Build Guide by The Saa
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.
This build is my own design that has worked pretty well for me as Sona. A lot of this build info is purely situational. There are many outside factors to consider this build, among them is your lane partner and who you are up against. With the Skill sequence as well, depending on team composition. I welcome all critiques that are respectful and thoughtful. She is, in my opinion, the ideal support character and can really make a difference from the very start. Also, knowing when to use her abilities can really make a huge difference in performance.
First, Masteries. 0/9/21 is how I roll. I get the Strength of Spirit as it will compliment the Rune and Item build, plus a little more DEF is good for her fragile frame. The Utilities speak for themselves. Perseverence, Expanded Mind, and Meditation will combined with Clarity make MP way less of a hassle when you start to spam abilities, which I will mention later.
Next, my summoner spells. Clarity I think should not be overlooked for a couple of reasons. One, remember that she is primarily support and that this will factor into who you will work best with in a lane. Taking the point in Insight will usually restore an allies entire mp bar. This could be the difference in getting a last hit kill or that last hit on a turret, especially on tank characters who tend to focus on HP and DMG over MP. This can also extend a lane push or base dive. Ghost is just an all around fantastic spell. Not only can you rush in for a last hit but when you combine it with Boots of Swiftness and her E ability, you can leave most opponents in the dust or rush in heal and speed up an ally to safety if they are caught in ganks. Lastly, you can switch between lanes with ease and turn the tides quickly.
Next, Runes. Very basic, but effective. Mana per level Glyphs, HP per level Seals, and Mag Pen Marks with flat HP Quins. This will make a noticable difference in your durability late game when abilities hit harder. This will also allow you to harass opponents while your lane partner attacks or flees near death.In many games(more often than not) I have a very aggressive lane partner who wants first blood only to get mad when they 2 v 1 and i can only heal 40 hp while they retreat to the turret and i become the focus. The subtle advantage here is that Sona makes very tempting bait. You will find many situations where two opponents will team up to squash you and forget about your partner. As you get close to death and retreat the temptation to finish Sona off will overextend the enemy. As you retreat, heal, then hit them with Hymn of Valor. What you start to see is that they exhaust their abilities and mana to nearly kill you figuring one last melee strike will do it, but your heal keeps you alive while your partner whittles them down. Simply turn around, heal your ally and finish them off, that is what I am referring to when I say “Baiting”. When items come into play, you will see this happen more often.
Skill Sequence. Again, being a primary support gives you a couple of options here and requires a little consideration depending on who you lane with. If you lane with a caster or ninja, Take W first as they will be doing most of the early damage dealing and taking the brunt of most of the attack. However, if you lane with a tanker, especially one who can restore some of their own HP, take Q first. This can make the difference in a first blood contest or to punish squishy characters early which can lead to EXP deprivation for the enemy by keeping them hugged to the turret. Combine this with your passive and you can really harass the **** out of people. Once you level you can start the healing process. So it really depends on the type of person you are in a lane with. At level 5, take the one point in E to provide a small speed boost that will mostly be to get your partners out of harms way and CC effects or to chase down a foe, who runs back to the turret, for a killing blow. Concentrate on alternating Q and W first depending on the situation, R ASAP and E last. E will only really make a difference late game anyway, when CC and Ults are flying everywhere or to help the team chase down a fleeing enemy.
Items. The items I take are to enhance her awesome support nature. I have experimented with both the Meki's Pendant and the Mana Manipulator as the first item and tend to favor the Pendant over the manipulator. Mostly because once you get 605 gold you can get the Tear of the Goddess and mana starts to become way less of an issue. Next, get boots! Boots of Swiftness for this build should be considered over any other simply for the baiting and combined speed effects. They will almost always get you out of trouble. As soon as I have boots I start the Rylai's Scepter for two reasons. One, the Giants Belt gives you much needed HP for durability and the AP boosts make your Q and W a little chunkier. Second, and almost as important is the Scepters Passive. The earlier you can get this item the easier you are gonna make it for your allies to punish and the better to aid in escaping near fatal ambushes or well fed enemies. Once you have that finish the Archmage's Staff. By the time you complete the staff, you should have increased your max MP considerably from the Tear and the 3% boost to AP will become more noticable. Also, once you complete the staff, you should notice the effect of your Masteries on your HP/MP regen. If the game lasts longer than that, get Zhonya's ring. By that point your Q will hit for close to 500 and your will be healing with W at around 340 HP, giving you and your team exceptional staying power.
I don't want to take up much more space with my general strategy, but here are some tips when using her with this build.
1. Lane awareness is key at the start. Don't stand near the brush and don't stand next to your partner, find a happy medium. She has incredible range with Q and W, so don't bunch up. If your partner goes down right next to you, you probably won’t outrun two foes.
2. Be aware of everyone in your lane HP bars. One reoccurring example. If your lane partner is near death but has dropped both opponents to half life or lower, W your partner and immediately Q. This will most likely send them running and allow your partner to run to safety or turn around to finish one or both of them for overextending.
3. How to do MAX DMG with Sona: Understanding the Passive of Sona is everything to making her kill unwitting opponents. After every third spell, Sona gets a big boost to her next physical attack, also, and much more importantly, when the Passive is used it extends the duration of her auras for an additional 3 seconds. So how does this mean max dmg? Like this: Sona’s Ultimate stuns the enemy into a little dance while dealing damage over 2.5 seconds. If you have 1 of 3 stacks for the passive, time it like this. Get close enough to an opponent to catch them with R. As soon as you R, use Q. Upon using Q, your passive is ready and your next physical attack comes right behind Q making a distinctive, shrill “twang”. If timed properly, the Passive extends the duration of R even after they have started running away. I can’t tell how many times I have done this and wondered how I got the kill before I realized how the passive worked. It will surprise you for sure.
4. Finally, a word about Sona’s Ultimate. DO NOT for any reason, use her R to initiate combat as it is hardly a threat to full powered characters. Treat it like a finishing blow. The most optimal time to use her ultimate is when an enemy is retreating from combat or to a turret. If you keep a small distance behind your lane partner and they can get the enemy to turn and run, you have them. Simply kick Ghost in, rush the enemy and drop R. If you keep in mind the Passive and how to max the R duration(see 3) you can take down anyone.