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Sona Build Guide by gleebglarbu
Gleebglarbu's Challenger Guide to Sona, Maven of the StringBy gleebglarbu | Updated on December 20, 2013
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Sona is a very fun hero that is easy to pick up but also has a lot of subtle nuances to improve upon and master. Her ult, Crescendo, has a deceptive hit box and new players will often ending up missing because of it. Having perfect aiming with your ultimate, along with properly managing and charging your passive Power Chord will allow you to be incredibly useful and change the tempo of the game as Sona.
greater mark of hybrid penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health
9 x Greater mark of hybrid penetration
Your skills all do magical damage but you also auto attack often in fights. This makes hybrid pen runes ideal for maximizing the damage you can output during the laning phase. If you are up against a lane with very high burst damage you can opt to switch to Greater Mark of Armor instead.
9 x Greater Seal of Armor
These runes are very effective at mitigating physical damage. They are mandatory as a support because you will be taking physical damage from the enemy AD, the enemy support, and creeps in lane.
9 x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Sona is a very, very squishy champion so taking magic resist glyphs will help make sure you don't get blown up in the laning phase. If their team has a low magic damage bot lane such as Janna Graves, you can switch these for 9 x Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration.
3 x Greater Quintessence of Health
Sona is a very fragile champion that has can be easily killed if caught out of position. Health quints add some durability in the laning phase and make it harder for you to be blown up in 2v2 fights. This added durability also allows you to play much more aggressively in the early game.
After playing on the preseason patch for the past few weeks, I've really started to like 0/9/21 as my go to page for ranged supports. Utility tree provides a lot of benefits in terms of gold generation, reduced flash cool down, and CDR. The last two are incredibly important for Sona because they allow you to initiate with Flash + Crescendo more frequently and CDR reduces the period that you don't want to fight while you are waiting for your ultimate to be back up. I prefer 9 in defense over 9 in offense because Sona has really low base defense stats. Getting a bit more damage reduction and health makes your laning phase a lot safer and allows you to walk forward in lane to poke with a reduced risk of getting all inned.
This start is emerging as one of the most common builds for supports in the new season. The Sweeping Lens has a very long cool-down before level 9, but can still be very useful for setting up ganks and forcing the enemy to play scared by denying vision. Ancient Coin is the strongest of the 3 new support starts on almost all champions, especially ranged ones, after the nerf to Relic Shield. Getting a ward helps make sure you stay safe in lane and grabbing potions will keep your health and mana high.
These are the items you should aim to buy when you first head back to base. Sightstone will give you vision to protect yourself from ganks and the Nomad's Medallion will give you increased regen as well as gold flow. Picking up a Vision Ward at this stage of the game is nice as well because they no longer have a duration. You can usually put it down in the small bush in the middle of the river early game and often have it last for 10+ minutes because most players just walk through the river without actually checking that location.
This will be the new commonly seen core item set for most of the supports who decide to not itemize as tanks or to be heavy damage threats, neither of which make sense for Sona. Talisman of Ascension is an incredibly strong item currently, giving you a whopping 20% CDR, regen stats, and the old active that used to be attached to Reverie. Mikael's Crucible also saw a massive reduction in price in the new season which makes it almost always a worthwhile purchase for a mana hungry champion like Sona. These items will allow you to better set up engages with Crescendo, keep your mana pool afloat in longer fights, and cleanse/heal your allies with Mikael's Crucible's active.
|...||This item provides a great magic resist aura and active that can be useful against heavy AoE based AP teams. If the enemy team has multiple sources of magic damage or AoE damage it can be a great pick up for teamfights.|
|...||This item has been reworked for the preseason and now is gold efficient as long as the passives' combined gold values is equal to 16g, which they easily are. Promoting a siege minion puts pressure on that lane and can often force someone on the enemy team to go defend it. The increased minion damage will help you kill towers, push waves, and increase the damage of many allied units in team fights like Elise's spiderlings and Zyra's plants. The effect does not work on Annie's tibbers or Shaco's Jack In The Box. If you get this item , do not get CDR boots as well because you will go way over the cap.|
|...||This is a nice alternative to Boots of Mobility in competitive play. You can force fights more often with your ult and people are less likely to be caught out of position so the speed from Boots of Mobility is not as needed. It does diminish your ability to roam and get wards across the map, though, so take that into consideration when choosing your boots.|
Crescendo should be skilled up at 6, 11, and 16 because the cool down on it drops by 20 with each level which is extremely important. Not having Crescendo up could easily change the tide of a fight.
Hymn of Valor should be maxed next because the base damage increases and gives you strong poke and kill potential in lane. Maxing it allows you to go for 2v2 kills at 6 when you combo Crescendo, Power Chord, Hymn of Valor, and Ignite.
Aria of Perseverance should be maxed 3rd because it helps you sustain your team and provides a powerful defensive aura for team fights.
Song of Celerity Should be maxed last because it has the least benefit from maxing it when compared to your other three skills.
Taking Flash is 100% necessary on Sona, you have no gap closer aside from the slow on your Song of Celerity Power Chord and you need Flash to engage fights and escape ganks.
Ignite gives you a lot of kill potential in bot lane and is really good for snowballing soloqueue matches. Exhaust is a viable alternative against heroes like Kennen and Graves who have very telegraphed burst.
Sona is a very generic hero that works well with every AD, but there are a few that are especially strong with her. Graves, Varus, and Twitch all have very strong burst at level six and can take great advantage of the lock down provided by Crescendo. Any of these laners will give you great potential to kill the enemy with your ultimates.
No ADC really counters Sona, but certain supports can take advantage of her if you misplay. Blitzcrank, Leona, and Thresh can all in you very easily, bursting you down while they ignore your AD. If you're able to dodge their hooks and Zenith Blade, these supports can be poked down easily though and you will be able to win lane. These are in no way hard counters, just match ups that can become difficult if you have trouble dodging skill shots or they have their jungler come and kill you over and over.