultimate, making her the prime example of an "aurabot", a champion that helps the team greatly by just staying alive and buffing teammates with auras. But how strong is really Sona's auras compared to other supports?
Aria of Perserverance
8/11/14/17/20 magic resist
16/22/28/34/40 armor upon activation to Sona and one ally
16/22/28/34/40 magic resist upon activation to Sona and one ally
Hymn of Valor
8/11/14/17/20 Attack Damage
8/11/14/17/20 Ability Power
Song of Celerity
8/11/14/17/20 movement speed
6/8/10/12/14% movement speed upon activation
16 magic resist
25/50/75/100/125 armor upon activation
15/25/37.5 Attack Damage upon activation
15/25/37.5 Ability Power upon activation
Eye Of The Storm
14/23/32/41/50 Attack Damage upon activation
3 % movement speed
As we can conclude when looking at these numbers, while other supports may have stronger auras than Sona that grant more stats, Sona can keep her auras up at almost all times.
Example: Sorakas Astral Blessing grants at rank 5 125 bonus armor for 5 seconds every 20 seconds. This means she will grant 31.25 armor per second for one person.
Meanwhile, Sonas aria of perserverance grants 20 bonus armor all the time if you have it activated (which you should). And this applys to the whole team. This means that she gives 20 armor per second to the whole team.
A must-have on every support, always pick this spell. Don't believe me?
No ward on dragon or baron yet? Clairvoyance
Is your jungler safe from counterjungling? Clairvoyance
Can their jungler be counterjungled? Clairvoyance
Is your toplane pushing far without a ward? Clairvoyance
Their support took out all your wards at baron with a Oracle's Elixir? Clairvoyance
Chasing someone into the jungle and want to know which way he/she took? Clairvoyance
You get the idea...
Probably the best escape spell, this spell will save your life a million times. Can also be used to get into position to Crescendo, but I reccomend you save it for escpaing or securing kills.
Clarity Works well on Sona, since she is very mana-hungry. Works even better if you lane with a Caitlyn, Miss Fortune or Corki.
Ghost Good for escaping, but Song of Celerity is basically a weak ghost that can be spammed. If you need ghost that much, buy an early Shurelya's Reverie
Teleport Great for assisting your team and for earlygame when you dont want to leave your carry alone. However, without an escape spell you are easily killed.
Cleanse A decent spell, the only problem is that is can be replaced by a Quicksilver Sash.
Exhaust Nice for shutting down someone, but this can be done less effectively with your Power Chord + Aria of Perseverance.
Ignite You are not supposed to finish people off.
Heal Weak spell and you got enough healing as it is.
Fortify The passive is useless and the active can be used in too few situations for it to be useful.
Revive, Smite, Rally I really hope that I don't have to explain.
As when it comes to masteries, 9/0/21 is extremely standard for Sona, or any support for that part. Most Sona players would agree with me that this mastery setup is the best.
Meditation : Because of the much-needed mana regeneration
Greed Because gold isn't easy to come around as a support.
Archmage's Savvy and Archaic Knowledge : Because being some kind of a threat early- and midgame is better than a small chunk of survivability from Resistance and Hardiness .
Good Hands A support needs to be with his/her team as often as possible. You will die in almost all games, so this is a great mastery for supports.
Awareness , Quickness , Intelligence and Presence of the Master : Obvious
1 point in Deadliness and Perseverence for fillers
Take if you got the summoner spell
Blink of an Eye , Mystical Vision , Spatial Accuracy and Insight
Expanded Mind : Gives you 5% of 1120 mana at level 18, which is 56 mana. Which is almost one Aria of Perseverance.
Utility Mastery : As I explained earlier, let your teammates have the buffs. You are called support for a reason.
More than one point in Perseverence : Gives some mana regeneration lategame, but Sona shouldn't have mana problems lategame if you buy a Tear of the Goddess. Good Hands is way better.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration Gives you some really nice damage early on, there really is no alternative when it comes to marks.
Greater seal of replenishment Sona really needs these seals to be able to keep up with other supports in healing output earlygame.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction CDR is great on Sona, these gives you a total of 5.89% CDR, which is really good. CDR/level is not worth it, since you dont level fast as a support.
Greater Quintessence of Health When choosing quintessence, it comes down to personal preference. Personally, I feel Sona is too squishy earlygame, and 72 extra HP really helps me alot.
Other viable runes
Greater seal of vitality
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Sona is a ranged support. This means she benefits from six attributes mainly. The following are ranked in a scale of their usefulness to Sona.
6. Movement SpeedGreat for supports, as alot of MS will let them support their teammates quickly. Sona got her Song of Celerity for this, but Boots of Mobility will let you to almost constantly be at ~480 MS.
5. Ability Power:This is not very good on Sona since the nerf. Her Hymn of Valor still scale very good with an 0.7 AP ratio while her most important spell, Aria of Perseverance, only scales with 0.25 AP.
Crescendo got good scaling aswell, 0.8, but you don't want Crescendo for the damage.
This concludes that Ability Power isn't very useful on Sona, although not wasted.
Armor and Magic ResistAlways good to have on every champion in the game. Aegis of the Legion and Aria of Perseverance should give you enough, but if the opponents are focusing you (which is great news), check the item chapter for defensive options.
3. Mana regeneration (MP5):Great stats for Sona, alot of mana regeneration is particularly useful earlygame, when your mana pool is small. That is why Philosopher's Stone, Seal of Replenishment, Meditation and Tear of the Goddess is usually enough for me to cover up most of my mana needs earlygame. Once again, blue buff is very nice on Sona, but do not steal it from the AP.
2. ManaMana: is generally better than mana regeneration, at least mid- and lategame since a large mana pool will let you spam through fights better than MP5 will. Tear of the Goddess cover this all by itself.
1. Cooldown Reduction (CDR):Hands down, this is the best thing you can have on Sona. When you get close to the 40% cap, you can keep all three auras up at the same time, which is a huge boost for your team.
Important numbers to notice about CDR:
Max CDR: 40%
Sorcery 3 % + Intelligence 6% + Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction 5.89% = 14.89% flat CDR with no items
This also means that you need 25% CDR to get to the cap. This can be done with:
Shurelya's Reverie: 15%
Soul Shroud: 10%
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: 15%
Elixir of Brilliance: 10%
Frozen Heart: 20%
Morello's Evil Tome: 20%
Blue buff: 25%
Note: Do not try to take a blue buff from your AP nuker, like Annie or Brand. You're a support, you should help them, not take their buffs.
Starting items can differ alot, but these are the combinations of items I usually start with:
Faerie Charm + Sight Wardx3 + Mana Potion
Standard setup. Allows you to not having to recall early for wards and gives you a little bit of mana regen.
Meki Pendant + Sight Ward
If you want to rush a Tear of the Goddess.
If you are laning with a very mana intensive carry, like Caitlyn or Miss Fortune or your lane opponents got no healing (aka Janna) and you want to go heavy on the harass.
These items are mandatory and should be bought almost every game
Philosopher's Stone Mana regen, gold and HP regen. The best support item in the game.
Heart of Gold Sona need more than one gold item. This gives much-needed HP aswell.
Boots of Mobility or Ionian Boots of Lucidity Both works excellent on Sona, Mobility gives you amazing map presence, but Lucidity gives alot of CDR, which is great on Sona. I suggest you go with Lucidity if you're new to playing support.
Tear of the Goddess Best item there is for Sona, let me explain why. Sona needs to spam spells. This costs alot of mana, which is a problem. This item gives you mana when you spam spells. Do I need to say anything more?
Sight Ward You're playing a support. Always buy wards when recalling. Never buy a 6th item on the expense of a ward slot. Wards wins games. Fact.
Vision Ward Great to take out wards on dragon, baron and in the brush to set up for ganks.
Oracle's Elixir I usually buy this around 20-25 minutes, and only after I got Boots of Speed, since this allows me to remove wards safely. If you think you're opponents are warding heavily, feel free to buy it earlier.
As a support, you often only need your core items + wards, but if you find yourself with alot of money, these items are all great choices.
Kage's Lucky Pick I almost always buy this after the core, because the gold helps so much in late-game when you want those expensive support items like Aegis of the Legion and Soul Shroud. If you feel like you might be losing the game, skip this and buy the Aegis of the Legion instead.
Aegis of the Legion Should be bought by the tank. If not, buy it. Great aura and stats for very little money.
Soul Shroud Not as good as Aegis, but still great if you're caster heavy.
Shurelya's Reverie Great upgrade to your Philosopher's, the speed buff combined with Song of Celerity is really good. The CDR is just plain awesome.
Elixir of Brilliance A cheap and easy way to get alot of CDR without using an item slot. I almost always buy one when recalling in late- or midgame.
These items aren't bad in any way, but only works in certain games or setups.
Banshee's Veil Against heavy AP, obviously.
Frozen Heart Probably the best defensive item on Sona after Aegis and Guardian. Armor, mana, CDR and a great passive. I always build this if I face a heavy AD team or got Archangel's.
Morello's Evil Tome 20% CDR is great on Sona, I prefer Soul Shroud since it helps the team aswell, but this is great if you want to reach the CDR cap.
Mercury's Treads Against heavy CC teams, with heroes like Amumu, Galio, Morgana etc.
Quicksilver Sash See above.
Archangel's Staff Only buy this if your Tear is maxed, since AP isnt that great on Sona. However, its alot of AP for a small cost, so still a good item.
Will of the Ancients If you're caster heavy, and already got Soul Shroud.
Guardian Angel If you find yourself focused alot, this could make the difference in teamfights.
Eleisa's Miracle If you're getting CC'ed alot but dont want to buy Murcury's, this works fine.
Zeke's Harbinger: Very underrated item. While it gives absolutely nothing useful to you, if you got a very AD heavy team ( Ashe, Gangplank, Nocturne and Akali for example), this item is definetely worth it.
These are items that one could be tempted to buy, but is not reccomended.
Rabadon's Deathcap AP isn't good on Sona. Period. Her spells scales terrible with AP. If you want a support that scales with AP, play Soraka.
If you're doing great and feel pretty safe, this could be useful. However, it takes alot for this thing to be maxed as a support, unless you're planning to KS alot. Even if it does get maxed, you would still be better with another CDR item since one death will lose you all those stacks. This item will make you afraid of dying to an extent that is not good for your team.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter Sona got one ability that deals damage to opponents, Hymn of Valor. Not worth it to spend 3k gold for a 15% slow when you already got your Song of Celerity + Power Chord combo.
The Lane game
Sona should obviously be played in the botlane, supporting a ranged AD carry.
Your goals in earlygame is to keep your carry alive and give your carry as much farm as possible. To keep your carry alive, keep him/her topped with Aria of Perseverance and keep the opponents away from your carry by harassing with Hymn of Valor, Power Chord or even autoattacks. Hymn of Valor got great range, so whenever you have full mana, move into range of the opponents carry and use it.
To give your carry farm, don't ever lasthit a minion that your carry could have lasthitted. It's fine to lasthit when he have recalled or is unable to lasthit. It often happens that you'll get some lasthits when harassing with Hymn of Valor, since it hits two targets. But this amount should be minimal.
If you notice your carry can't get enough lasthits because you're being pushed, you should autoattack some minons so your carry can lasthit them without the tower taking them.
I've found that Sona is quite an offensive support, with good damage, a slow and a stun in level 6. Therefor it is good to match her with a carry with good burst, so you can go for a kill in level 6 or harass them out.
I've found that the carry that mix best with Sona is Vayne, since it is so easy in level 6 to kill the opponents.
Carrys that lane very well with Sona:
Vayne: Incredible damage in level 6, guaranteed kill if she gets Condemn in.
Corki: High damage without items with his abilities.
Tristana: Great burst, matched by no other carry.
Carrys that lane decent with Sona:
Carrys that doesnt lane well with Sona:
NOTE 1: I haven't played enough games with them to know about the more uncommon carrys Sivir and Urgot
NOTE 2: This does not mean that you shouldn't pick Sona to lane with, for example a Caitlyn. You will probably still dominate the lane since Caitlyn is a beast earlygame. But that Caitlyn would probably have been even better of with a Soraka feeding her mana or a Taric stunning opponents for her so she can land Headshots.
Vs other supports
Soraka is great earlygame, she can feed mana and HP almost endlessly to the carry, while you have to constantly worry about mana issues. Save your mana for Aria of Perseverance vs. Soraka.
Taric is probably the best hero to zone you out, with his Dazzle, which probably makes him the best support in lane. Play defensive vs Taric and go for the kill in level 6.
Alistar is also a very aggresive support with great CC and dmg. His heal is even weaker than yours and he got no range attacks, so he can be outharassed. Abuse your range advantage and harass hard vs Alistar, but do not get close him! Pulverize + Headbutt is extremely deadly.
Janna is a lategame support with great CC but no heal who isn't very strong in lane. Don't push your lane vs. Janna since a gank will destroy you ( Howling Gale + Tailwind + Zephyr) and harass her instead of her carry (who will get Eye Of The Storm)
Combinations to watch out for
Alistar + Vayne: Great CC + incredible burst damage, get caught vs these two and youre basically dead already.
Soraka + Caitlyn: Extremely annoying, not much you can do vs. these two. Endless Piltover Peacemakers thrown at you combined with endless mana and healing can ruin anyone's day.
Janna + Ashe: These two will laugh at you when you push your lane and get a Enchanted Crystal Arrow, Howling Gale, Monsoon, Zephyr and a few Frost Shot in your face. Think you can escape with Flash and Song of Celerity? Think again.
Taric + Caitlyn: Dazzle + Yordle Snap Trap = 4 second stun
Alistar + Caitlyn: 4 second stun here aswell, combined with a Headbutt.
Alistar + Tristana: If Alistar gets his stun in Tristana can pretty much burst anyone down.
So how do you play Sona in teamfights?
1. Use your Crescendo wisely, but use it before half your team is dead.
2. Use your Power Chords smart. Try to get a feel for how long it takes to build upp three charges and don't use it when you just played Hymn of Valor
3. Positioning: Move forward when you want to use your Crescendo and then stay between your carrys and your tanks so you can protect them without endangering yourself too much. If opponents attack you instead of your carrys, you are doing great. Just kite them with Song of Celerity and flash away just before you would have died.
4. Spam Q-W-E. I'm not messing around. Do it.
Example on how to babysit your support:
(Note that this would probably not have happened if me and Ashe would have been on Skype with each other and me constantly yelling "keep going, keep going")
Tips & Tricks
- When spawning at fountain, spam your Aria of Perseverance three times to give you a Power Chord for a level one fight.
- Smartcast helps alot when you want to use your Crescendo at the right moment. Instead of having to click two times, you only have to do it once. Hold down shift, hold your mouse wherever you want it and press R.
- A bit obvious, but always have Hymn of Valor on when taking down an undefended tower]]
- Even more obvious, but always have Song of Celerity on when moving back to lane from base. If your mana allows it, spam it everytime you need somewhere. With Boots of Mobility, this will allow you to cross the map in a matter of seconds.
- Remeber, your Aria of Perseverance heals you for the same amound of your ally. If you are going to heal your lane partner but you're at 100% HP yourself, just autoattack (or Hymn of Valor if you're at max mana) their Caitlyn and take some damage, which will be healed instantly anyway.
- The above tip goes the opposite way. If you have to heal yourself, tell your ally to harass hard for a sec so he will be healed aswell. This does of course require voice communication.
- If an opponent is alone and you and your teammates can't catch up, feel free to Flash + Song of Celerity + Power Chord or even Crescendo if you have to.
The mindset of a Support
Support is needed in almost every team setup and, in my opinion, everyone should be able to play at least one support.
Always buy Sight Wards when you recalled, you should always have your lane and the dragon warded earlygame. The baron spawns at 15.00, you should always keep it warded aswell. You DO NOT need any items beside your core, those items are just a bonus.
In a perfect world, the whole team should buy wards, sadly this is almost never the case. Therefor, spend most of your money you get from Philosopher's Stone, Kage's Lucky Pick and Heart of Gold on Sight Ward, Vision Ward]s and Oracle's Elixirs.
Playing a support isn't anything like playing an AP or a carry.
It takes a whole different mindset and approach to the game. Instead of trying to deal as much damage as possible and die as little as possible, as a support you want everyone around you to perform as well as they can. This means giving up everything for your carrys; experience, minion kills, champion kills, even your own life if you have to.
If you are playing premade, this is made so much easier if you have voice communication.
I do admit, playing support in soloqueue can be extremely frustrating. But when you land that perfect ultimate that wins you the game, save your carry with a sliver of health or steal the baron because you warded and they didn't it makes it all worth while.
August 24, 2011
Aria of Perseverance
Base heal reduced to 25/50/75/100/125 from 35/70/105/140/175
Ability power ratio reduced to .25 from .35
Now grants double her passive aura bonus to her heal target and herself for 3 seconds
Reduced the lockout time while casting Sona's songs to make them more responsive
Fixed a bug where Hymn of Valor and Aria of Perseverance caused her to deal 20% reduced damage
This makes Sona more of an aurabot than she ever was. The reduction of base healing really hurts her earlygame but the AP ratio just gives us another reason not to build AP.
I find the improved aura very useful tho, 40 MR and armor for more than half of the time is really good.
September 14, 2011
Aria of Perseverance heal amount adjusted to 40/60/80/100/120 from 25/50/75/100/125
Sona's heal was way too weak in rank 1 and 2, this gives the lane way more sustainability
than before. An expected and appreciated buff to Sona.
I want to thank Mowen for his great guide about Sona, from where I got a lot of inspiration when I was a fresh Sona player.
Thank you for reading my guide about Sona, please vote and leave any construcitve critisism.