Green Sona (Heal)
Threats to Sona with this build
|Janna||Easy match-up. Her poke is weaker compared to yours. Wither her down and try to all-in her.|
About Sona, Maven of the Strings
Sona Buvelle, Maven of the Strings
Sona is a AP Ranged Support who excels in having a lot of utility. She has poke, sustain, a speed boost, CC, a slow and a nuke. Basically, she is a jack-of-all-trades, allowing her to be very versatile. Her kit revolves around buffing her allies with her active and using her Crescendo to disrupt her enemies in teamfights. Since she is naturally squishy without much form of escape, she is best suited to stay behind and use her auras to aid her team. While Ability Power is important for her since she scales off raw AP, Cooldown Reduction is way more important because it allows her to continuously use her auras to aid her team, followed by mana regeneration so she can constantly keep up her auras. Ability Power comes after that.
DISCLAIMER: There are some low-brow dirty stuff in here. You have been warned.
If you find anything outdated, drop me a PM or comment and I'll fix it as soon as possible.
Patch 7.8 Upcomong
Main changes that affect Sona are Xayah and Rakan. Below are my experience across 10 games so far and counting that have Xayah and Rakan.
Xayah as an enemy ADC:
Her finisher relies on you being in the path of her feathers. To stop yourself from getting raked to death, try moving around to minimize the amount of feathers that can hit you. You may try to get a level 2 Song of Celerity instead to dodge it. Also, watch for her Featherstorm as good timing can deny your Crescendo.
Xayah as allied ADC:
Not a very good matchup since your only hard CC is Crescendo and is only available at level 6. The whole idea is she line up her shots and you ult, hopefully her feathers are lined up properly for an easy kill. There's not much synergy with Xayah so Sona may not always be the best choice.
Rakan as an enemy:
Honestly, his healing and shielding are better than yours early on since he have higher numbers. However, the issue is that they all have longer cooldowns, especially after you start leveling up Crescendo. If teamfight, you can easily dominate him due to better cooldowns and multiple shielding. Just be careful when he uses his The Quickness since it can really kill your whole team. If your team can't scatter fast enough, wasting Crescendo on him may be a good idea.
This all have small sample sizes as of 20/4/2017 and requires more testing. But, these are generally what happens.
Will only cover major comparisons as opposed to every of them and will forego the obvious ones.
Fresh Blood vs Expose Weakness :
Early on, Fresh Blood wins hands down since it gives you an edge during poking while Expose Weakness forces you to rely on your teammate. If you're coordinated, Expose Weakness will always be better, especially later on since it's percentage-based damage.
Double-Edged Sword vs Battle Trance :
Since most porpular ADC nowadays come with their own poke ( Caitlyn, Miss Fortune, Jhin), taking Double-Edged Sword may be riskier as Sona is squishy to begin with. Battle Trance suits Sona more since she thrives under extended fight.
Merciless vs Meditation :
If you're going offensive, Merciless is the way to do since more damage. Meditation is much better if your facing another poking champion so you can heal up more often. If you're going for the heal Sona, Meditation is always better since you deal jack damage anyway.
Greenfather's Gift vs Bandit vs Dangerous Game :
Dangerous Game is good if you have a kill-orientated lane since you can heal up a minor bit and win trades harder. Greenfather's Gift for poking and Bandit for passive lane.
Precision vs Intelligence
Precision for poking, Intelligence for healing lane. This one is actually more of a personal preference, Intelligence does scale better late game compared to Precision but the 5% CDR doesn't really help much early on when compared to Precision
Thunderlord's Decree vs Windspeaker's Blessing :
Windspeaker's Blessing is more of a safe bet even with a more offensive build since your heal scales off AP anyway and it scales relatively well into late game. Only get Thunderlord's Decree if you're sure you can constantly proc it during pokes to deny them their farm.
||Not anymore arguable with Greater Mark of Precision. Since it is only somewhat effective against enemies due to it scaling by level and the bot lane will always be a level or two behind, you are better off with magic penetration. Not to mention, bottom lane will always have Magic Resistance.|
||Personal preference. If you're feeling lucky, the 1% crit chance can put you ahead of the enemy. Can be switched away if you don't like the chance.|
||Standard seals, since you need to deal with physical attacks, no matter what.|
||Since most teams have a fair balance of AP and AD. Having magic resistance is important, especially early on so you don't explode as fast.|
||Just some extra Ability Power for Sona as her abilities uses it.|
|The most preferred spell for Sona who lacks a reliable escape mechanism as it can be used to jump past walls. Also, Flash allows her to do the Flash- Crescendo combo. Finally, can be used to dodge skill-shots that will otherwise kill you (use it sparingly as it has a whooping 210 cooldown).|
|This might be better for Sona, especially if you lane is kill-orientated. Her early game damage coupled with Ignite can easily kill the enemy AD Carry or Support (if he/she is a squishy mage type). Also good to stop ******** healing and lifesteal.|
|A standard support spell. It is useful regardless of the phase of the game especially if the enemy team has a champion who can dish out a lot of damage in a short time. Also very helpful to win skirmishes. Always get this if your enemy have a snowbally champions, since Ignite will be useless against them when they give on your carry.|
||Hymn of Valor||
Your bread-and-butter skill for damage and poking. It deals amazing damage against your enemies during laning phase, especially when combined with your Power Chord. This skill is a non-targeted skill which will target the enemies closest to you, or champions if there are any present in the 850 range. During laning phase, remember to land an auto-attack with the aura buff to dish out more damage. Also, the aura could help you win early skirmishes when you buff your allies.
Combines with the Power Chord the damage can be used to shatter Morgana's Black Shield. However, the on-hit damage provided by the aura will not trigger on structures. Combined with Lich Bane, you can deal massive damage to a single target.
||Aria of Perseverance||
The sustain skill of Sona. Similar to Taric's Imbue, it allows Sona to heal her and the most injured ally witihin 1000 range. A very good skill to negate poke in the laning phase. However, the major drawback is it takes a lot of mana and shouldn't be used carelessly. Also, try not to use it when near a stealthed champion unless your other partner is more injured as the bolt will fly towards champions under stealth, giving away their position. Try to spread the aura to as many people as possible during teamfights to minimize damage taken, especially by AoE. With the reduced cooldown by her Crescendo and the increased heal by Redemption, her heal actually became a lot stronger, especially when you cap her CDR and get some mana regeneration.
||Aria of Perseverance||
Boosts the movement speed (MS) of Sona and her allies. A good spell for engaging or retreating. This skill is maxed last due to it being having the least impact in a fight. However, a level is taken at Level 3 or Level 4 as the boost can potentially secure a kill, whether by Power Chord or by boosting your allies' speed. A good skill when used together with Talisman of Ascension as it makes escaping nearly impossible.
||Aria of Perseverance||
Sona's ultimate. It is a really strong skill that stuns people within its range. Depending on when it is used, it can potentially break a team-fight or skirmish into your favor. Note that it does have a travel time and can be blocked by Yasuo's Wind Wall or Braum's Unbreakable, so cast it before they get to use those abilities or after they used it, but never when they are using it.
Also, try not to miss this skill.
Items - Blue Sona
As the name implies, this build revolves more around poking and zoning the enemy champions. To maximize this build, you need to be more aggressive. In the early game, you focus on poking the enemy, only going for guranteed kills. In the middle game, you can roam a bit if needed when your ADC backs since you have some damage. In the late game, stick with the team and just deal damage and heal when needed. Stack up your Athene's Unholy Grail.
Sightstone - Because spoilers are good, aren't they? How aggressive their jungler is and what support you're facing will dictate when you'll buy this. Get this as your first back if the jungler is roaming around often to watch out for ganks or to ward bushes if you're facing Blitzcrank or Thresh. No matter what, this will be your second item, latest.
Lich Bane - A more offensive pickup. The AP boosts your heals and shields when giving you a very strong poke even with no other major AP items. It also caps your CDR with the 10% it gives and allows you to charge Athene's Unholy Grail more effectively.
Athene's Unholy Grail - The heal is really good. No matter how you look at it. In teamfights, you need to constantly poke enemies to get the Blood Charge to heal your allies. It gives you everything you need, but most importantly, it boosts your heal by a massive amount.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Good 4th item if you're getting burst down too quickly. It provides some additional health and AP. Get this if your enemies rely a lot on movement speed Warwick or if they are weak to kiting so your ADC will have an easier time.
Luden's Echo - It gives some AP and extra poke for your Athene's Unholy Grail's Blood Charge, along with some movement speed, allowing you to reposition better. Since Sona is generally quite spammy, you can easily charge this up. Get this if you don't need Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Ardent Censer - Since the buff, it has become a lot better. It gives a fair amount of AP which means better shields and poke which is strengthen by the shield and heal boost. However, unless your team comp relies on attack speed, say Vayne and Azir, this should be delayed to your fifth item as other items are more impactful. The more attack speed reliant champions are there, the earlier you complete it.
Items - Green Sona
As opposed to the Blue Sona, this build revolves around your heal and shields. This is especially good if the enemy have a lot of sustained damage. All the items will mostly contribute shields and health or buff them. Early game, you'll be more passive due to the lack of damage pickup, but still poke if you can. Middle game, you should be able to win most skirmishes due to your heal. Late game, you're basically a heal bot with a hard CC and some poke.
Sightstone - Honestly, I don't like wards. But it win games. So... buy it.
Redemption - Never get this as your first major item since it scales with level. It's good as the second major item, after Athene's Unholy Grail but not as impactful as a first. Remember you can still use this when you're dead and it scales off the increase in health and shield as well as Windspeaker's Blessing . Try not to use this for the damage as it gets very subpar in later levels. During teamfights, try to use this where it will hit most of your allies.
Athene's Unholy Grail - Mentioned above. Same reason.
Control Ward - Always have one in your inventory and one on the map.
Locket of the Iron Solari - Good against enemies with AoE magic damage like Annie and Katarina. The active also grants them Windspeaker's Blessing so it's a good pick up if needed. Using this item at a critical moment can migate a lot damage off initiations or protect your ADC.
Guardian Angel - On the very weird 5% time when your enemy have a little magic damage or you're getting killed too fast to do your job, Guardian Angel can replace Locket of the Iron Solari, although this hardly happens.
Lich Bane - Mentioned above.
Mikael's Crucible - A really niche item for me. The active is still good, especially against roaming champions like Twisted Fate or champions like long duration soft CC Morgana. The problem is it offers nothing apart from cleanse, which relies a lot on your timing and regeneration don't stack with Athene's Unholy Grail. You can replace Lich Bane with this item if you really require it.
Items - Boots
It is strong against team comps that are heavy CC like a Morgana or Amumu since you need to be moving around to heal or to poke to avoid dying.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Another good option compared to Mercury's Treads. Pick this up if your enemies are not CC-heavy. Alternatively, if your enemy assassin is getting fed and roam around for kills, getting this is also a good option as your Exhaust will be on a shorter cooldown.
This is the last option of boots that you should choose. The only time when you pick this up is when the enemy has little to no CC, thus nullifying the need of Mercury's Treads and when you capped your CDR and their assassin is behind, nullifying the need of Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
Unconventional Build - Jungle Sona
Please don't bring this in ranked since you'll probably get flamed for it. The idea behind this is similar to the Green Sona, where you build as a Heal Bot and heal the hell out of your team.
Starting with Blue -> Gromp (Smite, if needed) -> Wolves (Smite if haven't at Gromp) -> Red
After Red, you can go for Scuttle Crab or invest a point in Song of Celerity for ganks. Whether you succeed or not, you should try to farm up Bami's Cinder as fast as you can to improve your clear speed.
Due to how squishy you are early on, it is better to use the Green Power Chord as opposed to the Blue so you won't take as much damage.
Enchantment: Cinderhulk vs Enchantment: Runic Echoes
Now you may ask, why Cinderhulk instead of Runic Echoes?
One of the reasons is because Cinderhulk is constant and doesn't need charging up. Also, since you're building little to no AP, your Runic Echoes will be subpar at best. Bami's Cinder also comes online a lot faster compared to Aether Wisp and Amplifying Tome.
Skirmisher's Sabre vs Tracker's Knife:
Both works. Tracker's Knife is mostly if your enemy jungler is really presistent in counter-jungling so the wards can give you early warning or save you time from going to an empty camp. Otherwise, Skirmisher's Sabre is better, especially so since it's now the League of Assassins, which is slowly turning into League of Tanks again.
Somewhat Small Tips
Poking: Sona's Speciality
Whether or not you have Thunderlord's Decree , you have 2 ways of combo.
1. Hymn of Valor -> Auto-Attack
2. (2 Stacks of Power Chord) Auto-Attack -> Hymn of Valor -> Power Chord Auto-Attack
The reason for the AA beforehand is because using a 3 stack Power Chord will reset your auto-attack timer, allowing you to chain 2 attacks one after another. Try to use the bush to your advantage. Only pop out the bush to poke then quickly return to prevent them from poking you back. Don't hang around the bush when it is warded as it severely limits your option from running away. You normally out-trade most poke supports since most are reliant on their CC so as long as you don't get CC-ed, you can easily win the trades. Don't try to get greedy, you don't always need to hit 2 if you're still learning. Prioritize the ADC so you can deny their farm.
Overextending: The Bane of Sona
Sona has two glaring weakness, her obscenely slow movement speed, as well as how squishy she is. This is especially true during the laning phase before she get any items. Never underestimate the amount of damage 2 champions can deal against you. Never linger away from your minions as they can sort of help you if your enemies attack you. If you were to overextended and get caught out, it's best just to burn Flash and/or Exhaust to get away. It's normally not worth it to get killed just to poke with Power Chord.
Crescendo: Sona's Only Hard CC
As the title implied, you only have one hard CC, which has a bloody long cooldown time, therefore, you must be sure to hit the damned thing. What most beginner Sona aren't use to is there is a travel time for Crescendo. Back when I just started playing her, I always thought it was instant, causing me to miss this often. Another thing to note is that there is a travel time for Crescendo, so you're unlikely to hit your targets at maximum range if they're running from you. Practice can easily rectify this.
Sona: How E-Cups (maybe) can be a problem
One of the things that you may need to learn early is how to deal with the grabby champions. Primarily, Blitzcrank, Thresh and Nautilus. As told by above, they can easily move you out of position, especially so if they have follow up. While you'll start noticing their tell signs, Blitzcrank stopping for 0.25 seconds to fire his Rocket Grab and Thresh's wind-up for Death Sentence. The beauty about this matchup is you can force it into your favor by poking them so they can't afford to pull you. However, if you're not confident and you got counter-picked, you can pick up the Ancient Coin instead to play more passively.
Teamfight: Sona's Shine Days
Your teammate looks like a tank, feels like a tank, has items like a tank, and even smells like a tank. Let him tank. Depending on how you build Sona, your role varies.
Blue Sona - Poke
Try to wither them down by poking them before teamfights, just don't get caught out. Once the teamfight starts, just focus on poking and healing. Due to you building damage, you're generally still squishy so you should just hide around the back and do what you need.
Green Sona - Heal
With this build, you're slightly more tankier, which means you can take slightly more punishment. With your heals and shield, you can easily survive even if you get pulled too far from your team. With this build, you should stay closer to the initiators so you can keep healing and shielding them as needed. Just don't neglect your ADC, especially if your enemy has an assassin.
Just remember, in both builds, you have Athene's Unholy Grail, so you need to poke every so often so you can get the most of it.
Conclusion + Thought about Patches + To-Do List
And with this, I'll end my Sona guide, I would appreciate it a lot if you leave a vote and a comment on what could be better or how the guide was in overall or if I missed out on anything.
LilyPichu - TL;DR Sona Video
jhoijhoi - Formatting Guide
Latest Legend - For Proofreading this guide.
Nubtrain (from another website) - Tips on guide writing
Dr. D (from another website) - Formatting Guide
Corsair - For the punchlines.
ScrapComputer - Sona Tips
Owner of the Pictures - For the Pictures
You - For taking your time to read this guide
22.03.2017 - Removed and repaired some images. Removed Experimental Build.
11.03.2017 - Removed Hextech Gunblade and replace with Ardent Censer
06.02.2017 - Replaced Greater Mark of Precision with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
21.01.2017 - Overhauled items and some parts to fit update 7.1
2016 - Lots of small updates.
09.12.2015 - Major update. Clean-ups, simplifying and update to 5.24
- Edit the Small Things section for clarity.