Build Guide by Depressed
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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.
Sona has no memories of her true parents. As an infant, she was found abandoned on the doorstep of an Ionian adoption house, nestled atop an ancient instrument in an exquisite case of unknown origins. She was an unusually well-behaved child, always quiet and content. Her caretakers were sure she would find a home quickly, but it soon became apparent that what they mistook for uncommon geniality was actually an inability to speak or to produce any sound whatsoever. Sona remained at the adoption house until her teens, watching in hopeless silence as prospective adopters passed her by. During this time, the caretakers sold her unusual instrument to anxious collectors, hoping to build her a trust. For a myriad of bizarre and unexpected reasons, however, it would be returned, or simply appear again outside the house.
When a wealthy Demacian woman named Lestara Buvelle learned of the instrument, she immediately embarked to Ionia. When the caretakers showcased the instrument for her, she rose wordlessly and explored the house, stopping outside Sona's room. Without hesitation, Lestara adopted her and left a generous donation for the instrument. With Lestara's guidance, Sona discovered a deep connection with the instrument which Lestara called an 'etwahl'. In her hands, it played tones which stilled or quivered the hearts of those around her. Within months, she was headlining with the mysterious etwahl for sold-out audiences. She played as though plucking heartstrings, effortlessly manipulating the emotions of her listeners - all without a single written note. In secret, she discovered a potent and deadly use for her etwahl, using its vibrations to slice objects from a distance. She honed this discipline in private, mastering her gift. When she felt prepared, she went to the only place which could offer her a fitting recital: the League of Legends.
'Her melody moves the soul, her silence sunders the body.'
- Jericho Swain, after attending her concert
What is Sona?
Sona is a newly released support champion labelled as pusher, support, heal, farmer and ranged. She is the first bard released and uses stances for her aura-type moves. She's quite similar to Taric, but in my opinion, superior as she offers more during teamfights with an auto-target heal (which may be good or bad), a nice nuke, although it doesn't scale nicely, and an extremely useful AoE disable ultimate.
However, Sona definitely is not a farmer. Her role is similar to that of Taric's and Janna's. She's one of the best support champions with a nice heal so she is mainly used to baby-site. There's no point in last-hitting. CS should be given to the carry. She is also a bad pusher because none of her moves have a large AoE.
Has nice heal
Good auras for teammates
Still can dish out damage
Very good babysitter in lane
Short CD heal
Has aura for all situations
Needs to know how to manage mana early on
Damage she dishes out isn't good
No CC besides ultimate
Heal is random
Only 1 aura at a time
Her first move is Hymn of Valor and it is her nuke skill. The aura is her offensive aura as it gives teammates bonus AD and AP and the attack itself is similar to that of Heimerdinger's turrets. It has a nice auto-lockon effect prioritizing champions over minions.
Her second skill is Aria of Perseverance. This is her bread an butter skill and should be used during the laning phase and spammed during teamfights whenever off cooldown. The aura gives armor and mag.res which and it's good for defensive lanes. The heal is quite nice as it heals both the ally with the lowest HP and yourself. You don't need to target anyone which may be quicker to get off but might heal a tank instead of a carry needing help.
Her third skill is Song of Celerity. The aura-portion of it gives a nice movement speed bonus and the active gives a really high movement speed burst. Either this or Hymn can be picked second but I prefer the nuke as I play much more aggressively.
Her ultimate is quite similar to that of Amumu's. It's called Crescendo. A nice AoE stun but it's not that easy to hit. It's still a skillshot but if you land it on all 5 enemy, it's definitely satisfying. It's her only skill that doesn't have an aura effect.
Her passive is not a strong one. It gives Sona a nice weak nuke in the laning phase but not too useful.
Magic penetration reds are definitely needed for a damage-dealing support champion.
Mana regen / lvl / 5seconds yellows are probably the best too because it makes laning much easier and reduces need for mana regen items.
Hp/lvl yellows are also a good choice if you need the extra survivability.
Cool down flat blues are a good choice as it gives a laning boost and teamfight boost at all stages of the game so the auras can be spammed faster.
Magic Resist / lvl blues are also a good choice, if you play more defensively and want the extra survivability.
If you're very mana dependant, going mana regen could work too but not recommended as you have plenty already.
Flat HP quintessences are probably the best choice as it gives you a good early game survivability.
Masteries are probably best when you go 9/0/21. Getting 9 on offense to reach magic penetration is really useful and 21 down utility helps her mana problems, gets her a nice exp boost and summoner skill CDR which will go into flash and ghost to give her added survivability.
I feel like Ghost and Flash is are the best summoner skills. It lets you make mistakes and still survive. Since she doesn't have any escape moves, besides movement speed bonus and a super long CD ulti that you don't really want to waste, having Ghost and Flash is a smart choice.
The ones who are smarter and have more control can take something else instead of ghost because she does have movement speed bonus. Ghost just adds on to it. Grabbing something like Clairvoyence, Fortify or even Clarity can help plenty depending on team structures.
Items for Sona vary depending on what your playstyle is. If you're more of the : Kayle, support DDer type, you would want to skip Locket while if you're one of those: zomgsorakapokingskillsplusheal, then grabbing locket is a great idea.
I like starting most champions, especially laning champions, with a Doran's item as it gives the best bonuses for its cheap price. The Doran's Ring is the best for someone who casts spells frequently because it gives a good amount of mana regen.
Depending on when I get back to base, I tend to grab boots + tome, or if I was richer, boots + Mejai's soulstealer. If the lane is tougher, I rather get level 2 boots instead but if me and my lane partner are getting kills, an early soulstealer is smart.
Soulstealer is an amazing item for her because all she does it stay back from teamfights and spam her stances whenever possible. This allows her to get massive amounts of assists to stack her soulstealer up. AP = good. Her scalings aren't too good so the more AP, the merrier.
Boots really depend. Once again, if you're playing aggressive, sorcerer's boots CAN work as it gives your first nuke and ultimate a nice damage boost. If you're more support-oriented, boots 3 is swell as it can get you to places quicker to send in an useful heal or to escape from pursuers. It also helps you maneuver better during teamfights to give you the best positioning not to get targetted.
As I've said, depending on your playstyle, you can decide whether to grab an innervating locket or not. If you decide to skip it, your next item depends on how well you are doing in the game. If it's tough, you might want to grab a catalyst early and make it into a banshees early into the game if the enemy team have some heavy CCs. If they don't have too many heavy CCs and you're an aggressive player, grabbing a Rylai's Crystal Scepter can give HP and AP and gives you a nice slow. If you were doing well early game and got a lot of stacks on soulstealer, you can just rush a Zhonya's Ring for the 25%+ AP scaling it gives. The active invulnerability is also invaluable as it can save you. (Heal, but then, enemies decide to target you. The stances are changing so a 1 second CD so you use Zhonya's while skills refresh from CD. Then, you can activate movement speed bonus and with ghost + flash to escape.)
Finally, guardian angel is needed because it gives the winning team the final boost to victory.
If you didn't grab some of the items, like Banshee's, you might want to get, as a last, last, item, a deathfire grasp. What it does is injure tanks heavily which can be used to win the game. The other stats aren't bad either.
PS: Always remember to elixir up before teamfights! They make a difference!
Other notable items: The new item, the Reverie item is pretty decent on her. I've never really used it because it's not too great of an end-game item and it gives stats that other items can give better of.
How to play Sona:
Early on, just sitting in your duo lane with a carry helping him last hit is enough. Pop a heal once in a while and try to harass with Hymn of Valor.
If you grabbed clairvoyence, always try and find junglers / gankers before being too aggressive and if you grabbed flash, it means a bit more lenience.
That's all for early game.
Mid game is usually when lots of ganking and pushing starts. Just try and heal the teams' primary carries out during pushes and harass. If you got fortify, it means your team can usually push faster. You should have most of your core items. Soulstealer, Boots, another item of choice (listed above). With a soulstealer, you can help stack it up. It takes time as assists only gives 1 and its hard getting stacks because of her fragility. She can lose stacks in a blink of an eye but she gains stacks slowly. You'll probably stay at around 3-9 at this time.
This is when everyone sticks to your team whenever acing the other team means a win. Would also have baron fights. Your job is to stick at the back, spam your skills whenever off cooldown and to use your ultimate at the best spot. They might be spread out at the beginning so you don't need to initiate with it but then, if enemies gather together, pop it and give your team the immediate advantage.
This is when you stack up soulstealer grabbing 4 assists and maybe 1 kill. If you stack up soulstealers fast, like up to 15-20, an earlier guardian angel can help you protect the stacks along with zhonya's active because it prevents enemies from targetting you.
Remember blue buff is quite important. It gives her all the mana to use and spam her skills and the nice cooldown reduction allows her to spam her skills more.