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Sona Build Guide by Luiscencias

Support gold

Deranged harp lady goes on an indiscriminate rampage [10.24]

By Luiscencias | Updated on December 1, 2020
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Runes: Moonstone Renewer Mythic

1 2 3
Sorcery
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band
Transcendence
Gathering Storm

Precision
Presence of Mind
Cut Down
Bonus:

++8 ability haste
+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%
Get More Stats

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Champion Build Guide

Deranged harp lady goes on an indiscriminate rampage [10.24]

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, please 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.


Stack up this bad boy


Every time you hit someone with you Q, you make the amount of money a melee minion gives. So make sure to stay on top of your quest by using max range Q's on the enemy ADC when they go in to last hit, because the earlier you get wards, the earlier you can switch trinkets, and also this is your only real source of income and you have bills to pay

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 300-550 base damage + (128% AP) + with a Q + Passive autoattack. Ultimate adds an extra 150-350 base damage + 50% AP. In total, you can very quickly shoot out almost 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.

MANAGE YOUR MANA WELL AND YOU WON'T NEED


Manaflow band makes your mana pool 250 mana bigger, which isn't a ton but it does almost double your level 1 mana. In preseason 11, Presence of Mind has gotten a big nerf, and will no longer singlehandedly fix your mana. Because Lich Bane no longer gives mana either, and support items only give mana regen, it is very likely you pool will stay under 1000 the entire game. HOWEVER, I feel that building a mage mythic (which are the only mage items other than tear which give mana now), or tear itself isn't very good on Sona anymore. You are on a support budget, and items got more expensive, so you really can't afford to drop an item slot and 450 gold on a tear, which isnt nearly as good as it was before. You will have to closely monitor your resource bar now, and not spam too much too early in fights. Since POM still recovers 15% of your mana on takedown (which will be like 200 mana for you later on), you should keep in mind every kill will equate to just about 1 basic ability rotation in a teamfight. Don't use E for no reason and don't use W to top off someone who is only missing a little health if you know a fight is about to break out.

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.

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.

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



Friendly reminder that we all have different playstyles and preferences! Feel free to use my build as a stepping point but understand that the best items for you to build depend entirely on how you want to play! If you don't like being aggressive don't build pure damage items, and if you want to kill people and nothing else then Renewer doesn't help you achieve that so you don't have to build it



You should not always build the same things, or in the same order!


I think one of the main goals of the preseason 11 changes was to encourage players to adapt their build for each game. You don't have to always go Moonstone Renewer if you feel that you can safely deal damage. You don't even need to always build a mythic item first! I have gone straight into Lich Bane on occasion just to maximize my damage before actually building a Mythic. Try to get a feel for what items will be most impactful in your game based on team compositions and how the early game pans out. To keep my options as open as possible, I have been getting a Dark Seal + Amplifying tome on first back.

Why am I always buying Dark Seal?


Like a needlessly large rod on clearance!
I don't know whose idea it was to up the AP per stack on this item from 3 to 5, but as of 10.24 this little guy can give you more AP than the aforementioned for such a small opportunity cost that I can't justify not buying it. If you fully stack, you can upgrade to Mejai's, and if it ends up clogging you inventory with no stacks, you can sell it, and only be down the price of a few control wards.

Why is my default mythic?


Cheapest mythic plus massive healing
As of patch 10.24, I still don't love the fact that this item gives 200 health (nonbo with Cut Down and not enough to save you from much), or that it costs a whole 600 more than Athene's did. However, this item can turn all 3 of your abilities into pretty strong heals. That's right, with this item, every time you activate an aura, the lowest health ally that it touches will get a pretty meaty heal, which I think is too good of an effect to pass up. I love dealing damage, but at the end of the day I am playing support for a reason, and because Sona's W scales so poorly with AP I think buildin renewer is a necessity in any game where you aren't massively ahead. You can always keep your options open by first back buying a Dark Seal and Amplifying Tome and deciding whether you want this or Night Harvester as your mythic.

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 each game is going, and whether you want to prioritize damage, spamming, or surviving. I usually go these days, but are still king if you want to pack a big punch. And of course, or are super useful if you just need to stop getting deleted, more so now that your base build gives 0 resistances.

Why do I prefer over ?


Simply put: I have a big ego and want to feel important.
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 me 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?


I'm bad and It's my get-out-of-jail-free card!
With my highly stupid 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 is also now only 2500 gold in preseason 11!

RUNES


got gutted, but I still take it


Gone are the days where POM singlehandedly fixed mana issues. That is very sad, as is the fact that the only non-mythic item that gives flat mana now is Tear. Even though my overall mana pool size is half what it used to be and that the on-kill refund of this rune is only 15%, I still think it's worth it just to get that extra spell rotation in teamfights. You will absolutely want to pair this with Manaflow Band. Oh also it gives you some regen after your do damage or whatever.

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 Ability Haste provided by as well as the 250 max mana + passive mana regen from . 250 mana is nothing to scoff at in this economy.

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 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 bit of 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's not the worst thing and sort of works in the end, though, since 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. Though if you are considering this, you might as well go Dark harvest instead

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

Preseason 11 Back to Top

ITEM REWORK ALERT!!!


A complete overhaul to the item system went live on November 11th, 2020. I will try my best to figure out a new build path that works close to this one but with Athene's being removed and Mythic support items giving very little AP, prescence of mind being nerfed and lich bane not giving mana or CDR anymore we will have to see. As of December 1st, I have sort of landed at a build that I like, and have updated other sections accordingly. I'm still going to see how the rest of preseason changes pan out and make any changes I see necessary




During my testing on PBE I mostly rotated between New Ludens and Renewer as my mythic item. Given that Spellthief's edge gives 20 gold on proc now, it is much easier to buy a relatively expensive first item, so Luden's has felt like a fast track way of getting good damage and replacing the extra mana that prescence of mind used to give. Without Athene's though my healing has been mediocre at best, which has led me to put a second point in w at level 4 and a third at level 8. I am still always going for second since despite losing its mana and CDR it now has better AP scaling and a slightly lower price. The damage sona can pop out now with a Ludens + lich bane is more than before, although getting to a finished bane takes several minutes longer. To slightly offset the extra cost of the first item, however, and to try to get a decent amount of ability haste, I now am building Ionian Boots of Lucidity instead of Sorcerer's Shoes. With the shoes, Luden's and Transcendence + 8 AH flat rune I can have 43 Haste at level 8. This is the equivalent of 30% CDR before, which is what Transcendence, Grail and Lich Bane would get you at level 10. Additionally, Luden's now gives the penetration that the shoes used to give, but frontloaded into the item, which will give you a noticeable damage boost.

As for runes, I still think the primary path of Arcane Comet, Transcendence, and Scorch are the best for mitigating your awful early game. With the nerf to Presence of Mind and increased cost of building, I am not as sure about taking precision as a secondary path, especially if you go for Moonstone Renewer as your mythic. Your mana pool will simply be too small for a 15% refund to matter much. I would still take it with a Luden's path, since your pool will be almost twice as big, and you will build no health so Cut Down will be better. If you trust that you can manage your mana though, you could take Inspiration secondary with Magical Footwear and Biscuit Delivery for an extra mana pool boost and some savings on your boots. I will have to keep testing to give you a definitive recommendation though.

Well, I kept testing and now I am right back to presence of mind + cut down :P



Update to this update! They finally made Moonstone Renewer a viable (ish) pick, and I can now say it is definitely worth building if you like sona for her healing and utility and not as a borderline assasin. If you want to meet in the middle, Renewer into Lich Bane with a dark seal should give mighty good healing while still letting you melt people



Enjoy this clip of me instakilling a Kai'sa on PBE with new Luden's, fully stacked dark seal and lich bane (do be aware lich bane has since been nerfed twice)/color]


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
10.19-22: no updates! At least they didnt nerf her again
10.23: Preseason 11 hits, gotta do science to figure out buildpaths
Patch 10.24: Renewer got buffed and bugfixed, yay! Also, science has been done and a tentative buildpath has been crafted.

Here is an old video of me getting a quadra



I stream on twitch occasionally. If I happen to be streaming when you read this, feel free to drop in and say hi or ask me any questions. Thank u love u bye bye

League of Legends Build Guide Author Luiscencias
Luiscencias Sona Guide
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Deranged harp lady goes on an indiscriminate rampage [10.24]
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