Sona Build Guide by Halipupu
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Aggressive Starter Items
Aggressive Further Core
Example Offensive Build
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.
Hello, I'm Halipupu and this is my guide for Sona, Maven of the Strings. She is the first champion I played in LoL and she's the reason I started playing this game. Up to this day I've probably played more than 2000 games as her, through seasons 1-3. In season 2 I had 300-400 Ranked games with her and this season I have even more (mainly because I've played more Ranked).
Sona is a versatily character that works well with pretty much every team and every adc. She offers both damage and sustain and also some crowd control so she works very well with many teams. I like to play her offensive, but she's also very good as a defensive support and even though she is vulnerable to CC, she's a very good support to have in your team.
AD carry carries the team, but a good support carries the AD carry.
Pros / Cons
+low cooldowns on skills
+good damage for a support
+easy to get assists using auras
+decent CC: ultimate and slowing power chord
-very squishy in the beginning
-low AP ratio on heal
-mana hungry with lower cooldowns
-can't solo or hold lane alone
-vulnerable to CC
-easy to KS
Flash is a must on a squishy Sona, because her only escape mechanism is her Song of Celerity and her ultimate Crescendo which I wouldn't use just for escaping unless I was 100% sure it saved me.
Some people prefer Exhaust and some prefer Ignite, but I'd recommend getting Exhaust especially against heavy AD teams. If the enemy however has many healers, Ignite is a good choice especially if you plan on going aggressive in the lane.
My preferred masteries
I am aware the pictures are outdated, but I'll update them at some point. Hope you'll get the idea anyway.
- From the Defense tree I'd take Block and Unyielding for reducing damage from auto attack harassment.
- Recovery is useful for some sustain during lane phase and since I doubt Sona will buy plenty of extra armor, I don't find Enchanted Armor as useful.
- Lastly Veteran's Scars and Juggernaut benefit by giving some extra HP to Sona.
- From the Utility tree Meditation is useful in the same way as Recovery - helps with mana problems and sustain
- Phasewalker is probably more useful than the Scout mastery I originally recommended since if you use the Sweeping Lens the extra cast range doesn't change anything. Therefore I recommend shorter cooldown on home teleport.
- I only take Alchemist to reach the Culinary Master mastery will will change ALL Health Potions into Total Biscuit of Rejuvenations that heal 20 HP and 10 mana instantly and 150 hp additionally.
- Summoner's Insight lowers Summoner Spell cooldowns, therefore useful.
- Greed , Scavenger and Wealth all provide you some coins passively.
- Bandit is a nice mastery to use together with the Frostfang item, but only if you play aggressive and harass with autoattacks and spells as well. Since Sona is usually played aggressive, I recommend taking these, but if you're facing even more aggressive lane (like Zyra+ Caitlyn I'd probably invest into Defense tree.
- If you use a lot of active items or plan on using Intelligence is a nice mastery, if not, then again I'd invest more into Defense tree.
- In case you invest 20 points into Utility tree, you might as well pick Wanderer , if not, then grab the Strenght of spirit for some HP regen or invest into Defense tree.
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health
- For marks I'd get Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration or Greater Mark of Attack Damage runes depending on if you harass with auto attacks or with both spells and auto attacks. The two other viable choices are Greater Mark of Armor for more defensive gameplay and the original old school Sona with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration runes.
- For seals armor is a must so Greater Seal of Armor, but you can use scaling ones also. In the long run they are better, but as Sona is a naturally squishy champion, you might wanna grab the flat ones for early game survivability.
- For glyphs you can either take Greater Glyph of Magic Resist or the scaling ones. I use both. If you're playing against a very aggressive ap support like Zyra I'd recommend the flat ones. If the other support is not a big threat early game, then scaling ones.
- For quints I recommend Greater Quintessence of Health or Greater Quintessence of Gold runes. Since most support picks are tanky like Leona and ADCs can burst you down easy, I'd get the health runes, but gold runes are fine too if you play safe and/or start with a Doran's Shield.
I max Hymn of Valor as early as possible for harass game since it has a very good poke power early game and the aura gives nice bonus to both AD and AP, therefore you can harass better even without spamming your Q.
Right after Hymn of Valor I max Aria of Perseverance for heals, but in case you're having tough time on the lane you can either take 2 points into Aria of Perseverance early, then keep maxing Q or just simply max heal first. But that is for the times when you're seriously being stomped in bot lane - every other time I'd max out Hymn of Valor. Maxing both isn't recommended, because then you lack both damage and heals and nobody wants to be mediocre.
We take Song of Celerity at lvl4, but max it last, because I think damage and heals along with defense > movement speed. Still, we need to take Song of Celerity to use the slowing Power Chord which will have the amount of slow regardless of the skill level of Song of Celerity. (It scales with AP though as well as the movement speed.) Taking it at lvl4 is crucial, because it helps your jungler gank your lane and without it, it's hard to gank.
|SPACE||Hymn of Valor is your main harass and damage skill that will give you and your nearby allies nice damage buff (up to 20 ad/ap) and hits up to 2 enemies nearby prioritizing champions. Also known as the epic KS skill along with Power Chord.|
|SPACE||Sona's heal doesn't heal much at earlier levels, but it always heals 2 people - you and the closest ally with the lowest HP. Aria of Perseverance is a relatively spammable skill that also gives a defensive armor/magic resist increasing aura.|
|SPACE||Song of Celerity gives a relatively small speed boost at earlier levels along with a movement speed aura, but now that it scales of AP the movement speed boost is even better throughout the game. I only take 1 point early for the slowing Power Chord and max it last.|
|SPACE||Sona's ultimate is Crescendo which will basically stun enemies for a couple of seconds while dealing nice damage. In teamfights it's quite crucial for you to land this spell on multiple enemies or if you're sure you're gonna miss it save it for chasing/escaping.|
|SPACE||Power Chord is my favourite skill on Sona and it's actually a passive. Unlike on most other champions you can count Power Chord to be 3 different active skills: burst damage skillshot, damage debuff or slow. It's also the most epic KS skill ever.|
Power Chord is what makes difference between a good Sona and an awesome Sona. You will need to be tactical when you see that you have your passive up and choose which Power Chord is most suited on the current situation:
- if the enemy carry is on your range in the middle of the teamfight, cast green power chord on him/her to reduce their damage by 20%. This applies to dragons and Baron as well, so remember to debuff them to ease your jungler (or whoever is tanking it).
- if you are chasing with your team use purple slowing power chord to cut their escape in short. Also when your jungler comes to gank, go ahead and initiate with your slow.
- if you are finishing off someone or want to do as much damage as possible, then use blue power chord for double damage, or use this for harassing
Spellthief's Edge is the recommended starter item for Sona for severals reasons: since Sona is often a good harasser, the passive works well for her, but also all her skills scale from AP (although not as good as they could), she benefits from it. It also gives her some mana regen so it's ok if you play an aggressive support who harasses with both spells and auto attacks.
Since Spellthief's Edge doesn't give HP regen, I'd pick only 1 Stealth Ward (I'm probably gonna get epic hate for this) and then 2 Health Potions that turn into cookies, since your carry will probably pick the Trinket that gives a ward.
You'll be picking Sweeping Lens for denying vision.
Same thing as above with the only exception that you will have sustain even if you start out with 2 wards without potions. The thing with the Ancient Coin is that, you'll get coins every time a minion dies in your lane and you don't have to do anything - your carry doesn't even have to last hit and you'll get money. Early game having an Ancient Coin is a stable way of getting money if you can't harass against the enemy with skills and auto attacks and it will give you more money than the way above, so if you're a bad harasser, then I'd recommend this (moneywise only).
Starting with Doran's Shield and biscuits (or potions if you run 0-21-9) is very popular in the high elo. Doran's shield gives 100 hp, 10 hp regen and a passive that blocks 8 damage from basic attacks. Against heavy poke lanes it's a very good item and by starting with it you actually miss like 120-200 coins only depending on how long you stay in the lane. You'll lack 3 mana regen, but instead have much higher durability.
If you start with Doran's Shield be sure to grab Warding Totem. After getting Sightstone you should change it into Sweeping Lens though.
First way back I'd buy Sightstone for the gold effiency regardless of which starter items you took. Since your preferred starter gold item already provides a stable gold income for you, rush Sightstone immediately unless you wanna grab the Frostfang for some better poke and gold income.
Afterwards I'd upgrade the gold item into Frostfang or Nomad's Medallion respectively depending on the playstyle you chose early game. Between or after these be sure to get Boots of Speed.
Ruby Sightstone and Boots of Mobility right after (or other boots of your preferred choice depending on the situation).
I'm aware of the improved versions of Frostfang and Nomad's Medallion, but I wouldn't rush them unless you really need the actives. After getting Ruby Sightstone and tier 2 boots, be free to upgrade them.
Sweeping Lens will upgrade itself into Greater Lens and unless you play against stealth champions I don't see the need to upgrade it any further into Oracle's Lens.
Item Build 1: Offensive Support
The idea of this more offensive support is exactly how it says: right from the start you push on and harass with auto attacks and spells and make the most use of Spellthief's Edge/ Frostfang before selling it away. To add up some AP and mana regen and CDR I'd build my favourite item Athene's Unholy Grail which is relatively cheap item.
Lastly I'd finish the build with another favourite item that's very nice with (AP based) Sona, the Lich Bane. I know it's not a support item, but it's for the last spot in case you get long enough into the game. It's cheaper than Rabadon's Deathcap and technically gives you more damage since it procs often.
If you get enough coins to be able to sell your gold item, finish the build with a Rabadon's Deathcap and kill everyone with your Red Build. Like I did here (didn't even have Rabadon when I got the Quadra kill):
Yes that was a Ranked game and I have the scoreboard picture after that, but I thought it'd be rude to publish it with everyone elses names visible and I'm too lazy to start censuring it now.
Item Build 2: Defensive Support
You can either start with Spellthief's Edge or the Ancient Coin, it doesn't matter since this build is the ultimate support build everyone should like. However in means of being defensive Talisman of Ascension proves more useful through it's movement speed active stolen from Shurelya's Reverie. (R.I.P. Shurelya)
If the jungler or top lane buys Locket of the Iron Solari, Frozen Heart is useful against AD heavy teams, but you can pretty much buy anything you like after you've bought Mikael's Crucible which is a lovely item against all teams and especially against champs who have heavy CC like Fiddlesticks with his annoying 3s fear.
This is actually exactly the same as my passive Soraka build :D
I was going to change this into the Relic Shield/ Targon's Brace build, but apparently Riot changed those items into melee only discreetly without announcing it anywhere (and I already failed once before noticing it) so not gonna happen anymore.
Since Sona has been nerfed continuously, she's squishy and very vulnerable to CC, so these are very good shoes for her due to some extra magic resist and 35 Tenacity (which reduces the duration of stuns, slows etc.) Since crowd control supports like Leona and Taric are very popular these days, these come in handy.
Since the items don't give as much CDR as they used to, Ionian Boots of Lucidity are a really good choice for Sona, if you don't miss the Tenacity.
For really fast warding, Boots of Mobility are great.
Lovely Support Items:
Kinda like the new Shard of True Ice with the Pickpocket build in passive. Useful for aggressive gameplay.
The new Shurelya's Reverie without he HP. Gives money throughout the game just by being on the lane when the minions die and gives the far best sustain as well along with a movement speed boost.
The new Aegis+Locket gives the aura bonus of Aegis of the Legion and the shield from the original item. Aura isn't as good as before, but it's more affordable and gives you more variety on the rest of the items. If your jungler doesn't buy this (and most often I find that they don't), you'll buy this.
Builds from Chalice of Harmony, Mikael's Crucible gives nice mana regen, mana and magic resist. Also gives the best life saving active in game which removes crowd control effects from target ally and heals them well.
Good Supportiv(ish] Items:
Gives 60ap, nice mana regen and CDR. It doesn't give actives or auras, but indirectly supports team by lowering your cooldowns, keeping up your mana supply and boosting your skills.
Morello's Evil Tome isn't my favourite, but it's useful against teams that have heavy healers that especially heal when they're low hp like Volibear and Aatrox and such. Gives 20% CDR, mana regen and AP and like above these indirectly benefit both you and your team.
Will of the Ancients is an item that benefits AP heavy teams, but most often it's bought by the AP carry, but if it's not I don't see why you shouldn't since nowadays it gives both mana regen and CDR that you benefit from in addition to the AP and the aura your whole team benefits from.
Zeke's Herald Zeke's Herald is slightly more expensive nowadays, because of the new Vampire Scepter cost and it doesn't give attack speed anymore - it gives attack damage. Still decent for a support for the lifesteal and ad aura, BUT I'd prefer this on those supports who auto attack more frequently like Taric and Leona.
Gives HP regen aura and increased damage for minions. I haven't used this, but it's good for pushing I think...
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is my second favourite AP item on Sona, because it gives her a nice amount of HP and 80 stable AP and a slow that will work with all of your power chords. So basically you can use your green power chord on a heavy damage character to decrease their damage by 20% and to slow them as well, like for example to Vayne.
Lich Bane is my favourite AP item for Sona. It's a bit expensive, but having Sheen early game boosts your harass power and the passive of the Lich Bane works well with Power Chords and Sona can trigger it often with her low cooldowns. Gives also movement speed boost so with Boots of Mobility and Song of Celerity you'll be almost like a Rammus. ;D
Most people have probably played AP Sona even once and if you do, you like Rabadon's Deathcap for those 200-300 heals and an epic damage. Most often you can't afford this, but if you play AP Sona mid (which this guide isn't about) go ahead.
I'd start with Sweeping Lens to deny enemy vision, but since it has a long cooldown you could do with the one that gives one 60 second ward as well. Your ADC should pick that though so Sweeping Lens is is. It'll upgrade itself automatically at lvl 9 into a Greater Lens that is the same item with slightly longer radius and half the CDR (180>90s). I think the Intelligence mastery lowers this a lot so that's why I like it.
After getting everything else you really need (not the things you want, but NEED) you should upgrade Greater Lens into Oracle's Lens. I originally thought it'd only reveal invisible champs, but in addition to revealing an area, you get about 10 second Oracle buff which allows you clear whole Baron area for example, so it's totally worth the 475 gold.
Gameplay and Support Mentality
Laning & Farming
1. You go bot lane with an AD carry. If it's not AD, it changes nothing.
2. You don't take last hits when your ally is on the lane. You are allowed to farm as long as you're not farming when someone else is there. This means you can take last hits, when they go back and you stay behind, but don't push.
3. If you do farm when you're (hopefully) temporarily alone on the lane, don't push the lane. Just last hit. People are very sensitive about this even if it's the jungler, but imagine how they'll rage if you steal your carrys farm.
4.1 Harass the enemy if you can, try to outzone them by harassing them to low HP and putting yourself in a position that forces them to go back outside the farming range.
4.2 If you're the one outzoned/harassed hard, heal your ally and make sure he can last hit safely.
5. Buy and put wards and beware of ganks, inform your own jungler of the enemy wards and set up ganks.
1. Your carry is your 1st priority. Protect them at all costs, even if you have to sacrifice yourself to do it. That doesn't mean suicide though.
2. Don't be greedy. Don't take kills unless you have to or you're the only one who can. Don't killsteal intentionally, but sometimes it just happens with Power Chords, so be a nice guy/girl and apologize. Some buttlicking doesn't hurt with all these sensitive people around.
3. Watch whole map, not just your own lane and ping/inform your allies of approaching enemies. Pinging Miss-pings and maybe even writing on the chat goes to this section and even if your mid doesn't say anything, but the enemy is gone there, you can ping it instead. Support is the team captain, hence we got Captain enchantment for boots!
1. Position yourself out of the harms way, but close enough to your carry so you can protect them.
2. Always be in teamfights, because you're the one keeping your teammates alive. It's not your fault though if your teammates run in 2v5 when you went to base.
3. Auto-attack enemies, don't idle when spells are on cooldown. Especially with maxed Hymn of Valor aura your autoattacks do hurt.
4. This goes for whole team: focus the damn AD/AP carry. Ignore Dr. Mundo and other tanks.
Warding in a nutshell
Everyone has a warding limit of 3 Stealth Wards and 1 Vision Ward. That means that after getting your Ruby Sightstone you have no need to buy separate Stealth Wards. You put all your Stealth Wards in important places whereas your allies with Warding Trinkets can use their trinkets to put wards into less important places.
What comes to Vision Wards they'll never expire unless destroyed and they WILL be destroyed eventually since everyone can see them. Nobody can place them so nicely they'd never get killed even with the 5 hit HP, but it's ok since they cost only 100 coins and mostly you don't need them, thanks to Sweeping Lens that reveals ward.
When do you need Vision Wards then? Well, when you're going to do dragon you might wanna pick up a pink ward, because even if you sweep the ward with your trinket, the enemy can come and put another one and then they will have vision over dragon/baron again. In short you can and you should use Vision Wards in situations where you can protect them, like while doing Dragon or Baron.
Trinkets are important part of your map awareness and overall vision. Usually the support takes either Warding Trinket early game for the 60 second ward or simply starts out with Sweeping Lens and keeps it all through the game.
Starting out with Warding Trinket gives you slightly more vision, but I prefer the Lens, because usually everyone start outs with a Gold item + Total Biscuit of RejuvanationTotal Biscuit of Rejuvanation so they'll have only one ward. Trinket wards last for only 60 seconds whereas the proper wards last for 3 minutes and if you wait them to use the Stealth Ward and then kill it with your Sweeping Lens they're left without vision.
However if you prefer, you can start out with the Warding trinket, then at lvl9 when the cooldowns are lowered and you have your Ruby Sightstone so you don't need a 2 min ward, you can exchange it into Greater Lens.
I don't recommend getting the Clairvoyance trinket (I don't remember it's real name) because it has a long cooldown and short range and it reveals the target area only for 1 second. With a ward you get longer vision and with a trinket you deny enemy vision, so which way you look it, the blue trinket isn't good.
This is me this season/pre-season. In total I have more than 2000 games as Sona.
Over the months I've edited this guide a lot after having tried out new stuff while adventuring in the wonderful world of League of Legends. Questions asked by other players have inspired me to update and upgrade my guides better and more informative, and kept me inspired so please keep asking questions when you feel like it and keep giving me constructive critisism to keep this guide fresh at all times.
Thank you for reading and commenting!
Keep on aura dancing!
- Made minor changes to runes. Will update further when I have more time. Sorry for inactivity recently, I'll try to update my guides a little more frequently from now on.
- Updated Warding section and corrected some mistakes from the other sections.
- UPDATED FOR PRESEASON/SEASON 4. Have fun!
- Added some pretty pictures, made a new banner and added more masteries and starter items.
- Made some minor changes into Masteries and added a new build which should have been here already, but apparently I forgot.
- It's been a long time since I last edited the guide, but I simply revised the top build section to look more modern.
- Changed item builds a bit and rewrote the missing gameplay section as well as parts of the item sections. Added the old school build I've been using lately in normal games.
- I changed item builds, item explanations, masteries... Everything that needed to be changed to fit for SEason 3. Sorry guys who are waiting for Soraka guide upgrades, but you have to wait a bit longer. This took so much time...
- Edited Item Builds, that and the Item explanations sections
- Made a "pretty picture" for the Introduction section since I got bored and rewrote it
- Slightly edits on Masteries section and added a new game stats picture.
- Edited Runes section completely
- Rewrote whole Starter Items section to fit build better.
- Slightly changed the text in masteries section and edited some mistakes here and there, made text more clear
- Cleaned up Game Stats section, because it was a scary mess. Scary.
- Deleted really really old change log entries, because I tried making the text smaller by painting all of it and hitting H5 button and it ended up making ALL LANES headlines so it took even more space (I tried to reduce the space changelog takes, because nobody else than me reads it)
- Edited builds and deleted a specific ap build, isntead made it part of the offensive support build, changed item orders and explained it all over again. If there are some mistakes, let me know, it's too late for me to notice everything.
- Rewrote item build sections and slightly edited mastery section and skill section concerning the new scaling mana cost on Hymn of Valor. I will check out later if there's something else that needs correcting.
- Added Athene's Unholy Grail to possible Items and to Offensive Support item build. Also changed some explanations slightly.
- Been a LOOOONG time since I last updated this guide, so it was about time. I removed the original build from the top, and replaced it with offensive support build suitable for normal games especially. (It's still on the Item Builds-section though since I didn't want to remove the original build completely, because everything else in my build is based on it.)
- Edited Item builds section and wrote a completely new section about the offensive support build.
- Edited Item Explanations section and added Deathfire Grasp there, making all the other necessary edits about it and Kage's Lucky Pick on other sections.
- Slightly edited Summoner Spells section as it wasn't quite updated and made some other minor changes to Masteries section.
- Added Locket of the Iron Solari and new Zeke's Herald into both Item builds and Item explanations.
- Rewrote Summoner Spells section to cover up more spells and more combos
- Slightly edited the looks of Skills, Masteries and Runes sections by dividing them into more clear sub-sections
- Over the last 3 days rewrote items sections and divided them into 4 different sections
- Edited Gold Generating Items part
- Added Starter Items and Core Items and Item Explanations sections
- Edited runes and Runes sections
- Edited Masteries sections slightly (mainly added Masteries pictures as they bugged before and a bit more color)
-Edited Masteries (and I hope they will display correctly after publish) in the build and rewrote the whole masteries section
-Edited rune section slightly
-Wrote about Heal in the summoner spells section
-Edited Runes, Summoner Spells and Item Build Section
-Removed Best Friends & Enemies
-Edited Gameplay section into 2 different sections: Gameplay and Support Mentality and Warding sections
-Added Aegis of the Legion into build 2 in Items Section
-Slightly edited second build item sequence and removed Eleisa's Miracle from the first build item sequence (but you can still see it in the Item Builds section)
-Added two new sections: Additional Items and Gold Generating items due to questions asked by other players about my item choices so I felt the need to explain myself :)
-Edited Item Builds section and cleared it out a bit to make it easier to read by dividing it into Core Items, Luxury Items and Defensive Items suited for the recommended builds
-Edited Intro slightly
-added Game Stats section and moved all images of my games to there
-added new images from my games including Ranked Games
-edited Gameplay section and added a warding picture I've made and used in other my builds
-edited 1st and 2nd build item order
-removed Mejai's Soulstealer from 1st item build and included Eleisa's Miracle
-edited Item section about the first skill
-edited skills section about Aria of Perseverance after the healer nerf and how it affects gameplay
-added a new item build for Sona, edited version of the Shurelya build without tanky items like Banshee and Randuins
-edited Item Build section up to date with the rest of the build
-included even more durable Sona build for games where it's hard to get gold - therefore more suitable for Ranked Games
-edited Item Builds section hard - deleted MR and armor builds, added the new build with explanation
-edited Gameplay section