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Sona Build Guide by Av1212Xx
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Hello fellow players, thank you for taking a look at my build guide. This guide does not talk about every single thing that can be talked about in a guide, and is designed to be simple and straight to the point.
I would just like to say that this is not a niche build made for those who simply want to play Sona . This build is designed for overall ranked play, and is good against assassins, and simply uses a champion that makes full use of the most recent changes in items to maximize build efficiency, healing, and tankiness. Who can abuse Athene's Unholy Grail better than Sona ? I regard this build as a build that can compete with the top supports of the current meta, such as Morgana and Rakan .
Thank you, and good luck and have fun with your ranked games.
Exceptional One Trick Pony at Sona as confirmed by League of Graphs
Current and highest ranks at the time of writing this:
Platinum 3 in one account and Platinum 4 promos in 2 accounts
The purpose of this build is to abuse Athene's Unholy Grail and the most recent changes to the support items to create a build that is capable of tanking and peeling, while still having high healing and decent damage.
This build abuses the mana regeneration of the health-giving support items such as Redemption to give yourself the ability to spam your abilities and increase your ability power through Athene's Unholy Grail 's passive, which therefore gives you extra damage, making it easier to activate Athene's Unholy Grail 's other passive, giving you great healing capabilities.
Through the extra health from the items you are building, you can then build extra resistances, such as Knight's Vow to give yourself the ability to also tank and peel for your team.
Summon Aery - This rune improves your poke damage, healing, and shielding. Unlike Arcane Comet , you cannot dodge Summon Aery 's damage and can also be activated more often. Summon Aery 's shielding also activates from all of Sona's basic abilities through aura, allowing you to protect your team better and giving you additional Athene's Unholy Grail 's passive's activations through the shield.
Manaflow Band - Mana sustain rune that is great for the early game, allowing you to poke harder, and is still useful later in the game. If you take this rune out, you will see a significant difference in your early game mana logistics, giving you less options and less pressure, particularly in the laning phase, through the deficiency of mana.
Magical Footwear - Arguably the most gold efficient rune. This rune saves you a colossal 300 gold while, at the same time, still upgrades your boots to include +10 movement speed. This rune allows you to rush your crucial items more quickly, giving you more overall power in the game.
Crucial Items Explanations
"Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics."
Early Game Items
Do NOT Upgrade Frostfang into Remnant of the Watchers - Doing this is a waste of gold. +15 Ability Power and +200 Health is not worth the additional 950 gold. You can build better items with that gold and rush your important items sooner. You should only consider upgrading this item during late game and when you have extra gold. The most important aspect of Frostfang is the damage and gold regeneration from the passive, as well as the mana regeneration to make efficient use of Athene's Unholy Grail , neither of which gets an increase if you upgrade to Remnant of the Watchers .
When to buy certain boots
Ninja Tabi - Build against high damage autoattacks such as Draven , autoattack team compositions, such as Jax and Yasuo , or the necessity for plain armor in general, such as against a full AD enemy team.
Mercury's Treads - Build when you are in need of an item to deal with annoying, usually single target, Crowd Control compositions, such as Leona and Jhin bottom lane, Twisted Fate 's yellow card, etc. This will allow you to still function as a tank in teamfights, while still being able to use your abilities somewhat efficiently due to the reduction of crowd control effects.
Mid Game Items
What you buy first, Redemption or Knight's Vow , depends on the game situation.
Typically, you'd want to buy Redemption first because, logistically, the mana regeneration is more useful for spamming abilities, giving you more options and flexibility. It also makes great use of Athene's Unholy Grail's passive with the whopping 150% Base Mana Regen, higher than any other mana regeneration item, second only to its own Masterwork Ornn Item, Salvation. This means this item, with Athene's Unholy Grail , not only fixes your logistical problems, but also gives you +30 Ability Power.
If, however, you find that you need an anti-burst quickly, such as against a fed enemy Zed, then Knight's Vow would be a better first buy. Knight's Vow is a powerful item, especially against AD Assassins. This item will allow you to tank for your ADC with the extra armor and health, but if you find that they were able to engage on your ADC anyways, this item also makes it easier keeping them alive, reducing the damage taken by your ADC by 6%, a crucial amount, as that 6% could be the difference between your ADC dying, and your next heal and shield.
The Power of Athene's Unholy Grail
Athene's Unholy Grail is an item that has two passives.
For one, this item gives you ability power based on your additional base mana regeneration, improving the gold value of most of your other support items. At full build, Athene's Unholy Grail 's first passive will give you an additional +80 Ability Power. This means that Athene's Unholy Grail alone, gives you a massive +110 Ability Power, just 10 less than Rabadon's Deathcap , not including its passive.
Secondly, Athene's Unholy Grail has a passive that increases your healing after you've done damage. In a typical game, it is not unusual to heal greater than 3000 HP from Athene's Unholy Grail 's passive alone. This is a passive that can compete with the pre-nerf Ardent Censer . Combined with Athene's Unholy Grail 's other passive, this item is even better.
Sona is the champion that can make full use of Athene's Unholy Grail .
Sona is a champion that is designed to poke as much as possible, as quickly as possible, with the easy-to-use Hymn of Valor auto-attack through Power Chord. She is arguably, the damage dealer when it comes to healing supports, making full use of Athene's Unholy Grail passives.
In most fights, she often deals damage first, before healing, further maximizing Athene's Unholy Grail 's potential. An in-game example would be when Rengar engages with his ultimate on your ADC.
A Janna would typically use Eye Of The Storm and Monsoon first to push Rengar away from the ADC, then use Howling Gale and Zephyr to keep Rengar away. Janna used her healing and shielding abilities first, then used her damage abilities.
Sona would first use Crescendo to stun Rengar as to prevent any more damage, quickly use Hymn of Valor and Power Chord, then use Aria of Perseverance . Sona used her damage first, then healing.
Usefulness of Shurelya's Reverie
Do not underestimate Shurelya's Reverie simply because it is built last. Other items just happened to be better for this build first compared to Shurelya's Reverie .
Shurelya's Reverie is a great item for this build just based on its stats alone. It gives health,cooldown reduction, and a good +100% base mana regeneration, double that of Ardent Censer , and the same as Mikael's Crucible , which requires two mana regeneration items to build. Even without making use of Shurelya's Reverie 's passive, this is still a good item with its stats alone, especially with this build.
Shurelya's Reverie 's passive is also very strong. In short, it can be used for engages, disengages, and kiting. When built early, it is also a strong anti-gank/anti-camp item. This is more noticable on a champion like Sona who is weak against ganks due to her lack of crowd control abilities in her basic abilities kit, solving a great weakness of hers during the laning phase, albiet other items are just more stronger in general, but if you deem it necessary, you can build it early and see for yourself.
Goal: Focus on farming gold through poking, but still go for it if the enemy makes a mistake. Your laning phase poke is annoying for the enemy team. Realize that you do not have to go for a Power Chord auto-attack every time you Hymn of Valor . Remember, you are a laning phase bully, but you also arguably scale the hardest out of all supports. As long as you don't throw the early game, it is easy to win.
Goal: Sona 's mid-game is not the best. Look for easy flanks and picks. If someone makes a mistake, capitalize on it. Respond to the current game situation. Protect your team and follow up your team's engages. Secure objectives, especially dragon.
Late Game and Teamfights
Goal: Make sure the enemy team doesn't get free barons. Ward properly. You should have finished Knight's Vow by now. In teamfights, use it to eat the crucial engages of assassins such as Zed or bruisers such as Pantheon , thereby making them useless, but don't die. Remember that you can always easily rotate to be just a simple backline support if your health is too low. With Athene's Unholy Grail 's passive, you still heal a massive amount and do decent damage even with tanky items. Remember to always heal and spam your abilities whether or not you are currently frontlining or backlining.