Soraka Build Guide by semisomniac
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Runes: Poke Bowl
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Threats & Synergies
He's really annoying. So much damage... but if you can dodge his W early, even if your ADC gets hit, you can outheal him. Just make sure to sustain by landing Q's.
This section is a WIP. Also, don't play Blind Pick.
Free lane. Just watch the tongue lash poke, but otherwise you can bully this lane to your heart's content. Keep an eye out for his ult too!
Sona outpokes you but is so squishy early that you can win trades. She does scale super well though, so try to get your ADC/jungler to target her and shut her down early. Especially pre-6, if she makes a positional misstep, there's very little room for her to recover. You have to outright win this lane or else she beats you later.
You better get good at dodging his hooks, because if you get pulled in, you EXPLODE.
Oh man, you're in for a rough time unless you're a juke god. Channel your inner Jensen! Dodge those skillshots! Even then, if the Thresh is good, the outplay potential of that champ is simply crazy.
Not only does he have a hook, but he also has a stun and camouflage... with an execute. It only gets harder and harder in this lane. Reminder: you can use your E to cancel the channel on his hook, so you've got to be really alert!
Your E poke outranges him. Just watch out for a Body Slam - Explosive Cask combo during ganks because his all-in is strong, but in lane you should have no issues with him.
You win by poke in the early levels, but once he hits level 3 you have to be careful not to get engaged on, because his all-in is almost unparalleled. His base health got a nerf in 8.21, so you can poke him even harder early now.
Leona, like Alistar, tends not to have much early, so you can poke hard... but once she gets level 3 and has access to her full combo you have to respect her engage. Level 6 makes it even worse.
She HURTS. I ranked her above Brand because she can root through minions when you go up to poke. Watch for seed placements and be aware that you might have to heal up your ADC in this lane. Depending on her runes, you should be able to outsustain in lane.
He can all-in pretty well, but you outpoke him. If he tries to poke you back with his Q too much he'll run out of mana. Pre-6 this should be easy. When he hits 6 you have to be more careful.
Another high-damage support, albeit less common than Zyra or Brand. His poke is pretty high-ranged so it might be hard to punish him when he does it. Try to sustain as well as you can. When he hits level 6, try to have your E ready in case the enemy team decides to all-in so that you can interrupt his ult laser.
She can poke hard, but with this build you should out-poke her. Her shields don't provide sustain, while your Q does... plus your E is so fast that it's difficult to shield. Just watch out for the possibility of an aggressive all-in when the jungler shows up.
Positioning is key, watch your proximity to walls or minions! He does a good amount of damage. Your sustain should be better than his though.
Karma HARD out-damages you early, but remember that her poke cannot go through minions. If you don't stand next to minions or out in the open, she can't really reach you. Watch out for the all-in potential of her W and if she hits you with Mantra-Q, please move out of the explosion zone.
Soraka actually serves as a Morgana counter because she can't relentlessly Black Shield your poke and you sustain better in both mana and health. Just dodge the Q and watch out for her level 6 all-in potential with ult.
Treat Neeko as a threat on the level of a mage support. She's high-damage and high-kill potential. Your silence can't interrupt her ult cast.
She pokes hard and has really high kill threat with her passive, which only gets worse at level 6. Not a common support pick, but threatening.
Another big hook champ. He can't hook you through walls and he pulls himself and his target to a midpoint between them, so if your ADC gets hooked, you can basically guarantee a root by placing your E beneath where they land.
The poke in this lane can get pretty crazy, plus he's slightly safer than other ADCs. Double globals mean good cross-map influence if well-timed. Lack of hard CC might hurt a bit though.
Great poke lane. Varus scales into a hypercarry—you can keep him alive until then. His ult root means a guaranteed E root from you as well.
Great poke lane. Ashe provides utility in the form of CC, especially hard CC (which you lack) in the form of her ult. Not just that, but your double globals can influence anywhere on the map if timed correctly.
Champion Build Guide
[9.8] Win Lane, Win Game ★ Soraka GuideBy semisomniac
Summon Aery - Does extra poke damage and shields your ally whenever you heal them. Absolutely perfect for Soraka. This is for sure her best keystone. In patch 8.16 the early damage was nerfed in favor of a small early shield buff, which is a bit sad for this Soraka build.
Manaflow Band - If you poke frequently you may find yourself running out of mana. This rune is hugely helpful and a better choice for Soraka than the other options anyways.
Transcendence - In my build, you will overcap on CDR, so Transcendence works well here to give some nice AP. Before Celerity was changed I took that, but with its many changes, it doesn't quite feel worth it to me on any champ anymore. If you want to take Absolute Focus, it could add to your damage pretty well, but only if you have enough health to make it worth!
Gathering Storm - Gathering Storm is an actual rune and it's never going to be a bad choice. Scorch does absolutely nothing now. Might as well have this rune as your late-game insurance policy.
Bone Plating works best with the theme of this build (lane bullying), enabling you to mitigate a little damage in extended trades, but if you have confidence in yourself, go Demolish!
Revitalize - This rune is AMAZING for Soraka. She as a champion is all about her healing and this only helps that. In addition, it helps her heal more when she hits a Starcall, which is absolutely necessary because Soraka's base health regen is terrible. Always take this, it's the only reason I'm not recommending Inspiration as a secondary tree.
You should take the two adaptive (AP) stats and then any of the final tree's defensive stats depending on the damage of the enemy comp. If necessary you can go both defensive stats. Just make sure you take adaptive/AP in the first slot.
If you want to take INSPIRATION as a secondary tree, Magical Footwear and Cosmic Insight are my picks. You could also take Biscuit Delivery over Magical Footwear if you feel like you want the extra mana and/or sustain, but usually Manaflow Band and hitting Starcall every once in a while is enough for me.
Flash is necessary on almost every champion. Soraka is no exception to this.
Other options are:
Ignite can be taken when you are confident it can get you a kill in lane. Pretty good in its buffed state.
Exhaust can be taken when there are many assassins on the enemy team and you prioritize shutting them down for teamfights over the self-protection given by Barrier.
Unless something strange happens at the very start of the game (maybe the enemy team invades and you have to keep someone alive so you start W), start Q ( Starcall). This allows you to poke and heal up in any early trades.
After that, assess the situation. Has your bonobo ADC taken enough damage to beg for healing? If so, you may (begrudgingly) take W ( Astral Infusion) and keep them alive. If your poking is going well, put your second skill point into E ( Equinox). Your third skill point should go into whatever ability you do not yet have.
A standard skill order is three points into E, then W max so that you can still effectively transition into your role as a huge mid-game healer. This is good for poking into melee and ranged supports. If you think you can bully a melee support matchup, you should instead put three points into Q, then W max.
Of course, if you're facing, say, a Brand that is basically killing your ADC with a single spell rotation, you're going to want to max W as soon as you can.
Adapt based on the situation! Trust your own judgment!
Spellthief's Edge is ideal for lane bully Soraka. It adds extra damage to her poke. As long as you poke while you have Spellthief procs up, you should have no trouble getting your ward quest done, either... except for the ******* nerf Riot did because of the Frostmancy solo lane strat.
Health Potion is a standard start. Take two and remember that you have a slightly bigger pool of health available to you with these two potions than either ADC does. Because of this, you can tank poke better than your ADC; the enemy ADC can withstand less poke than their support. Try to target their ADC with poke if you have the chance.
Refillable Potion start has been wiped out by the 50 gold increase to support item cost. A shame, but Soraka always sustained well with Starcall in lane anyways. If you think you'll be poked out of lane later into laning phase, take this.
Frostfang should be the first thing you buy upon returning to base. You need to complete your quest as quickly as possible—vision is very important!
Oracle Lens should be taken as soon as you complete your vision quest. Denying enemy vision and grabbing brush control for yourself is just too good. I tend to accidentally miss this—make sure to take this item, don't forget like me!
Chalice of Harmony gives nice mana regen if you find that to be an issue during laning phase. It builds into a core item for this build, Athene's Unholy Grail, so it can be a good first item.
Forbidden Idol was nerfed but then reverted, so it's once again a great starting item, synergizing nicely with Soraka's kit. Keep in mind this affects your healing when you hit your Q as well!
Boots of Speed must be bought at some point because you're going to need boots, either to run away or to get Tier 2 boots' effects.
Refillable Potion is good if you run out of potions early, since when you heal anyone you're losing a portion of your own health. Getting this early on can be nice.
Control Ward is so important! Even if you're low on gold early, try to get one every time you recall so that you and your ADC can be safe in lane. Later on, always keep a spot for them, preferably two, but just having one is always good too. And don't be afraid to USE THEM! Even if you've already got one placed down, these are good just to deny enemy vision!
Ionian Boots of Lucidity are a good choice for enchanters due to the early 10% CDR they give. They later help you overcap on CDR for some AP from Transcendence as well.
Boots of Swiftness are good if you really want to dodge skillshots.
Boots of Mobility are good for roaming, if you like going fast back to lane or about the map in the mid- to late-game.
If you feel like you're being blown up too fast, Ninja Tabi (vs AD) or Mercury's Treads (vs AP) can be helpful.
Eye of Frost can be left in its un-upgraded state for a while, as long as you've completed the ward quest. Once you reach the fabled late-game and want more wards, you can drop that 950 gold for Eye of the Watchers.
Athene's Unholy Grail is the best item for this build. After doing damage, your next heal gets its power boosted. This item was buffed as compensation for nerfs to the Forbidden Idol line, but when the nerfs to Forbidden Idol were reverted, the buffs to Athene's weren't removed (thankfully). The passive, which grants AP for % mana regen, synergizes very well with the Forbidden Idol item line and the Spellthief's Edge item line.
Ardent Censer should be rushed if you have multiple teammates who rely on auto-attacks and/or a fed ADC who can wreck everyone. For example, you might have a Kindred jungle and a Jinx ADC—both like to auto-attack. Or maybe your Tristana ADC has 6 kills, 0 deaths, and you want to buff them up as much as you can. That's when you rush Ardent Censer. The mana regen also synergizes with the passive of Athene's Unholy Grail. Either way, you want to get this item at some point because it helps your healing/utility and gives some nice AP.
Redemption is good if there are often little skirmishes happening in side lanes that you want to impact, or you can just get it for the health and heal power. The high % mana regen synergizes well with the passive of Athene's Unholy Grail.
Remember to get Oracle Lens and leave room for Control Wards!
Shurelya's Reverie synergizes nicely with the passive of Athene's Unholy Grail and provides a good speed boost for your whole team.
Twin Shadows can reveal and slow enemy champions with its active while giving a good chunk of AP.
Mikael's Crucible should only be taken if you are not planning to get Athene's Unholy Grail, as their passives clash and cancel out some benefits. Mikael's is good for raw healing power in a single item slot and also for its active, which cleanses CC from an ally. If you feel that you can effectively use the active, Mikael's Crucible is a good choice.
Banshee's Veil (MR/spellshield) and Zhonya's Hourglass (armor/stopwatch) are good defensive choices, as Soraka may often be a priority target in teamfights.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter only procs off of Equinox because slows do not stack with this item, but if you want to have a better time landing your E root or getting a guaranteed slow zone, this might be okay. It has some health and a good bit of AP on it.
If you're really ahead and want to have fun Rabadon's Deathcap can work... costly though.
The Dark Seal can be bought early if you're smashing lane and can pick up assists/kills without dying. It provides some AP and synergizes well with Refillable Potion or Health Potion to heal you more.
I hope this guide was helpful! If you have anything that I missed or that you would like to discuss, leave a comment! Thanks for reading <3