Build Guide by zRebellion
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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.
This guide is pretty much all about how I play Sona. I decided to write this guide after being in the situation where I've started to see most Sonas in the games I play doing badly in the games I've been playing, so here we are. I bought Sona on her release, and she's gone through a couple of changes, item-wise and power-wise. She seems to be a lot less powerful than how she was upon her release, but I assure you, if you follow this guide, you will be able to rock face.
To be honest, the build up there is just for show. You don't have to build like that; except for the Soul Shroud/Boots/Aegis -- that's what I'm trying to hammer into you. There are a lot of choices you can make, and it's up to you which one's most effective. Also, this guide is pretty long, you might wanna use the Table of Contents.
* Power Chord now deals 14 damage + 9 x lvl (from 24 + 12x bonus magic damage) in bonus magic and a bonus effect depending on Sona’s last song played.
* Hymn of Valor
o Base damage reduced to 50/100/150/200/250 from 60/110/160/210/260
o Ability power ratio increased to .7 from .5
o Mana cost changed to 75 from 65/70/75/80/85
o Power Chord – Stacatto: Deals double power chord damage
* Aria of Perseverance
o Base heal increased to 35/70/105/140/175 from 30/55/80/105/130
o Ability power ratio reduced to .35 from .5
o Mana cost normalized to 75 from 65/70/75/80/85
o Power Chord – Diminuendo: Debuffs the target to deal 20% less damage for 3 seconds
* Song of Celerity
o Mana cost changed to 75 from 65/70/75/80/85
o Power Chord – Tempo: Slows the target by 25% for 2 seconds
o Cooldown decreased to 140/120/100 from 170/150/130
o Ability power ratio increased to .8 from .7
These are some crazy crazy new changes and I'm glad to see Sona get some love, and she kind of actually takes some skill in the sense that you want to pull off the right staccato, but the problem with that is that it is kind of difficult to do that when you are spamming your auras. You usually want to press your Q when you want more damage with Power Chord and that is just great for earlygame harass, but you don't do significantly more damage. Here are the numbers.
It's a bit hard to see so you might want to ctrl + scroll wheel up that stuff.
Overall, it's as expected. You need to boost your power chord to do more damage and that's just fine and dandy earlygame. However, your Hymn of Valor does slightly less damage (around 10 magic damage), so landing your Power Chord makes up for it at level 1.
I haven't figured out whether or not you want the 20% slow earlygame, but right now I'm betting a level of it at level 4 would be worth it simply for the utility it now provides.
The ratios for her Q better now but they're still meh and I don't think you need to build any more AP than you are right now since you still are a support before you are a caster and you will still barely do any damage. Sure her R's ratio got better but you can still only cast it every 100 seconds, oh snap I do 400 extra AoE magic damage if I make everyone's MR 0 every what, 100 seconds given that I have 500 AP, but I die within a second so I can't support my team at all if I get focused down. The ratios on her heal got nerfed as well from an abysmal ratio to a garbage ratio. You get around 300 AP depending on how you go about building your Sona from this guide so that's quite enough.
Pros / Cons
- She does massive damage earlygame for a support.
- She can heal teammates very effectively early and late.
- She has an AoE stun.
- Her auras are pretty good earlygame to midgame.
- Her damage is negligible lategame.
- Her scaling sucks.
- Her auras are a lot weaker lategame.
- A little hard to build, since you have a lot of items to pick from.
After casting 3 spells, Sona's next attack deals 24 + 12 x lvl bonus magic damage. Additionally, Sona's Auras persist for 3 seconds after deactivating and set off a 2 second global cooldown.
Use this to harass. A lot. It does a ton of damage, and it puts on the pressure. It's a very effective zoning tool as well. This, paired with Hymn of Valor allows you to dominate lanes.
HYMN OF VALOR
Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Hymn of Valor, increasing nearby allied champions Damage and Ability Power by 8-20.
Activation: Sona fires bolts of sound, dealing 60-260 (+.5 per ability power) magic damage to the nearest two enemies (prioritizes champions).
This is a very, VERY effective zoning tool and harassing tool. Just pow in their face whenever you can. It does A LOT of damage, and people really won't know how to deal with it without trying to kill you. Use this to make your opponents scared of walking up to their farm. Don't use this TO farm, because you can't really (easily) determine which minions you'll hit (you'll hit the two closest, obviously, but it's not that accurate). Don't just spam this during the laning phase. Use it effectively. You have your autoattack for a reason. This and Power Chord are your main offensive lane-dominating tools. Lategame, this loses a lot of power due to bad scaling. The aura is really nice in lane if you have an aggressive lanemate. This move prioritizes champions, and it has about 1000 range (think a little less than Blitzcrank's grab).
ARIA OF PERSEVERANCE
Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Aria of Perseverance, increasing nearby allied champions Armor and Magic Resist by 8-20.
Activation: Sona sends out healing melodies, healing Sona and the most wounded nearby allied champion by a 30-130 (+0.5 per ability power).
Use this if you need to heal up. This means you have to manage your mana if you're low on it; whether you want to harass or if you want to heal. It's not much management, to be honest. If you're at low health, use it. If you aren't, use Hymn of Valor. In teamfights, this becomes much, much more. Mash this like a boss, and your teammates will heal like... a boss. It provides a pretty good defensive aura that works with your Aegis.
SONG OF CELERITY
Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Song of Celerity, granting nearby allied champions 8-20 bonus Movement Speed.
Activation: Sona energizes nearby allies, granting them 6-14% Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds.
Use it when you or your teammates need to run away, chase, or get to places. That's... pretty much what movement speed does. You really don't need this early. Get it at level 8.
Sona plays her ultimate chord, forcing enemy champions in a line in front of her to dance, taking 150-350 (+.7 per ability power) magic damage over 1.5 seconds.
The way you use this move will decide how good a Sona player you are. It's an AoE stun. Not many characters have that, and it lasts for 1.5 seconds. It's a VERY powerful spell. Not many characters have AoE stuns. Use it to gank, use it to kill, use it to escape. Don't save this spell during the laning phase. In fact, blow it on single targets if you want, as long as that person you blow it on dies or is wounded badly. If they have to retreat to their turret, that means that they aren't getting creeps. If they have to b, that means they aren't getting money OR experience. ...but it's always better to be able to kill them. If your teammate gets ganked by 5 people, and you don't have Celerity yet, don't even go close to save them with this. They're probably dead and you just wasted your ult. However, you can save a teammate from getting killed by a character like... say... Pantheon. If people decide to dive you during the laning phase, this is what you use first. Also, don't miss.
Summoner Spell Tier List on Sona
An offensive and a defensive summoner spell. Very, very nice. Let's you escape and lets you harass harder. You'll get in positions faster than you ever could without this. You can also use this to escape from ganks during laning phase, but don't save it if you have the opportunity to kill someone if you use it. You can also use this to position yourself when you want to use Crescendo.
Sona has a built in speed-boosting skill, you say? Celerity isn't worth investing in until later in the game, and you want to be able to get to places fast. Ghost lets you get to places fast. You can also use this to escape from ganks during laning phase, but don't save it if you have the opportunity to kill someone if you use it. To be honest, I really can't believe people try to justify not getting this on Sona. Try it yourself.
Always a good choice, especially on a support. Map awareness is always nice, and who better to carry it other than the support?
An underrated and underused spell, especially on Sona. At level 18, it gives 35 extra AD and 70 extra AP in a teamfight. Teammates can teleport to it like a ward. It's a pretty good support spell for Sona. It's a pretty good mastery tradeoff, because it's a pretty powerful spell, and Sona is not too bad with offensive masteries. You'll be missing out on the two cooldown reduction masteries, the movespeed mastery and Clairvoyance if you brought it, but you can get the Flash point.
Again, a spell that lets you get to places on the map faster. Something like this is always useful. The reason it's tier 2 is because it's good on any character, including Sona. Pop it and you're somewhere. Sona can't backdoor with it, but she can get back to lane faster and she can pull off ganks more effectively. Not much else to say about it.
The exhaust change made this spell a decent team support spell, because you can stop almost any carry from doing damage, and earlygame, you can use it to hurt your lane pretty har. It's not that great a spell on Sona though. Don't get it on her. You have many better summoner spells.
This is actually a pretty good summoner spell on Sona. The only problem with it is that you can't get the mastery if you're planning on going 9/0/21 on masteries. Defensive masteries really aren't that useful on Sona, so it's not ideal to get this. Overall, a pretty good spell on Sona -- it just isn't work picking because you want the mastery.
A defensive spell on Sona. It doesn't really do anything. You'd rather get it on someone that can do damage, or someone that needs to escape and do more damage after getting cc'd. You don't need this. It is not a good spell on Sona.
Bring this if you're running out of mana a lot. With the runes and the masteries provided in this guide, you shouldn't need this.
You have infinite heals that heal you and your lowest health teammate. You don't need this. The heal is kinda nice earlygame if you don't want to use your mana, I guess, but you really don't need it. You'll be dominating your lane without this lane dominating summoner spell.
If you want the mastery, it'll give you some extra AP. It'll hurt regen characters. You'll be able to kill people with it. It's not that good on Sona. Very situational spell on her.
You don't need this to farm, and you don't jungle.
Also, you don't die. In fact, you don't need this even IF you die.
Games will usually end by the time you finish your core build, but there are situational items that you can get after that. There are no AP items in Sona's core, because she doesn't need them.
This item is great because of how much synergy it has with Sona. It gives her cooldowns for her to abuse her auras better, it gives her some extra bulk, and that MP5. It also has an incredible passive aura that can massively aid your team. 12 MP/5 and 15% reduced cooldowns is A LOT. What you want to do is stay in lane until you can afford this item. If you can't, just grab a kindlegem, or a ruby crystal, along with boots or an Elixir of Fortitude or an Elixir of Brilliance. A very powerful item for Sona in all stages of her game.
Keep in mind that this guide is being posted AFTER Innervating Locket has been removed. In my opinion, Innervating Locket would have been THE item to get on Sona.
BOOTS OF SPEED
Okay, these boots are obviously core, but I'm going to explain choice of tier 2 boots here too. My boots of choice are Boots of Swiftness; she benefits from the extra movespeed over her merc treads opponents. You can also get Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the extra cooldown reduction (but keep in mind, max CDR is 40%, you can only benefit so much from CDR), or Boots of Mobility to have more map control, or Merc Treads to get more CC reduction and MR. Honestly, you can go anything you want except for Ninja Tabi or Sorcerer's Boots. Sorcerer's Boots is a bad choice because you don't need the magic penetration. You are not a caster. You are support. You have better boots to buy.
AEGIS OF THE LEGION
Again, a great item with an aura that will help your team out. Massively. You need to have this. It gives Sona the extra bulk she wants to have to support, AND gives your team a powerful aura. Very, very powerful item on Sona in all stages of her game.
Keep in mind that the auras stack on the characters that have the items, so if your team's Alistar has an Aegis, he'll also get your Aegis aura.
You don't always need these, but they're all pretty useful. However, Sona is NOT a caster. She's a support hero. Don't buy like 5 or 6 of these; it's just not right. You really only need at most two of these; sometimes, you might not want a single one of these. A support hero needs some support items, and pure AP on 0.5/0.7 scalings are not a good investment; it doesn't substantially boost her support skills. Most of these items will give you something that'll help you out. These items come AFTER your core; with the exception of Soulstealer. Your heals will never be effective enough in the middle of a teamfight. If you have 600 AP as Sona, chances are that you don't need it. Having pure AP just isn't effective because unlike with Soraka, her heal doesn't scale at 1 per AP.. You don't even build pure AP on Soraka anyways.
If your lane is doing well, and you don't feel like you'll be doing bad anytime soon, Soulstealer is always a good option. Gives you that extra bit of "oomph" on all the spells you cast. You really want this item when you start rolling in kills and assists. Sona shouldn't die too much. if you're dying a lot, there's something you're doing wrong. That's why Soulstealer is usually a great item on her. If you're playing her properly, this is all the AP you'll ever need. However, Soulstealer is always optional. You never NEED to get it, and it's not ALWAYS a good choice. If you're going a score like 0/2/1, you lack farm, and you're underlevelled, then it's not the time to get it.
This item is pretty good on Sona. She appreciates the cooldown reduction, the mp/5, the AP, and the active burst you get. It's a really nice item, but you should NEVER get this over your Aegis or your Soul Shroud.
Tear of the Goddess is great on Sona, gives her extra mana per spell cast, and she casts lots of spells. The MP/5 is great too. What's even better is Archangel's, since you get rewarded double for the extra mana. More mana and more MP5 = more support for longer periods of time. This is a great AP choice on Sona.
This item is to be used in conjunction with another item, because if you get this item, your AP actually becomes pretty good. The weakness in this item is the price for utility. You can't just get this and nothing else. You need two AP items for this to have any decent effect on your spells.
ROD OF AGES
I usually do NOT get this item, but I've heard some success stories with this. It gives Sona some extra HP and MP over time, along with some AP. If you want to get this, what you want to do is build Catalyst first so you have increased laning power. Plus, it makes you bulkier; something I want to get into in our next section.
WILL OF THE ANCIENTS
A great item if your team is AP heavy. It gives lots of spell vamp and AP in the form of an aura, so you definitely want this. Though, it's not like you get Stark's if you have an AD heavy team. This has some synergy with Sona as well, which is why you get it.
The same reasoning as WotA, but it has some MR that makes Sona a bit bulkier. Bulk on Sona is always good; especially if it's a bulk + AP item with an aura that decreases mres of surrounding enemies.
These items are meant to make you bulkier. You want to make Sona bulkier sometimes because her ratios are just too low for pure AP. Think of it like Annie; her ratios are almost, or just as bad as Sona's, so you don't build 5 - 6 killing items. You want some survivability. Sona wants some survivability too; moreso than Annie even. You really don't need that much AP, I think I'm emphasizing that a lot.
Against heavy CC
With these babies you get some extra magic resistance AND reduced CC. Keep in mind, Boots of Swiftness is usually the better choice on Sona. If you're under heavy fire with 100 stuns flying at you from every direction one at a time, you'd want one of these (exaggeration intended; you'll know when to buy these).
You benefit from the extra mana, the extra health, and the extra magic resist. This item doesn't net you an aura, but if you need it, you need it. Besides, it'll help you set up that Crescendo on time when you need it.
Against physical bursters/DPS
Reduced cooldowns, a negative aura vs. physical DPS, an activation slow, health, and armor. Pretty much the greatest anti-DPS item you can get on Sona; it synergizes with her really well.
Provides a consistent attack speed debuff aura (you don't have to get hit like with Randuin's). It gives really nice cooldown reduction and it provides 500 mana; both things that Sona likes. 99 extra armor helps a lot.
This is practically the #1 anti-caster item you can get. Not many magic resist items have synergy with Sona; but this is one.
Well, it's cheap, it makes you heal yourself for more, you get some extra health, cooldown reduction, and magic resist. To be honest, you probably wouldn't be getting this to build against casters; you'd rather be getting this as a distraction from your core so you can heal yourself for more.
As said before, it grants an aura, and magic resist. It gives some AP too. A great anti-caster item on Sona, and a great item for your casters.
Stages of the Game / Working with the Team
Get a mana manipulator first. When you get to lane, what you want to do is max out your Q while leveling up your W. Harass with your Q, and use flash/ghost whenever you or your lanemate can get a kill. What you want to do is deny them your creeps in a way where they fear going close to the farm. Your Q's range is ridiculous, so when they pop out in front of the turret to hit a minion, you can hit them. When you get to level 6, this is when you have a bunch of options presented to you. You can either begin to gank other lanes (which is always a nice thing to do), or you can continue to lane. What you want to do is NOT recall until you can get enough for your Soul Shroud and Boots of Speed; though if you can't get either, prioritize Boots of Speed first and Ruby Crystal/Kindlegem second. Try picking up an Elixir of Brilliance if you have enough as well. Keep in mind, zoning your lane with your lanemate is the most important thing for you to do as Sona. If you can stop them from killing minions as much as other lanes (as well as yourself and your lanemate), you're doing your job right. Punish them for not cowering behind their turret. Remember, you hurt A LOT and you're almost always at a safe range. If you're at low health, it means it's time to pull back and heal up. Getting your HP and the HP of your lanemate up will (obviously) put you at an advantage over the opponents you've harassed. If you decide to gank, make sure your Power Chord is up. By the end of earlygame, you should have a Soul Shroud, tier 1 boots, and possibly a Mejai Soulstealer if you wanted it. Something you want to keep in mind; if people dive you, don't run away from the turret. Run around the turret, and try to get him killed with turret hits. ...that is, unless you're at 100 HP and you're waiting for your dead lanemate. Something like that should never happen though, but if it does, pop your escapes unless you feel like you can kill them with Crescendo. I'm going to say that most people will dive you at around 600 HP, since that's when you start looking tasty.
At this point, your Q still does a lot of damage and you'll probably be able to heal effectively. If you have a Mejai Soulstealer, you're probably trying getting stacks up. If you don't have a Mejai, which isn't necessary in this build, you SHOULD either have your Aegis or be close to it by now. You'll have a level of your E. This is when you start aura spamming. Aim for your Aegis if you don't have it yet and an AP item or a bulk item depending on how the game is going. Keep in mind, your Q can STILL kill and zone people. At this point, you can still use Crescendo however you want; as long as you know it'll be up for a teamfight.
Here, good Crescendos change the game. You should be smashing your keyboard like how you should be smashing your opponents -- qeqweqwewqeqweqweqweqweqweq, etc. Your choice of items AND crescendos will decide teamfights at this point. Not so much the auras of choice, you're just gonna be smashing them when they are off cooldown. You are practically playing pure support now. This means you should probably be in the back line, behind your teammates. If you went bulkier, then you can probably be around the middle. The most effective position to support is the one where you can retreat if things aren't going badly. Have your tank initiate. Use Crescendo after he does that. At this point, you aren't using Crescendo on single targets, but rather as much of a team as you can. Position yourself appropriately.
REMEMBER TO GET WARDS WHENEVER YOUR TEAM NEEDS THEM. I CAN'T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH. DON'T MAKE YOUR CARRIES BUY THE WARDS; IF THEY HAVE WRIGGLES, GREAT, BUT IF THEY DON'T, YOU OR YOUR TANKS SHOULD GET THE WARDS.
Updates due to Sona changes. No videos, seeing as I really can't post any. For some reason my game can't be recorded using FRAPS when I'm using this laptop, and I don't know why.