Sona Build Guide by Katsuni
Not Updated For Current Season
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.
Introduction - Aka: WTH IS WRONG WITH YOU!?
Hail and well met, puny mortals! I'm back again with a new, interesting, bizarre as hell, and highly effective build.
Because... I can? I dunno. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
Anyway, today's build is brought to yeu by the letters W, T, and F. Oh, and Sona, too.
Ah, Sona... so overlooked at times, and so silly powerful in the right hands. See, the thing about Sona, is her ratios suck more balls than... wait I'm not allowed to say that am I? *Coughshedoesbackstageatapentakillconcertcough*
Due to her ****py ratios, same with most supports, this means she has some interesting benefits to her itemization. The only real stat she actually needs is... cooldown reduction. Yep, and the items which have CDR already happen to have some nice benefits which she likes anyway.
Some make her an aurabot, some try to go pure DPS... honestly, yeu'll wind up with a better K/D/A ratio by far by playing her tank, over DPS, since yeu can just hover around combat for practically forever after midgame. And just. Won't. Die.
Anyways, there's some good reasons to play Sona as a tank, other than these, so let's get to it, shall we? =D
Why a tank? Do I need to slap yeu?
Well, let's go back to the concept of support.
As a support, yeur job is to... support... yeur team. Right. Sometimes that means healing. Sometimes it means buffs. Sometimes it means actually adding to the damage output. It can be anything from stuns and disables, to just pissing the enemy team off so much they quit.
"Support" is a very broad statement, which covers... erm... everything, really.
So let's cover whot a tank does:
A tank requires several key aspects to be met, in order to be truly considered a real tank. These are as follows.
A way to survive; healing/max health/armour/magic resist all help here, so does excessive mobility
A way to force enemies to attack them before someone else
Tools to force a baddie who's attacking yeur allies to stop doing that
Well, does Sona meet the criteria? Let's compare!
Survival: She has **** for health/armour/MR... she is squishy. Then again, so are most tanks; check out rammus or shen, their base armour is ****, and champions either get 30 flat MR, or 30+1.25/level. No tank currently in the game gets the bonus/level MR. So she's not really that far behind on armour/MR, but she lacks for bonuses that give her more... OH WAIT, her auras! Yes, if she heals herself, she will gain 20 armour and 20 magic resist, equivilent to most tanks. And she heals herself too. And it's a FREAKING AURA, so bonus points! Toss in that she can cast while moving, heal spam others AND herself at the same time, as well as her insane movement speed when spamming Celerity? Mmm yeah, it's pretty hard to put her down if she doesn't want to die, with some good tanky items.
Part 2, does she make people want to kill her? Yes. Oh gawds yes. Any mid-level game (not high ranked), people will be like "FFS don't target the tank!". People like killing squishies. They really just lurve killing supports, as supports can keep everyone else up and disable entire teams. Sona draws fire like a library in Fahrenheit 451 (like that reference? Makes me look pretty smart doesn't it? ...No? Bah! ), regardless of how hard she is to kill. People just irrationally throw themselves at her and honestly expect her to be a free kill. Because... 99% of the time... she is. Even when proven wrong, they just never seem to learn. I played a game earlier today where I 1v1'd a well fed Vayne... I came out with 90% health and she was forced to run at 10%, and couldn't quite finish her off, sadly. Of course, smacking Mordekaiser around in several games today, and getting all sorts of colourful language thrown my way, was just as good >=3 See, she draws fire well. She doesn't need a taunt, because she has a perpetual taunt aura on her, basically. Will it work so well in high end games? Not as much, people adapt quickly up there, for any mid level games though, say 1600elo and under? Yeah, she's an aggro magnet.
Which leaves us with one final issue, can she prevent enemies from attacking her allies? Well, she can give the ally a speed boost, heal them, increase their resistances, stun the enemy (well dance-ify them), and do a movement slow as well on top of that, or a damage nerf. Compared to any other tank in the game, she's packing some serious "No means NO!". Toss in that she can actually just kill someone who's low on life when they try to run in, capable of a good 500-600ish burst without a single item at all, and she can actually stop those people who are like "I'm dead anyway, lemme just get this one last kill first!". This is where a lot of her kills come from anyway, where she "supports" an ally, by simply killing the person that's trying to kill them. Because no one expects the Sona Inquisition! >.>;; Yeah, yeah, if yeu want to kill me for that, take a number and head to the back of the line.
Anyway, the point is, she actually has some pretty good tanky attributes to her, more than many tanks do. So, let's see how to build her, and why it works.
Masteries and Yeu: A guide to INSERT WITTY COMMENT HERE
Why these masteries? Well, I could go through each one, but I'll only cover the major ones.
First off, yeu're going to be taking teleport/clarity as abilities. There's a good reason for this, so just trust me on it for now, and we'll get to it later.
That means yeu'll want the improve teleport, and insight, unless yeu're running with a group that yeu know has virtually no mana users, then swap insight for a second point in utility mastery, as yeu won't be fighting anyone for blue buff anyway, so it'll be more useful.
Sorcery and Intelligence are both heavily desired, because this is a 9% combined bonus to CDR. This gets combined with yeur runes, to make 16% CDR, already a nice amount! One blue buff, and BAM, max 40% CDR off the top. With items, this'll be about 31%, which is good enough in most situations. Coincidentally, yeu get 10% CDR from an elixir of brilliance, bringing yeu snugly up to 40%. It's almost like I planned it this way. Go figure.
Why good hands over perseverance? Because 4% is pretty much irrelevant, and Sona doesn't have many mana problems late game anyway, even without any mana items and spamming endlessly, and it's too weak to make a difference early game. Getting revived 10% faster, however, can be that 5 second difference between loosing a tower, or winning the game. As such, it's a pretty obvious choice.
Why Greed? WHY!? WHY GREED!?!??!oneoneoneelevenquestionmark? Well... Sona is not going to be getting a ton of unit kills after the first lil bit, and ideally, yeu want her to be letting allies take the last hit on champions. Every touch of gold increase she can get, therefore, is beneficial. The innate gold gain, plus greed, plus the two gold per 5 items (I'll explain this in the items section further) turns out to be a pretty hefty sum, and can let her get rich very quickly, which she needs, because she's very easy to kill until this build starts rolling along, so yeur early game will be at major risk. The sooner she can get the gold for her Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold, the better.
Everything else, should be pretty much self-explanatory here.
Items - SHOPPING SPREE!
Items are normally hard to come by for a support or a tank. The carry tends to want all the minions, and all the champion kills, and Sona sucks hard at jungling, sadly.
As such, two of the first items she needs, are gold/5 items; the Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold.
But wait, yeu fool! The gold/5 is a unique effect! WTF is wrong with yeu!?
Well, if yeu actually read the patch notes, yeu'd know that the "unique" attribute, is only unique to that particular item. So, for example, if yeu had 2 Heart of Gold, yeu would still only get 5 gold/5. If yeu had two separate items, such as a Heart of Gold AND a Philosopher's Stone, then yeu get 10 gold/5. With me so far? Good. This can be easily tested, if yeu doubt me, by simply watching yeur gold increase before yeu make the second purchase, and after. It will go up faster, and it's easy to tell, because with 1 gold/5 item, yeu won't have quite enough for it to skip a number sometimes. With two gold/5 items, occasionally it'll jump yeur gold up by 2, instead of 1 every single tick. This makes it very simple to verify that, yes, the patch notes were right (for a change).
Sona has one major aspect to her, stressed more on her than on any other champion... mobility. She can slow, she can haste, she can immobilize and yeah, that's pretty sweet to begin with. But does it blend? I'd just as soon not find out, as I don't think I'd have the stomach to watch her go in a blender...
Anyway, these are key traits of hers to begin with, so let's ramp up their power even further!
That Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold just CONVENIENTLY convert into a Shurelya's Reverie and a Randuin's Omen. It's like it was planned that way... interesting.
The idea here, is that these two items give two very, very powerful activateable use abilities, both on a small cooldown. Namely, these are a 40% move speed boost for 3 seconds, and a move slow as well.
Considering the rest of Sona's kit, this means she can let her allies escape situations which should not otherwise be possible, and catch up to virtually anyone trying to run away. It's silly powerful, and should be nerfed, but I'm not going to tell if yeu aren't ^.~
Next off, the thorn mail... why a Thornmail? Because the AD carry is going to hate yeur guts, especially after yeu kill them a few times, or cause someone else to kill them, or simply just are annoying as hell, or look like an easy kill. Regardless of the reasoning, the AD carry can, and will, want yeu dead. The Thornmail tosses on an extra 100 armour, as well as a 30% reflection, which boosts yeur damage output and defenses high enough to take on pretty much any AD carry 1 on 1 and come out either alive, or sometimes the victor. Remember, with the rest of her kit and items, unless they blow a flash and ghost, chances are they can't run away from yeu, and yeu can kite them all yeu want, which makes it a pretty one sided affair.
Alright, I've been leaving this intentionally for now, because I really just wanted to annoy yeu people. I'm cruel and sadistic at times, I know. Why... oh dear gawd why... are yeu getting a Regrowth Pendant and a Health Potion as yeur starting items? Why no mana regen? WHY!? There's actually a very good reason for it: The mana regen item would be ******ed to get. "Wait... erm... are yeu high?" I hear yeu ask? No, but this chocolate milk sure is tasty. Yum. Anyway, the thing is, Sona's healing capacity early game BLOWS. Her mana costs are prohibitively high, and she won't even be getting a 1:1 healing to mana ratio for the first 3-4 levels, so WHY would yeu want to give her mana regen, when she'll be forced to blow it all on her piss poor early game healing? No, no, NO. Get her a regrowth pendant first thing, and a health potion, and yeu're set on healing for a long time. Yeu have the heal for emergencies, or when sitting on extra mana, but yeu do not need to blow all yeur mana on yeur **** heals. This allows yeu to farm with Q faster so yeu can get the two gold/5 items yeu need so desperately, which takes priority over all else. I don't care if yeur carry wants early game gold, yes, it's nice to have a carry fed, but the first few levels of gold isn't honestly so big a deal that it'll cripple them for the entire game. Yeur taking until level 10 to get two gold/5 items, however, will. Ideally, the instant yeu hit 365 gold, yeu portal back to base, and buy yeur Philosopher's Stone, and then teleport right back, total time: about 11-12 seconds. Almost no exp/gold loss, but now yeu have a huge advantage, as yeu now have mana regen (which yeu'll probably be needing now), and even more health regen than before. Unless yeu're fighting a particularly nasty combo, yeu shouldn't be able to be kicked out of lane until yeu're ready to go back for the Heart of Gold and Boots of Speed. Grab some more health/mana potions if yeu've got a lil extra to spare. I didn't write those down, but early game, yeu'll probably go through about 5-6 of each, depending on aggression levels of the baddies being fought.
So yeah, if yeu got a mana regen item first, yeu'd be constantly wasting all yeur mana on yeur lame wannabe of a heal, and have nil left over for actually getting money or harassing people, and trust me, Sona harassment early game stings like hell, because she can pound out some pretty hefty shots with her
Hymn of Valor + Power Chord combo, able to outdo most other pokers early game, and still heal herself and her ally back up to boot. If yeu get the health regen instead, yeu're pretty much giving yeurself MORE mana overall... by being able to spend it more on attacking, and not wasting it frivolously on trying to pretend her rank 1-2 heal even matters.
Now then, Mercury's Treads are not actually 100% necessary on Sona... sometimes yeu'll actually want Boots of Swiftness, as though yeu're fast, yeur speed boosts also help yeur allies, meaning they can outrun yeu and that's bad. If yeu find yeurself constantly changing lanes and going as needed, or running away a lot, Boots of Mobility can sometimes be even better. Note, that merc treads has MR, however, and that's a pain to get in the game, so 25MR is not a bad deal, and it's still 70 movement speed, compared to 90 or 70/130.
If I have to tell yeu why a Banshee's Veil is a good idea on a tank that relies on mobility, I think I might have to slap someone. Just in case, though, I will say that the point is to eat enemy CC and increase MR; also, this build lacks for mana and health to a degree, so extra boosts on both never hurts. Yeu will still be relying heavily on Clarity to keep yeur mana levels at a respectable degree, fortunately, with Presence of the Master in yeur talent tree, yeu'll be able to use it every 2.5 minutes, which generally, when paired with yeur runes, is enough to keep yeu going, even with being spam-happy. If yeu find yeu somehow really do need more, blue buff cures all, but yeu really won't need it that often.
Optional: Sometimes I actually get a Tear of the Goddess after my two gold/5 items, and then sell it late game if I find I actually need that last item slot, because, by then, she'll have enough mana regen and base mana to not need additional help. Yes, it's a bit of a waste of gold, but it can mean the difference between a win or loss some games, so sometimes it's useful.
Sight Ward, as always are necessary, and since yeu have a ton of gold/5, yeu can pick them up easier than most people can. Also, that Elixir of Brilliance will cap out yeur CDR quite nicely.
There's a LOT of options... fortunately, only a few descent ones on a build like this. I'm not going to bother explaining why each is good, as if yeu're considering swapping items in and out of the build, GOOD, that means yeu understand how it works well enough to personalize it.
Remember, a guide is a GUIDE. It is *NEVER* set in stone; all items are optional, all spell choices are optional. Take stuff as yeu need it, and adapt to the situation the enemy team throws at yeu. If their AD ignores yeu and they have a ton of AP, focus more heavily on MR gear, rather than blindly following this guide.
Anyway, here's the list of extra stuff that's a good idea to pick up if so required.
Force of Nature, Soul Shroud, Frozen Heart, Frozen Mallet, Guardian Angel, Sunfire Cape, Aegis of the Legion, Quicksilver Sash
Here, also, is the list of stuff NOT to get, which yeu may think is a good idea, but it's really not. There ARE Sona builds where many of these can be useful. This is not one of them.
Lich Bane, Hextech Gunblade, Nashor's Tooth, Rabadon's Deathcap, Mejai's Soulstealer, Guinsoo's Rageblade, Zhonya's Hourglass, Warmog's Armor, Eleisa's Miracle
Spirit Visage Many people feel this is absolutely required on any champion who can heal themselves. In this case, I've tried it, I've tried desperately to work it into the build. Honestly, it's really just not as good as other options available. I'd recommend the Soul Shroud over it in virtually all cases, unless they have a really abnormally heavy AP team. It could be used, and if yeu prefer it, go ahead, but from my testing of it over time, I really have not found it to be nearly as valuable an addition, and requires either giving up the wards (possible if yeu have a second "real" support, as yeu're being more of a tank), or giving up another item in the build... of which the only real choice would be the Shurelya's Reverie, which is a core item and certainly not worth ditching. Yeu could theoretically swap out the Banshee's Veil, but I wouldn't suggest it. Being able to force the enemies to waste an extra spell every 30 seconds is just too valuable. In general, no, it's not a bad item, but it's really not super well suited to this build, as there are simply better items which can fit its' role. Yes, 15% more healing is nice, but yeu're going to be hard enough to kill as it is, and in practice, I find I often end up topped off pretty easily, even when taking a beating, and spamming heals anyway just to heal allies nearby me. As such, it rarely gives much real benefit. So yeah, not a bad item, but it's less effective than expected in practice, than is suggested in theory for this build. Yeur mileage may vary, however, as this is a personal opinion from extensive practicality testing. It just doesn't work for me as a descent item in the build, no matter how much it looks like it SHOULD be... it just isn't.
The order of skills gained, is carefully chosen for a reason.
See, first off, Aria of Perseverance, although a nice spell, is well... it sucks at rank 1. It's barely even remotely efficient at rank 2. Past level 6-8, team fights, chasing, and tower pushing, will become far more prevalent, so mid game, the Song of Celerity takes precedence over it. Being able to let yeurself, or an ally, run away, or being able to pop Hymn of Valor and boost everyone's damage while whacking away at a tower (and the damage output is still nice at this level), are simply better to have in 90% of situations.
Maxing out her Aria of Perseverance is not often going to save lives. CDR has a pretty similar effect on the healing output, but benefits all her abilities instead of just healing. As she has **** all for healing ratios from AP, no point in boosting that at all, really. As such, play her as a tank. Yes, the healing's nice, and it CAN save lives, but generally, she won't be keeping someone up who's being focused down, unlike Nidalee or Soraka. More so, she just keeps people up over time, which she does just fine with a blue buff. If it's a really, really big deal, drop an extra level into it going to rank 3 instead, but generally, Song of Celerity will save lives and cause kills, and save lanes and towers, a dozen times more often than Aria of Perseverance ever will dream of being able to.
Early game: Damage/Sustainability
Mid game: Speed/Damage
Late game: Sustainability/Speed
Due to this value of importance, this is why the skills show up in the order they do.
How to use her spells - Because, well... it's kinda important
Sona is a lil bit strange on her abilities, for a few reasons.
First off, her Hymn of Valor hits two targets. Now, this actually hits the two CLOSEST targets, but prioritizes champions, so if a champion's just barely on the edge of her maximum range, she'll still hit the champion first before any minions.
Be careful when using her Hymn of Valor, as it's very tricky to pull off just right. It'll probably take a few games to get used to just how far its' maximum range is, as, ideally, yeu want to run just barely into range, hit them with the Q shot, then smack em inna face with her Power Chord, allowing a nice double hit for some pretty staggering early game damage at low cost and a low cooldown.
Next, keep in mind that her Aria of Perseverance, works in a similar fashion, in that it hits two targets. Unlike Hymn of Valor, however, it doesn't hit the targets closest. Instead, one will always, always, always heal Sona, whether she's injured or not. The other will hit the lowest life allied CHAMPION in range, so no healing minions, like Soraka, sorries. This is important though, as it makes her more useful as a tank. If she's at full life, half her heal is wasted. Taunting people into hitting yeu a few times actually lets yeu heal twice as much, which just makes them more annoyed. Note that her healing ratio is a pathetic 0.35 coefficient, meaning for every 100 ap, she gets a whole whopping... 35 healing. Ew. Sure it heals both her and her ally, but generally, it means it's not enough to really let her keep people healed up consistently. As such, CDR is preferred over ability power by a wide margin. Note, also, that if tanking a tower (with this build, yeu'll find yeurself doing it pretty often since yeu can eat tower hits and heal yeurself), it's best to have this up over the damage aura, if only 1-2 people are hitting the tower. If 3-5 are attacking it, then swap to damage aura so that it dies faster, thus, letting yeu take less damage indirectly =3
The next major issue, is Crescendo, which has a misleading area of effect arrow. It's a little bit narrower than the arrow claims, and it has an oddly slow travel time. If someone's nearly out of range of it, and is running away, it's fully possible for them to be in range at the time of casting... and run out of range before it hits them. Which kinda sucks. Targeting Crescendo takes a bit of practice, and I can't really teach that. Leading yeur target, however, is sometimes a good idea. As is using Song of Celerity to get closer into melee, to make it easier to hit with, since most people don't even bother trying to dodge from Sona, due to her abilities not being targeted usually, and her ultimate being so wide it's hard to dodge even if yeu wanted to.
The next piece is... she can cast while moving. Not many champions can do this, but every one of her abilities can. This is very important, and if used right, can get yeu kills and save yeur life. However, each ability also triggers a global cooldown on all her other abilities, which no other champion has either. It's for balance reasons, but it's quite nasty if yeu forget about it.
She also has some other odd benefits, in that each of her abilities is actually 3 abilities in one, giving her the single, highest, number of spells on any champion.
For example, her Hymn of Valor does damage when cast. It doubles the damage of her next physical attack if her Power Chord is fully charged. It also happens to increase the damage and ability power of all allies nearby her so long as she casts nothing else (and 2 seconds after casting something else as well, letting her use two abilities back and forth to keep up 2 auras at once if she has a ton of CDR! =D )
Learning the times to use each and utilizing each one takes a lot of effort, but can be worth it. Note that Power Chord hits buildings. Yes. That means she can poke a building for about 150 damage before she's even level 6. Scary stuff.
The bonuses of her Power Chord do *NOT* increase with ranks in her other abilities! This means that rank 1 Song of Celerity is identical to rank 5 Song of Celerity, in terms of the slowing effect. This can be very handy to know.
The slow is strong enough to be worth it on chasing people down, especially since she also has a lot of speed boosts, so if chasing someone, this is often the best idea.
The damage boost works best on towers, and for champions that aren't running away.
The damage nerf, kinda sucks and doesn't do enough to matter in 90% of situations, and it's usually better to just slow them or kill them outright, or hit something else.
Anyways, the final big part of all her abilities, is Song of Celerity. This is a rather potent speed boost, granting both flat speed, and % speed, which generally comes out to being about the same value as a second pair of boots, usually around ~70 movement speed, more or less. The duration is a flat 1.5 seconds, however, with max CDR, the cooldown can be dropped to 4.2, giving allies a pretty good consistent speed boost. Toss in that it actually stacks with Shurelya's Reverie, and yeu've got some serious speed for chasing someone down, especially since yeu can also slow, immobilize, and so on as well. As her other abilities suck for anything but CDR, maxing it out is generally a good idea anyway, which makes Celerity even stronger. Use it to run away, use it to change lanes, use it to chase someone down, use it to let an ally escape or to let a melee position themselves into range easier. It's all useful =3
Skin choice (not choices, yeu don't get any)
Everyone knows Pentakill Sona is OP. Accept no imitations.
Summoner Spells (Yeu don't get any choice here either, biyatch)
Ah, here we get to it, I've hinted at it for awhile, but there's a very good reason for this. This isn't even optional. Yeu won't be getting a "Oh this spell is good, so yeu can swap it out" or "this one's bad, don't take rally >=O ".
This is flat out simple. Teleport and Clarity. There is no other option on this build.
See... there's two major issues here. Sona is going to have **** all for mana with this build. She won't have a huge mp/5, and she won't have a huge maximum. She doesn't need either, anyway. Simply taking Clarity, she'll run LOW alot, and be working on fumes quite frequently, but with good gameplay and not wasting yeur mana needlessly, and a few mana potions early game, and yeu're set for life. She does not need a lot of mana items, just a few mp/5/level runes, and a lil bit of max mana mid-game. Clarity, can also be used as bait, to trick people into thinking yeu're out of mana and can't harm them. People just LOVE to tower dive someone with no mana, who can't fight back... BAM, full mana, slowed, healed, kited, and shot in the face while the baddies dance in the turret's fire. Well, that sure worked out well. Anyway, clarity = good.
Teleport, is also essential with this build. Yeu will be running back to shop VERY early game, and this will mean yeur total time out of the lane to grab that early Philosopher's Stone will be down to only about 4-6 seconds, which will give yeu a huge advantage for the entire start of the game. Also, Sona needs to be everywheres, always planting wards, always supporting allies, always being in that one spot yeu don't want her to be. Teleport allows for this quite easily.
But... but... no ghost? No flash? WHAAAAAA I NEED MY FLASH!
Please, be quiet.
Flash is virtually never going to save a Sona tank. If she dies, it's because 5 people all really, really wanted her to die, and were willing to let 2-3 of their own people die to do it while they chipped away at her health, wondering why she isn't going down like a squishy.
She has a built in ghost, and a second ghost (which stacks!) once yeu finish off the Shurelya's Reverie. Toss in the Randuin's Omen, as well as Song of Celerity combined with Power Chord and Crescendo, and she really just doesn't need even MORE ways to be mobile.
She has no melee-required abilities, so doesn't need to flash in, can run faster than people with ghost can, and can slow/immobilize them anyway, so doesn't need ghost, and being able to wall hop is simply, although useful, not nearly as useful as not running out of mana without wasting an entire item slot, or not being where yeu're needed most at all times.
Teleport/clarity is the way to go on this one, as it simply is a powerful pairing that works all game long, and amplifies each of the abilities already built into this build, without being redundant.
There are very few builds/characters who can pull off a build without either ghost nor flash. This is one of the few which simply doesn't need either.
Early game - Can't we all just get along? NO!
Aggression. Very, very aggressive. This is surprising, no?
See, Sona has a very, very long range poke, that does a lot of damage, and can be used while moving. Her Hymn of Valor + Power Chord combo can let her poke people for 65 mana, whot costs most people closer to 120-150. As such, her constant hit and run attacks can really wear people down fast.
Toss in that yeu can also heal yeurself, and will have a Health Potion and a Regrowth Pendant, and yeu are also quite difficult to kill in the process, able to repair damage dealt back just nicely.
It takes a lot of time to get used to how aggressive she can be, and to get a "feel" for the range of her Hymn of Valor. Once yeu have that down though, yeu can harass people better than most others can dream of due to a short cooldown and high damage output.
Sona's low early game health with this build (she really does only start with 4 bars of health), will taunt people into thinking she's an easy target. She really isn't.
Often, there will be those that figure they'll charge right in to kill her, only to find that she has no issues at all with kiting, and dealing damage while doing so.
Note, that yeu should also be aggressively last hitting, even if paired with a carry. Yeur immediate goal, more than anything right now, is to get to 365 gold (or more) so yeu can hop back to base, grab a Philosopher's Stone, and any health/mana potions yeu can afford, and Teleport instantly back. This will let yeu relax a bit, and let the carry farm up nicely now, without killing yeu in the process for gold. Win-win, see?
The next time yeu'll be going back, yeu'll be wanting to grab a Heart of Gold ASAP, as well as Boots of Speed. The order of these, depends on how aggressive they're chasing yeu, how dangerous their skillshots are (and how easy to dodge they are), as well as how easily they're running away from yeur pokes. By now, yeu'll also want yeur FIRST WARD. Drop it in the river a good distance back (in front of baron if, for some odd reason, yeu're in the top lane, or just a lil bit past dragon) is the best choice, as it gives more reaction time to pull back if the jungler runs out after yeu.
Normally, yeu don't want to be overly aggressive... yeu want to just hang back, be passive, and let yeur minions get pushed to yeur tower... normally. Not on this build, however.
Yeu can't really fully control the targets Q hits, though yeu can limit which it goes for and aim it at champions, to a degree. This does mean, however, that yeu'll be pushing harder than yeu want, and there's not much yeu can do to stop it, short of just not playing Sona in the first place.
As such, because yeu're stuck with it, make use of it. Her mobility is excessive, so pushing them into their tower, and running in for a single Q'd up power chord on their tower, can often result in a good 150 chunk of health being stripped from it each time yeu do this. I had a game earlier today, where the baddies were defending their tower as best they could, but they flat out couldn't stop me from just getting at least 1 power chord smack on the tower every single wave, which eventually led to an early game tower kill that they just couldn't prevent.
Note that, if their jungler comes up the river, and yeu see them waiting to ambush... hang back a bit, but just make it look like yeu MIGHT go forwards. The jungler won't want to waste their time, since it means no exp/gold for both them and their allies in that lane, so they won't want to leave empty handed. On the other hand, they also won't want to stick around forever if they can't get some use out of it. Try to keep hinting that there might be a clear opportunity to attack, without ever actually presenting one. This slows their jungle down, and keeps the jungler from attacking other lanes.
Anyways, grab extra health/mana potions if yeu have spare gold, any time yeu go back to town or somehow die. Yeu are a bit squishy early game, so it's very possible yeu'll die 1-3 times at the start of the game before level 10 or so.
After this point, they've had their chance, and if yeu're not dead yet, yeu probably aren't going to be for the rest of the game.
Mid game - Why are yeu such a meanie head? ;_;
By now yeu should have yeur tower down on yeur lane, which frees yeu up to go help other lanes with their towers, and also allows yeu to start building up yeur overall defenses. Remember, build defensive items as necessary, and try to avoid upgrading yeur gold/5 items as long as possible. They're pretty descent items on their own anyway.
Start switching over to Song of Celerity right about now, as it's going to start being very important in team fights, which will begin to appear around now on a regular basis.
If fighting a tower, it's typically better to stay on Q and NOT heal while doing so, unless yeu're trying to build up a power chord charge. The Q will let yeu, and everyone else nearby, get a good 17-20 AP/AD at this point, which will make a tower melt even faster than normal from the occasional pot shot.
Speed is a big deal, so use it as often as possible. Going between lanes, chasing, whotever. If yeu need to, get a Tear of the Goddess temporarily, if yeu find yeu really, really are sore on mana. This won't happen too often, but it does occur, so don't be afraid to do so. Yeu can sell it later and get most of the gold back, so not that big a deal. Anyway, get speed, and focus on it hard. Most people haven't gotten any defensive items yet, often opting to go for a damage item first. They probably won't have much to save them other than ghost or flash, and by now, yeu finally have Crescendo, so can stop them in their tracks while yeur allies melt their faces off. Chasing is a good idea right about now, as most teams that aren't super high end ELO, tend to be a lil bit less coordinated until later in the game, still getting stuck in the "I need gold and exp" mentality a lil longer than they should. Use this to press the advantage, and chase people down, as there probably ISN'T someone hiding in the bushes to ambush just yet.
Late game - Well, yeu guys had yeur chance to kill me
In a game that drags on past 30 minutes, it's already too late to kill a tank Sona at this point. Around 30-40 minutes in, she becomes virtually untouchable, able to weave in and out of combat safely, and practically immune to death in general.
Unlike most other tanks, as well, she can run very easily if, for some reason, she's alive after others die. In most cases, it's a pain to put her down, but people will still try to do so. Yeu should be sitting on about 150 MR, 300 armour, and 2800ish life. The life looks a little low for a tank, and will often suggest that yeu're easier to kill than yeu really are, as health does not take into consideration healing or mobility.
Sona really isn't much of a healer, and most of her power comes from her mobility and capacity to boost allies mobility, and screw with enemies mobility. She says dance, yeu get out clogs and yeu bloody well dance.
Keep in mind, that due to her ability to perpetually keep up a perma-ghost on her whole team, it's very easy to swap lanes and attack unguarded towers. A few backdoor hits now is a great idea if there are any level 2 towers left standing on the enemy team.
If yeu're stuck playing defensively (rarely happens with this build), she'll be capable of getting allies into defensive range in a fraction of the time normally required, and will be able to chase better. This generally means that, instead of being on the defensive, very soon enemies will be trying to run away, and simply can't, and yeu're back on the offensive again.
It's a little odd, that this build is so heavily defensive, yet played so heavily offensively. I dunno why, it just works XD
Regardless, yeu should now have a nice win. Hopefully.
How to make it work - A guide on anger management
KILL THEM ALL!
Er... I mean. Yeah.
Anyway, this is a section I should have added sooner... it's very important and I don't know why I didn't. Oh right, because I figured people would pick up on the concept sooner and I was wrong XD
Alright, well here we go. To pull this build off will require a total mindset change from playing Sona normally. In most cases, Sona sits in the back, and dutifully spams heals at her carry, and never steals a single creep kill or player kill.
This is because, in normal games, Sona doesn't need **** all for items because she's a support most of the time, and all she needs to perform the "support" role, literally, is 40% CDR, and a little bit of survival and mana. This costs a pittance to create, and can be done easily with nil for cash, or even just tossing her a blue buff.
As a tank, however... things get a little more expensive. She still needs the same stuff as before, but also needs armour, health and magic resistance to go with it. The same items still work, but now they need to be built sooner and then upgraded into bigger, more expensive items than will typically be seen on a support otherwise.
So, how do we do this?
Well, there's two options.
First off, yeu can lane with a carry as normal... however, if yeu do this, yeu can, and will, be stealing creep kills from time to time, and will be heavily harming the enemy pairing, with perpetual harassment. Note the item section says yeu will often use 5-6 health and mana potions each. I'm not joking about this. I know Sona doesn't normally have much in the way of mana problems, but that's because she just sits back and spams heal only normally. In this case, yeu're going to be running in and blasting their faces constantly, as well as healing. This costs more than twice the mana, since it means yeu've got the same mana regen, but are casting 2-3 times more often, which really stings.
In this method, the carry will be getting lots of kills, however. Also, however, due to yeur remarkable burst output at low levels with Hymn of Valor + Power Chord, yeu will often find yeurself getting the last hit in where an enemy would've just walked away thinking themselves safe. Most people don't fear Sona, and haven't really seen one be ridiculously aggressive before. Her range on her Q and autoattack are impressive, and allow her to get that "one last hit in" needed to tip a weak enemy over the edge where yeur carry probably wouldn't be able to, and they're far more likely to think they're safe from Sona and be just a tiny bit relaxed to let that one hit slip in than they would the carry.
Regardless, yeu will either be taking kills, or yeu will be forcing assists. Yeu must have gold, and lots of it, and the two Gold/5 items just don't cut it in and of themselves. Yeu still need to be getting some monies and yeu still need to be forcing kills. This may require roaming, but if yeu're on the bottom lane, it's not really needed, as there's two nice fat targets to feed up upon already in range.
Note that to pull this off, yeu will need to be excessive aggressive, and due to how Sona inadvertently pushes with her Q when doing this, yeur lane will be pushed farther forwards than normal. They are probably going to be stuck at their tower. Yeu are also probably going to get ganked frequently due to this.
Get some early wards up, and learn where Sona's max range on Q and her autoattack are, and yeu can harass and tear into enemies even if they're tower hugging, without getting a shot fired back. Keep in mind, however, that if they stand REALLY far back... just fry the tower instead. With her Q being leveled early, yeu'll have a surprisingly high physical damage output, especially if yeu save up her power chord for a Q shot on the tower, which can tear a good 150 life chunk off it early game with ease, which is hard to counter and do anything about.
Just be really really careful and ready to run if the jungle gank comes into range, because they are going to LURVE seeing yeu pushed so far forwards... and will be called for help by their allies going "Whaa Sona is mean ;_; ", to which they will laugh and go "HA, scared of a Sona... silly... IMMA KILL HER! ...OMIGAWD IT BURNS WTF".
But yeah, playing with a laning partner, yeu are going to be pushing hard, and yeu are going to be getting kills taken if it's a carry yeu're with. If it's another tank bottom? No big deal, chew through the minions all yeu want. Sona's remarkably good at last hitting once yeu're used to her.
This is one way to play, and assumes yeu're paired with someone else bottom. The more *IDEAL* location, is actually up top, with one of the carries jungling, allowing yeu to be a little less aggressive, but still get all yeur last hit farm in, and probably a kill or two anyway.
If yeu have someone like Nocturne jungling? Perfect. Sona can now farm to her heart's content. If yeu have a really powerful AoE mage, such as Annie or Anivia, then yeu're all set to go with Sona tank, a second tank or offtank at bottom (Singed works fine I've found), an AD carry jungling, an AP carry in middle, and either a third carry babysat or another support bottom.
Tank Sona, though expensive to power, is fully capable of doing all her typical standard healing duties, with tanking duties on top of that, allowing her to essentially be 2 character slots, and performing both with almost no loss.
Due to this 2 for 1 deal, it can be worth letting her get the extra farm in by letting her have top lane solo.
This, however, assumes yeu have a good team comp and people who accept this as a valid possibility. If yeu don't have friends open to trying new things, or willing to play with unorthodox builds, yeu'll probably be looking at a normal queue with the first option in this section taken. The second option is better by far, but requires people being willing to accept this as a valid play style. If they do, it really can be pulled off nicely if the team is built around it.
Regardless, it requires a very different mindset to play than normal.
Disclaimer - I disclaim... YEUR FACE! O.o;
Yeah, that doesn't make any sense. Whotever.
Anyway, remember, that this is a GUIDE. All guides, are... well... guides. They aren't set in stone. They can't be. The game changes too much, too many things constantly being up for re-evaluation to be solid.
For the most part, I aimed this guide towards a roughly 1400-1600ish ELO quality of gameplay. In these situations, once yeu've gotten used to playing Sona in this manner, yeu will find she can indirectly carry a game surprisingly well, and will often find herself with some pretty surprisingly high kill counts, despite being support, because she'll actually be able to stand up to many carries and live, and chase them down when they suddenly realize the "Free kill" wasn't so free after all.
However, it's still possible to lose. It's still possible to die if yeu play poorly. Positioning and mobility is everything on Sona, and if yeu can't do either very well, then yeu're going to have a rough time of it.
As a support champion, even if she's being played as a tank, she's limited to her team mates. Sometimes, there's just not a lot yeu can do to drag them kicking and screaming for a win. This is up to the player... be encouraging and supportive. The second yeu call someone a noob, they go on the defensive and ignore all other suggestions or tactics provided. Emphasize teamplay and positive attitude. I know, it sounds tacky, but it'll actually directly contribute to yeur wins more than any guide ever will. If yeu have a team that's fighting and bickering with each other, sitting in base yelling at whose fault it is, then yeu're pretty much screwed.
Try to downplay errors, encourage people to coordinate, and take the reigns if yeu have to, no matter how much yeu hate doing it.
I *HATE* being in charge... but sadly, being descended from Norse nobility, it's in my blood. Whot I've found, is that, even if yeu hate doing it, being the sole voice of reason on a team can literally turn a game around in yeur favour, no matter which champion yeu're playing, or how silly of a build it may be.
Anyway, the guide can't predict all situations. There will be cases where yeu're up against a lane combo that's just brutal, like Taric/Xin, and it is going to SUCK. Do whot yeu can with the cards that are dealt. Change the build if yeu run into a new problem, get boots earlier than normal if yeu absolutely have to (like when fighting a Cassiopeia/morde combo earlier today) in order to avoid death via skillshot spam. Swap which items to get in which order, or completely change the item build entirely as needed.
Just don't blindly follow this word for word, and expect to win 100% of yeur games. That's just being stupid at that point.