Sona Build Guide by Halipupu
Recommended Runes + Notes
Core Items + Notes
Masteries + Notes
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, because I wanted to see how she's in gameplay, but my bf never played her. Up to this day I've played more than 1000 games as Sona and she's by far my favourite character in LoL and I play her everyday.
I made this guide a loooong time ago so it has changed over the months (and years), but one thing stays the same: Sona is a versatile support champion that is fun to play as a full support, AP support and full AP. I mainly play her as support with some AP to make her even more efficient and I'm here to share my playstyle with you guys. Bare with the huge walls of text, ok?
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
-ridiculously low AP ratio on heal
-mana hungry with lower cooldowns
-can't solo or hold lane alone
-extremely vulnerable to CC
-don't expect to get a positive score
Flash is a must spell on a squishy support like Sona. It does not have a long range, but even a short flash is better than just staying behind and dying. Flash is the best escape spell for Sona but it can be also used offensively by flashing into enemies and using Crescendo.
Heal is a support spell again, I like it. Good with the mastery Summoner's Resolve .
This is the second metagame spell, but mainly for supports since if the AD carry takes Heal someone needs to take Exhaust. Personally I still prefer heal, because Sona's green powerchord reduces damage by 20% so it almost covers this up. However if you want to go basic, you want to take Exhaust.
Clairvoyance is usable yet again due to lowered cooldowns, but I haven't seen anyone use it so far.
Balanced Defense + Utility
My favourite thing about Season 3 has to be the masteries, because going 21 into Utility isn't a must anymore. However I wanted to get the best masteries from there, which are the gold masteries, but the rest I invested into Defensive tree to get some extra hp, armor and magic resist and some resistance to crowd control to counter Sona's built-in squishiness.
- If you like to use Heal now that it's meant to be a support spell, get Summoner's Resolve .
- Durability and Veteran's Scars are the same as they were before, they give you extra HP so you won't be so damn squishy with a basic starting HP of 410 (which is the lowest in the game)
- Some extra armor from Hardiness helps, since without armor runes you'd have 9 armor. Magic resist from Resistance isn't harmful either.
- I take Tenacious instead of Relentless , because it applies to all crowd control effects rather than just slowing and who wouldn't like some extra Tenacity?
- Summoner's Insight for shorter Flash and Mastermind for shorter cooldowns in both Flash and your other summoner spell
- Extra mana regen from Meditation doesn't hurt early game
- Since my build has so many items with active skills, pick Artificer to go with them
- Greed and Wealth for extra coins. In order to start out with my chosen items you need to take Wealth , but if you start with just Faerie Charm and wards, you can skip it and put the 2 points into something else.
- Pickpocket is great if you like to harass a lot with auto attacks. Awareness here is just a filler mastery to reach Pickpocket .
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Gold
- Magic penetration marks are always good on Sona, but you can exhange them into physical damage runes for auto attack harassing. Works well with Pickpocket mastery.
- Greater Seal of Replenishment for mana problems, the Greater Seal of Gold for some extra gold, Greater Seal of Armor for extra armor so you don't get your *** kicked with your 9 armor at lvl1.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is good throughout the game as you don't get magic resist each level like Taric and Alistar get (and all the other tanky supports for that matter). Cooldown reduction runes, Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction is also a possible way to go.
- Only way to go with quints is Greater Quintessence of Gold for the extra gold.
Healer Skill Order:
Generally Aria of Perseverance has the lowest heal amount in the game, but the armor/magic resist buff is awesome granting up to 30 armor and magic resist for a few seconds with the ongoing aura that gives your team 15 armor and magic resist being better than Aegis of the Legion which is why this item isn't an absolute necessity on Sona. If you're having though time on your lane or your team is having tough time leveling up heal first will allow your team to live a bit longer in teamfights giving them better survivability alltogether.
Damage Skill Order:
For the sole reason of being balanced early game I take 2 points into both Hymn of Valor and Aria of Perseverance till lvl5 when doing either one of these skilling orders. That way you can choose to either max up heal first or if you're owning, or about to own with your ad carry, then max out damage first. By doing it this way you can always choose which one you want to max out first without ending up putting every second point to heal and every second point to Hymn of Valor which will lower the efficiency of both of these skills.
Tactical Skill Usage
Hymn of Valor
Your main harass and damage skill that will give you and your nearby allies nice damage buff. This spell is a missile spell therefore it will chase your enemy if they were in range when you casted it, but it will automatically hit the closest enemies (prioritizing champions), therefore be careful not to use it on minions when laning with a carry. Have this aura on while farming to give your carry more damage and when you need to heal, you will heal slightly more.
This used to cost 65 mana at all ranks, but now starts at 45 mana at lvl1, ending up at 65 mana at lvl5, so you can harass more early game without fear of going oom too soon.
Aria of Perseverance
Sona's heal is slightly nerf and has a poor AP ratio so you will not heal as good amounts as Soraka and Taric but while they heal only once you can heal about 3 times with max cooldown reduction. On top of that you heal yourself and give an aura to nearby allies. Aria of Perseverance gives an awesome buff to armor and magic resist (30 for few secs and 15 on aura) which you can use to save an ally who's about to die so don't underestimate this spell.
Use this spell while someone from your team is tanking turrets allowing him to tank far longer with extra armor. With the spammer playstyle you can have both this aura and your damage aura on all the time. This spell has the highest mana cost of the tree spammable spells Sona has so you might wanna consider if you want to max it out first or second.
Song of Celerity
Most underestimated of Sona's spells this is maxed out last, but taken at lvl4. Why? Because mostly you don't use this spell to run and chase, you use the slowing Power Chord given by this spell. Of course late game it gives an awesome speed buff but early game it doesn't give too much of a difference. Have this on while warding to move faster as well as whenever you're traveling and keep casting this non stop to make your team move faster. Also makes your minions move faster, keep that in mind.
Sona's ultimate is Crescendo which will basically stun enemies for a couple of seconds and deal 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. This spell can grant your team kills or ensure that you're team can run away alive. For me, this spell has saved my *** more than I can remember.
Note: Do not steal kills with this spell!
This is my favourite skill on Sona. Unlike on most other champions you can count Power Chord to be 3 different active skills: burst damage skillshot, damage debuff or slow.
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%.
- if you are chasing with your team use purple slowing power chord to cut their escape in short
- 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
Simply the best way to start out is by getting both Faerie Charm and Rejuvination Bead to take care of both your mana and hp regen AND to get your Philosopher's Stone as fast as possible. By getting both of those, you can still afford 2 Sight Wards which is enough until you get the 360~ coins needed for Philosopher's Stone.
If you don't like to use Wealth for some reason (like investing 21 into Defense tree masteries, which is probably really nice too) you can start out the basic Faerie Charm+ 3 Sight Wards.
On your first way back buy Philosopher's Stone and some wards. Then follow with more coins from Kage's Lucky Pick and wards - OR get a Sightstone for some extra HP and free wards (which are not actually all that free or cheap either), but I have a section below this one explaining why I wouldn't buy the item.
Lastly, I pick Boots of Speed after those items, because of the movement speed increase. You'll have 330 ms which is enough in the laning phase, so after getting those items pick up shoes.
Sightstone vs Sight wards
So I'm gonna add this section simply to point out some differences in game play regarding if you buy Sightstone or not. For me, I've started to NOT buy it, because it only gives 2-3 wards at a time which isn't enough in some games and buying wards separately allows me to put up to 10 wards at the same time without having to wait for them to expire. Sure they cost slightly more and you don't get the extra 360 HP, but imagine how many wards you can get for the amount of that 1300 gold that Ruby Sightstone hogs or even items and wards.
I like buying items for supports and I often buy parts on them so I can complete them later. Investing 1550 coins into Ruby Sightstone makes it quite late to get Aegis of the Legion for example which you could easily get by 15 minutes into the game if your lane is doing well + every ward you could get from Sightstone.
Late game with Ruby Sightstone taking 1 space I find myself having full space and not being able to put extra wards. Having 3 wards on a map would be ok if your teammates actually warded as well (or at least the jungler did), but most often they're stubborn and think only support is warding. That's why I've stopped buying it, but I'm not ready to delete it from the build just yet in case someone here still thinks it's the best item evah.
Item Build 1: Basic Ranked Support
+ Easily modifiable, for example change Twin Shadows> Shard of True Ice or don't take it at all and buy Mikael's Crucible
+ Balanced defenses
+ 35% cooldown reduction
+ 2-3 active skills from items
+ nice auras
+ relatively cheap item build
+ extra coins from Philosopher's Stone (and Kage's Lucky Pick)
- lack of mana regen
- if you buy Sightstone you can ward less, if you don't it costs a bit more. (But I doubt anyone buys wards worth of 1550 gold in 1 game.)
Item Build 2: Synergy Support
+ Lots of mana
+ Extra AP for better heal and damage
+ Epic slows if you went with Iceborn Gauntlet instead of Lich Bane
+ 40% cooldown reduction
+ Great synergy with Iceborn Gauntlet and Archangel's Staff
+ Decent defenses
- Slightly more expensive than full support item builds
- People's prejudice against hybrid ap supports (especially in Ranked)
Notes: This is the old school Sona build with a new twist. Originally I had AA + Banshee's + Frozen Heart, but now since there is a "combined" Frozen Heart+ Lich Bane I use the Iceborn Gauntlet instead, since Sona can trigger the passive often just by changing auras. It gives her plenty of mana which has a nice synergy with Archangel's Staff, some armor and cooldown reduction which is everything she needs.
To further synergize with AA and to balance out your magic resist, you can get Mikael's Crucible as well. As Archangel's Staff and Iceborn Gauntlet are the only "core items" to this build it's very versatile build.
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. However as Sona has her Song of Celerity she might not need these, but these are a fun choice.
The same old Shurelya's Reverie still has a movement speed active, but lower stats and only 10% CDR. Basic for support.
Buffed from Season 2, Locket of the Iron Solari gives 425HP, armor and now even cooldown reduction. Shield is still there too, my favourite active item.
Builds from Kage's Lucky Pick, it's the new equivalent to the old Soul Shroud, gives mana regen aura and an active that slows everyone around the ally you cast in on. Great for initiating, gives 45 AP too. I like it, all I ever wanted for supports was AP items. (For Dota players, everyone knows this is materialized Crystal Maiden.)
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 (I healed 360 to Rengar). The active has 180 second cooldown which is lowered by the mastery Artificer so it doesn't matter.
Absolutely great for initiating and escaping. Use together with Shurelya's Reverie to get the most out of initiates. Slows 2 nearby enemies, but can also scout them if you are going into a blind zone.
The good old Aegis of the Legion is still very much usable, but quite often nowadays it's the jungler or top lane buying this. But if they don't you can.
Someone stole this from Galio. It's upgraded version of Aegis of the Legion, but so expensive I'd save it last to upgrade to this.
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, but no more magic resist. However Iceborn Gauntlet is better.
Extra mana and AP and even further upgrading after you reach the mana cap of 750, you'll get an active mana shield. Still one of my favourites.
My new favourite item, it's the combined Frozen Heart+ Lich Bane+ Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Provides a little bit of AP, plenty of armor and mana. Everything she needs. The only "bad" thing about this is that Sona has a low base attack damage so the passive damage isn't all that high, but you can still trigger it often to create plenty of aoe slow fields.
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.
Gameplay and Support Mentality
Basically I was planning on doing this section with pictures, but my Gadwin doesn't like me and never takes any pictures from inside the LoL game and I still haven't been able to locate where LoL client puts all the print screens... So it's a block of text now, but I'll make it short for now.
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.
3. If you do farm when you're (hopefully) temporarily alone on the lane, don't push the lane. Just last hit.
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.
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.
3. Watch whole map, not just your own lane and ping/inform your allies of approaching enemies. Calling SS goes to this section and even if your mid doesn't say anything, but the enemy is gone there, you can say it instead.
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.
3. Auto attack enemies, don't idle when spells are on cooldown.
4. This goes for whole team: focus the damn AD/AP carry. Ignore Dr. Mundo.
Early game buy either Sight Wards or the Sightstone which is later upgradable into Ruby Sighstone which allows the placement of 3 wards at a time rather than just 2. But early game 2 is just fine. Note that you still have 2 left after you've placed all you can, so you don't need to go back after they expire.
Basic warding (laning phase):
If you play on the purple side, ward tribush and dragon early. If you don't have enough wards and would like to ward the enemy bush next to the wall, be cheap and place a ward simply between tribush and dragon.
If you play on the blue side, place the ward between tribush and dragon or go even as far as to ward the dragon and the enemy bush next to the wall. (Easier being on the blue side.)
Vision Wards and Oracle's Elixir
For dragon you can put a Vision Ward and kill the enemy wards there or get an early Oracle's Elixir. Part of map awareness is that you also take a note where the enemy wards are so you can inform your jungler.
Vision Wards go for Baron too as seen in the picture above or by having an Oracle's Elixir you can just put a normal ward there. The problem is... Riot decided that Oracle's Elixir only lasts for 5 minutes, so don't bother buying one if the enemy is not warding.
Advanced Warding (after laning phase):
For advanced warding after laning phase, ward the routes to dragon and baron, and if your teammates are pushing and ganking, you can advance to their jungle and ward the closest route into their jungle as well as their buffs. If the enemy is pushing, do that to your own jungle so your teammates don't have to go get their buffs blind. Remember to destroy the enemy wards if you have an Oracle's Elixir.
Countering enemy Oracle's Elixir:
Simply do the same as you were doing now, BUT change the place from the normal to the abnormal. Basically hide your wards slightly away from the basic places, like in the bushes leading to Baron or out of bushes sometimes. Also, if your team doesn't mind, just buy less wards until the Oracle is gone, since only thing you really need to ward after 15 minutes into the game is Baron and Dragon.
Note: I'm well aware that my picture here misses few wards, because I didn't put much effort into making the picture back then, but let's just say it's a simplified version.
Here are some older gamestats with my Sona builds varying from full support to AP Sona. Someday I will put newer pictures here, it's on my to do -list along with support comparison section like in my Soraka guide.
To Do -List
1. Support Comparison
- Like in my Soraka Guide I plan on making a support comparison list for this build and explain how to play against certain supports: which you will be eating and which will be eating you. UPDATE: making a whole new guide about this, so not gonna include it here.
2. More thorough gameplay explanation
- I thought of talking about different phases of the game, because I used to have that section, but when I cleaned up my guides I deleted a lot of stuff, so it got deleted as well a loooong time ago.
3. Know your carry
- How does Sona work with different carries and which are best laning partners etc. There is used to be a section like this as well, but for some reason I've deleted it. Maybe because Sona works with all carries :D UPDATE: this is going to the new general supporting guide I'm making.
4. Pretty Pictures
- AKA "play with the Photoshop before the trial expires" AKA make some pretty banners for all of my guides
- Use Fraps to get some screenshots so I don't have to write a wall of text. (UPDATE: no Fraps, gotta try out something else...)
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!
- 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
Support Sona TL;DR
Sona Build, to own like Miku Hatsune!
Soundwaves - Diamond Sona Guide by Encross
Sona man mode