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Soraka Build Guide by utopus
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Threats & Synergies
Stalemate lane. Her mobility and shield means that your ADC won't be able to trade with either her or her ADC. If, for some reason, they commit to all-inning you, you'll likely win. Take trades that are short enough so that Janna only gets 1 shield in. Continuing trades to the point where she can get a 2nd shield off on her carry will likely result in a lost trade for you.
Low damage, however his ulti makes tower diving very easy against you and your ADC; Additionally, alistar uses flash very well, so be weary about any plays he may be looking to make. You can equinox alistar after his pulverize flash to prevent him from headbutting your carry into tower/team. The only trade you'll decisively lose against an alistar is one where he lands a 2 man pulverize. Maintain a buffer between you and your carry and you should easily win this lane.
Strong level 1 from tahm kench. Use your Q to get free and easy regeneration onto TK. Save equinox for when tahm kench is about to devour your carry. In all-ins, prioritize your opponent carry as opposed to TK, and keep at least a 350 unit distance between you and tahm kench.
His pick potential is tremendous; Depending on his ADC, a thresh lane can burst down your ADC faster than you can heal him. Try your best to have your ADC poke him down when your minion wave is full and maintain brush control when necessary. Successful play around the caster minion wave will make the lane easier.
Brand deals a lot of damage; In all-ins, don't be afraid to exhaust brand, if you can't get into position to safely exhaust the ADC. The matchup is still quite favorable for soraka, provided that your ADC takes initiative and doesn't just get whittled down by brand freely.
Morgana's binding allows for a strong pick on your ADC, but her lack of followup damage allows you to win lane unless you get snared and focused.
His Shield makes it very easy for you to land 1 man starcalls; This means that sustain should be very little of an issue for you in lane. His tankiness means that he only be focused in all-ins if he's horribly mispositioned. His kit is very strong at turning around all-ins, but soraka's kit isn't good at starting all-ins, so this shouldn't be a problem anyways.
She can all-in you through the minion wave, which is basically unique to her amd maybe alistar. The difference between the two is that Leona has a longer range initiate, more chain CC, and more damage.
Sona's poke is mana efficient. Her healing isn't mana efficient. If your carry lets himself take power chords + q's from sona without punishment, you'll get whittled down and poked out of lane. Try very hard to avoid having both you and your ADC get hit by her Q, lest you reach critical health levels trying to heal your carry.
You'll almost always win lane vs an annie pre-6. Her poke is weak, and is easily punished by your ADC if you position well enough to avoid taking poke damage. Post 6, her pick potential becomes huge. She and her ADC will be looking to focus you, not your ADC. Be sure to stay close to your ADC so he doesn't get picked, but avoid clumping up with him
Slightly losing lane. Lulu's shields and ulti make it difficult to win the all-in, or trades of most sizes. Try to avoid getting pushed into tower too much, so you can prevent lulu's lane from taking your tower for as long as possible.
Strong ranged autoattacks, a Q that is surprisingly easy to hit vs a soraka (who likes standing behind her teammates), E + R as catch potential all make this matchup delicate. Take small trades and sustain up. Keeping bard and his laning partner at not-full health may deter them from all-inning you.
Nami's sustain is about on par with yours early game, except it can deal damage as well, and doesn't have a health cost. It is very difficult for you to win this lane due to her sustain. Avoid taking too much free damage from ebb and flow. Soraka outscales nami past level 9.
This is a bad matchup for soraka, but it's not unmanageable. Immaculate play around the caster minion wave is how you will survive this lane. If blitzcrank hooks your ADC, be sure to equinox him if you can do so before he can power fist + ulti, or equinox his ADC for maximum damage control. In this lane, it's okay to concede some amount of CS to reduce the chance that you'll get hooked due to a poor minion wave lineup.
This is a flex matchup, and who wins lane largely depends on whose adc has a better early game power spike OR wave pushing power. Difficulty can range from 4-7 depending on the ADC matchup.
She has high kill potential against low mobility or low range carries due to her plants and CC. You should opt for small trades and sustain back up. Know and respect the range of her plants.
High kill potential from his ability to get a surprise attack on you. Early game vs twitch should be safe and easy, but in particular, be sure to coordinate with your team about warding neutral objectives during the mid game. I recommend going boots of mobility for safer warding.
Table of Contents
|Quick Guide||Basic Info||Tactics||Conclusion|
Synergy And Counters
Strengths And Weaknesses
Hello, I am Utopus, and I am a diamond rated support/mid laner on the north america server. I have been playing support frequently, ever since I started playing league back in 2011. Though things have undoubtedly changed since then, I do like to say that I am very comfortable in the role.
As you can see from the picture below, I do play quite a bit of Soraka, and I consider myself quite knowledgeable when it comes to playing her.
Soraka is a low risk, medium-high reward champion, who is adept at laning. While her damage is lackluster, the amount of survivability she grants her team through raw healing power is threatening enough that she is often times focused down before important carries are. Her ultimate, Wish makes Soraka a menace to all her opponents. It gives her global map presence, and allows her to turn around a lost fight into a victorious one for her teammates. Her Equinox allows her to shut down many champions from bursting down her allies, making her a strong counterpick to many assassins.
|(Innate) A moderately weak passive, intended to give Soraka the ability to rescue her teammates and come to their aid. It gives a massive movespeed buff when walking towards low health allies.|
|(Active) This is Soraka's primary self-healing spell and escape spell. Upon damaging a champion, Soraka is healed over time, and gains movement speed when running away from champions. Landing this spell in lane will give you a large boost in health and will allow you to heal your lane partner for more without the risk of putting yourself in critical health percentages.|
(Active) Your bread and butter. The sheer healing that can put out from this spell makes you a threat that your opponents cannot ignore. With cooldown reduction, the cooldown on this spell can get as low as 1.1 seconds. Soraka's healing can compete with the damage of medium damage champions like Renekton and Irelia.
In the early game, the low health cost can be used to its fullest when your ADC is constantly trading autos with the opponent ADC. Simply put, you can whittle your opponents out of lane. In fact, during the early game (and most other stages of the game), this spell is so powerful that it's usually more important that your carries take damage than you do.
(Active) A instant-speed, AoE silence/snare that often negates a lot of playmaking your opponents can do. Its usage will vary greatly from game to game. Against cooldown reliant champions - champions that are dependent on dealing a bulk of their damage in a small period of time, it is best to save Equinox for when they go in. Some examples of cooldown reliant champions are Riven, Katarina, Zed, and Ryze.
Equinox can also be used as follow-up to hard CC for its snare. It can also be used to zone opponents in narrow areas.
When placing Equinox, it's important to place the center of the field slightly in front of where your opponent wants to go.
|(Active) A global ult that can be used to turn around fights anywhere on the map. While personally, I only use Wish when I see that it can be used to change a 1 for 0 for my oppponent to a 1 for 0 for my team, it can sometimes be useful to just use Wish to save an ally from dying to something like Ignite.|
You want to level up Wish whenever possible to maximize the amount of team healing, and also lower its cooldown. Astral Infusion is levelled up next to reduce the cooldown on the heal, and maximize the amount healed. Starcall is levelled next to increase the duration of the heal over time and the slow duration. Equinox has been levelled last.
Some points early on may be put into Starcall over Astral Infusion if your opponent's lane has high poke.
An itemization path that consists of a gold income item like Ancient Coin and three Health Potions has been quite conducive to my success in my early laning phase. The healing potions give you enough sustain to survive and commit to skirmishes and all-ins that would normally be impossible when starting with just a Refillable Potion. Additionally, the gold generated from these items will allow you to smoothly transition into your power spike by getting you enough gold for your sightstone and some pink wards.
boots of lucidity
Season 6 brought some controversial changes to warding. While rushing Sightstone is still the safest option, it isn't necessarily always needed. If you recall with less than the 800 gold required for sightstone, or don't urgently need extra vision, (e.g. you and your carry are constantly being pushed under your turret), it may be wise to consider rushing Nomad's Medallion for extra gold income before switching to Sightstone. Viable sightstone upgrades include Ruby Sightstone and eye of the oasis. Nowadays, I prefer upgrading to Ruby Sightstone because i have a heavily specialized rune page that allows for a Warmog's Armor rush and a massive level 12 power spike. If you need your powerspike slightly sooner, rushing eye of the oasis into Ardent Censer is probably slightly safer.
Due to the reduced duration of Warding Totem wards, I find that it is safest to keep that trinket until at least level 4, unless you know that it's critical to have the vision denial so that your jungler can sneak in a gank, or a dragon. If it's not obvious already, you should look to upgrade your Sweeping Lens around level 5 or 6. This is to deny your opponents vision, but also it allows you to upgrade to Oracle Lens as soon as you hit level 9 so you don't have to wait 2 minutes to make use of its powerful vision denial. Your ability to catch your opponents is a function of your vision control, and of your judgment with regards to how to react with knowledge of your opponent's position.
Try to always have 1 Vision Ward on the map at all times. Because supports are limited to a cap of 3 wards at one time, having this extra ward that doesn't expire makes it much easier for you to keep vision on critical areas.
Refillable Potion isn't always necessary, but I personally like purchasing it during the mid game. Some supports like Nami don't really use Refillable Potion well. Soraka isn't one of those people; It turns out that Soraka uses Refillable Potion excellently and the extra regeneration that this inexpensive item gives allows you to pump out several more heals in the middle of a team fight before running into critical health problems.
Utility / Defensive Items
The following items are the standard support items that you'll likely be seeing built most games with Soraka. These items tend to give defensive stats, and have a nice active ability.
Ardent Censer is a very strong pick at the moment. Most Soraka mains rush this as their first purchase following their sightstone upgrade. If you do not have the runes to accomodate the rune page I listed in my cheatsheet, I would recommend rushing this as a first purchase. The lifesteal this gives really helps your ADC spike in team fights slightly earlier.
Warmog's Armor gives Soraka a lot of health and gives her a strong out of combat health regeneration, and is now the item I rush as my first major item purchase. With my runes, masteries, and itemization ( Ionian Boots of Lucidity -> Ruby Sightstone -> Warmog's Armor), it's possible to have 2751 HP by level 12, and benefit from warmog's massive out of combat health regeneration.
Locket of the Iron Solari is an incredible item on Soraka. I buy this item every game, but I usually buy it as a 4th or 5th item. The active on Locket of the Iron Solari acts as a second Wish, in a way.
Redemption is another staple in my build. With its active, you can heal both yourself and some of your teammates for a large swath of health. I tend to purchase this item after Locket of the Iron Solari, because it has a long delay on its healing.
Zeke's Convergence is item that increases your carries' damage after you cast Wish, in addition to adding an additional slow to your kit through its passive. While I personally dislike the item, it would be inappropriate for me to not put it on the list of possible items.
Mikael's Crucible is an item that allows you to cleanse a debuff from an ally, and massively increases the overall power of your healing. This is a valuable purchase if you need to cleanse an important CC-effect such as a Dark Binding, or an Enchanted Crystal Arrow from a high priority teammate.
Because your solo laners tend to have power spikes very early in the game, junglers prefer to start on the jungle camp closest to their duo lane, so they can clear their buffs, and then quickly transition to gank a solo lane. This means that it is important for you to place defensive wards to detect for any early jungle invades and react accordingly. Once your jungler's monster spawns at 1:40, help him leash by throwing down a Starcall and a couple autoattacks. If you jungler starts top side, cast a Starcall or two and wait until the ~1:50 mark to show in lane. You'll make your opponents believe that your jungler started bot side, which will make ganks for your jungler easier when he ganks from the bot side of the map when he hits level 3.
Below are some common places for me to ward depending on the side i'm on. While you don't always have to ward in the spots highlighted below, they should be able to cover most of the entrances to your jungle.
For Blue Side:
For Red Side:
Once you get to lane, you should be trying your hardest to hit level 2 before your opponent. When playing more CC-heavy supports like Leona and Thresh, I would often secure first blood from this level 2 cheese when I was in gold and low platinum. The extra spell, damage, and defenses granted from that level can easily convert itself into a kill.
Because of this, getting level 2 as quickly as possible is of utmost importance. Soraka doesn't have a particularly strong level 2 power spike, so that extra level is mainly there to boost your defenses. Pushing and beating your opponents to level 2 can make it safer for you in lane, especially since it's so early in the game that junglers are usually busy clearing their first buffs and cannot punish your aggressive play. It takes the first whole minion wave and 3 melee minions to hit level 2, so for those first two waves, if I'm not repositioning myself to avoid poke, I'm always autoattacking high health minions. In certain lanes, the level 2 rush can be so critical for your safety that as much as 2 CS can be given up for this safety.
In the early game, you are looking to make advantageous trades for you & your carry. Generally, the way to play lane correctly with a Soraka is that your ADC should be looking to constantly be in combat with your opponent lane, yet never committing to your opponents all-in unless there already exists a large health differential between the ADC and the opponent lane. You'll find that doing this will force your opponents out of lane to the point where you can deny them CS and experience by forcing early / undesirable recalls.
Also, you'll find that in general, you'll win a trade if your ADC takes the damage in the trade, and you'll lose the trade if you end up getting focused. While there are things that can swing trades more or less in your favor (e.g. large minion waves), i've included a general check-list below to help you gauge the quality of trading done in your lane.
Here's an example of a common mistake that a lot of Soraka players make.
In the picture above, I try to position myself in such a way that the caster minions would block any hooks that Blitzcrank shoots. The instant Blitzcrank walked past our first caster minion, I should have ran back to tower so the incoming new minion wave would block hooks for me and keep me safe. However, I instead tried to stay behind Miss Fortune. She, wanting to dodge Blitzcrank hooks, tried to position funny by moving such that a caster minion was always between her and Blitzcrank. Because I didn't run back to tower, Miss Fortune felt forced to stay in lane, at which point Blitzcrank could just Power Fist + Rocket Grab me at point blank range and kill me.
In the GIF, I was positioned well enough so that I was never in any risk of being harassed by Ezreal, but both Miss Fortune and I failed in that she didn't punish Blitzcrank for walking past his minion line, and I failed in that I didn't play safer and reduce the chances that i'd be picked off by a hook.
You hit a power spike once you hit level 6. While champions like Thresh or Morgana hit combat power spikes with The Box and Soul Shackles respectively, Soraka's power spike is a utility power spike, since Wish allows you to turn around fights in other lanes.
While Wish can be used for clutch heals in an all-in situation in bot lane, ideally, the spell should be saved for emergencies in other lanes. I think that Wish is used best when you can change around a fight where your opponent will kill you ally to a fight where your ally kills your opponent. Ultimately, you need to assess each critical situation and see if it's worth the long cooldown of Wish to save that teammate. Evaluate the speed of the game - if tons of plays are happening around the map, it may be better to let an ally that got caught out die to an ignite so that you can instead use your Wish in a clutch team fight at some later point in time. Alternatively, if the game is largely a standstill, it may definitely be worth it to just save an ally with Wish.
I've compiled a list of rules that I've learned to follow over my ranked climb last season. Most of these should be obvious, but hopefully some of these may be of use to you.
- If a trade isn't going well for you, try to disengage as quickly as possible
- If a trade is going well for you, try and push the envelope as much as possible, while maintaining fluidity between you and your ADC. If your ADC is backing off from a trade, you back off with him. If your ADC is chasing your opponents, you chase with him. You want to keep a steady buffer distance between you and your ADC.
- Always try to pop a potion at the start of an extended trade, or if you are below 60% health. This can make a life or death difference in all-in exchanges.
- Never, EVER take free damage. If you're taking too much free damage, learn to stand farther back or position yourself in such a way that your opponent can be easily punished by your ADC if he tries to poke you. A good Soraka player will never give her opponents the chance to get damage down on her.
- Pay attention to the health of your own minions. You can learn a lot about your opponents by their behavior around low health minions - both yours, and theirs. If your opponents play defensively (such that they position to not take poke) when you have low health minions, and they play aggressively when there are no low health minions to last hit, then you can use that to your advantage to set up ganks with your jungler. Additionally, a change in this kind of behavior indicates that something is abnormal - your opponents might be preparing for their jungler to gank you, or perhaps they think that your jungler is nearby. These kinds of details are paramount to communicate with your team.
- It is important for you to keep track of your opponent's cooldowns. If a Blitzcrank early on misses his Rocket Grab, you know that you have a 0% chance of getting hooked for the next 13-15 seconds. Punish him by trying to trade during this time, disengaging well before his Rocket Grab comes off cooldown.
- In fights to the death, I try to gauge the amount of damage my opponents do. If my opponent lane has a very low damage team, like Sivir + Alistar, then it can be worth it to just stand behind your ADC and heal for him. If your opponents have a high damage lane like Lucian + Thresh, you won't be able to keep sustaining the amount of damage that that lane can put out, so it may be worth it to try to run closer to your ADC in an attempt to juggle aggro from your opponents. While you'd be getting focused, the extra couple of free auto attacks that your carry can put out may be enough for him to win the all-in.
- Starcall is most effectively used when
1. Your opponents are clumped up in a trade
2. You have more than 30% mana, and you need to regenerate some health.
3. You have a strong minion wave in front of you to block the bulk of skillshots your opponents will throw at you.
4. Your jungler is looking to tower dive and you want to take the first part of the tower aggro
5. You want to check brushed area for champions
Laning Phase, Blue side Ward Map|
o - Warding Totem & early game ward placements before you get Sightstone.
o - Placements for Sightstone wards in the early game.
o - Good places to put Vision Wards
You'll only have your Warding Totem for your early levels, so don't see too many spots for those. You have to choose between having river vision or lane vision early on. Placing your Warding Totem ward in river will allow your lane to have increased safety from jungle ganks, while conceding brush control. If you find your lane is pushing hard, it'd do you good to ward this as a safety measure.
If you place your Warding Totem ward in lane, you'll have more vision control over your opponents far brush. This can be critical in dodging skillshots like Death Sentence and Rocket Grab.
The exact placements of your Vision Wards depends on your current success in the game. If you are slightly behind/even, it might do you good to make the most out of your Vision Wards by placing them in the tri brush near your lane, or to place them in the brush behind your jungler's red buff - places that are really safe for you to ward, and really difficult for your opponents to clear. In contrast, if you are ahead in your lane, it may do you good to place your Vision Wards in more aggressive places, like the death brush in the bottom side of the river, or near the dragon pit. While these are easier for your opponents to clear these wards, placing your pinks in river will allow you to control vision near the dragon area much more effectively; You can use this vision control to catch an opponent, or force a dragon fight that may end up in your favor.
Mid/late Game, Blue side warding map|
When tied, or slightly ahead
o - Possible Sightstone warding locations
o - Possible Vision Ward locations
Mid/late Game, Blue side warding map|
When VERY ahead
o - Possible Sightstone warding locations
o - Possible Vision Ward locations
When you're tied, or very ahead, your goal is try and get as much information of your opponent's movements. More importantly, you want to get intel of your opponent's location NEAR AN ACTIVE OBJECTIVE. For example, if you JUST took dragon, then you probably don't need to have many wards near that area since there isn't much for your opponent to take near that area for another 5 minutes. You'd be better off rotating to the baron side of the map and deep warding there.
Consequently, if both baron and dragon are active objectives that can be taken, it might be good to have ward coverage of both areas. Keep in mind that Towers count as active objectives too. If you plan on taking a tower, it may do you good to ward areas around that tower so as to see how many opponents at a given time are close enough to that tower to defend it against an organized push.
As a general rule of thumb the deeper your ward coverage extends, the more information you can get on your opponent's location. However, it can be risky trying to place very deep Sightstone wards in your opponents jungle without teammates being nearby, or you already having vision of the area near the area you're trying to ward.
While it is important to have deep wards of your opponents jungle, you may need to place tactical wards too. Tactical wards are wards that you use to cover blind spots in an area close to you, if you know a team fight is about to happen. For example, placing tactical wards is critical when you are playing against a team composition that can flank well, like Fiddlesticks (with his Crowstorm), or against high mobility assassins that are looking to pick off a carry, like LeBlanc or Rengar.
Mid/late game, Blue side warding map|
o - Possible Sightstone warding locations
o - Possible Vision Ward locations
When you are behind, it is important for you to get as knowledge of your opponent's location, while also being sure not to get caught out. When you are behind, you are looking to try and ward your own jungle. It's important to try and stratify your warding, and ward areas where current objectives may be contested. For example, if you're at the 35:00 mark, and your opponents have a lead on you, but they are not sieging your inhibitor turrets, they will probably be looking to get baron to make their sieges easier. To get vision of baron, it's safest for you & an escort to first ward the two brushes near the wolves area, and then place a ward over the blue buff wall, into river.
Warding is a very complex subject, with intricacies that change from division to division.
Soraka's team fight presence is really strong, especially after she gets some cooldown reduction items. As my guide is titled, the purpose of Soraka is to be a combat medic. You'll basically want to be healing the most desirable targets as fast as you can with Astral Infusion and Wish, helping your teammates kite with Starcall's slow, and throwing a wrench in your opponents plans with a well timed Equinox.
You want to be positioned as closely to your team as possible without being in real risk of getting jumped on and focused.
Notice how i'm positioned. My opponents would have to plow straight through Ezreal to get to me. While this is normally a fine thing to do (since Ezreal is squishy), this was an attempt at trapping out one of the opponents and killing them before they could get back to their turret. While I am a little exposed, my team is close enough to converge on my opponents quickly such that i'm not in any danger.
In this picture, my Trundle is too far out of position. Although I want to, I cannot run back to heal him, lest I get Leap Striked by Jax and die needlessly. At this point, it is best for me to continue running back, and saving my cooldowns for helping out Ezreal.
I'm positioned close enough to my teammates to be able to heal them while Astral Infusion is off cooldown, but i'm still positioned safely enough; Look at my opponents, and ask, "What could possibly get to me?" My opponent's ADC isn't going to be joining the fight for a little while, so my opponents likely don't have enough damage per second to take down both the Lee Sin and the Vayne with the combined defenses from Lux and me, since Morgana's ultimate is down.
In addition to healing her allies, Soraka adds additional utility to her team through her Equinox. Equinox can be used for either zone control, or for disruption. It largely depends on your opponents team composition, and the context of the team fight that determines which use of Equinox is more desirable.
As you can see below, I used this Equinox as a way to zone my opponents. My opponents team is getting flanked by Nasus so they would like to push forward into my back line ( Vayne, Lux) so that the carries can be killed and the damage output of my team would be stifled, however my Equinox forces my opponents to path awkwardly to avoid my snare, thus buying my teammates enough time to reposition.
Other times, you will need to save your Equinox to disrupt your opponents. In this example below, my opponent Rammus just Powerballed into my Jinx. I know that puncturing taunt will soon follow, and if that happens, then my Jinx will get chain CC'ed, focused, and killed. I use Equinox immediately after Rammus hits jinx with Powerball so the puncturing taunt won't immediately follow. Conveniently, Thresh was also hit with the Equinox, thereby buying jinx enough time to escape with her summoner spells.
A perhaps more obvious example of a distruption Equinox is in the picture below. Zilean mispositions and gives Katarina the chance to quickly assassinate him and Shunpo out, towards the safety of her turret. However, I save my Equinox for until she starts her channel of Death Lotus so that I can interrupt it, preventing her from assassinating Zilean. Champions that are heavily ability reliant like Zed, Katarina, and Riven - to name a few, can really get messed up with a distruption Equinox.
Supporting requires fewer mechanics than most other champions; This means that it is easier for you to be looking elsewhere on the map, and evaluating where plays can be made. Knowledge of objectives and creep wave manipulation make it quite easy to shot call for your team. Your ability to catch your opponents makes you have a terrifyingly large map presence. While mastering Soraka's team fight mechanics is critical, the best way to carry as a support role is to have as much map presence as you can.
Here is a list of objectives that you can control to get an edge over your opponents, in order from most important to least important. The list isn't universally accurate, but it should give you a good idea of the relative value of each of these objectives.
- Nexus turrets
- Inhib tower + Inhibitor
- Inhibitor Turret
- Exposed Inhibitor
- Vision Denial
- Large Forward pushing minion wave
If you were to put me in a sandbox environment, where I could choose any objective and take it without negative repercussions, I would start at the top of this list - at nexus turrets, and then work my way down. Realistically, though, teams don't simply give away their nexus turrets. In fact, that might be the most difficult objective to get, in the same what that it'd be difficult to waltz over to baron and take it freely without first catching a carry and killing them. Because Soraka is adept at facilitating sieges, and excels at assisting allies in team fights, this is the list of the reward you get from controlling an objective that you can while weighing in risk.
- Vision Denial
- Inhibitor Turrets
- Nexus Turrets
- Large Slow Pushing Side minion wave*
The list will vary a bit from team to team. For example, if your team composition is good at sieging turrets (e.g. they have poor wave clear, you have a Tristana), taking an inhibitor turret may be easier and therefore less risky than a baron. Conversely, if your team composition prefers team fighting (e.g. your opponents can defend towers easily, you have a Vayne), then tower sieging will be more risky than baron.
Try to get the most out of any advantage you get over your opponents. Utilize both vision and vision control to look for windows of opportunity in which you can gain an objective. Whenever you find yourself having a numbers advantage over your opponents, it does you good to use that to your advantage. For example, whenever you kill an opponent, you should always look at your minimap and try to force an objective. Additionally, if you find that a solo lane player has Teleport ed to your lane, you should be advising the solo lane to either match his Teleport, or push his minion wave into tower so as to both deny the opponent CS as well as grant your team gold as well as map pressure.
Wave control is heavily important in the laning phase, and a lot of players (certainly players below plat level play) don't fully understand what is going on.
During the early game, wave control can be used for various things, including setting up ganks, dives, preventing trades, forcing winning trades, rotations to dragon, and alleviating pressure from solo lanes by creating map pressure on the bottom side of the map. While it is critical to understand minion waves, it is difficult to cover all bases (or else someone would have done it already). Below, I've tried to teach you guys through example of some ways you can evaluate the state of your minion wave, and shotcall appropriately.
Advantages for Freezing:
Risks of freezing:
How to freeze:If left entirely alone, a minion wave with the higher number of caster minions will tend to push forward. For example, if your minion wave has 3 caster & melee minions, and your opponent minion wave has 4 caster minions and 3 melee minions, the minion wave will almost certainly push towards your tower. The rate at which this minion wave will push to your tower depends on the rate at which your opponent ADC kills your caster minions compared to your own ADC. This means that if you want the wave to push into your tower, you or your ADC should be autoattacking caster minions less frequently than your opponents (assuming both laners deal approximately the same amount of damage); If you want your lane to stay neutral (e.g. your opponents can poke you easily under tower), you want to be autoattacking minions as frequently as your opponent; Lastly, if you want your lane to push to your opponents side (e.g. safety in trades, you want to set up a dive, you don't want your opponents to recall), then you want to be autoattacking the minions more frequently than your opponent. This also means that a carry with AoE damage like Jinx can push her minion wave into your tower faster than say, a Vayne could.
Another factor that is important for freezes is the timing of your minion wave/your opponent minion wave. Because freezes vary so much depending on the rate at which your opponent's lane can push, and when your minions get pushed with respect to your reinforcement minion wave, it's important to establish the bounds for the amount of time your minion wave can freeze.
Because the opponent minion wave was pushed into our turret by the time our melee minions reached our turret, our minions spent more time attacking the minions before continuing forward into lane, whereas the opponent's minion wave did not. This means that the wave would be frozen right outside of range of our tower. Moreover, the melee minions took some damage from the leftover opponent minion wave, which means that the wave will likely (80% chance) push into my turret again by itself. Based on the health of both minion waves and the items and levels Lucian has in this example, starting when the minions in the first minion wave (in the GIF) die, the lower bound for the amount of time that my minion wave can stay alive before pushing into turret is about 12 seconds and the upper bound is around 25 seconds. This is the window of time where Lucian wants to be in bot lane, autoattacking minions and getting gold, and also the window of time where it is easiest the jungler to gank the Lucian.
When a wave is frozen, that means that it is easy for the jungler to gank the lane that is further pushed. However, most players misunderstand this to mean that once you have successfully frozen your lane, you should call your jungler over to gank; This is too late. What the more successful player does, is call his jungler over to gank right at the moment he knows that his minion wave will freeze. This wastes the least amount of time for your jungler because your opponent ADC will be kind of 'forced' to stay in lane to grab that CS, and also because it'll be super obvious if your opponents know your jungler is there.
Advantages to Pushing minion wave
Cons to Pushing minion wave
How to push minion wave: Pushing your minion wave correctly is inherently harder to do than freezing a minion wave, because you have less control over your minion wave which makes it less predictable. Simply put, your opponent has more options: He can choose to keep the lane frozen in lane by matching your autoattacks on minions, or choose to not match your autoattacks on minions and instead freeze the lane closer to his tower, granting him safety from all-ins and jungler ganks.
The way to correctly break an oppponent's freeze is to kill your opponents minion wave, and push your wave into tower such that they die well before the next opponent minion wave appears.
Both Corki and Lucian have farmed up and are looking to recall. There are many objectives to be taken like dragon and also mid tower or bot tower.
Is the bolded statement below true?
In this GIF, Corki successfully manipulates the wave such that recalls at a smart time. Corki had built up such a large caster minion wave, that Lucian would not be able to successfully freeze the minion wave successfully; He would tank too much damage from caster minions, and by the time Corki got back, he would lose all of his presence because he wouldn't be able to trade with corki due to his health / item differential, and he would be poked under tower with Missile Barrage.
In the gif above, the opponent Lucian has built up a massive minion wave. Because he has the backup of his caster minions, he is looking to aggressively trade. Additionally, this minion wave that he has built up is so large that it is impractical for us ( Braum and Kalista) to freeze it. When a wave is pushed up to tower, it is common for supports to ward the brush in river that's close to bot lane. Because of this, I told Aatrox to gank bot lane through tri brush well before the minion wave hit tower.
This is important. I did not tell Aatrox to gank once my opponents minion wave was pushed towards my tower, I told him 30 seconds beforehand, so that he could walk to bot lane as soon as the opponent minion wave started pushing towards my tower, thereby reducing the window of time my opponents have to ward.
With Soraka's dynamic kit, it is no surprise that she works well with many champions. For laning, she synergizes well with people who deal enough sustained damage that they can severely punish opponents for focusing Soraka instead of them. Some examples of this are Kalista, Lucian, Draven, and Vayne, although there are many other carries that synergize well with Soraka. Champions that have low (in relativity) sustained damage, like Caitlyn or Sivir will not work as well with Soraka.
Compositions that mutually synergize with Soraka are compositions that have a strong initiate, a semi-tanky front line, with some CC. This means that champions like Jarvan IV, Vi, Amumu, Shen, Zac and Gnar, to name a few, synergize well with Soraka. It is important to note that all the champions I mentioned are tanky; Having a top laner, and/or a jungler itemize a tanky build path will greatly improve your chances of success in team fights. In addition to this, champions with good sustain, like Vladimir and Aatrox benefit greatly from the extra healing that Soraka can do.
There are two types of compositions that give Soraka a little bit of trouble throughout the game.
The mechanic that hinders one's success as Soraka the most, is catch potential. This is why Blitzcrank is a commonly seen counterpick to Soraka: It is very easy to catch her or her teammates out. However, most assassins tend to excel at catching out Soraka. Champions like LeBlanc, Rengar, and Lee Sin come to mind, as their strong burst and high mobility make even simple tasks like warding a dangerous endeavor. In team fights, it is important that you stay close to high priority targets so they cannot get instakilled by the assassins.
The second mechanic that Sorakas struggle with is long range champions. In team fights, long range AoE champions like Xerath, Gangplank, Miss Fortune, and Ziggs can give Soraka trouble in team fights, because it is difficult for you to position safely while continuing to heal your teammates. It is very easy get executed by a long range spell like Cannon Barrage or Mega Inferno Bomb. Additionally, their AoE spells make it so that there's no one focus target, and almost everyone on your team will need heals
I'd like to extend my thanks to several people:
GrandmasterD, for letting me use his beautiful guide template
My friend Tien, who reviewed and critiqued drafts of this guide
Ipodpulse, for making the dividers
Owentheawesomer, for making the chapter headers, and the soraka banner
Foxy Riven, for helping me with BBCoding & Tables
Maintained, for taking the time to help me with visuals
Vynertje, whose guide writing style I tried model, so I could better organize my thoughts
Turtlecoon, for being a good mentor, and a helpful reviewer
Thanks for taking the time to read my guide. As always, I hope that you got something out of this.
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