Sona Build Guide by Av1212Xx
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Support AP Cooldown Reduction
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.
Threats to Sona with this build
|Vayne||Vayne is easy to poke. She has short range. Her tumble can only dodge skill shots and your Q AA combo is not a skill shot. Easy matchup. If she gets too close, ult her.|
|Kog'Maw||Easy matchup. This champion requires a lot of peel and you are a poke champion. Just make sure you try to stay behind minions so he cannot poke back.|
Start of the game
At the start of the game, you will have 15% CDR and decent mana regeneration. Use this advantage to poke. Always get Frostfang first, before Sightstone. If you have exactly 800 gold on your first back, upgrade to Frostfang and use the extra 300 to get boots instead.
At the early-mid game you will have your ult, Eye of Watchers, tier two boots, and Sheen. This is easy 45% CDR while you will are only level 9. Here, you have completed your basic core items. Try to get good engages, and poke hard but carefully.
Late game you can do ridiculous damage. Poke the ADC hard if they are alone. If they are atleast below 50% hp, you can actually try to kill them. Your Q AA alone will do around 50% HP. Ult if you have to. In teamfights, your job is to try and get a 5 man ult. Use your Q AA combo on the lowest HP squishy character unless its secured and you're about to KS it, or use it on which squishy character is the closest. Your team will then finish them off.. but if you finish them off, do not be afraid. You do good damage. Just because you killed them as support, it does not mean you KSed it. You removed them from the fight.
The best way to poke is to time it for when the ADC goes to CS. As Sona, you do not need to worry about aiming your poking skill or minions blocking your skillshot (since your poke is not one). Focus on positioning, preventing counter-poke and free hits on you, and poking at the right times. You do not have to always finish your Q with an AA even if you have power chord if you know they will poke back hard. Save it and look for a good time. If anything, you will notice that a lot of your poke will just be a max-ranged Q without the AA. Do not worry about this. This is normal.
If it helps, imagine yourself as some kind of poke assassin. Finish your poke quickly, and do not get poked back like an assassin. Only poke once you see an opening. Other than that, stay back.
Here's another helpful tip to understand what you should be doing. Your job is to interrupt the ADC's CSing rythm. Make the ADC think twice about going for the CS. From my games, just the act of poking right will make the enemy ADC lose a lot of CS.
Always poke when there's an opportunity, but don't be agressive enough to be counter played, unless the plan is to go all in.
You may ask yourself... 'No armor or magic resist runes?' Yes. You have really good range on your Q, and you do not have to finish every Q with an AA. You do not need to be tanky, and you don't CS so you do not need to worry about getting poked as you can only be in a bad position/ pokable position by an unseen gank or by choice. A good Sona's problem is running out of mana and not having your skills up when there was a really good opening. If you run out of mana, you are useless, and that few extra armor from runes isn't gonna help you with that... mana regenration will.
Cooldown reduction runes is good because any typical AP Support Sona who isn't even trying to get CDR will most often still get Eye of Watchers, Sheen, and Boots of Lucidity. These are really typical necessary items for AP Support Sona that just happens to have CDR too.. that's 30% CDR. The CDR runes are just there to aid that, so that you have the max 40% CDR (+ %5 from masteries).
Pros and Cons
- Independent, powerful playstyle.
You will have control over bot lane especially against a Vayne ADC. What this means is that you just do your thing and poke. As long as you time it to when ADC goes for CS, ADC will miss a lot of CS or try to go for CS less, and since they were trying to go for CS the only counter to be expected is against the support or a Caitlyn ADC, which boasts of long attack range, but if you time it right, you should still be fine. In a good matchup, as long as you follow the poking rules I've laid out earlier, the enemy ADC will be behind 20 CS by level 6.
- Can solo squishy champions
If someone screwed up and overextended, if they are squishy, you too can take advantage of that chance and kill them. If you are not fed, this may only be possible if they are around 50% hp, but there are other factors too. There are multiple ways of doing this, which all depends on the situation, but the most common one is just to use your full combo: Q, ult, AA. In some situations, it may be better to use power chord E instead to slow them, then harass them. If they are not Hecarim or someone similar, they cannot get away. The style depends on the situation, but choosing the wrong one in a bad situation could get you killed. For example, a low Vayne could turn it around if you slowed her instead and didn't do enough damage, while the Q AA damage combo would have probably killed her. Play smart and read your situation.
- No peel
Just like any champion, Sona is not the best for EVERY situation. Do not use Sona if there is no peel in your team. What will end up happening is that the enemy Garen will just stand on your ADC and they will die, being completely useless in the teamfight. If your team does not pick a peel champion, be smart. Pick someone else. I recommend Janna, but it may depend on how good you are on other champions.
The rest of the items
Void Staff after the initial build if they have MR early, if not get DeathCap first, then get Void Staff.
There is always something new to add, but I can only edit the chapters, not the build. I may create a new version if there are enough changes.
Note 1: I've had happened a few times where enemy ADC survives my full combo with less than 100 hp. The items I would have. Eye, Lich, Ludens, Ionian Boots, Void Staff. I do it because the ADC was just a little out of position. What ends up happening that the jungler or the mid laner beside me sees it, and then flash ult, and its such a waste because the enemy team engages soon after... I guess because a fight already started. I decided it was better to take ignite instead of exhaust.
Already played several games with ignite. It virtually makes enemy ADC's heal useless, meaning you win more fights. It also allows you to be more aggressive when they are low, because the ignite is a safety net if they manage to escape with 50 HP. Take ignite.
Note 2: In addition to hard counters, along with Blitzcrank, Nami is now a hard counter for Sona. Forget the previous seasons. There have been many changes in items, and masteries since then. Nami has no problem healing ~250 HP with a single W in lane. Nami is now a Soraka but with hard CC. This means your poke is useless, and if you are out of position and get Q'd and E'd, you will die.
P.S. Soraka's heals are faster, but what matters is that Nami's heals are enough to negate any good poke you lash out. Even if you full engage with ult, combo, and your adc, if they survive with low HP, Nami has the power to fully heal the ADC in ~1 min as oppose to Soraka where it would only take only ~10-15 seconds. That difference doesn't matter in farming during laning phase.
Note 3: Morgana
Morgana is not useful against you. Her black shield is useless against you, and your mobile enough to dodge her Q. What is she gonna negate with her 100 HP black shield? You do not use CC to poke, and your Q AA does more damage than 100, and black shield has a long cooldown. After you easily pop her black shield, you can still ult. Playing like blocking Sona's combo with black shield, is like playing like a garbage, long cooldown, low hp shield, version of Janna.
Note 3: Counters update (again) 08/19
v Blitz is now a skill matchup. (medium diff)
v Leona is where Blitz used to be (very hard)
v Nami is a medium-hard (the last color be4 red)
I know this build is unsual, but this is a serious build that will work with the current meta, not just something you do for fun. I am currently in my Gold IV promos with 33/86 games played using Sona using this build (38% of all my ranked games). Being a Sona main, I would have not gotten to where I am without this build. If you master this build, know that it is a serious build that will work in ranked, not just something you try out for fun with your friends. This will take some time. Many people have not played a champion without any defensive runes, and they will play too agressively and screw up, but bear with it and master it. Understand how she should be played, and you will become the best. You will understand that defensive runes are just a waste and will slow you down.
I made this build because I did not like how others were using Sona. For example, I think maxing Sona's heal and going with the heal mastery is a complete waste of Sona's strengths... her non-skillshot high damage pokes. I've seen this done many times. Seeing my fellow Sona players make this mistake is irritating.
I've been playing Sona since I became a Sona main pre-lvl 30 during pre-Season 3. The builds I used have changed drastically here and there. This build is the product of my years of experience with Sona. What I am trying to say is that you can trust this build, and I honestly believe that this is currently the best Sona build.