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Sona Build Guide by DatMinish

Support Heal your way to victory with Sona! (Patch 6.2)

Support Heal your way to victory with Sona! (Patch 6.2)

Updated on February 5, 2016
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League of Legends Build Guide Author DatMinish Build Guide By DatMinish 44,799 Views 3 Comments
44,799 Views 3 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author DatMinish Sona Build Guide By DatMinish Updated on February 5, 2016
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LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


Threats & Synergies

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table of contents

1 introduction
what's a datminish
2 pros and cons
know your strengths, know your weaknesses
3 runes
what runes to take
4 masteries
what masteries to take
5 spells
6 skill sequence
what to max out
7 power chord
8 items
what to buy
9 teamwork
key to victory
10 hall of fame
11 finally
12 edit log
change is good

Hello! My name is DatMinish and I am a mid/support main on EUW. I mainly play Sona and Bard although I like experimenting with other supports (Which is why you might see me playing non-meta supports sometimes) just for the fun of it.

This is my first guide on MobaFire. I use this site when I want to learn how to play a champion I just bought, and I want to give back somehow, so I'm making a guide about Sona, Maven of the Strings.

I'm currently in Silver V, trying to carry myself to Plat by the end of this season. Also, thanks to Mikaiah for the awesome headers and images! Anyways, enough with the introduction! Here's the guide.

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+ Synergizes well with most ADCs
+ Q's Power Chord deals incredible damage early game
+ Long ranged poke
+ Incredible sustain
+ Can escape from sticky situations
+ Incredibly strong ult if used correctly
+ Bewbs
Your Hymn of Valor has a long range, and will prioritize champions. Use this to your advantage and if possible, try to land both of your bolts on champions. With an Athene's Unholy Grail, you can provide near infinite sustain for your team due to the incredible Mana regen, coupled with the Mana regen from Eye of the Watchers. If you are caught in a sticky situation, you have two abilities you can use to escape, Song of Celerity and Crescendo. This is good when the enemy has no real gap closer as you can simply E away from danger. Your ult isn't too game changing, but it is incredibly strong if you can land it properly, and could possibly get your team an ace so that you can push the lane or get Baron Nashor. You cannot steal the dragon or Baron with your ult. It only works on champions. Don't waste it.


- Hilariously squishy at early game
- Requires you to have very good positioning
- Two CC's: Crescendo and E's Power Chord
- Nerfed here, nerfed there, nerfed everywhere
Sona is extremely squishy in the early game. She has less HP than a caster minion at level 1 while most ADCs have ~530-550 HP. Thus, if the enemy team decides to focus you (which they might), you may die. She has a unique style of attacking, using her auras to hit champions and minions in range of her, and heal + speed allied champions in range of her. She has little CC, only her E's Power Chord, which slows down the enemy champion, and Crescendo, which stuns them. Also, she's been nerfed pretty hard.

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I run standard AP Mage runes for Sona. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration helps me poke the enemies better (and Q Power Chord them better too). Greater Seal of Armor is because Sona is squishy, and she is against an ADC, so the extra armor will help her survive better. Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is there for extra protection fighting against a support (which could use AP, like Morgana and Soraka). Finally, Greater Quintessence of Ability Power gives you some AP to help out in the early game.

Note that I do not recommend CDR runes using this build, as you will already have 40% CDR from Eye of the Watchers, Athene's Unholy Grail, and Lich Bane. The Intelligence mastery will also give you 5% CDR whilst increasing your CDR cap to 45%, so you have max CDR and you can pretty much spam your spells now with all this mana regen and CDR.

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Sorcery: Gives you 2% extra damage using your spells. Extra damage is always good.

Feast: In case you Q a minion and it dies, you will regain 20 HP. Although you are not supposed to farm as a support, sometimes you accidentally kill a minion or two. You can regain 20 HP from those minions which you killed. Also, Double Edged Sword on Sona as a support is horrendous in my experience. When you're out of mana, which would be better? Receiving extra damage because you can't escape faster or regaining HP for a last-hit mistake?

Natural Talent : Bonus AD and AP is always good.

Bounty Hunter : I often focus on kills, so I prefer this. If you want the sustain, take Oppressor . Both are quite good in my opinion. The latter deals more damage to champions affected by E's Power Chord slow and Crescendo, so that's always good.


Wanderer : Take this instead of Savagery. You won't be attacking minions or monsters most of the time, so the movement speed is better.

Secret Stash : Extra HP regen is always good, and you aren't jungling, so Runic Affinity is useless.

Merciless : This is a bit of a debate in my opinion. It's more personal preference, because both are good. The extra mana regen is great, but we're rushing Eye of the Watchers and Athene's Unholy Grail. That should solve your mana problems. Lich Bane gives extra mana too. I don't need the mana regen even though I tend to have mana problems early on. As I said, I focus more on kills, so Merciless is better for me.

Bandit : I liked Dangerous Game until I realized that you need to get lots of gold quick, so Spellthief's Edge and Bandit are very effective at that. It is also relatively easy to proc them due to Sona's playstyle.

Intelligence : CDR and an increased CDR cap is always good. You don't need Precision because your Armor and MP runes do the job for you.

Windspeaker's Blessing : This mastery is pretty good on Sona since she suffers from having a rather weak heal/shield early on. Even later in the game this will greatly help out with spamming heals after Athene's Unholy Grail since if you can tag the entire team with your auras they ALL get an empowered shield and bonus armor/MR for a bit. Thunderlord's Decree is an extremely popular pick ATM, and some supports are also using it. Sorry, though, but we won't. It works best with ADC's like Vayne who can proc it on someone relatively quick. However, if you are with someone that has lots of burst, like Graves, Tristana or Draven, then you might want it as it helps with inflicting more damage on whoever you want to all-in. Stormraider's Surge is amazing on champions like Veigar, Katarina or Zed, who need that extra movement speed to escape after killing someone. It's not good on Sona until mid-late game, as that is when she starts to shine.

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These are your basic support spells. Nothing too complicated about that. Sona has no escape so Flash is necessary. Exhaust is very good for all-ins so you can choose to take it or substitute it with something else.

Other good spells:
Ignite: Ignite is pretty good when trying to secure kills but you run the risk of kill stealing, so I would suggest using it along with your Hymn of Valor and Crescendo when your ADC is low on health but so is the enemy ADC (assuming you aren't).

Teleport: Take this if you want to roam a lot and help other lanes snowball. This is better if your top laner thinks they might be in a bad matchup, as the mid laner is much easier to reach.

Meh tier:
Heal: Your ADC should have this. You don't need it unless you're out of mana and you can't heal yourself. You also have Health Potions for a reason.

Barrier: This isn't really the best pick for Sona. I find this works better on other champions... Just not this one. It might help you out, but when you're being ganked with low health, it probably will end up in you dying. Make sure to ward to avoid that.

Cleanse: A meh pick. Use this only if you're in a bot lane with lots of hard CC, like Morgana, Leona or Nautilus. It could help you out.

Don't use these:
Ghost: Why? Song of Celerity gives you extra movement speed, and moving through units won't get you a kill.

Smite: Likely to get you reported. You don't need to smite minions because you aren't farming, and you aren't jungling. Only possible use for this is if you're trying to steal Dragon or Nashor. Even then, that's not your job, that's the jungler's job.

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Generally you want to max out Hymn of Valor first for the great ranged poke it provides in the laning phase and teamfights. You then want to max out Aria of Perseverance for healing you and your teammates better (and faster). Finally, you want to max out Song of Celerity last. This is because the movement speed that you provide with a rank 1-2 Song of Celerity is already enough to help your teammates escape from a bad spot or chase someone. Plus, someone should already have Flash available during a teamfight. Make sure you level up Crescendo whenever you can.

Remember that this doesn't need to be the skill sequence you have to do for Sona. If you find that you're having HP problems/being focused a lot, it may be worth it to max out Aria of Perseverance first. But do take care because it's still not too big of a heal. At max rank the minimum heal will be for 110 HP + 20% of your AP, and the mana cost skyrockets to 100 mana, which will give you a lot of problems with managing your mana.

I wouldn't really recommend maxing out Song of Celerity, even though you get 17% bonus movement speed at max rank (and the mana cost doesn't change), since you will be sacrificing your damage for sanic speed. If you want, try to put an extra point or two into it before maxing out your heal.

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Of course, how could I forget Sona's passive? I can confidently say this is what will make or break your early game. Why is that? This is because Staccato deals an incredible amount of damage to the ADC early game. Its power falls off mid-game as you start to build your Athene's Unholy Grail, but once you finish it and Lich Bane, it starts to really hurt.

An enemy ADC at level 1 hit by a rank 1 Staccato will lose about 25%-30% of their health. This increases if you managed to hit them with Hymn of Valor 3 times before Staccato was available to use. If you are getting pushed and your jungler is nearby, ask for a gank, and use Staccato on the enemy ADC. If your ADC follows up, it could get you an assist or a kill.

I hear some people tell me Sona is hard to play, because of Power Chord, and that you need to think about what you need to bring to the lane; more damage and pushing, or receiving less damage, or slowing down the enemy. I can honestly say that while I used to think like this too, that's not entirely true.

If the enemy ADC has low HP and your ADC has low HP too, then use Aria of Perseverance once or twice on them, and use Hymn of Valor on the enemy ADC to get Staccato. Finally, hit the enemy ADC with an AA, and it could net you a kill whilst saving your ADC's life. It's a lot easier than I'm making it sound here, I promise.

If you are playing passive, then it could be worth it to heal your ADC and hit the enemy ADC with Diminuendo.

  • Staccato is a Power Chord charged with Hymn of Valor (use Q three times to get it, or cast any three spells apart from Crescendo, and use Q once to get it). It deals 40% bonus damage to its target.
  • Diminuendo is a Power Chord charged with Aria of Perseverance (use W three times to get it, or cast any three spells apart from Crescendo, and use W once to get it). It reduces its target's damage output by 20% + 2% per 100 AP for 3 seconds.
  • Tempo is a Power Chord charged with Song of Celerity (use E three times to get it, or cast any three spells apart from Crescendo, and use E once to get it). It slows its target by 40% + 4% per 100 AP for 2 seconds.

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Finally, time to talk about items! I briefly explained in the Final Build notes that this build is pretty good on Sona, due to all her spells depending on your AP, both damage and utility. The more AP you have, the more effective your poke, heal, speed, and stun will be. Crescendo won't stun for a longer time unfortunately, but will deal more damage when it hits the enemy team, allowing your team to finish them off faster. We'll be doing some math later on in this chapter to figure out just how effective this is.

  • Eye of the Watchers: I choose this over Frost Queen's Claim to conserve item space so you can get more damaging items.

    You need extra health since you are pretty squishy, and the Eye does a very good job at that, giving you 10% CDR (I used to recommend Ionian Boots but as of Patch 6.1, all Eyes give you 10% CDR, regardless of whether you start with Spellthief's Edge, Ancient Coin or Relic Shield.

    Finally, buying Frost Queen's Claim and Sightstone -> Red Sightstone is so much more costly, seeing as you get 4 wards from your Eye of the Watchers, and that both items cost the same.

    Alternative: Consider an Ancient Coin -> Nomad's Medallion -> Eye of the Oasis if you have to play safe. Getting a Spellthief's will not help you if you can't poke them with Hymn of Valor often. On the other hand, being near a minion death but not last-hitting, using Ancient Coin, will give you some gold. This is helpful because you can watch your ADC farm, heal them up a bit and stay away from danger, and you would still get the gold you need for these items.
  • Athene's Unholy Grail: I like this item instead of Morellonomicon for a few reasons. While Athene's Unholy Grail sacrifices 20 bonus AP for 25 Magic Resist, its passive (Mana Font) is much more efficient in regaining Mana (Mana regen is what we need here, not AP). Morellonomicon's passive isn't the best on you, but for mid-lane mages it's often a very good passive as they can inflict tons of burst (think Syndra, Veigar or Lux). You don't need to inflict Grievous Wounds, although if you are up against a champion which relies on healing or life steal (like Vladimir, Tryndamere, Dr. Mundo, etc.) then you may want to consider a Morellonomicon. It could help you out better than an Athene's Unholy Grail.
  • For boots, I personally like taking Sorcerer's Shoes - Captain. As I said, the new patch gave our Eye of the Watchers 10% CDR which it didn't have before, so you don't need to take the Ionian Boots anymore. However, if the enemy team has lots of hard CC, take Mercury Treads. Lots of slows? Boots of Swiftness. Do you need to move around quicker? Take Mobility Boots. It's all situational, so don't be afraid to mix things around to have an advantage.
  • Lich Bane: I like buying this item before a Luden's Tempest due to the extra CDR it provides which makes our total CDR equal to 45% with the Intelligence mastery at max rank. It also gives you extra mana and AP; that's also pretty good. The passive is pretty good as well. It synergizes with your Staccato very well and can inflict real burst, which most enemies will not expect.
  • Luden's Tempest: This item synergizes very well with Hymn of Valor in teamfights. Attacking one champion with your Q will make it bounce to other champions which you couldn't reach without overextending before. You also get extra movement speed from this (and Lich Bane which is also good. Consider sacrificing this for Frozen Heart or Banshee's Veil if you need to go defensive.
  • Rabadon's Deathcap: Pretty obvious. Gives you 120 AP, and increases your total AP by 35%. Why would you not want it?
  • : Oracle Lens: Just an upgrade to Sweeping Lens. You already have 4 wards, from Eye of the Watchers so you don't need the Farsight Alteration.

A bit of math:

(Feel free to correct me if you think I made a calculation error!)
Assume you are Level 18 with Sona and everything is maxed out. This does not take in factors like Elixir of Sorcery, or any Dragon/Baron buffs.

The total AP you get from this build (and your runes and masteries): 560.25 AP rounds to 560 AP.

Hymn of Valor: Each bolt deals 480 magic damage (200 + 50% AP = 200 + 280 AP = 480 damage) and her aura will empower her allied champions' basic attacks with 396 magic damage for 3 seconds.

Aria of Perseverance: Minimum heal will be 244 HP regained (110 + 20% AP = 110 + 112 AP = 222 HP + 10% from Windspeaker's Blessing = 244 HP regained). This increases by 0.5% for each 1% of HP lost. Her shield grants 507 HP absorbed for champions for 1.5 seconds.

Song of Celerity: You gain 65% movement speed for yourself for 3 seconds, and allied champions gain 42.6% movement speed for 1.5 seconds when your aura touches them. If you touch all other 4 champions, you gain 65% movement speed for 5 seconds.

Crescendo: Deals 630 magic damage to champions she uses it on and stuns them for 1.5 seconds.

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With Sona, and every other support pretty much, teamwork is key. You and your ADC need to work together. I realize this is not as easy in solo queue as it is when you are duoing bot with your friend on Skype, but if you want to win, then you need to work together.

Tell them what you're going to do, instead of just doing it. If you want to ward your lane, tell them "I'm going to go ward, brb", and do it quickly so that you can heal them if necessary. If you see the enemy team engaging on your ADC while you are warding, then stop, and get back to bot and help them out. Denying the enemy a kill on a valuable role, like the ADC, is much more important than getting vision. You can always go back to place that last ward whenever it's safe.

If you're going all in on the enemy ADC, tell them "I'm going to initiate now" so that they can follow up with you and ensure the enemy is killed. Your ADC should be farming and trading most of the time, and you need to poke the enemy and heal your ADC when they need it frequently. Just remember not to spam your heal early on. You're not Soraka. Using that heal a lot will deplete your mana very quickly. Wait until you get Eye of the Watchers, then you can be a bit more free with your heals. After Athene's Unholy Grail, just go ahead and spam heals.

If all goes well, you should be getting some kills and assists, which will prepare you for when the laning phase ends. If not, then try to be in as many teamfights as possible.

Enemies and allies will be killed in teamfights and you need to try to get a lot of assists. Rush Athene's using the gold you'll be getting, get a defensive item based on who is carrying their team (mid or bot), and you can save your team with your auras.

You can often turn a very bad situation into a win for your team, and believe me, it works.

Look at this for example. Our laning phase was pretty bad, and we ended up feeding Varus and Nami.

It was almost definitely going to be a loss for us, and we had surrender votes being called.

I rushed Athene's, got some AP items and CDR, and in teamfights, I ended up healing my teammates constantly, and poking/stunning, allowing us to walk into a teamfight, kill some enemies, heal, then kill some more. Also, since I was peeling for Vayne and healing her a lot, she was able to farm her way into the mid game where she did very well in carrying us.

I also owe it to our teamwork in the late game. Our Ekko and Vayne ended up carrying us, and since I was healing everyone, we outsustained them. That is really the goal of playing Sona -- outsustaining your opponents.

We ended up with an ace on the enemy team, and we destroyed their turrets, and soon their nexus was destroyed and we won.

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Feel free to send me imgur links showing me your wins using this build for Sona! I will be posting some of mine here as well. It doesn't need to be full build, so don't worry!

fillerfillerSlightly different build (with Zhonya's Hourglass instead of Luden's Tempest) but I had to get one to help with lowering Zed's insane burst.
fillerIrelia pls. That 1 death.
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This is it! The end of the guide! I hope you have fun playing Sona, Maven of the Strings!

Please consider commenting and rating this guide :) This is my first guide here, as I said in my introduction. I started League in September but I've learned a lot, and I think I can write a guide to one of my favorite champions to play.

Definitely not my best with Sona, but Graves and I totally dominated the early game and we won :D

If I had to suggest a skin, go for DJ Sona. I have her, and she is absolutely amazing. In most of the games people compliment my skin and ask me to play songs for them. If you don't want to spend so much RP on that, go for Guqin Sona or Silent Night Sona. The skins look so pretty :D Pentakill Sona is also really cool.

Anyways, that's it for this guide! Enjoy playing Sona!

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Edit Log

This is just to track edits. I won't make new logs for Hall of Fame additions since these should be more frequent and will just clutter up this guide.

8/12/2015: Added Morgana to Matchups list, Eye of the Watchers alternative added.
15/12/2015: Removed matchups and added some Vs. Champions matchups.
29/12/2015: Edited reasoning for Teleport spell, criteria slightly modified.
8/1/2016: Huge rework to the guide. Now there are images. Also, slightly modified some chapters.
18/1/2016: Now that the Eyes give 10% CDR, Ionian Boots aren't needed. Take any other boot upgrades, depending on the enemy team comp. Take the Captain enchantment as well.
3/2/2016: Another big rework, reasoning for a lot of things were changed so that I don't sound stupid.

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