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.
notes, side notes, what not
so once again i have made a post locket build. i have tested this and it works as far as i know and unless your team has a feeder or someone is not building their build correctly, you win.
so i noticed something very curious while i was playing the other day and it seems that this current build only works if you lane with a tank (which should be the case most so of the time) however if you lane with a physical carry, this build is messed up because you will kill steal your carry and get yelled at, therefore there will now be two skill sequence and item sequence one for if when you lane with a tank an another for if your partner is a physical DPS champion. needless to say the one on the middle is for if you lane with a tank and the one on the left is for if you lane with a DPS champion. additionally i have added a new build (the one the right) for if your experienced and want to try something outrageous this is probably what you want to try. but it only works but this is assuming your lane partner has a good amount of skill.
more edit :D
so as i play sona more and more i noticed that there are more ways to play than i expected and she's is amazing for the fact that she works on any team (unless there's already a strait up support like soraka) so i have now added a 4th build for sona and this build is one that will be used almost just as much as the first build. however your free to mix things up between this build and the snowball build as the two build can overlap in some ways.
even more edit :/
well as i do find out, your actually dont need clarity most of the time its great all game if your spammy but if you play a bit more conservatively and get blue buff and max your tear/archangel there's actually no need for clarity later on so as of right now if you can have a spamming spree mid game with blue (spam skills all the time with or without it doing anything) then feel free to take clairvoyance over clarity as it does help alot. but your early game will be alot tougher.
so much edits >_<
and another build will now be added. i did not personally come up with the full idea of this build so i will give credit to summoner Jhaethara as part of the build is inspired from the build she uses on sona. this build is alot different from the previous builds and is located most far right in the list of builds
side note: until they decide to remove Ionian Boots of Lucidity, you should always get those. and as a result soul shroud is no longer part of the core build when your lane partner is a tank, however it is still a good choice to get late game as some champs may desperately need the cool down reduction and yet they dont have the space to fit something in. so as of right now, soul shroud will remain part of the build.
overview of her abilities
her q move (hymn of valor)sends out 2 beams of.... well idk what it is but its 2 beams of something that hits the 2 closest targets for magic damage. champs take priority over minions as it says but that's a lie. the range is 1000 (dont ask what that number means i dont have the slightest clue but its roughly about your attack distance) the nice thing about it is that because its auto lock if your skilled you can actually use it at a slight larger distance than its range and still hit. its aura is blue and it boosts your friend's attack damage slightly and their ability power a bit
her w move (aria of perseverance) is a heal. self explanatory heals u and friend. its aura is green and will give armor and magic resistance to you and friends not alot just a bit
her e move (song of celerity) is something that is worth it late game and not so much early game. it increases the movement speed of friends around you for a bit and gives off speed aura to help u and your friends run faster
her r skill (crescendo) is what makes the difference between the pro sona's and the noob sonas. its got a giant cooldown and its acutally the main reason why sona is so hated. its an area of effect skill shot stun that deals decent damage no aura your gonna use it to save lives until team fights start happening or if someone needs a good ganking.
her passive is cool although it would have been nice if she had veigar's passive but i have no complaints as her passive will kill people. after 3 spell casts your next auto attack deals giant magic damage.
something silly: well here's another one of her ablities that's not a passive and not a spell. its got no name and its really annoying. after you cast q,w, or e it will throw all other spells (except r) into a 2 second cool down. ya and its super annoying. and also upon activation of another spell the old aura will remain active for 2 seconds.
why some items and not others
now the intro is done its time for the item sequence, or what's universal for the majority of the builds. well since locket is over gone and done with and sona's mana problem is still there, we need to replace it with something and that something is archangel staff. it give you mana regen and mana and also gives you some ap which will really be useful later on.
the boots is very flexible for those of you who know how to judge what boots to buy skip this part for those of you who dont then you look at what the enemy champs are there if there's alot of attack damage champs then get boots that help up your armor for longer livability lots of spell casters get the boots that help with magic resistance so you can live longer. need to pack more of a punch then get the magic penetration boots and really, be smart about what boots you buy you dont have to buy the boots listed here all the time. but generally you want the cooldown reduction boots as they will help you with damage output and keep you ult up in team fights as thats your most important skill in team fights
as you can see by now the item sequnce doesn't rush archangel because there's no need to rush it. reason because your NOT stupidly spamming your spells and losing alot of mana fast and i'll get into details on how to do that lager on.
will of the ancients is a really nice item for you and even nicer if your team has at least one other spell caster on it. think of it as 80 ability power and 20% spell vamp for only 2100. next its soul shroud (so ya outdated item not really needed but a good support item none the less). i save this for last is because you already have so much cooldown reduction that you dont need anymore as you should reach the cooldown reduction cap at level 14 with this build. in fact if you do decide to get this item it will be a purely support item as it offers almost no benefits to you what so ever as you do not need more mana regen at this point and your heals can keep you alive in team fights so more survivability is not necessary but cooldown reduction for the team is always nice but unless i'm with a team that's premade and we all know each other well, i normally dont build soul shroud. and that's the core build of sona. after you got all these, assess the situation and see what you need as every game is different.
here's a little explanation about the runes you may feel free to skip this if you want. so i decided to go with all cooldown reduction runes simply because none of the other runes really work well on her. the reason ability power runes are not in here is because sona has really bad ability power ratios of 0.5 and it really doesn't do much to have 10 extra damage or 10 extra heal from the 20 ability power from runes you got. magic penetration and armor penetration is also useless as your dont need it to heal as that's your main role late game and sometimes mid game and even if you do decide to do massive damage, your massive is nothing compared to other caster's massive (full combo goes for around 1000 max i've done is about 1200 and facerolled a poppy where lux can lazer for 1200 with the same amount of ability power and thats just 1 spell) defensive runes (armor magic resist and hp) really dont do much either as your not suppose to take damage and if you do, heals always got your back. the only thing that leaves is mana regeneration. although its a good idea, riot just nurfed all the mana regeneration runes and masteries to "close the gap between players to use it and players who dont" in other words, they're giving too much mana and its letting some champs spam too much and of course no one wants runes that are 40-60% nurfed. this leaves about 1 last usable rune: the cdr runes. if you would like some different kind of marks as they really dont do much for you then by all means go for it. most of you cooldown will come from your per level runes. however if your just starting out and is not used to hiding behind something all the time then by all means take the defensive runes but once you get used to the idea of sitting behind the carry who's sitting behind the tanks then its smarter to take the cooldown runes. with this setup you reach max cooldown reduction at level 14 with the cooldown reduction boots. additionally if you take this setup you dont have to spend your gold on cooldown reduction as most casters have to and cooldown reduction is expensive. cheapest is the cooldown boots at 950 for 15% and the next thing you want to get is shurelya's reverie at a whooping 2200 (or soul shroud at 2105) which is a big portion of the cost to get archangel and and neither of them gives nearly as much mana or mana regeneration. but the idea is, there's nothing better to put on sona except for cooldown reduction. and besides the faster you hit max the faster you can spam your ult. i had one game where i was using my ult every team fight and man were they pissed. they must of thought i was hacking or something because all i had was the cooldown boots.
Play Style: lane with a tank, the easiest and commonest way to go
early game: ya your sona's just eye candy early game. you dont have alot of mana to spam your q and your q doesn't even have enough power to do anything. so what do you do? max out q fast and not only that, dont spam. spamming spells is a good late game tactic well sometimes you dont even wanna spam late game. what you need to do is save mana. auto attack the closest minion and finish it off with q but dont do it unless your sure your next attack will not make it in time to get the last hit or if your alone or pretty much alone and u need to finish off minions fast or steal it from the turret. anyways you wanna save your mana for heals or to harass enemy champions dont waist on minions but once or twice is ok if you ask yourself why does other champs have so much mana and you dont and look at how often you cast your spells then it should b clear. anyways play conservatively. once you got your tear and your boots and maybe a book or not its time for the ganking phase. one thing to note is that your extremely squishy, hid behind something at all times. even if its a lone minion hid behind it.
mid game: yay. by now you should have your r. use it and save lives or if you choose to, gank someone. most likely the mid person. if you choose then flash in and ult but i normally dont find the need for it. walk in and ult is normally fine. this is the time you get about 2-6 assists and maybe a random kill. in other words lots of gold for your archangel and your will of the ancients and boots and what not. you can spam a bit but remember you still need to save mana in case you need it. one thing to note is that you should assess the situation. if your team needs heals more than damage output then max heal first.
late game: well now you maxed both your key spells and 2 point in your ult and your working on your un leveled spell now and with you have your archangel your boots and your will of the ancients and maybe a kindlegem. anyhow this is when you shine. your AP carries will love your spell vamp and your tanks will love your for your heals and everyone else will love you for your stun. but remember your still as squishy as ever. if you get focused your dead and if your dead, your not much help to the team and a support not supporting is the worst thing ever (asides from feeders) if you still haven't won by the time you finished the above build use your judgement for what ever you need as most of the time its survivability, get guardian angel and banshee's vale and stuff. important notice, aim your ult carefully and swiftly if that is possible because the worst thing is if you miss your ult and everyone dies because you didn't stun that yi, your team's gonna hate u for the rest of the game.
play style: lane with a carry, harder to play than the other
so with you around your carry can practically tank lots of damage but even the best of tanks will die on a 2 v 1 so make sure your not just healing your actually doing some damage too. and most of all dont kill steal. to not kill steal is probably the hardest thing to do with sona. if your q lands before your carry's attack and most of the time it does, by the time your q cools down its gonna do kill steal damage. the way i solved that problem is by not having any points in q to begin with that way landing your q twice wont really end up kill stealing your carry. still remember that mana issue, it still there and really wont go away and yes we do rush archangel if your lane partner is a carry it just works better this way because they do need the bigger heal and you need to spam your spells earlier. mostly your heal. you know for when your carry comes back in 4 pieces but they have 20 health left, its your job to full heal them and if you dont have the mana to do it they go b and get no minon xp for the amount of time they went b and thats not really great if you know what i mean.
mid game: its that time of game where team fights are just happening left and right. and if your really good you get an assist for every kill your carries gets. of course if your losing you may want to choose leviathan over majai's but the idea is to turn those assists into something useful. next you move on to your aura item that everyone will love you for.
by now you should be dropping 200 or 300 heals and hitting for just as hard and your spell vamp is doing great for your spell caster friends. and guess what you have two room open for flexible items. your smart you know what to fill those two spots with.
play style: for players who are good at staying alive
an alternate way for experienced sona players (note: if your experienced, you wouldn't need this guide but hay might as well ;) it is of course the one to the most right):
this requires your lane mate to be quite skilled and have a bit of to alot of CC with them. mundo is a good one to be with and so is ashe(who's probably at mid and shouldn't be with you) or ramnus. your masteries are a bit different. though its still 9/0/21 you have 3 points in the deadliness instead of archmage's sawy mastery. the reason is simple, crits hurt and it will provide some good damage later on as 1 crit per 50 attacks or so is better than 1 crit per 150ish attacks (according to the math anyways) and anyhow you'll have enough ap from items later on that the extra bit of ap your masteries give wont make a difference. everything else is about the same.
the idea is to make you into a giant snowball. a good sona will not get hit enough to die easily and hence why i say you need to be experienced. normally (with a decent team) you should get under 5 deaths per game (averaging to 2.5 deaths per game) making snowballing a really good way to rack up some AP or HP or AD if you choose. starting items are the same, get the mana regen as you need mana all the time. but in this build you will find it that mana is an extreme issue as your spamming alot more and alot more often then the other two so clarity is a must. and the potions are self explanatory. by level 3 you want 2 points in your heal as it is likely that you or your lane partner are getting beat up pretty hard for trying to gank someone as this build lets you and/or your team to be aggressive all game. so grab a point in heal at level 3 as it pretty much doubles the amount you heal for. and of course your goal is to farm. and the more you farm the better. when you first port home, assuming you didn't die, should be the second time you used your clarity and it's drained up (note you use clarity once at level 3 and drink mana potion at level 4-5 and thats about when your clarity is back up again and you use again half way though level 6 or even as early as level 5 depending) you shouldn't be forced back to base by the lack of health as more by the lack of mana. and if you farmed well you should be level 7 or 8 or at least 6. and should have enough for the tear, boots and amplifying tomb.
next time you port home should also be the lack of mana but this time it may be the lack of health as it is the ganking phase already. buy your majais as ganking phase is the point where you make or break. dont kill steal for the extra stacks a good 3 stacks from 3 assists is enough for you but your carries need those kills more than you so let them have the last hits. soon as the ganking phase is over then you'll know if you made it or broke it. if you have more than 5 stacks you made it if you have less than 3 stacks you broke it. if you made it then port to base and if you have enough buy the next snowballing item and you become harder to kill. if no then go for the blasting wand as more ap never hurts. if you didn't make it sell the majais and build one of the other 2 builds as it will make it more easier for you.
assuming you made it you can now proceed to team fights and guess what, 10 stacks in 2 or 3 team fights is not much of a difficult task just make sure you get as many assists as you can. and because your spamming without an archangel you'll need to go home alot more than the other two builds. but you'll be putting out much bigger heals and much more damage. your goal now is to finish your archangel as fast as you can. once you got your archangels then go nuts, buy what ever you need to buy.
as covered above, different items for different situations. but generally at this time your winning and probably want to get items that can farther your team's victory. for this i suggest support aura items like aegis of the legion, will of the ancients and starks fervor. some say starks on sona is stupid but they obviously dont know that starks can stack if 2 champs both have it and they are close to each other. and deathcap is always another option and stacking archangels is not bad as 50 mana per 5 seconds is good and having more ap is never bad. (but i stack for the mana regen more than the ap) abyssal scepter is good, and so is sunfire or banshee or guardian angel. if you really want to go crazy try rageblaed so of course you can then rage harder with rageblade. wanna super snowball get sword of the occult too and you'll be the number 1 focus (more than your carries) on your team. making them probably dive you really hard meaning you can then run around and have your team kill them. and when i say go nuts i do mean go nuts if you want speed and just run fast go for phantom dancers for all i care you do have a speed spell. sell the cooldown boots (20 stacks majais covers for the cdr you lost) for boots of mobility/swiftness any how, you can go nuts as having 20 stacks on anyone makes for a pain in the butt and if its on you, then you can afford to go nuts.
Play style: what i call the HyperDrive/SuperSonic Sona
the idea of this build is to move around the map fast. often time i find that alot of places need heals because we have a jungler or something or my team just suck alot. what ever the reason, this build is here to help you get to your mid/top/bot and tag them out/heal them faster. you use your e to get around and you want your archangel as fast as you can and with level 1 e and boots of mobility, your speed will be around 447 (for about the 1.5 seconds) then fall to something around 430. not to mansion it charges your passive.
early game you just sit there and follow the normal thing. at lv 4 is the time where you choose to follow the snowball build or this build. take a look at the map and see if your team is doing good (if you have a jungler then this is the default build unless you're the solo lane which should never be the case. if you are solo lane then follow the play style of laning with a tank) if they are then proceed to the snowball build if not then proceed to this build as you will leave lane alot. additionally if you're in lane with a noob/overly aggressive player then this is also the build to do as you do leave lane alot which will force them to play more cautiously. if you know this is the build to do then put a point in your e and that's the point of no return. after you got your tear and boots of mobility your ready to leave that noob to fend for himself/herself.
midgame: after you have exausted your mana from running around and then you came home, you have two choices. 1 build majai's. often when your doing this when you arrive you will turn the tables and get a few assist. however it is easy to screw up and end up dieing as you do wonder in the jungle alot and may get ganked. method 2 is to rush archangel as this seems to be the easier way to go. you also might want to get a few wards as map awareness is good. and go heal your jungler too as that may not be a bad idea. in this you will be under leveled by about 2-3 levels going into late game team fights but thats ok, by doing this your team should be up about 2-3 kills worth of experience or maybe even 2-3 kills and especially your mid as healing them allows them to lane longer and resulting in more exp for them. but dont stay too long as you do eat up their exp when your there. with what little farming you did build your archangel and kindlegem.
late game: you should be going into team fights with archangel, boots of mobility and at least a ruby crystal. totaling to about 4.5k worth of items, if your good and do a bit of farming on the way to places then you will end up with archangel, boots of mobility and soul shroud. but that's your core build. the game should not be won completely at that time unless one of the two team really sucks after you got your core build the next item is totally depending on the situation. i generally get will of the ancients however starks fervor is also nice if you find alot of physical champs on your team. and aegis of legion is also an option if your hurting alot. but the idea is simple you get whatever you need to help your team. i once had archangel max stacks majais and deathcap by the end of the game, each of my heals was about worth 1/5 of a regular lv 18 teemo's health everyone was raging really hard to say the least. your main source of cash is from team fights as each assist will get you a good amount of gold.
Play style: borrowed some ideas :P
as you can see unlike all the other builds you start with 2 charms instead of meki. you lose about 1 mana regen per 5 sec but its a worthy loss. the first time you go home you should have enough god gor at least 1 philosopher stone. however you normally have enough for 1 philosopher stone and boots and a few wards. take the wards they are really useful. next round you go back you'll be able to build your second philosopher's stone making you mortal unless there's a giant burster on their team out to get you. after you have completed your boots then your next item should be majais. some would say that this item has to come before the second philosopher stone as it is a great item to have if you can get a few assists but the gold earned from the philosophers are much more valuable that a few stacks in my opinion. after the majai's you are free to build anything that's got an aura or something helpful to more than just you. the next item is to turn one of your philosopher's stone into its final form. i was never too fond of this item but hay what else can you do with a philosopher's stone anyways except for selling it so why not buy an item that builds from it. your last philosopher's stone can be sold or something.
tips and tricks. pro tips from pros
with farming minions, let the minions kill each other and you just get last hits if you can. sona and leblanc has the best attack animations in the game so it really shouldn't be hard to last hit.
you have a relatively small damage output. the only way i really see to pack some damage alone is to open with your ult and if your passive is up use it if not use q and then use your passive. should all happen within the time they are stunned
your passive needs 3 spell casts it doesn't matter if you hit or not and where you are when u use it. charge 2 stacks at base first before heading out, that ways if you dont need it you still have 2 stacks if you need it, you're trying to do do damage so might as well hit the q and fire the passive off the bat.
upon 3 spell casts, the next attack that lands will deal extra damage. this means that if your auto attack is in mid flight and you cast a spell, it will deal damage as if it is the boosted attack. the attack animation is the same and the sound it makes is also the same but it will do the extra magic damage so when harassing people, you can actually wait for your auto attack animation then fire off the Q and run. does great damage and scare them away but make sure you recharge your passive with your heals or something after.
save your flash. some people use flash to gank others i personally prefer to use flash as a method of getting out of the way. as you really dont have any other way to get out of a mob.
never be the only one with orical as you will be focused. let the tank and the carries get the oricals before you and if needed you can get it too but just make sure your not the only one with it.
all of your spells can go through a wall. if you want you can hide behind a wall and support your team. your enemies will be like where's that guy getting all that extra health. but there are places where you can and cannot do this good places such as between your outer and inner turret, across wall at baron/dragon/blue buff/red buff.
many times, after you finished your core build, you find that there's not really anything else that really suits the situation as your team is doing good and nothing seems like it can go wrong. at times like these, i personally find it better to get spirit visage as it improves your survivability and most importantly it improves your heal by 20% even if the healing boost is its only effect i'd get it. the 30 magic resist and 12% cooldown reduction and the 300 health is all extra. not to mention its relatively cheep compared to other items.
your aura from your q will boost no only your allies attack and ap it also boosts yours. so if you cast another spell when your blue aura is on then it will actually do more. healing for extra 10 or so. and doing extra 10 damage. it nothing much but its extra damage/heal that costs nothing so why not make the most of your spells?
sometimes you will find yourself doing alot of running around mid game because there's a jungler on your team and both top and bot need your help time to time. its ok to get boots of mobility and grab a point or 2 in your e and move around alot. and its also ok to be a bit under leveled as i do find myself in that position alot. you damage normally isn't as needed so if thats the case even if your with a tank follow the build as if your with a physical dps champ. it is also ok for you to tag out mid for time to time as well when they go off to gank someone. you are a ranged champ and if played right you actually should be able to push minion waves really easily even with only 2 or 3 points in your q
healing someone who is doing damage durring team fights will get you an assist. meaning if you have majais, you can get stacks real fast if you just sit back and heal and you dont really have to do anything to get these stacks but its better to do stuff because a bit of stun can go a long way. and even your small damage output can change the tides of 2 evenly matched carries. but your heal does do a better job of changing the tides lol
how to use your ult: its a stun. it only lasts for 1.5 sec so be smart about it. although its stats are almost identical to amumu's stun, you do not use it like amumu's stun. what you do is hold it on you until one of the following situations.
A) they're gonna get away stun and the rest of your team kills them. simple enough
B) your team's about to die stun and get away. like no duh
C) there's a huge mob of people in a small space (because there's just that many close ranged dps champs on both teams) ult and stun everyone in your blast radius. even if they're at full hp and wont die nor doesn't show any signs of running away, its hard to see what's happening and if u stun all of them then the carries will stop madly attacking whoever and focus on 1 person and if done right 2 of the 4 or 5 will drop around the time the stun ends (pick the squishes) and chasing is just a simple task now.
another thing sona's amazing for late game is cleaning banshee's vales. it takes some skill but before team fights you go close to the other team and drop a few q on them they wont really care because u do no damage anyways but what you did was cleaned a few banshee and so your anivia can proceed to one shot their shen without having to deal with the banshee. thats the easy part, the hard part is cleaning banshees during team fights. as you dont always get the luxury of starting the team fight. if you must, ult the banshee's vales off them but try to avoid doing so as you q normally is enough. just takes a few practices to get it right the people with banshee will most likely be in your face anyways so your goal is to land your q before your anivia lands her skills.
the game with ashe was all random all mid so dont mind it but point proven.
and more :D