Soraka Build Guide by Brian Hail
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Viable Defense Items
Example Build #1
Example Build #2
Not Updated For Current Season
About the Author
I have been playing League of Legends for most of Season 3 after being referred by a colleague at work. Originally starting out on the North American server, I now play on the Oceania server due to the better ping and fps. I main three champions Fiora, Skarner and Soraka at the moment and will be looking for a Jungler and ADC in the future. When playing I prefer top or support and have a high risk and aggressive play style. I currently have completed one other guide, that being on Fiora.
Without further ado lets have a look at how I play Soraka in the bottom lane.
Introduction & Pros / Cons
Soraka, the Starchild is generally regarded as not the best support to have when going Bottom lane. When played as a support she tends to have a strong early game presence but her presence in lane and in team fights tends to taper off the longer the game goes. When I play Soraka as support, my primary goal is to choose items that will not only buff my allies, whether directly or indirectly (indirectly being a debuff to the enemy), but also strengthening my presence in lane and teamfights.
The aim of this guide is to capitalize on Soraka's primary advantages and everything from runes and masteries to items is to that end.
Pros / Cons
5 Main Advantages of Soraka
Sustain Abilities Astral Blessing & Infuse
Instant Global Heal Wish
Spammable & Stackable Magic Reduction Ability Starcall
Poke Ability Infuse
Strong Early Game Presence
5 Main Disadvantages of Soraka
Weak Late Game
Low Attack Range
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Seal of Armor: Standard runes to take on basically any champion. Doubly important on those champions who are squishy early game. There are no other viable alternatives.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: I take these for early/mid game to better protect myself against Ability Power (AP) Champions; Annie comes to mind; I have been seeing more instances of ADC/APC combo's in the bottom lane in the pre-season.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: A great alternate choice that allows you to boost your overall Magic Resistance quite considerably especially if you have two points in Enchanted Armor . Great to have to mitigate some of the damage from teams packing a lot of AP. Recommend taking these if the enemy AP mid is a poor roamer.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: These Flat Ability Power runes are a must to take out. It provides additional sustain and damage albeit small, when you enter the lane at the start of the match. The only other alternative is taking 3 Greater Quintessence of Gold to help gain some pocket money.
Before we look at my masteries a little on how I have set it out. In this build I utilize two mastery pages. They both have a Offense Major, but differ in that they have either a Defense or Utility Minor. For your benefit I have listed the masteries I use for Utility and Defense (I have no idea if that made sense).
Double-Edged Sword is given 1 point to increase Soraka's early game damage by 1.5% Received damage goes up by 1.5%, but this can be countered by Astral Blessing at level 3.
Fury is given 4 points for an extra 5% boost to Soraka's attack speed. This is only chosen as Butcher isn't affected by Starcall (Q) and Sorcery is made redundant by the build.
Expose Weakness is given 1 point and is a must and will increase your ADC's presence in lane when you use Starcall (Q) or Infuse (E).
Mental Force is given 3 points. It provides 16 additional Ability Power (AP) at level 18 which scales as you level. It's more AP. Self explanatory.
Arcane Mastery is given 1 point. More AP. Self explanatory.
Executioner is given 3 points. You want to achieve lane dominance early and potentially secure a kill or assist. This will increase your damage by 5% to enemies below 50%.
Archmage is given 3 points. Increases Ability Power by 5%. Works well with Rabadon's Deathcap which gives an additional 30%. More Ability Power. Self explanatory.
Devastating Strikes is given 3 points. Magic Resistance Reduction/Penetration is the best thing to have on a caster. Getting an additional 6% Magic Penetration is going to boost your early game presence and assist your ADC in getting kills and fed. In my book anything that reduces magic resistance is most of the time better for you.
Arcane Blade is given 1 point. Great mastery to have as your basic attacks are going to be weak in comparison to your spells. This will boost the damage they do especially if you stack a lot of AP.
Havoc is given 1 point. More damage. Self Explanatory.
Block is given 2 points. It reduces the incoming damage of enemy ADC harasses by 2. Plus your squishy. If there was only a twig available I'd recommend you take it.
Enchanted Armor is given 2 points. MORE ARMOR AND MRESIST! Need I say more. Mind you it's a shame it only affects bonus armor and magic resist.
Unyielding is given 1 point. It's like block but discriminates whether or not your a ranged or melee enemy. So in total you block 3 basic damage (assuming ranged enemies ~ 4 is melee). Doesn't sound like much but chances are it will cost your enemy to do one more basic attack which could be enough time for you to escape to tower or for your allies to rescue/avenge you.
Veteran's Scars is given 3 points. Makes Soraka more tanky. Albeit slightly but everything helps.
Juggernaut is given 1 point. Increases your maximum HP and tankiness.
Meditation is given 3 points. Soraka is mana dependent and besides Mana Potion's there isn't much that can sustain her if she is being aggressive with her Q. This will help somewhat but care should be taken that you always have about 25% mana in the tank.
Scout is given 1 point. Increases range that I can place trinkets and in a way keeps me from having to approach bushes and getting ambushed. Can be switched to 1 point in Phasewalker if you decide to use Teleport as one of your Summoner spells.
Strength of Spirit is given 1 point. It increases Soraka's health regeneration and thus sustain in lane.
Summoner's Insight is given 3 points. It decreases the cool down on Summoner Spells by 10%. This is quite powerful as Flash has a fairly long cool down period.
Greed is given the 1 point. Increases gold income by 0.5 per 10 seconds. Not much but in the space of a average game (40 minutes) it gives an additional 120 gold. Can be replaced with Runic Affinity as you can occasionally kill opponents and steal their buffs.
I choose Flash and Ghost as my two Summoner spells when I play Soraka as support. The main reason for this is to give her at least two escape options, but to also allow greater variability when played offensively.
If using build #1, To start off I take Boots of Speed, 2 Health Potion's, 2 Mana Potion's and a Warding Totem and proceed to bottom lane or to Red Buff depending on what the jungler wants. This start allows Soraka to play aggressive and to have enough Mana to spam her Starcall ability. First recall should be at 500 gold to pick up additional Potions as well as 1 Vision Ward and 2 Stealth Ward's.
If using build #2, To start off I take an Ancient Coin, 2 Health Potion's 1 Mana Potion and a Warding Totem. This build your a lot less aggressive, but should still exert some effect in harassing the closest enemy champion with a Infuse + Starcall or Infuse + Auto Attack combo. First recall involves the same details as above.
Boots are of vital importance for all champions, especially for supports. Being a support with a spammable magic reduction ability I have sought to capitalize on this strength by going for Sorcerer's Shoes. They give the standard additional movement speed increase as well as a +15 flat magic penetration which on enemy ranged ADC and APC's is half of their Magic Resistance. Getting Enchantment: Captain is a great way to assist your allies chasing power and ability to split push a lane to keep pressure on the enemy.
This is a really good second item to go for early game. Not only does it solve your mana issues, it gives ability power and 20% cooldown reduction (CDR). This is massive as it directly affects all your abilities especially your Starcall ability. Now you can reduce enemy magic resist quicker and do greater damage. The passive is made to be used against enemies stacking life steal which all ADC's do. When used on an enemy carry it enables Soraka's ADC to win a skirmish more easily as the enemy adc won't be getting as much health back from life steal when they drop below 40%. A very powerful item to have in lane and in team fights.
This item is essentially the Mage variety of a Last Whisper. It gives 70 AP and a 35% MPen to go along with the flat penetration from Sorcerer's Shoes. This item along with Runes, Masteries and Abyssal Scepter can shred a very significant portion of a target's magic resist before Starcall even comes into play. This enables you to deal a significant portion of damage to the enemy with a small amount of Ability Power in comparison to your APC.
This item is suited perfectly for Soraka's Starcall ability. The range is slightly larger than the range of Starcall so wherever Starcall is used Abyssal Scepter's magic reduction will have an affect. The item also provides additional magic resist and ability power as a bonus. The -20 Magic Resist Reduction Aura it provides is an excellent support item to aid your APC.
Pretty much the standard caster item on most if not all builds. Provides a massive boost of 120 AP and a passive that increases your total Ability Power by 30% This item is far more valuable than additional magic penetration and ability power from Liandry's Torment. This item will bring your total Ability power up to 500 at a full build and make your healths, buffs and lane/teamfight presence that much greater.
Frozen Heart is an unusual choice to have on a support but does come with great benefits. Frozen Heart provides Soraka with additional Mana, Armour and and CDR; This extra armor if combined with her Astral Blessing can bring her armor close to 300 for a brief period and the Mana/CDR allows a sustained bombardment of Starcall. In addition Frozen Heart provides an Aura which decreases the attack speed of all enemies within it's range by 20%. This is a great counter to Champion's that stack Attack Speed or have an inbuilt attack speed ability (e.g. Jax's Relentless Assault & Fiora's Burst of Speed).
Other Viable Items
Athene's Unholy Grail is an excellent alternative to have on your build. Like Morellonomicon it provides mana regeneration, CDR and ability power, but also provides additional magic resist. If your finding the enemy APC quite intimidating consider switching this item with Morellonomicon to make yourself a little more tanky. This item has a great passive for laning and team fights so consider getting this one for a little extra sustain.
This item provides ability power, tankiness and a decent Crowd Control (CC) passive. Consider getting this if the enemy is eluding your team or you find yourself a little too squishy. The ability power this item provides will be a big boost for you.
This item is a big risk. If your lane is doing well and your picking up assists then this item can be a great long term investment to have in game. It provides a relatively small increase in ability power, but it's passive is what we buy it for. The passive provides ability power for every kill or assist you get for a maximum of 160 ability power but you lose a third every time you die. If your lane isn't doing well skip this item. It's not worth it.
Iceborn Gauntlet is a good alternative to Frozen Heart. It doesn't provide as much CDR or armor, but it provides a killer passive ( Moonflair Spellblade) which goes well with Starcall if used alternatingly (Q-AA-Q-AA-Q etc.) and provides a slow to the enemy hit and those caught around the enemy. Unlike Frozen Heart this item does provide a little ability power albeit not much.
Zhonya's Hourglass is a great item. It provides a lot of Ability Power (120 AP), decent bonus armor (50 Armor) and an active which is ideal on any champion, especially those champions which get focused a lot (e.g. ADC's and Supports). The active renders you untargetable for 2.5 seconds, but you cannot do anything. Use this to remove heat off you before returning to the fight. If an ally has this item and activates it, Wish is capable of healing your ally even though their untargetable.
Twin Shadows is a really great, cheap item to have as a support. I find it more useful than a Talisman of Ascension as it enables a support to dictate the flow of a fight. The item's active Hunt summons two ghost which target the two closest enemy champions, reveals them and slows them by 40% for 2.5 seconds. This is a great item for chasing as well as escaping (use this on Master Yi or Nidalee in cougar form) and it also provides significant ability power and magic resistant to boot all for just 2000 gold.
Summary & Thankyou
Being an aggressive and high risk taker in league of legends, this build of Soraka turns her from a defensive Aura-based Support to an offensive Aura-based Support, that whilst weak in Crowd Control is capable of protecting and buffing her team but can also cause the enemy a world of hurt with her sustained bombardments of shooting stars and debuff's. Hopefully this build has shown that it is possible to support your team but also be capable of doing a lot of damage.
In this, I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has given this guide their approval or is thinking of giving it and for your comments if you decide to leave any. If you would like to have a game with me some time I am available for the time being between 9pm - 1am GMT+10.
This ends the formal main part of the Guide. Below is some advice on Champions, Soraka synergizes well/not well with and supports she finds easy/hard to handle in lane. The following will be a work in progress as I experience more and more champions in the bottom lane the more I will add to this.
Low > Low-Medium > Medium > Medium-High > High
Mana Required: Low
Skill Shots: Volley, Enchanted Crystal Arrow & Hawkshot
Crowd Control: Slow and Stun
Playing with Ashe:
Ashe synergizes well with Soraka as well as many other supports. She has low mana costs unless Frost Shot is carelessly left toggled on, which means you don't need to use Infuse as often on her to keep her mana up. Instead you can use this to poke down your enemy ADC depriving them of farm and also protecting her from the enemy support or gank. Three of her abilities apply a slow so watch for when she uses these so you can get a Infuse + Starcall + Auto-Attack combo in.
Playing Against Ashe:
Ashe is not a difficult champion to counter. Most of her early damage comes from her Volley, which fires in a wide arc. Avoid being hit from this attack as it deals a lot of damage and slows you; a perfect scenario if your far from tower to try and kill you. Staying out of range or using caster minion / melee minion 's to block the incoming fire are your best options to avoid being hit. Ashe is squishy so using Soraka's early game advantage is paramount in setting Ashe behind. Once she's behind by about two levels, even Soraka is capable of going 1v1 with her.
The following are some games illustrating how I use Soraka as a support. Follow the link and you will have the option of being able to download the replay or watching it via your LOL client:
Brian Hail - Soraka - 22/12/13 Outcome: WIN - 4/4/17