Soraka Build Guide by nuclrdmntr
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello there! Welcome to my humble Soraka guide! Soraka is probably the last person you will expect to be an AP carry for your team, but you will rape people with this guide. When I talk about items I will always talk about the Maximum Pain build, but the Tanky build is still quite viable. Anyways, hope you enjoy this guide! Have fun making the enemy go
oh **** it's Soraka!!!
(you may experience feelings like the below image - don't say I didn't warn you!)
Pros and Cons
- MR shredding machine (with Starcall and Abyssal Scepter you'll end up doing more damage then stated in your abilities)
- Very strong heals ( Astral Blessing and Wish)
- You counter enemy AP carries with Consecration and Infuse (and completely shut them down)
- Almost unshakable lane presence ( Infuse got nerfed )
- Great farming and pushing with Starcall
- Great DPS damage (for less burst)
- SQUISHIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (although built a bit tanky)
- Gets countered somewhat by Ignite
- More vulnerable to AD autoattackers ( Astral Blessing's armor boost lasts 5 secs only)
- Much less burst damage
- Really bad if your team feeds the enemy team
- Is horn-y...
I like to take a 0/9/21 mastery tree to take full advantage of the support masteries. Greed and Kage's Lucky Pick give you a steady stream of GP/10 throughout the game. Awareness gives you a level advantage over the enemy AP carry to allow for more lane dominance. You do not need the CDR from Sorcery since with the combination of your items, your runes and a point in Intelligence you'll have 40.1% CDR.
A 21/0/9 offensive mastery tree is also viable if you want to do more damage late-game in exchange for less early-game dominance. The masteries give you a pretty good damage boost and Archmage and Blast both scale into late-game.
9/0/21 supportive-defensive mastery tree is also viable but I find myself missing the tankiness from the defensive tree quite a bit. Soraka is quite a squishie champion but if you want more cooldown reduction go this way.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is generally the preferred choice for most AP carries. It gives quite a boost to early-game harass and allows you to dominate in lane even more.
- Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration is also a viable choice if you want to remove even more MR and deal even more damage.
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is good for chasing, dodging skillshots, just generally better mobility.
- Greater Quintessence of Health is nice if you want some extra beef for surviving early harrass, but you have a reasonably good heal so I don't usually take these.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is the best choice for marks and also the standard choice for AP casters.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration is nice for allowing you to use a couple more Starcalls.
- Greater Seal of Defence is also good for the nice bonus armor because you won't encounter much physical damage until mid game usually (unless you get ganked by Lee Sin or you're playing against Urgot)
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction is nice for the CDR so you can spam your abilities more and more.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power is also viable for the nice AP boost they give you to give your abilities a little extra punch
- Flash: The spell almost all AP casters take because almost all of the don't have any sort of escape mechanism - Soraka is included in that list so Flash it is!
- Teleport: This allows you to have an iron grip over your enemy AP carry. Blue-pill, buy a few items and then teleport back to lane and you're all fresh and ready for another round of annoyance!
- Ignite: If you want to be a bit more offensive then pick this summoner - swap one point in
if you take this. Good for that last bit of damage or shutting down healers (oh the irony!)
- Ghost: If you want an alternative/another escape mechanism take this. Rylai's Crystal Sceptered Infuse, Flash and Ghost makes you a very safe unicorn!
- Consecration: This is your passive. It gives you and your team some extra MR to beef them up a little. A nice early-game boost but not that useful late-game. Also good for laning against an AP carry.
- Starcall (Q): This is your bread and butter and is also what this build is based on. After using this a few times on whoever unlucky champion you're targeting, his/her MR will go into the negatives - and that makes him take increased damage from your abilities. It also does a respectable amount of damage by itself and it's also a very spammable ability which also hits stealthed champions (take that Twitch).
- Astral Blessing (W): This is a fairly strong heal with an extra armor boost - but it has a very long cooldown, which means that you'll generally not be using this more then once during a fight. Also good for a bit more lane sustain. I like to use this on the person getting focused in a teamfight (usually me lol) as the bonus health and armor can usually save that person's life!
- Infuse (E): This is your main harassing tool along with Starcall during laning phase as it does respectable damage and scales reasonably well - it also has an annoying 2.5 second silence at max rank which is deadly for AP carries - and it costs nothing to cast (it's also your only inbuilt CC). Cast this during a teamfight at someone channeling an ability (umad Nunu?)or the AP carry (sometimes both).
- Wish (R): This is a very strong global heal and is the perfect counter to Requiem. The drawback to this very useful ability is it's fairly long cooldown for an ultimate ability so you have to be careful to use this wisely. I generally use this in the middle of a teamfight to instantly give your team a big advantage over the enemy team and possibly turning the entire fight around.
There are generally three ways you can skill Soraka.
I usually like to skill her the first way, especially when Infuse outranges the enemy AP carry's abilities (a good example would be Annie) but sometimes the second way is better when they have good long-range harrass, does physical damage or both ( Urgot comes to mind here). If you're against a heavy pusher such as Malzahar or Brand, the third skilling order is also viable to push back against those champions.
: Soraka does not especially need health potions as you get your Astral Blessing at level 2 and you also have boots which means that it's that much harder for that Lux to harrass you.
- OR : This is also a fairly good start if you want to rush Kage's Lucky Pick but it also gives you less sustain and it's also harder to dodge skillshots so don't start this way if you're laning against a Gragas or similar skillshot champion.
: Allows you to spam everything more as Soraka does have some fairly long CDs.
: Remember I said Soraka was squishie? Well this will (partially) solve that problem! Also allows you to kite pretty much any melee character who dares try to 1v1 Soraka (except Master Yi with Highlander and Olaf with Ragnarok).
: Your first major damage booster. This will make Starcall hit like Gatling Gun and make Teemo sad.
: To annoy people even more with the AOE MR reduction - like a permanent 2 stacks of level 4 Starcall debuff on 1000 range. Also gives a fair amount of AP and MR to you.
- : Takes off a huge chunk of your chosen target's health off with that sweet passive. Also gives a lot of CDR and MP/5 and some AP and the nice GP/10 from Kage's Lucky Pick. This actually gives you a slightly bursty nuking combo to work with.
: If you want more MR pen for less CDR get this instead of Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
: Tenacity is useful when against an enemy team with 3 or more hard CC (when playing against Sion, Anivia, Rammus, Ashe and Sona, getting those is a good idea). The MR is also nice.
: if they have 2 or less hard CC and a couple scary autoattackers ( Tryndamere, Master Yi) then get these for the nice 10% autoattack damage reduction and armor.
: You should have enough AP to make use of this beautiful item which ups your burst and DPS considerably! The MS and MR also help with kiting and anti- Annieing respectively.
: This will make you heal for when you cast that Infuse. Yes it does only heal for ~6.5% of the damage done on Starcall but on such a low cooldown it will balance this disadvantage out.
: It's fairly easy to stack a Tear of the Goddess on Soraka as you will be spamming Starcall quite a lot throughout the laning phase!
: If you're getting focused as soon as you show your face (that usually happens during normal games where people think Soraka should go back to bot and and support) just pop this and become gloriously golden (and invincible...OMG GOLDEN) for 2 seconds!
: Don't get this on ranked, please (actually it's not really a good idea to go AP Soraka in ranked anyways). It'll paint a giant bull's eye on your head. In a normal game, however, feel free to get this wonderful item!
: The spellshield is always nice, and the extra defensive stats beef you up a little more. Just be careful not to pop it on a Lay Waste.
: Gives you some AP as well as health and mana which always helps your squishiness. Rylai's Crystal Scepter is always always a better pick though.
: Cleanse in a can. Pick this if you want that summoner slot free for something else or if there is a Malzahar in their team who keeps Nether Grasping you.
- : If you want to punch through a lot of MR this is for you. I don't really suggest this item though as this build is based on shredding flat MR.
Here I will list the most difficult champions you will have to mid against. Keep in mid that this is my opinion. I am lvl 30 but I rarely play ranked so don't expect an expert guide!
: A horrible assassin to play against, her Charm outranges your Infuse and she has ouch burst damage once she lands that. However, dodge that Charm and she becomes rather tame since her Orb of Deception is easy to dodge otherwise.
: Very very weak pre-6. Take advantage of this! Dodge her Flash Frost at all costs! Post-6, be very wary of a Glacial Storm Frostbite combo as it really hurts. Don't Infuse Starcall her as she can then wall you into her Glacial Storm once the silence runs out. REMEMBER HER EGG!!!
: Also quite weak pre-6. His Null Sphere is also a silence but has a long travel time where your Infuse is almost instantaneous. Post-6, Infuse him as soon as he Riftwalks to you and then run like hell. Very hard to gank since you don't have a stun of any sort so don't even try.
: Very annoying passive that spits out all your harass. Just farm in this lane, beware her Dark Binding and don't ever stand on her Tormented Soil. Consider taking Ignite instead of Teleport. Her Black Shield is also very annoying since she can't be CCed while it lasts.
: His Ravenous Flock also nullifies most of your harass. Take the opportunity to shut him down pre-6. Also, beware of his Nevermove - it has a similar cast time to Pillar of Flame and he can unload some heavy pain if he lands it! Consider taking Ignite instead of Teleport.
: Sucks before lvl 7 with a high-CD Transfusion. Once he reaches that lvl any harass you do to him will be healed back up so just ignore him and farm unless he comes close to Transfusion you! Consider taking Ignite instead of Teleport.
- : Dodge his Noxian Corrosive Charge as Acid Hunters have an insane range and you will not be able to silence him then. Also, terror capacitator applies a slow onto his Acid Hunters. His Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverse is stupid. Also does physical damage!
: Only put here because of his insane range. Make sure to dodge his Arcanopulse, especially when Mage Chains has been used on you. His Arcane Barrage is deadly with Mage Chains so exercise caution. If you dodge his skillshots he becomes almost useless!
: Most midder's worst nightmare, however, dodge her Noxious Blast so she can't Twin Fang you to death. If she does hit you with one Infuse her immediately to prevent aforementioned Twin Fanging. Beware her Petrifying Gaze as she can stun you if you're facing her!
- : Insane burst and a long silence to boot. After she has used her Mimic though, her burst is significantly reduced, especially if she has also used Distortion as that also has a long CD. Silence her after she has used Sigil of Silence to prevent the follow-up spell (usually Mimic, however other spells are possible).
Early-game (lvl 1-6) gameplay
So early in the game, you will only have your Infuse and your relatively weak Starcall as a weapon against the enemy midder. You can start using Infuse for damage immediately as it costs no mana, but keep in mind it is your only CC and you should be careful when you use it in case the enemy mid decides to exploit your cooldowns. Don't forget to last-hit! Your CS determines how well you do late-game! Last-hitting is making sure you deal the finishing blow to a minion - that gives you some gold that can be used to buy items - who doesn't like that?
When against an enemy with high cooldowns or abilities with a lower range then you, run up to them, Infuse them then Starcall once before running away. Be careful not to spam Starcall when not against a heavy pusher as that will push your lane and make you vulnerable to ganks and leave you out of mana as well as Starcall does cost quite a bit if you spam it. If you're against someone who's dominating you, it may be better to get three Health Potions instead of one and play very defensively and just farm your lane as best you can and don't feed your opponent (this is quite rare as there are only a couple champions who can really do that). If you're up against a champion that actively pushes the lane ( Malzahar comes to mind) it will be better to max Starcall first to push back against those champions as long as they aren't destroying you every time you leave the protection of your turret (unless you want your jungler to gank).
You should blue pill when you have enough for a Kage's Lucky Pick and a couple of Sight Wards if your team needs more map awareness, even though it is the support and jungler's duty to ward. The GP/10 also lets you get your items faster, provides a crutch when against a lane opponent who is dominating you, allows you to get your items faster if you're the one who's dominating or it can provide a pool of gold dedicated to sight wards.
When you reach level 6, immediately scan the map to check if anyone needs a Wish heal. If others are turret-diving at this stage, you can usually net at least one if not two kills on the enemy. If you're playing against Karthus, it's also a viable strategy to wait for him to Requiem then use it if anyone will get killed by it.
Mid-game (lvl 7-11) gameplay
At this stage you should already be close to finishing Rylai's Crystal Scepter or have already finished it if you've gotten a lot of farm and kills. Champions will start to roam a lot more then early-game, especially if a turret has been destroyed (at least one should've been destroyed already, whether one of theirs or yours), so be careful not to roam by yourself as you could very easily get ganked - Soraka is still very squishy. You should still grab as many last-hits as you can! At this stage you can start zoning the enemy by constantly using Infuse whenever they come for a last-hit - the damage will add up and eventually force them out of lane!
A teamfight may erupt at this stage (probably over at dragon or a jungle buff) and you should make your way over there and support your team mates as well as do as much damage as you can on them. You should still buy Sight Wards and also start buying Vision Wards for warding Dragon and Baron if it has spawned. You should make sure the enemy team does not have a gold advantage over your team and it is the responsibility of the entire team to ward such important objectives to minimize the risk of this happening.
Late-game (lvl 12-18) gameplay
Laning is not so important at this stage - you still have to farmfarmfarm (until you achieve a full build) though! You should start pushing a lane as a team if you're not already doing it and try and take down a few towers. Make sure to not get caught roaming yourself or overextending in a lane and getting caught - at this stage mistakes such as those will lose you the game, no matter how fed you are. It might just allow the enemy to regain their footing after a bad game and present a challenge for you again or, even worse, if you're evenly matched, allow them to win the next teamfight and push to win! You still have to ward important objectives - do it if you haven't already done so as the enemy team getting Baron can turn a balanced game into their favor!
Remember, you are probably the sole AP carry (unless Fiddlesticks is jungling or Vladimir is solo top) so you are the main source of magic damage - that means do not initiate! Once a fight has started spam Starcall, making sure to hit as many enemies as you can. Infuse the AP carry once he starts becoming problematic (or anyone else who is channeling an ability e.g. Nunu with Absolute Zero). A Wish during a teamfight may well turn the whole thing around so don't forget to use it if you feel it'll make a difference (it'll nearly always do!)
If your team wins you are quite a good chaser due to Rylai's Crystal Scepter so don't hesitate to chase someone unless there are still a couple enemy champions to deal with. AP soraka is still quite a good support due to your very strong heals and your team needs you for both that and the damage! If your team loses, you are also quite a good kiter even if you have no mana since Infuse has no cost and has a decent range and combined with Rylai's Crystal Scepter's slow allows you a better chance of escape.
Both of these small items don't cost much at all - 75 gold for a sight ward and 125 gold for a vision ward. They both help raise map awareness considerably - they won't stop a gank but will warn when one is about to happen. Vision Wards also protect important objectives like Dragon and Baron and allow you to take them safely by destroying the enemy Vision Ward at those locations as well as help detect pesky champions like Evelynn, Twitch or the dreaded Shaco.
Here is an image of all the non-situational wards you or your team should or may need to place (perspective from purple side - if you're blue side or need to place defensive wards flip the picture)
Hope you've enjoyed this guide! This is my first here on mobafire so constructive criticism will be highly appreciated! I hope you have fun with AP Soraka - game results will be posted very soon - I promise!
- jhoijhoi for her awesome guide to making a guide which formed the basis for this guide and taught me bbcode which will be very useful in the future
- Terimiah for his or her idea to play AP Soraka in the first place and who also patiently taught me the first steps to using her at mid (which lead me to slowly create a custom guide for myself - shown here)
- matthewlee8888, foxlite and hairlairtheir for letting me play AP soraka when I played LoL games with them
- MrBowbadow and lamelotom5 for inspiring me to create this guide
- Summoner for the nice ward picture guide
- Temzilla for the constructive criticism which has inspired me to find another way of building Soraka
~Phalanxdef's Lizard Elder Support Soraka S3~ May 2013 P1 Gu
Soraka, A Comprehensive Resource
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Support
AP Soraka: No, my horn doesn't poke through my Deathcap