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Sona Build Guide by SnuggleNugget
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Hello friends, and welcome to my poorly written, noobish, and downright amateur guide to...
Cheesy Assassin Drive-By One Shot Sona
Do not let the self deprication above fool you. This is a viable build for solo lane Sona.
This is a guide for Mid/ADC Sona. Though I do not recommend taking her ADC in ranked play, this build still works safely in mid lane, even if one is serious about winning.
If you are reading this, then you are likely either curious about this guide based on the title, or you are a newer player looking for a guide to play Sona.
If you are the latter, I would like to refer you to Tsuna's guide to playing Sona which can be found here. http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/tsunas-guide-to-support-sona-411301
He does an excellent job detailing some her different more "mainstream" builds. The ones which will not have your teammates whining like 7 year olds in chat. I am a Sona main, and I play Sona the way he describes most of the time. His guides are an excellent primer on how to play the voluptuous Maven of the Strings if you are a newer player.
...Please come back once you master that, though. This build is fun, and it works...at least in high Silver/low Gold elo.
If you aren't new, and are wondering just wtf this is all about, I'll start with an overview and break it down into specifics later in the guide.
This Sona build centers around building on hit procs. Not like Warwick, though. Sona can't sit there and dish out tons of autos without getting melted. Nay, this build capitalizes on and emphasizes her aa>Q>aa Power Chord combo in such a way that it is used to it's maximum effectiveness.
If you play Sona, you know her two strengths are healing/buffing teammates, and her awesome early game poke. What if I told you that you could have both of these, and still chunk plebs mid/late game while maintaining your utility, and being harder to kill?
*Seasoned Sona player raises hand*
"Yes, you in the back."
*Seasoned Sona player replies smugly.*
"I already build AP Sona sometimes, when I feel like it."
*A wry grin stretches across my face*
"Friend, if you like AP Sona, you're gonna love this."
I will skip the Runes and Masteries section of this guide and refer you to my notes in the runes and masteries sections above.
This is her damage. It's what she does. One damage spell plus her passive. Her auto attacks are below average, but with a sheen item; she deals decent damage by weaving them in between spells while she heals/buffs herself and team mates.
This build seeks to emphasize the aa>Q>aa combo with larger/longer cooldown damage procs from items such as Lich Bane or Trinity Force, Statikk Shiv or Rapid Firecannon and Luden's Tempest.
On top of this, most of these items give bonus movement speed, which is mandatory for moving in, poking, and getting f*** out of Dodge before squishy Sona's gigantic tata's get exploded by Syndra's balls or Ahri's balls or Orianna's....you get the idea, right?
Let's move on.
Ultimate-Drive by-Cheeseball-Not Enough Gold for Full Build-Wrecking Squishies-Assassin Sona
Sona is garbage in sustained fights. She pokes, runs away and heals teammates, and uses her ult to set up Armageddon.
The idea behind this is to build not for AP or AD, but to build 100+ damage proc items which also increase her move speed and help her farm up to more 100+ damage proc items.
If this is starting to sound like an intricate, very specific Magic the Gathering deck to you, trust me. It's not that complicated.
Trinity Force Statikk Shiv Luden's Tempest (Optionally, Rapid Firecannon and Lich Bane) all have passive procs on either auto attacks or abilities that add 100+ damage each to Sona's standard poke combo.
Trinity Force proc alone will deal 312 damage with an auto attack at level 18. Add in Shiv/Rapid Firecannon and Luden's (Core items) plus whatever else you may chose to build if you have the gold/time, and we are talking well over 500-700 EXTRA damage from Sona's basic combo.
But wait! There's more!
We are building some crit chance as well. If that sheen/shiv proc on that Power Chord crits, we are talking...
Like "One Shotting anything which is not a tank" damage
Of course you did. You even use them too.
JK, I know you never use them. Neither do I...most of the time.
Chunking someone for half of their health is way more fun than slowing someone down or reducing their damage, but we do have to do this from time to time.
As support Sona, we are better off using our W in all-ins over our Q most of the time, but this ain't support Sona.
Q power chord is your main damaging ability, as usual.
E power chord is still great for ganks or escapes/chasing.
W power chord will be used sparingly and situationally.
[*] Good for poking.
[*] Fair mana cost
[*] Low cooldown
[*] Not a lot of damage on it's own
[*] Power Chord does tons of damage with procs from this build
[*] Aura buffs allies next auto attack
Use this to deal damage to enemy champs, and to last hit minions. It has a low cooldown and fair mana cost. You're pinky will be tired after all those victories.
This ability targets the two closest enemies, prioritizing champions within range. To use it to last hit will require you to position the low health minions closet to you. It is a non-targeted ability, so no need to aim, just be in the right spot.
The Power Chord damage on this is stronger than most people expect and you can get some cheesy one shot kills on unsuspecting squishies at 25ish % health.
Aria of Perseverance
[*] Spammable with low cooldown
[*] Slightly high mana cost
[*] AOE sheild
[*] Power Chord reduces enemy damage and makes them tiny like Lulu.
[*] Aura Shields allies for a small amount
Heal yourself. Heal your teammates, give yourself/teammates a small sheild during engages. Easy enough to remember. This, besides the poke, is what makes Sona so annoying to the enemy team. Even with this build, her heal/sheild will still be useful. About as strong as pure support Sona, but less than full AP Sona.
Song of Celerity
[*] Low mana cost
[*] Used to initiate/escape drive-by's
[*] Most underrated Power Chord
[*] Power Chord Slows an enemy by a surprisingly substantial amount
[*] Aura boosts allies speed with reduced effect
Use this to catch people, move in/out for poke, run the F away if you see a fed Master Yi, ect. Also useful in 1v1's to proc your Sheen item while Hymn of Valor and Aria of Perseverance are on cooldown. Mandatory for drive-by Sona to initiate or run away after a drive-by.
[*] Can be difficult to land
[*] If you don't hit at least two people, you probably did it wrong
[*] Long cooldown, even for an ult.
[*] Makes them dance like Bojangles
Try to hit as many people as you can with this in teamfights. It's also useful after your initial drive-by combo, if you think you can finish them, but need a second to wait for cooldowns. It's a stun, so you can use it to peel for other carries, or escape if you need to, though burning it to run away is just a shame. This is the only thing you need to aim in Sona's kit, and it has a surprisingly slow travel time.
Hesitating often means you will miss. If that feeling pops in your head that you should maybe ult, just slam the R key and watch them dance.
Trinity Force Tri-Force gives us mana (Sona NEEDS mana) AD and AS (Sona NEEDS help farming) Health (Sona needs this too...) Move speed for drive-by's and a better damage proc than Lich Bane since we are not building full AP.
Statikk Shiv Gives us more attack speed, move speed, plus crit, which we will cross our fingers for in drive-by's while we hope to one shot somebody. The charged proc will help with farming and add extra damage to the drive-by. Grabbing Shiv before Tri-Force is not a bad idea, in many cases, to help with farming.
Luden's Tempest Gives us AP (We ARE still Sona after all.), move speed, and that sweet sweet proc on our Hymn of Valor which helps farm and makes drive-by's hurt even more.
These items are not cheap, and most games will end before you can buy anything besides these and boots.
As far as boots go, this is a toss up between Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Sorcerer's Shoes. CDR, is always good, but we are still dealing a lot of magic damage. Depending on enemy team comp and their build, I take either of these about 50/50 in my matches with this build.
I'll list some other items which may be useful, and explain them below.
Lich Bane AP, CDR, mana, move speed. What's not to love? GREAT item for Sona, but Tri-Force is better in this case. Better damage proc (Not building full AP), AS and AD for farming/fighting, and some extra health.
Rapid Firecannon Aother great item. Very similar to Shiv with the added benefit of having a longer range on your charged auto attack proc. In this case, though, Shiv gives the AOE needed to help farm and it's damage proc can also crit.
Blade of the Ruined King Decent base stat's for this build. Helps shred tanks, and has a nice active.
Wit's End Not recommended, but taking this if you are losing against an AP heavy team can provide some defense as well as dish out more damage.
Runaan's Hurricane Better farm and more move speed plus a higher crit rate is a decent choice, but it does not add to our drive-by playstyle.
Hextech Gunblade AD and AP, and decent amounts of it too. Also a nice active, and Hextech Revolver has a decent little drive by proc on it while you are building as well. However, this item costs too much to effectively work into this build very often.
To round out the build, I would suggest taking a defensive item such as Guardian Angel or Randuin's Omen for more survivability as your last item.
If only Dead Man's Plate worked for ranged champions, we could add a fourth core item to this build. DAMNIT RITO, WHY!?!?!?
Hold your comments, please. I know why. Could you imagine Bard with this thing?
We will start with the ability sequence, since there is nothing new here.
Take Q for damages
Take W for heals
Take Q again for more damages that the opposing champion may actually feel.
Take E to GTFO in case you see/sense the enemy jungler. Also to have some form of CC during friendly ganks.
Take Q again so your only damaging ability actually does decent damage.
Take R, Max Q, W, E in that order.
For the laning phase we will play standard Sona Mid.
Be safe. Farm under tower if you have to. Poke with Hymn of Valor + Power Chord when you can, and hope for some good ganks. This build is a true mid/late game carry, but Sona is Sona and can get some surprise kills early game. If you see your jungler pinging your lane, try to ready up a Song of Celerity Power Chord to slow the enemy laner and have a better chance at a kill/assist.
Once you have Trinity Force. Tier 2 boots, and Crescendo, you can think about roaming, should you see an opportunity. Sona is a surprisingly good ganker with her Song of Celerity and Crescendo plus the burst her standard aa>Q>aa combo puts outs.
(I even play her jungle sometimes, if I am with a friend or two on my team to help with early clears. Normals only. I'm not crazy.)
Farm, Roam, Farm, Farm....FARM. If you are behind, you can still play standard Sona mid with the heals/utility she provides, with a little less damage, but your priority should be to farm up to your three core items. Trinity Force, Statikk Shiv, and Luden's Tempest.
For Mid Game, you should have Tri-Force and be working on Shiv.
Once you have two of your three core items, your aa>Q>aa combo should be chunking pretty good. Keep farming, and roaming for kills/assists when the opportunities present themselves.
In team fights, poke and heal, just like normal Sona. Try to poke the enemy carries without getting caught out. If one of them is low enough (40%-70% health depending on how squishy they are and how much of your build is completed), flash onto them and unleash the aa>Q>aa combo. They should die or be close enough that an auto attack or two will finish them. ( We built attack speed. Not a problem. Just remember to weave in any abilities which may be on cooldown to proc your sheen item.) Use Crescendo to stun anyone who tries to engage you in the process, then run! RUN YOU MOTHERF*****R! You are still Sona and will die in a f***** instant if they hit you with anything substantial whatsoever.
If this opportunity does not present itself, just play like normal Sona. Poke, Heal, and try to line up that org*smic 4/5 man Crescendo. The only difference is, you have attack speed to pop in a few more autos before taking too much damage, plus, your poke will hit harder, provided your item's passives are on cooldown.
Late game is pretty much the same as mid game, but at this point, you should have at least the three core items and boots.
Try to catch squishies out, or flash onto them in team-fights if you know you can get away afterwards.
Or, just play a harder hitting version of standard Sona and look for a good Crescendo.
Though, at this point point, your combo should do enough to take squishy carries from full health down to "easily killable with a few autos" territory.
Those, "I have 70ish % health, I feel fine." enemy carries should be able to be "one shotted" with your aa>Q>aa combo, provided all of your procs are ready, and they are not out-leveling you.
With all three core items, and maybe a BoTRK or Hextech Revolver/Gunblade, your drive-by should be doing Tons of Damage!