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Sona Build Guide by Luiscencias

Support gold

Deranged harp lady goes on an indiscriminate rampage [10.19]

By Luiscencias | Updated on September 16, 2020
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Runes: Brave and reckless

1 2 3
Sorcery
Arcane Comet
Manaflow Band
Transcendence
Scorch

Precision
Presence of Mind
Cut Down
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

Only ones
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #1 in
Support Role
Win 53%
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Threats & Synergies

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Champion Build Guide

Deranged harp lady goes on an indiscriminate rampage [10.19]

By Luiscencias
Who even am I

My name is Luiscencias and I have played a LOT of Sona. Seriously.



Between accounts I probably have around a million mastery points, and despite not playing ranked very much I got myself from bronze 3 to gold 1 in 60-ish games last season. I usually score an S- or above, and I find myself able to win many many more games with her than with any other champion. All of that is just to say that I have a ton of experience with her.

I promise you mister or miss reader sir/lady that what I am publishing on here is the knowledge that I've gathered from playing this lovely champion in the way that works best for me. If any bit of this is helpful to you then I am happy to have shared.
Idc what you build, read this Back to Top

IS EXTREMELY GOOD, DON'T WASTE IT


I see so many Sona players treating her passive as a random boost every third ability without any regard to its MASSIVE utility and autoattack reset. There is so much power in this passive, as it allows Sona to essentially , , or on command, every few seconds. This passive gives you so incredible versatility in handling engagements, and learning to pick the right note at the right time is crucial for success. Don't ever just press all your abilities without thinking about what passive note will work best.


Blue Note

    This is the note I probably use the most often, because I am a very aggressive player.
    When using this note you will ALWAYS want to try to get the AA reset. That means if you plan on using this, walk up to the target while you have 2 stacks and AA right before pressing Q to get the passive proc. I mostly use this note in lane when the enemy ADC moves in to last hit a minion, or when trying to finish somebody off, or simply to chunk somebody during the later stages.

Slow Note

    This babey right here is why Sona is one of the best chasers in the game. The slow may only last 2 seconds, but if you run up to your enemies with this note already up you can easily chain a second slow, at which point even a flash won't let an enemy escape. Not to mention this would land you 2 Lich Bane procs. Learn to use this note instead of your ult on individual targets. Use it to force an engage when an enemy strays too close to you. Use it on an enemy who is chasing you so you can get away. You can even use it to make it easier for allies to land skillshots on a particular target in a fight.

Small Note


    This is the note I use the least often, but it may be the most important to use when needed. This note considerably reduces the amount of damage the target deals for 3 whole seconds. Using this note correctly could save you and your ADC's life. Assassins slapped with this note will find themselves just short of the damage needed to instakill you, and enemy ADC's will find themselves outmatched. LEARN TO USE THIS NOTE.

VISION, VISION, VISION


Knowledge is power, and knowing where your enemies are gives you a massive strategic advantage. As the support, you need to ward key areas for enemy movements and rotations at ALL times, using control wards and the red trinket to keep enemy wards out of your jungle, the river, and objective pits. ALWAYS LEAVE SPAWN WITH A CONTROL WARD AFTER BACKING. There is almost no situation in which you can't afford 75 gold for one, so don't let me catch you skimping on this. ALWAYS SWITCH TO THE RED TRINKET AS SOON AS YOU GET THE FROSTFANG. You need to go into the skirmishing/teamfighting stage of the game ready to take vision control of objectives. I am not a vision expert, so I strongly advise that you go look up a warding guide. I will say, don't just ward for the sake of upping your vision score. Think about WHY you're warding a certain area. Think about where the enemies would rotate to catch you out of position and ward accordingly.

COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR TEAM!!


Sona is an amazing playmaker, but she is not an assassin, nor is she a 1v9 hypercarry. You should always look for opportunities to work with your teammates. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY LET YOUR TEAM KNOW YOU WHAT YOU PLAN ON DOING BEFORE YOU DO IT. Never assume that your teammates or lane partner are going to follow up unless you have given them plenty of a heads up. For instance, when I roam I tend to ping than I'm on my way to a lane, then I target ping the enemy, then I ping for assistance. It might seem excessive but it usually gets my teammates' attention well before I actually throw an ult or a slow note. It is very important that you let your teammates know when you have your ult up because it can singlehandedly decide teamfights.

UNDERSTAND YOUR DAMAGE POTENTIAL


Here is a quick formula. With Lich Bane built, Sona can hit for 250-500 base damage + (138% AP) + with a Q + Passive autoattack. Ultimate adds an extra 150-350 base damage + 50% AP. In total, you can very quickly shoot out 2 times your AP in damage, with a huge base amount to boot. That is all you can do once every 4-5 seconds. Engage if you know that amount of damage is more than enough, and don't stick around if it isn't. Another good formula to consider is that for every point of MR, you would need to deal 1% more damage to kill them. For example, if an enemy has 500 health and 50 MR, they effectively have 750 health. since it would take 500 x 1.50 magic damage to kill them, and as Sona you will not usually have much magic penetration. In teamfights, focus your damage on the enemies with the least MR, which are usually the enemy ADC and Midlaner. You can often surprise pick one of the squishies amidst the chaos of a fight.

CRESENDO IS A GAMECHANGER, VALUE IT AS SUCH


Don't use your ult on a single target that could be kept in place with a slow note or whose damage could be neutralized with a small note. In lane, position yourself to hit both enemies with your ult as often as possible. Even if you only focus on one afterward, having both stunned is infinitely better. Remember there is a slight cast delay + travel time. Don't cast from max range against people with flash up or dashes. Make a real effort to make plays with it in the early-mid game as soon as it comes up. If it is about to come off cooldown, signal your teammates and try to find an opportunity. In the later game save it for fights over objectives and for peeling/locking down problem enemies.

YOU WILL ALWAYS BE SQUISHY, LEARN TO DODGE SKILLSHOTS


This isn't a skill that I can impart onto you via text,so I'm sorry. But do remember your E is a very long lasting speed boost which should allow you to fake out and dodge plenty of skillshots. For instance, you can E then start to walk toward someone as if to Q + AA only to back up as soon as you see them throw out an ability, since they usually aim where they assume you were going. You have to be attentive of enemy CC ability cooldowns, and you need to remember to use your Stopwatch and Zhonyas once you have them. Lategame you will have a permanent speed of 450+, so dodging becomes easier.

YOU DON'T NEED TO BUILD


Presence of Mind and Manaflow band alone make your pool 750 mana bigger, which is more mana than Luden's gives you. But more importantly, Presence of Mind will ensure you never run out of mana in a teamfight. I have not had an empty mana bar past 5 minutes since this rune's rework.
Archangel's staff costs 3200 gold. Grail only costs 2100. You are not a solo lane carry. You are on SNAP and unemployment. Grail is much more affordable as a first item and the extra 1100 gold can go towards buying the bazooka that is Lich Bane.


A LOST LANE IS NOT A LOST GAME


Sona is an amazing lategame support. Every bit of gold spent on her is worth more than it would on most other supports. Keep that in mind always. You could get destroyed in lane, but as long as a single person in your team is doing even slightly ok, you can absolutely help them get ahead while picking up a good chunk of cash for yourself. IF YOUR LANE IS IN SHAMBLES, LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES ELSEWHERE. Do not go back down there if you and your ADC are not capable of killing either of the enemy laners. Go help another teammate who is better equipped. Tell your ADC to safely farm a side lane, and go help your team skirmish and get objectives. You are far more impactful in group situations.

If you get nothing else out of this guide, at least take a look at the points above. I promise they have some thought behind them

Items, Runes, Etc Back to Top

ITEMS


Why don't I build ?


It too damn expensive
Archangel's staff is incredibly efficient once fully stacked, and the active shield is almost equivalent to an hourglass. I would love to build this and Lich Bane, but after a few hundred games I have found that by the time I no longer get gold out of my support item, I am left with a total of about 5500 gold at which point any further gold generation becomes considerably slower. This means I can afford to build one 3000 ish gold item as well as one 2000 gold item and have them both finished before 20 minutes. In practice, I found Athene's and Lich Bane to be a superior 2-item combination to Archangel's staff + Unholy or Censer. If I were to build Archangel's staff at all, I would need to make it my first item which would delay completion of my first item from 8-9 minutes to 14-15, at which point it would remain inefficient until fully stacked. Games tend to pick up pace considerably after turret plates go down, which means I would be very weak going into the midgame, on champion that's already weak early. If it's mana you want, Presence of Mind alone takes care of all of your mana needs, and between the Grail and Frostfang you will get 100% bonus mana regeneration.
TLDR: I find the initial cost too high and the eventual payoff overkill, I'd rather be better earlier since my lategame is amazing either way.

Why do I build every single game?


Balling On A Budget
This bad boy is CHEAP, it incidentally gives the same MR as Mercury's Treads,it gives 60 AP with Frostfang, AND it turns your poopy lame heal 50 W into a much more respectable heal 150-200 , provided you land a Q first. Thanks to the reworked support items, I can consistently finish this item before the 10 minute mark and get a considerable early powerspike, suddenly being able to sustain my ADC much better and packing a meaty punch. Easily the best 2100 gold spent in every match.

Why do I think building is a complete waste?


Let me show you a little excerpt from the league wiki:



As you can see, movespeed past 490 is pretty much gutted.

Sona's E as of patch 10.8 brings her to a speed of almost 400, without boots. Add a couple hundred AP and unupgraded boots, and she walks(floats?) around with a constant 450+ speed. This means the supposed 105 MS boost of the mobility boots will suddenly be closer to 60, while still making you much slower should you enter combat. Not to mention they just upped their price to 1000 gold. Ew. Do not take these, I promise your E and any normal 45 MS boots are enough.

What boots should you get then?


This one depends on how confident you are in your survivability. This build just so happens to give Sona 25 extra MR and 45 extra armor (more if you choose defensive flat runes), which means you can forgo defensive boots and go Sorcerer's Shoes. I usually do this, but sometimes opt for doubling down on a particular type of defense with or . This decision is very matchup dependent

Why do I prefer over ?


Simply put: I mainly solo queue.
I don't have any friends who are god ADC's and I don't particularly like placing blind faith in every solo queue ADC I am paired with. While it's considerably more expensive,
Lich Bane concentrates all of the bonus damage that Censer could potentially do (and usually more) while giving you full control of where to shoot it. This item alone allows me to keep enemy carries in check and to easily rack up more champion damage than my midlaner, ADC, or both. If you are going to commit to building this, you absolutely must make use of the sheen procs whenever possible. This item is not for passive playstyles, but it makes me feel much more in control over the outcome of fights and I can't put a price on that. Bonus points for forcing enemy divers to choose between focusing my ADC and dying to me or focusing me and dying to my ADC.

Why do I love so much that I almost always build it?


It's a get-out-of-jail-free card!
With my highly aggressive playstyle, I run the risk of getting myself caught out if I chase down too much, or becoming the target of assassins if I cause trouble for their backline. Zhonyas allows me time to get a whole extra use of all 3 base abilities, meaning an extra power chord, as well as time for my team to come to my aid. I also sometimes bait out engages only to pop the active and then ult right out of stasis for an easy teamwipe setup. Get creative with this item! it is like giving yourself a 5th champion ability. It also allows me to reach exactly 40% CDR, and gives me some much-needed tankiness. I love this item, and I hope you will too someday.

RUNES


is the one rune I would never go without


I am somewhat flexible with my primary rune tree choices but I simply will not budge on taking precision secondary with POM and Cut Down. At least as of patch 10.8 presence of mind alone takes care of all my mana needs by itself. No other rune can come close to being as helpful. Early game, the mana refund lets you stay in lane and heal up after winning a fight and lategame it gives you 1 or 2 full extra spell rotations for every person that dies. Take whatever you want on your primary tree but I can't recommend this secondary path enough. In fact, I won't even discuss any other secondary rune alternatives. P.S. Cut Down usually does as much or damage over a game than Comet.

Why do I take ?


It really helps my bad level 1-3 damage
Sona's Q does 40 damage at rank 1. Comet (plus ) more than doubles that amount, and sits on almost half the cooldown and do. With a consistent Q + AA poke, it can quickly deal hundreds of damage at a point in the game where every point of damage counts. Sure, the rune becomes less impressive in the later stages compared to Dark Harvest but it always adds a 20% AP scaling to your burst which I consider more than worth it. Did I mention it can damage multiple people at once?

In addition to the above, I greatly value the 10% CDR provided by as well as the 250 max mana + passive mana regen from . They allow me to build my specific 3 main items while still hitting 40% CDR and a healthy mana pool size.

Why not for damage?


This rune prioritizes shielding allies over damaging enemies. all 3 of your basic ability auras can send aery to the first ally you touch with them. Yes, that includes your Q. This means that most of the time you think you're using aery to add poke you're really throwing a tiny shield on your ADC who does not need it at the moment. You should consider this rune strictly as a shield booster that you take in matchups where you simply can't be poking much, and just need to keep your ADC alive. With this as your keystone you can still take and , which fit right in with this build

What about for damage?


The following is an OPINION
I personally consider dark harvest to be a win-more rune. The times when it does more damage than comet are when you were stomping your enemies so hard you really didn't need the extra damage. On games where you go even or fall behind, however, you won't even want to look at the damage it added. If you like kicking people while they're down, then go for it. But I don't believe this rune, or any small runes in the Domination tree except for are nearly as helpful to my overall gameplan with Sona as what the Sorcery tree can offer.

Do I dislike too?



I accidentally take this rune every time I forget to switch off my runepage. It always works out just fine in the end, though, and you can instantly proc electrocute with a AA > Q > Passive AA reset combo. I also take ultimate hunter on Swain, which definitely works on Sona as well. This is definitely an option, it's just not what I prefer.

A tiny section on flat runes


I almost always take double +9 Adaptive damage with a varying defensive rune depending on the enemy team comp. the starting 18 AP adds 4 healing and 5 shielding to rank 1 W, which is technically a 10% boost from its starting strength. You could also take the +1-10%CDR flat rune, which will eventually turn into 2-20 AP through transcendence.

I also occasionally opt for taking double armor or double MR flats if the enemy is mostly or all one type of damage. Adapt your flats to what you expect from champ select

All in all, I prioritize runes that will make boost my early game poke and make any mana issues disappear by midgame

This is a conclusion Back to Top
If you bothered to read this far, I want to say thank you for giving this build guide a look, and I sincerely hope you got something out of it. I'll probably work more on it as time goes, and I will try to keep a log of changes

Patch 10.9: Not much changed with sona so we are all good :)
Patch 10.10-12: They still haven't touched sona, so all the information on here should be up to date and relevant!
Patch 10.13-16: No changes to sona still!
Patch 10.17: Our dear lady has been hit with some nerfs :(. Her Q scales with 40% ap, down from 50. Her W scales with 20%ap, down from 25 (lol it was already awful scaling), and her E scales with 2% per 100 ap instead of 3 (50% reduction!!) Early game power will be just about the same but you will feel it in longer games. :(
10.18: Our girl got a very awesome new 1820rp skin!! Rejoice
10.19: no updates! At least they didnt nerf her again

Here is an old video of me getting a quadra



Also I have a bare-bones twitch channel I may or may not ever use if anyone cares

League of Legends Build Guide Author Luiscencias
Luiscencias Sona Guide
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Deranged harp lady goes on an indiscriminate rampage [10.19]
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