Sona Build Guide by True Ethos
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.
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.
Well folks it has been awhile since I have made a build. But in true fashion I ended up growing bored one day and so here I am! All kidding aside though this is my personal build for Sona and I have had some very good success with it. So I figured I might as well see how everyone else thinks of how my build with her works.
Disclaimer: This is a build that works really well for me. You can pick and choose what you may want to use of course. But ultimately it is the players who make or break a game. This is but one way to play the Maven of the strings and as such there are many other ways to play her.
The first thing I am going to discuss with this build is the easiest thing to change around. Once again the runes selected here are set for a specific reason but if they don't work for you change them.
Marks: With the marks I go flat magic pen. It is a fairly standard rune set to go with for a caster character true. I like the magic pen. bonus simply for the Hymn of Valor and it's Power cord: Staccato. Especially early game these two abilities when combined with the Hymn's aura and the bonus magic pen. will often surprise some champs.
Seals: Here is where I think a lot of you will do a change. You may ask why I don't get magic regen. seals here. The answer is simply lane presence. A Sona with more health can stay in lane longer than one who can't. Have no illusions as Sona you will be focused, so give yourself a little more cushion to keep yourself alive.
Glyphs: Once again this is another one of those runes that is very dependent on play style over anything else. In my case I go with the CD reduction to play off of the first item I go for. In the end this will make it so you can spam your spells faster and as Sona that is what you need to do.
Quints: My final little bit for the runes are the all important quintessences. For these runes I grab one greater quint of insight, and two greater quints of fortitude. These quints are obviously meant to play off of the marks and seals that I have selected earlier.
When all is said and done your rune page will give you -5.89% to CD, +10 to magic pen, and +100 to your health at the very start of the game.
The next thing I feel obliged to talk about is the masteries list that I have selected. This is simply because, like the rune page, this is highly personalized and something you set up before a game starts.
Now with my mastery page I go with a standard 9-0-21 for a caster. The spells that I focus on are teleport and clarity (which I will explain more of later). But the more intricate things I feel are what need to be focused on first. So with the build you might notice I focus experience over masteries. This is due to the simple fact that if you can out level your opponents you will always have the advantage over them. On top of that getting your spells leveled up faster will be a great boon to your lane partner and team mates in general.
Otherwise everything else is pretty standard for this type of build. Focusing on mana regen with the utility sections. Leave off the buff duration simply because other team mates will need it more. Then grab that extra magic pen with the offensive set to round it off. Like I said, it is all rather standard.
The next section is the spells and in this section I will be talking about why I picked what I did and some good alternatives to my selection.
Teleport: Teleport has become one of my all time favorite summoner spells and I use it with almost all of my champions. It has versatility in its use and more importantly it can get you right in the fight (which as the support is where you should be). The first application and the most obvious use of this spell is obviously moving about the map. But when you delve deeper you can see just how nice teleport works.
An example would be the simple method of item purchasing and healing. With this spell you can simply pop out of lane and back to the fountain. Form there you can get yourself a breather from the fight, buy your needed items, and get back into the fray without wasting too much time. This is something that will help you keep your lane dominance and your lane partner will appreciate the quick return of the buffer/healer.
The next key and often forgotten use of teleport is the bluff factor. In a game it is inevitable that there will be a tower left undefended, and the enemy team will take advantage of that. So if you see them attacking that tower you can make a bluff and teleport to it. More often then not the other team will back off when they see someone is coming in. The flaw with this though is if you are by yourself they may resume the attack and just not care about you. But there are effective methods to counter this draw back. The first is to ping before you port. Let your team mates know where you are going, so that way they can move to your aid to back up your bluff. The second way to ensure the bluff works and the one that is completely out of your hands is your team mates spells. The more people on your team with this spell the more effective the bluff will be. Simply because they wont be sure who is coming in until you pop up.
Clarity: This spell in my opinion is a lot more straight forward and doesn't need quite the lengthy talk as teleport did. Simply put a Sona with no mana is a useless Sona. This spell is therefore your last line of defense from the dreaded oom (the bane of a support champ). This spell will certainly save you and your lane partner a lot of grief in the early phase of laning when your mana regen isn't quite there.
The other application of this spell fits perfectly with your role one the team, and that is support. During the mid to late game this spell will mostly get its key uses for your allies sake and not your own. This is why you spec into insight, that way your allies can get the full potential of clarity and not half of what you get.
Here I would like to talk about the other options for Sona that might be more fitting to your play style.
Flash: Ah flash where would some summoners be without you. Much like teleport for me a lot of folks feel like flash is the end all be all spell. They have good reason to think it as well. With that blink you can pop in for a kill, or make an annoying get away if you are being chased. It is a very solid spell and although it doesn't work for me it might work for you.
Now the reason why I don't include it. Sure flash has its uses but they are entirely personal and don't help your team at all. Sure saving your neck might be good for the team. But you still end up going out of the fight and have to take a while just to return to it. Also as Sona your main focus should be supporting your allies not popping in for kills.
Ghost: Another very solid spell that a lot of people like to get and the benefits are obvious. You get a nice boost to your movement speed and can pass through creeps to attack or get away. Once again this is a very solid spell and very settled in personal taste.
The reason I don't include it though is simple. With Sona's Song of Celerity you already give yourself a movement speed buff. Not only that you have a movement speed aura on top of your little buff, and with proper CD it is a spell you can spam. Sure with ghost this makes you move faster, but it is irrelevant in the scheme of things and therefore in my opinion a waste.
Heal: Now I know a lot of you may disagree with this but to all of you I feel I must remind you that Sona is a support champion. Her main focus should be giving support to her allies, even if that needs to be a little extra health.
The reason I don't select this spell though is simply because I find Clarity to be a better spell. With your Aria of Perseverance and your CD you should be able to spam your spells fast enough to heal folks as needed. In fact when it comes to mid and late game I personally have never fallen lax on the healing factor. So when push comes to shove that extra mana is simply more viable than the health.
Clairvoyance: I love this spell with support characters. Knowing where your enemy is can often change the tides of any team fight. Plus with it's low CD time you can spam it when you need to.
The reason I don't select this spell is due largely in part to the fact that the other spells are more useful. This is a very solid spell don't get me wrong there. But most players I see who get this don't use it nearly enough for it to be viable. If you spam that eye of Sauron then you use this spell right and should consider it. Other wise just go with the other options.
Cleanse: This is the final spell that makes the honorable mention list. This is here because as the support you will be focused. It is simply a fact of life that you will have to live with. So with cleanse you can often get out of those nasty little CC effects that will leave you a sitting duck.
The reason I don't go for this spell though is because of the reason I stated above. The prior spells I listed are just more useful to the team and as such I feel they take precedence over this spell. Besides with the Merc. Treads you should have a good helping of tenacity to get out of CC hell.
Now that all the pregame stuff has been discussed it is time to get into the meat of this build. For the skill sequence I will mainly be talking about the early levels (1-6) and why I go with the order I went with. I will then transition to talking about why I max out which spells in the way I do it.
The first ability you should always get as Sona is the Hymn of Valor. If you get heal first you are not playing Sona right! Okay so all kidding aside the reason why this ability is your first is because it will help you at the very start of the game. By getting this ability you grant your lane partner and yourself with a bonus of 8 to both of your damage and ability power. Also as you move yourself into lane you should be casting this enough times until your Power cord: Staccato is ready. That way if you get in that early bush fight you can put on the hurt and help establish early lane dominance.
The next ability on the list is your Aria of Perseverance. This should be a no brainer as this is your heal ability. At level one it wont do much but the aura for armor and magic res might be what makes or breaks a level two team fight if it is going poorly for you. Not only that but you can then work your magic with the Power cord: Diminuendo to reduce the enemy's damage for awhile.
The next two ability are merely these same two in the same order. Getting the Hymn before the Aria will make sure to increase your ability to help with damage, and make your heal just that much stronger. Once when you hit level four you should be healing for about 78 damage with each enhanced cast of the Aria.
The fifth ability will be your Song of Celerity. This is a rather under appreciated ability in my opinion. It will certainly make you the bane of the skill casters thanks to the speed boost it grants you and your lane partner. If you don't have teleport up then this is the ability you will be spamming to get back into lane. With it at level one it should take 3-4 casts to get yourself into the fight. But that is enough to get your Power cord ready to do some damage. Then on top of all that the Power cord: Tempo can be used to slow a fleeing enemy and help get your lane partner or you a kill.
Finally with your sixth ability you should be grabbing a hold of your ultimate. If you don't get your ult at level six then you are simply wrong. I'm not kidding here folks, that ult can be the key between life and death for yourself, your ally, or an enemy. If you deprive yourself of your ult for even a level you risk a major gamble that could cost you. After all it is an effective stun that deals damage over time. You can initiate with it to gain the early advantage in a fight. You can speed boost and use it on a fleeing enemy to make them dance while you kill them. Or you can use it to save your own skin and give you time to bugger off.
It is important to note that this is a skill shot and you want to do the most damage by hitting as many champions with it as you can.
So now that I have gone over the initial six and what the abilities can be used for. I want to talk about which abilities you need to max out first. In my personal opinion that first ability should always be the Hymn of Valor. Sure the damage the spell does is certainly nice. But my main focus with it is that aura boost you grant to your team mates. You basically become a mobile rally spell at this point. An edge that will often turn the tides of a fight in your favor. On top of that the extra ability power boost will make your Aria's heal that much better when you pour points into it.
Obviously the second ability you should start maxing out is the heal. As I've stated through this entire build your main focus should be to support your allies. So once your Hymn is up to snuff it is time to get your healing to where it needs to be. At level three you will be fine with the powered up Aria, and four and five will make you the bane of the other team's existence. This is when your healing packs its true punch and your aura's armor and magic res bonus is at it's peak. This is also the exact moment when you will notice the other team diving on you to get you out of the way. So play smart at this point folks and more than anything keep your team alive.
The final ability you will max out if you play right and level up your ult at each correct level is the Song of Celerity. I save this one for last simply because the other two abilities you have are far more important to your team than this one. But once you hit late game you will begin to notice that you will need this more and more. The first and most important factor to this is obviously casting when your team is chasing for the kill or trying to get away. I can't tell you how often this ability has saved my team from a bad situation late game. But don't forget about this abilities Power cord either! I know it is easy to lose it in the midst of the Staccato and Diminuendo. But Tempo can be the killer that ends the life of one of your enemies in a chase.
Whew it seems we have covered so much and yet there is still more to go folks. Now we are diving in to the main reason for this build! The thing you all have likely come to see! The item page! [insert celebratory music and fireworks here]
Now as the name of this build indicates we are going to be focusing on auras. Not just with the abilities of Sona but in the items we select, and no item is more important than this beginning one. So right out the gates you are going to be buying yourself the Mana Manipulator. Do not pass go, do not collect yourself $200 dollars. Just grab this item and start towards the lane of your choice.
Now some of you may ask why this item first? Well that is simple Johnny this item is the first in aura sequence and grants you and nearby allies 7.5 mana regen. every 5 seconds! When you put this mana regen. with your masteries you get over 10 mana regen. at level 1. Sure it will leave you without the health pots to back you up. But if you are getting to the point of being hurt badly before level 4 then you are being too aggressive with Sona early game.
From this item you will get yourself a Kindle Gem for the CD aura and then combine these with a Health Pendant to form the Soul Shroud. This is your first major aura item and one that I always finish before I get myself boots. With the Soul Shroud you will gain a bonus 520 health, the aura you now have gives 12 mana regen. per 5 seconds, and 10% reduced cool down. This will put your personal CD at around 16% and allow you to get those spells spammed faster.
Right after the Soul Shroud is done you will dive right into your Merc Treds. As I have stated many times before the enemy team will be focusing you. So don't get the extra magic pen, instead focus on reducing their CC with the best tenacity item in the game. **Note** if the other team as little to no CC (ie 1 champ with CC and that is it) then grab yourself the Sorcerer Shoes instead. **End of the note**
So now you have your boots and you have your first aura item. Which means it is now time to dive into the second aura item in your build and that is the Abyssal Scepter. Rush this item as fast as you can and you wont regret it. This combined with the Merc. Treads, your Aria, and your natural magic res. will make you the bane of a caster's existence. On top of that it grants you some extra ability power to pump up your healing and damage. Then there is that nasty aura which reduces the enemy team's magic res. by 20! Your caster allies will thank you and with your own natural abilities this item will start to make you a viable danger as well.
Now here comes the final aura item for this build and the one that complete's the combo to make you truly a terror for your opponents. This dreaded item is humbly called the Will of the Ancients! With this item you gain 50 ability power, which by itself is a little underwhelming. But that aura is what makes this item truly a masterpiece when combined with the others. For all nearby allies gain a bonus 30 ability power, and then 25% spell vamp with each ability used. So now not only are you actively healing your allies, but you are passively giving them the ability to heal themselves with each ability used.
So to recap with the three core items in this build you will be giving your allies +12 mana regen, -10% CD, +30 ability power, +25% spell vamp, and -20 magic res. to your enemies just by being near everyone. Then depending on which aura you have active you will be granting your allies another +20 ability power/attack damage, +20 Armor/Magic res, or +20 movement speed. Keeping in mind that with your passive you can have multiple aura's up at the same time depending on how fast you can spam your spells. This alone makes you a powerful force just by being around the team fights!
The final two items I end up choosing are ones that I rarely get to make, simply because the game ends before we can get to them. But for the sake of those long games I will go into these briefly.
The first item is Rylai's Crystal Scepter and we grab this item simply for the health it will give you. Sure the extra +80 ability power is nice, and the passive will definitely come in handy when you hit with an ability. But the main purpose of this item is to grant you more health so you can stick around in the fights longer and let your aura's be there for your allies to use.
The last item I make use of should be on any caster's list at some point and that is the Deathcap of Rabadon. This lovely hat will give you +155 ability power and it's passive increases your total ability power by 30%. This will make your Aria's heal go through the roof and the damage of your Hymn and Crescendo put some serious hurt on the enemy team!
But like I said most of my games have yet to ever reach this point where all six items were made. Yet when they did get to this level the other team certainly wasn't happy to see me when I was around. This is exactly what you will want to bring out in your opponents. You want them to hate seeing you appear. Make them rage as the damage they deal out suddenly melts away, and then laugh as they are forced to dance before your item combo and skill!
Well folks here we are, we have reached the end of the build. But before I leave you I want to first thank each and every one of you for taking an interest in my build. It was a lot of fun writing it and I hope that it will be just as helpful to you all as it is for me.
But remember folks you can be using the greatest build in the world and still lose a game. It all comes down to the skill of the player and the team working together. So cultivate a good team atmosphere in every game you play and you will find success following you!
Thanks again for reading, and please leave comments to tell me what you think!