Soraka Build Guide by afkeierdieb
Not Updated For Current Season
with a late game carry in lane
Not Updated For Current Season
Threats to Soraka with this build
|Draven||Hit him in the face with Starcall every time he catches a Spinning Axe. Start with at least two Mana Potions to continue harassing.|
This Soraka guide targets her as a harassing early game manace which will annoy the enemy bot lane carry, especially those without the proper defense. This harass can go from giving your carry a farm advantage by zoning and denying the enemy carry, up to pushing the enemy carry out of lane or even killing him. Soraka can also give your carry the advantage to farm more freely because the harass of enemies can be mitigated by her heal and their engage can be countered by her peel.
Post early game, I see her developing in either of two directions: a) the more tanky, aura-carrying healer and peeler to support late game carries or b) an aggressive, attack-buffing support to really get lane bullies ahead and snowball mid game compositions to victory by never letting them die in fights to assure you can always take objectives after each fight.
Note: This guide is still a work in progress. The chapters "Masteries" and "Items" are still unfinished and the match-up information needs to be filled with more detail for the carries and the supports need to be filled in. I will remove the work in progress of the title as soon as the missing chapters are finished.
Pros / Cons
|+ single target heal
+ early game harass
+ global team heal
|Sorakas main strength is her ability to protect her team with both heal and peel. She has the strongest single target heal in the game with Astral Infusion. She can also peel fairly well with both Starcall and Equinox. Her global heal with Wish gives her map presence. During the early game laning phase she can be a lane bully due to her Starcall harass.|
|- low mobility
- squishy without items
- tends to get focused
|Sorakas main disadvantages are that she is squishy without items and that she can't escape sticky situations on her own. That is, if you are out of position against perceptive enemies, you are most likely dead or you need to burn your Flash. Also, due to Sorakas strong protecting ability, well organized teams tend to focus her first in fights, so she can't protect others. These drawbacks can only be countered by good positioning and building tanky.|
Soraka is currently neither in the meta nor a top tier champion. She probably will not be for a while (ever?) because there are more generally useful support champions which get picked in favor of her. She is also not a safe support pick, i.e. picking her before the enemies pick their bot lane during pick and ban phase is risky. However, Soraka fills a niche in which she can be a quite powerful asset. I will now explain the conditions under which she is a viable pick.
- Your team has a late game bot lane AD carry, e.g. Jinx or Vayne. Soraka, with her strong single target heal and peeling abilities, can assure that this carry actually reaches the late game where it can wreak havoc and not gets destroyed in the early game. These champions can farm more freely because even if they are harassed they can be healed back to full life very fast. Also, ganks can be prevented fairly well with Sorakas kit.
- Soraka can also be a viable pick to snowball an early game carry. These bullies can trade even better with the heal and force enemies out of lane to start early to gain a gold lead and continue extending it. Preferred in a snowballing anti-late game composition, with e.g. Graves or Draven as bot lane AD carry, junglers like Lee Sin or Shaco and assassins who can snowball hard like Katarina as well as a late game enemy team composition.
- The enemy bot lane carry has no dash, escape or spell shield, e.g. Draven (see the matchups above, the carries without defense against Sorakas harass are ranked as easier). In fact, Soraka works very well against Draven and this is the main reason I started playing her. With Starcall she can harass the enemy carry safely from behind the minion wave every time he goes for farm, and Draven also each time he goes to catch a Spinning Axe because this is even more predictable. Mean, right?
- The enemy supports actions are transparent. This includes melee supports like Alistar, those with colliding skill shots like Blitzcrank or Nautilus or short range hard engage like Annie. Soraka can stay safe against these supports even if she harasses. Against melee supports you can even take Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration and harass with devastating banana auto attacks. If these supports want to engage, which is often transparent, with your high range you should easily be able to walk away and throw Starcall and Equinox at them to discourage them from further attempts.
- Your team has hard engage initiation and a tank so you don't need these roles on the support.
If these conditions are met, feel free to pick Soraka and enjoy the game. You can also pick her if not all of these conditions are met but she may be a bit harder to pull off. I consider the first three points to be the most important ones.
|Soraka is low on escape mobility, so Flash is a must have to escape sticky situations.|
|I would pick Exhaust in almost all cases as the second summoner spell. It gives you and your carry protection against assassins, burst and dives. It can also be used to finish someone off but I would prefer to keep it in store for additional peel.|
|Salvation (passive) lets you move quickly to allies who need heal. It gets you in range of Astral Infusion. Once you have Enchantment: Captain, allies will also be able to move faster to you, so whenever someone is low, you two should be able to meet fast and you can safe your ally.|
|Starcall (Q) has three purposes: In the laning phase the damage you can deal is a great harassment tool. You can stand behind minions to avoid getting hit by abilities with colliding skillshots. It also heals you with the passive of Astral Infusion whenever it hits and provides sustain for yourself. Enemies hit in the center will also be slowed so it can also be used as a disengage tool. In teamfights it should be used to peel enemies off your carries.|
|Astral Infusion (W) is Sorakas main healing ability. It can be spammed with its low cooldown making it the strongest single-target healing ability in the game. It should be used on your carries to protect them against any form of sustained damage. Using this ability costs 10% of Sorakas own health. This health cost is the main reason why health regeneration is an important stat on Soraka.|
|Equinox (E) creates a zone in which enemies are silenced and get rooted if they remain in the zone. And it deals damage, both on cast and if they remain in the zone when it vanishes. It is a great disengage zoning ability to be thrown at engaging enemies paths. It can also be used on fleeing enemies to cut off their escape. Never use Equinox just to harass because it has a really high cooldown and good players will keep track of it. This ability should be reserved for peel and disengage. Use it offensively only if the fight is decided for your team and you can help with chasing someone down.|
|Wish (R) is a global heal for all your allies. As soon as you get it, keep an eye on your ally icons health bars and use it when they are low to safe them. This can turn around figths. If you recognize low health bars early and you are not under pressure, watch the fight as it happens to see if Wish would actually save allies. Do not use it when the pressure is so high that your allies would die anyway but do not hesitate if it could turn around the fight or someone could escape after the heal. It also removes the grievous wounds debuff.|
During the laning phase we first maximize Starcall to harass as best we can. A single point in Astral Infusion should normally be enough to heal your carry and a single point in Equinox provides enough peel to avoid ganks.
As soon as laning phase ends, immediately start maximizing Astral Infusion even if Starcall is not at full rank. In skirmishes and teamfights the probability that a single target gets focused with all the enemies damage is much higher and your single target heal should match their damage as best as it can. Also, since you build neither raw AP nor Magic Pen, the damage you will deal falls off anyway beginning with the mid game. As the game transitions from laning phase to mid game, Soraka transitions as well: from harass+heal+peel to heal+peel. To maximize your peeling you should also maximize Equinox directly after Astral Infusion. Starcall really has the lowest priority after the harass of the laning phase ends.
Considering these last points, your ability sequence will most likely look a bit more like this:
If you can not harass that freely or a gank becomes prevalent at level three, put your third level point in Equinox rather than in a second Starcall.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: We pick these up mainly to increase our early game harass with Starcall. They also boost our healing a bit.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Same reason as the quintessences. Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration are preferred if you can also harass well with auto attacks in the early game, e.g. when laning against melee supports who do not harass back or have a hard time engaging on your safe range.
- Greater Seal of Armor: These seals protect you against physical damage in the early game. If you make a mistake and get caught you are dead without at least this bit of protection.
- Greater Glyph of Ability Power: Same reason as the quintessences. If the enemy support has poke, pick up Greater Glyph of Magic Resist.
Note: We are picking up mostly flat offensive runes because match-ups in which Soraka can harass freely in the early game are the preferred ones and this early game harass should be accentuated with these runes. If you can not harass this freely because of an unfavourable match-up, tanky runes are the wiser choice because Soraka is low on escape mobility and fairly squishy in the early game while she does not have tanky items.
Stay with your bot lane carry and protect him. Astral Infusion makes it possible for him to farm even if there is pressure from the enemies. Harass the opposing carry whenever possible with Starcall. Save Equinox for ganks or if the enemy lane engages. Use it only offensively if you are sure it results in a kill for your team.
As long as both bot lane outer turrets stand, stay on bot lane with your carry and roam not farther than to dragon. Soraka is not as effective of a roamer as supports like Alistar, Annie or Morgana because she does not have high kill pressure. In the laning phase you are most effective if you stay with your bot lane carry and try to get him ahead. Optimally, this leads in no death for your carry and your team taking the outer bot lane turret first and if you achieve this, you are doing well. You still have global map presence with your ultimate Wish and you do not need to roam to use it.
If your bot lane turret falls first, tell your carry to freeze lane at your inner turret so he can farm safely. Put wards at both your bot lane river-jungle entrances so your carry knows when enemies are moving in and can back off. This leaves you free to roam and join skirmishes somewhere else on the map.
If the enemy turret falls first, push the wave out with your carry and roam with him to take another outer turret to open up the map further for your team. Send another team member to defend your outer bot lane turret if necessary.
In general: join those team members where skirmishes are about to emerge because this is where you are most effective. You are worthless if you babysit a farming laner who is not under pressure. Your job is to heal and peel. Try not to get focused by good positioning. Remember to start maximizing Astral Infusion, see the abilities chapter for explanation. Whoever you leave alone should be able to farm or push safely behind wards, which you have to place if needed before roaming somewhere else.
Stick to your most fed carries aka those who can deal the most damage and protect them. Do not stick to carries that are not near places where fights can start, e.g. someone clearing super minions in the base alone. Go where the action is because this is where your are needed and where you can realize your potential. You should have maxed Astral Infusion by now and should be working on maximizing Equinox for maximum peel.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and learned how to carry with harass, heal and peel as well as the Might of the Banana.
Feel free to vote and comment.