Sion Build Guide by NickCola Tesla
"I! AM! WAR!" - NickColaTesla's Sion GuideBy NickCola Tesla | Updated on October 23, 2020
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Runes: Locket of the Iron Solari Build
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Standard Ability Order
Threats & Synergies
As a Darius main, there is zero way for a competent Darius to lose this lane. Go the tank rune setup designed for ranged matchups, since you don't even want to get into AA range of him. Or, take Arcane Comet and purchase a Doran's Ring if you want to poke at him more, and consider maxing your E first. Once you begin stacking armor, you can CONSIDER stepping up to melee range to CS more appropriately, but I would still just give up anything past the halfway point towards his tower, even if you're playing from range. Check the "high threat matchups" section for greater detail!
If Vayne manages to get an AA or two off on you, just back up to allow her silver bolts to reset. Retaining half your health because you avoided a PTA + Silver Bolts Proc is worth more than the canon minion you might need to forfeit! Use the tank rune setup designed for ranged matchups, and check the "high threat matchups" section for greater detail!
I'll be honest. As the long as the Sett has not taken Phase Rush, there are definitely more oppressive threats you could face in lane. If Sett takes Conqueror, and not Phase Rush, he sits around a 3-4 on the threat scale: 4 is pushing it in my opinion. It would be a skill matchup in his favor. If the Sett HAS taken Phase Rush, the kill pressure he has on you goes up immensely. Sion, being an immobile tank, will allow a Sett with Phase Rush to completely avoid Sion's knockup. Even if you manage to slow him with an uncharged Q or with your E, Phase Rush automatically accounts for slow resistances. If he's taken Phase Rush, use the same rune setup as you would use against a ranged opponent! If he's taken Conqueror, feel free to take the rune setup against melee champions, and if he tries to rush straight at you, slow him with your E and walk away. Build Ninja Tabis and Bramble Vest, and try to avoid him in teamfights! In lane, build a Bami's Cinder to help you take favorable trades. Check the "high threat matchups" section for greater detail!
Fiora just manages to edge it out as a tier 5 threat, particularly because of her long CDs throughout the early laning phase. Your abilities are able to bait out her Riposte, which is on a 24 second CD level one! Furthermore, the only way she can reduce in the laning phase is by purchasing CDR (this is the last ability she levels up). However, she still scales to be a late game monster. Check the "high threat matchups" section for greater detail!
Another completely unwinnable matchup for Sion, amazing! The raw early game strength of Olaf rivals that of Darius, and against Sion, it's no exception. Don't even step up to lane for the first level, take your E second for the slow, and use that to disengage to the best of your ability if he tries to get on top of you. Go the tank rune setup designed for ranged matchups, since even approaching his general area will end with you dying. You could also take Arcane Comet and purchase a Doran's Ring to poke him down from range more. Once level 6 hits, his all-in potential only gets worse. You have to play with EXTREME care, since you'll have no way to CC him. Check the "high threat matchups" section for greater detail!
Vladimir is a potential threat not because he can kill you easily in lane, but because you will never be able to punish him as Sion. The problem with Vladimir is that although he has a couple of bad matchups in the mid lane that he suffers heavily into, against champions who can't necessarily kill him (Sion), he will just ignore you in lane, out sustain, and hyper scale into the late game. He should never be able to kill you in lane, but at the same time, you won't ever be able to kill him. He's essentially a "no fighting allowed" champion. Try zoning him off important cannon waves using your Q, but aside from that, it will be almost impossible for him not to free farm. Don't mindlessly waste mana for no reason, or you'll find yourself in a position where he'll just push you out of lane.
My current permaban when I play Darius, Ashe isn't a champion you will ever see in the Top lane, but the reason I included her in the guide is because of you having to face her outside of the laning phase. Before she purchases Runaan's Hurricane, you should have no problem being able to teamfight accordingly and peel for your carries. But once she begins completing her build and completes her on-hit items, it becomes very hard for you to remain relevant in teamfights. This is more of those "I need my bot lane to not feed the enemy" kind of tips, but in League of Legends, you can never rely on bot lane. She's a ticking timebomb like most other ADCs, but she makes you irrelevant more than any other champion come late game. If, for some reason, you want to be pushing side lanes and she's going to be the one contesting you, this is one of the few times boots of swiftness isn't a bad pickup.
Volibear can easily be considered an extreme threat in the event you are unable to respect the damage he can dish out! He is unbelievably tanky for the amount of burst he can potentially trade with. The biggest source of his damage comes from his Sky Splitter. If he attempts to engage with this, you need to be prepared to disengage or try to avoid its damage altogether. This, coupled with Volibear's shield, will be enough to half health you without you being able to successfully trade! You can wear him out over time using good trades, but that requires mana, which Sion struggles with early on. In all honesty, as long as you keep your distance and not try to facetank his damage early on, you will get to a point where you can manage the lane just fine! BUT... if he manages to get fed, he will literally have the potential to 1v9 the game, and your team will hate you a lot. He's able to get so damn tanky while dishing out more damage than entire teams can. If you lost a trade post level 6 and you don't have a sustainable lead, I would bite the loss and give him the plates. Give him the CS, and give him what he needs to be happy. Lose less than risk losing a lot more!
Wukong is a VERY annoying matchup for Sion! His poke is much stronger than yours, his ultimate is able to cancel the channel on your Q, and his damage in an all-ins can easily take you back. I would highly recommend playing a poke based build into this lane. Wukong has the potential to snowball just as hard as Darius, but the reason I don't consider him a Level 5 threat is because of you being able to outscale him! Building Ninja Tabis and Bramble Vest should be enough to negate the majority of his poke, leaving his damage reliant on extended trades.
Just a very annoying matchup altogether. No one I know actually enjoys fighting against Irelia, so you're not alone if you completely despise the champion. Talk about jack of all trades: Hybrid Damage- drain tank Burst High Move speed diver plus on-hit anti tank Self Peel assassin champion. Irelia behaves in a similar manner to Wukong; you do not want to have her in a position where she has control over the lane, since she can snowball incredibly easy. If this happens, she will stack her Ionian Fervor passive, granting her increased attack speed and on-hit magic damage. Having this happen repeatedly without you being able to retaliate is what will lose you the lane. The problem with being able to contest Irelia is her insane mobility. If she hits you with Flawless Duet, you risk getting chunked out and pushed out of lane. You need to use your mana sparingly, but spend just enough to punish her with a well placed Q if she gets greedy for minions. Since she's going to be in melee range, take Grasp of the Undying. Build Ninja Tabis and Bramble Vest and try to contest her mid game scaling. If you die in lane, just play extremely safe and not die again, Irelia snowballs so easily it's unbelievable, and she will actually 1v9 the entire game.
Gnar's threat level can be quite difficult for newer players! In the early laning phase, he'a more annoying than he is powerful. He's able to hop out of your Q's AoE, but you can poke at him in his mini form using your E. However, the base CD on it is 22 second long, meaning you can look to take a favorable trade once he uses it. He is a very tough champion to itemize against. If you are confident, take the standard tank runes against him. Respect his powerspike with Black Cleaver, and don't try to fight him if your armor is cleaved!
This is a skill matchup slightly in Mordekaiser's favor! Feel free to go whatever runes you feel comfortable using. But as someone who has a decent amount of Mastery on the Iron Lord himself, I can assure you that Mordekaiser really isn't as much of a threat as you would expect. A few patches ago, he was performing rather well in the meta. However, ever since the Blade of the Ruined King changes, he's lost his throne as an S tier pick, and suffers from a lack of early game power. Yes, he has passive magic penetration, but you need to understand that it's only 5% when he first levels the ability. The penetration caps out at 15% at max rank, and he levels the ability up second. Compare this to the massive 35% granted to Darius, and it's quite measly. You can easily make favorable trades before this happens! Mordekaiser's abilities are super predictable, and the damage from a non-isolated Q is quite lackluster. As long as you stand behind your minions, and don't get hit by every last one of his abilities, there should be no way for him to kill you! If you manage to avoid his E, remember, it's on a 24 second CD when first leveled. Keep a mental timer in your head, so you can perform a strong trade! Even after he hits level 6, remember, your ultimate makes you unstoppable. Save it for when you see him perform the animation for his Death Realm, so you can use your ultimate to prevent him from activating his! If the Mordekaiser understands the matchup properly, they will end up rushing Liandry's Torment. You can negate this damage by rushing an Adaptive Helm. If you're having a rough time, which you honestly shouldn't, a quick QSS can help ensure there's no possibility of dying to him in lane.
Surprisingly, Sion fairs quite well into Garen! This should be a skill matchup slightly in your favor. At least, this is until the passive on Garen's W, Courage, starts to grant him enough armor and magic resist to negate a good chunk of your damage. Remember, in order to trade, Garen relies on using his Q to close the gap before using his E for DoT. His Q only breaks him free of slows effecting him, not slows affecting him! This means that unless he's in AA range of you, there should be no way for him to reliably trade! Every time he tries to trade with his Q, slow him with your E and disengage. The reason why he's an even threat, however, is because of his presence in teamfights. If you're sitting around 30% of your health in teamfights, Garen is able to execute you no matter how far behind he is! This is honestly the only time he should be able to cheese a kill off of you.
This is a skill matchup for most of the lane! As long as you avoid her Test of Spirit, she should have close to zero kill pressure on you in lane up until Level 6. At this point, you have to be aware of how quickly she can shred your resistances and health. She can easily turn a gank into a double kill, as her tentacles will be attacking at a much faster rate, allowing her more consistent DPS along with healing from Conqueror. I would not ask for a gank unless you know you are able to outplay this! Illaoi landing her Test of Spirit + Using her ultimate = IMMEDIATE disengage. As long as you stand behind your minions, she should have no way of tagging you with her abilities! However, this is all Illaoi is useful for. Her poke is easily predictable, her sustained damage is a joke, and her Test of Spirit does little to nothing outside of lane. Without her ultimate, she's hopeless!
This matchup is more annoying than the actual difficulty, but it's still a skill matchup in your favor early. Jax becomes a lategame monster when he purchases Blade of the Ruined King and other tank shredding items, but until then, you can give him a rough time in lane. Keep an eye on his passive stacks, as if it's up, he can take a very favorable trade without you being able to match his damage! Keep in mind that if he hops on you, he essentially has to go all-in, as he has no real means of escape. This means that Ninja Tabis and Bramble Vest are amazing purchases into him! Be weary if the game goes on for an extended period of time. While you are still useful late game, you will be unable to match Jax's split push.
Playing against Shen in lane is not quite difficult at all! Your poke is able to rival his, and his CDs are considerably longer than yours. The problem in this lane comes from the insane map presence he has. You can try pushing lane into his tower to prevent his Stand United plays, but only do so when you have strong vision/ know where the enemy Jungle is. Also, make sure you don't get taunted under his tower, for obvious reasons. Your ultimate and Q are able to cancel his ultimate's channel, so keep that in mind if he's making a split second play! You might be able to handle his split push later in the game with Sunfire Cape and Titanic Hydra, but make sure you have TP up if you plan on doing this. In lane, only use your Q if his taunt isn't up, or you see him at the outer range of its hitbox. His taunt is able to cancel your Q!
Lucian can be an annoying lane in the fact you won't be able to hit him easily with your W because of his Relentless Pursuit. He can chunk you out if you aren't able to maintain CS carefully and respect his burst, so try not to let him proc PTA on you often. While Sion fairs decently into ranged poke, Lucian is a champion who will make you want to slam your head across your keyboard more than you actually feed in lane. Give up early CS to soak up lane XP and save your health. This way, you'll be useful if your Jungle decides to come and gank Top! Lucian becomes less of a problem for you once you stack armor from Ninja Tabis and Bramble Vest, but until then, don't let him take your health away for nothing.
This should be a skill matchup in your favor! Renekton relies on his early game base damage to chunk you out of lane. His levels one and two are extremely lackluster, so you can absolutely zone him off the wave at this point! However, you must respect his damage after level three until you stack a decent amount of armor. If you see he has fury bar filled, I would recommend just backing off the lane and giving him the lane priority he deserves. His full fury combo is enough to do more than half your health worth of damage! If his fury isn't full, and you're performing a freeze against him, don't be afraid to be aggressive and go for a strong trade. Because of this, Renekton will be looking to snowball the early game, with his high base damage, so he can fair against you in the mid game. What you have to understand if that he gets impatient and dies to a gank, the lane is essentially over for him. At this point, Sion will begin to stack way too many resistances for him to be able to itemize against. Once you finish Ninja Tabis, Bramble Vest, and build the components to Frozen Heart, he will have a difficult time playing against you: even with fury up!
You are one of Tryndamere's counters! The lane should be a skill matchup heavily in your favor. Tryndamere is one of the easiest champions to proc Grasp of the Undying, so use this to your advantage in lane and poke at him with your AAs! Tryndamere is typically referred to as a "stat check champion." This means that his viability in and out of lane depends on him comparing his stats to that of other champions. If he manages to get ahead slightly, he has the potential to take over the entire game. If he falls slightly behind, he essentially teeters on the edge of uselessness. His entire kit revolves around random crits, which you can negate by purchasing a Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart! He's particularly annoying in the fact he can use his spinning slash to escape your Q's hitbox, but at least you know that he won't be able to use it to trade with you if he has his fury up. When level 6 hits, as long as you're above 25% of your health in lane, you should be good to go! If you happen to fall too low on health, you risk being dove by him and his Jungler! It's better to just bite the loss and recall.
Even matchup in his favor early, but you outscale him fast! The biggest tip I can give you in this lane is to respect the burst he's capable of dishing out. Kled can be SO deceptive at times in terms of bring able to turn an unfavorable situation into a favorable one. Between the massive AS steriod attributed to his W, and his mounting/remounting capabilities, he's capable of huge outplay potential. In lane, be weary of his level two all in! Don't be afraid to give up lane priority, if it means saving your health for performing successful trades later in the lane. Kled will have no trouble bursting you down at this point, but remember that you outscale him after you purchase Ninja Tabis and components to Frozen Heart!
Strictly a farm lane. Neither of you can really kill the other without Jungle interference. You'll both just be looking to stack HP, but he's more useful late game because of his True Damage nuke! Once he completes his build and gets the Gargoyle Stoneplate, he'll be able to one shot your backline with his ult. If he goes the AP route, he'll be poking you down, but an Adaptive Helm will do the trick against his Vorpal Spikes. Just make sure you dodge his Rupture, and don't get cheesed early on. If your backline can dodge his skillshots against the AP build, his ultimate won't be scaling nearly as much!
This is a skill mathcup in your favor. Aatrox is not a great champion right now. Unless the Aatrox is a one trick and is smurfing, he pretty much loses to everything and anything in the top lane. Because of the decent sustain he has with his passive, killing him is going to be challenging, but at the same time, there should be also no way for him to kill you. Hell, there really isn't any special knowledge to help you beat him, either. The biggest tip I can give you is to avoid the first knockup of his Q. If he hits you with the first one, he will hit the second knockup with the help of his dash, and then lay down his W to hit you with his third knockup. This is all happening while he gets 2 passive procs of %max health physical damage, which is way too much damage for you to face tank. As long as you avoid the first knockup, he has little means of hitting you with the rest. Build Bramble Vest and Ninja Tabis to make him obsolete!
Another straight forward matchup for Sion! As long as you don't eat too much early game poke from this Shotgun Knees, you should be good to go. If he pokes you down too much in the early game, it'll get harder to manage the lane out of fear of him flipping you over him! You can hold your Q to cancel his dash, and as you don't get hit by it, Urgot has no way of out trading you. If he DOES manage to flip you, try to stay on one side of him so you don't get blasted by all his passive damage. When level 6 hits, try not to use your ultimate offensively. Save it for when he ults you and you fall beneath his execute threshold (25 percent of your maximum health), then use your ult to cancel his ultimate's second recast. Keep in mind this only works for the SECOND recast, not the initial cast that lands on you.
You are one of Quinn's counters! Sion is one of the few melee champions who is able to circumvent ranged poke, so picking him into Quinn is highly advised. Take Arcane Comet, start with the Doran's Ring, max your E first, and just poke her down. It's a very similar playstyle when compared to going up against Teemo. Your poke is SO much stronger than theirs. Rushing Ninja Tabis and Bramble Vest puts the lane heavily in your favor, especially if she chooses to build Lethality. Once you complete Frozen Heart, there shouldn't be a way Quinn out duels you! If you see her building crit, rushing a Randuins Omen will help you itemize against her and the enemy ADC at the same time.
You are one of Teemo's counters! If you are a player who hates going up against Teemo, or has difficulties against him, Sion can help you circumvent that! Take Arcane Comet, start with the Doran's Ring, max your E first, and just poke the little guy down. It's a very similar playstyle when compared to going up against Quinn. Your poke is SO much stronger than theirs. Purchase an Oracle Lens around level 6 to find his Mushrooms, and if his poke starts to become a problem, a quick Spectre's Cowl should do the trick. If the Teemo player is good, he or she will want to be rushing Liandry's Torment to shred your massive health pool. But even with all of that in mind, this matchup still heavily favors you!
Champion Build Guide
Hey, guys! I go by NickColaTesla, and I wanted to introduce you to my first guide I have uploaded to Mobafire! I've always wanted to post a guide online for other players to read and become inspired to try a certain champion, which is why I took the time to create this one.
The general format of the guide is complete. There's a section dedicated to the most common threats I face in the top lane, rune setups, item descriptions, and detailed explanations on Sion's toughest matchups! I plan on updating each section as I find new builds to run on Sion, develop more rune pages over time, and have more time on my hand to give further item descriptions on situational purchases!
Yes, I understand I will get hate because of my rank, and I was even told I could just leave it out of the guide, but quite frankly, I really do not care. There's a reason I want to display it. I'm not trying to hide who I am, and I don't mind my rank at all. I was ecstatic to finally win my Silver 1 promos, and improving on myself is all I envision myself doing. If I can help others in the process, then all the power to us! I currently have a lot of experience on Sion, and he's helped me win ranked games in the elo I was able to eventually rise from.
I wanted to thank every single one of you for taking the time to read this guide, and I hope to continue updating it in the future!
One factor I've always admired about Sion, and the reason I continue to play him as my rank increases, is that he's one of the few melee champions in the game who is a counter to ranged poke (as long as that champion isn't Vayne). His poke and harass, thanks to his Roar of the Slayer, coupled with the massive hitbox attributed to his Decimating Smash, allow him to counter deny farm against these champions!
Furthermore, he's a champions who can adapt his playstyle, even when behind. The massive hitbox on his Q is extremely forgiving, allowing him to achieve massive enemy knockups throughout teamfights. His ultimate, Unstoppable Onslaught, gives him incredible initiation and engage for his team. And, in all honesty, it's quite inspirational. Even if the game looks like a lost cause, because your team fell behind, nothing kicks them into gear like hearing Sion hurl down the nearest lane towards the enemy!
While Sion is an incredibly fun and versatile champion to have in your champion pool, he has some major drawbacks preventing him from being a staple in this meta. Most notably, he loses A LOT of meta, early lane matchups ( Darius, Sett, Mordekaiser, Garen), and having mana issues early on does not help the situation out for him.
Sion doesn't necessarily hold his own until he's made a back or two. Even then, his early game isn't comparable to these types of champions. Furthermore, because of the nature of his abilities, his kit is quite linear and predictable. They tend to have massive sound effects and visuals accompanying them, warning the enemy of a trade or engage.
This is the most well rounded keystone we will be taking with us into lane! The poke from the extra magic damage helps Sion excel at taking short trades, since taking extended trades against most meta top lane champions is ill-advised. The healing we receive from it also helps mitigate a portion of our enemies damage, and the extra five health from each activation helps us scale well into the mid game. So, whenever we happen to be in melee range of our opponent, we will be trying to proc it as much as possible!|
The downside of taking Grasp of the Undying is actually the method used to activate it: being in melee range. If you're up against ranged poke ( Quinn), or against a champion where being in melee range could lead to your death ( Darius), then taking either Aftershock or Arcane Comet is more advised.
If you're looking to have stronger scaling into the mid-late game, but have to sacrifice the poke granted by Grasp of the Undying, Aftershock in an excellent keystone for you to take into lane. While it isn't completely useless in lane, you'll be sacrificing a lot of poke and lane harassment you would otherwise have had if you were to have taken Grasp of the Undying or Arcane Comet. However, this is the sacrifice you must make if you still want to function as a stronger frontline!|
Another major downside to the rune is that it's on a 20 second CD. Even though you have two forms of hard CC, one used as an engage, the other used for peel, this means you can only really proc the rune once in a teamfight. However, since using Unstoppable Onslaught typically means you'll be the first person to engage on a teamfight, you'll be able to negate the majority of the enemy team's burst, while the rest of your team catches up from behind!
These are the two runes you'll be looking to take in the first tree. They are entirely up to preference! If you are new to Sion, or plan on split pushing to draw map pressure, I would undoubtedly recommend to take Demolish. Since the damage you deal to turrets scales off your maximum health (granted to Sion from his passive), he can take around two turret plates whenever he forces someone out of lane! Later in the game, the amount of damage it does is ludicrous. You will literally be able to half-health the inner turrets with a single Demolish proc,|
If you're looking to play more aggressive in lane, and want a rune which you can play around Grasp of the Undying more optimally, Shield Bash is also a decent choice! Your next AA against a champion deals bonus adaptive damage, scaling off your shields health as well as your bonus health.
Any one of these runes are viable in their own ways! If you're looking to scale into the late game, Conditioning is the clear rune to take, as it gives you free resistances to already add to your scaling.|
Bone Plating and Second Wind are also decent pickups. Take bone Plating if you foresee yourself making aggressive, early trades. Take Second Wind to help negate poke from ranged champions. I would only ever recommend taking these two if you know you're going to adapt your playstyle around a specific purpose. If you don't end up making good use out of them, they tend to fall off very hard and lose a lot of value in comparison to Conditioning!
I would say for general Sion play, Overgrowth is going to be the rune you want to be taking! Sion already stacks a ridiculous amount of health because of his passive, so increasing that maximum amount by 3.5% after killing 120 creeps can be incredibly beneficial to him towards the late game. Also, the extra health from absorbing lane minions isn't bad, either!|
Revitalize is a solid choice if your team has a Soraka, and you plan on building a Spirit Visage, but the utility it has to offer is usually outclassed by the safeness of Overgrowth. However, it can be of situational use at times!
||If you have interest in playing Bruiser Sion, AD Sion, or want to play around the Locket of the Iron Solari build, this is the minor keystone you want to be using! The primary reason we chose this over Inspiration, is because of having access to Cheap Shot and the Ingenious Hunter runes.|
||This is the minor rune you will be taking from the first tree in Domination. Although it is by far from the best minor rune in the game, the added true damage after immobilizing an enemy champion can be nice; especially since Sion has a total of three ways of doing so. It continues to benefit Sion's playstyle of poking at his enemy, taking short trades, while having slightly increased damage in the process.|
This is the minor rune we will be taking from the second tree in Domination, and is the only reason we take this as our minor keystone in the first place! Ingenious Hunter provides us with a MASSIVE 15% item CDR from level 1 to the end of the game. Furthermore, you get an additional 5% for every enemy champion on the map you manage to kill, for a total 40% item CDR.|
This is absolutely mandatory for purchasing items, such as Sunfire Cape, Titanic Hydra, Youmuu's Ghostblade, and Locket of the Iron Solari. Being able to use these items as frequently as possible is one of the only reasons Sion can function as such a versatile champion! However, since this guide is more focused on playing Tank Sion, you will primarily be building this item to abuse Locket of the Iron Solari.
|Glacial Shroud. The item gives Sion everything he needs: 10% CDR, 20 armor, and 250 mana to spam his abilities more. It builds into two amazing items for him: Frozen Heart and Iceborn Gauntlet. While these items won't be giving you any health, this does not matter! Sion gains bonus health from his passive!||Bami's Cinder is a solid item to enhance your damage, but the reason it's not my personal preference is because it doesn't offer solid stats to support your early game lane sustain. Not to mention, the AoE DoT passive it has is unable to be turned off, preventing Sion from freezing waves. With a champion who already struggles in the early game, not being able to freeze a wave can be really detrimental when considering how efficiently he can farm. This item does scale off your bonus HP, which Sion passively attains, so building it and completing the Sunfire Cape is highly recommended into enemy teams with AD champions.||Spectre's Cowl, although slightly lackluster when compared to the efficiency of Glacial Shroud and the Ninja Tabis, is still an incredible purchase against AP threats in lane. Its passive gives you increased health regen after being dealt damage from an enemy champion. Coupled with Second Wind, you can essentially negate the small amounts of poke you'll be dealt from AP champions such as Ryze, Teemo, and Cassiopeia!|
If you're playing against an AA reliant champion who relies slightly on healing, such as Renekton, Bramble Vest coupled with the Ninja Tabi are also incredibly strong pick ups. In fact, the only boots I bother purchasing on tank Sion are the Ninja Tabis! The passive of negating 12% of damage from basic attacks is just too good to pass up. Even if the enemy team is primarily AP, Sion does not benefit from completing the other defensive boots, Mercury's Treads, as much as he does the Ninja Tabis. Unless the enemy team has so much CC to the point where you can't even tank skillshots for your team, just stick the with the Ninja Tabis. Even still, Sterak's Gauge should give you enough tenacity to get you through the bulk of their burst. Of course, don't rush these if you happen to be up against a Ryze or Cassiopeia in lane, but these boots should be part of your completed build!
Bramble Vest is one of the best and most cost efficient items for you to pick up against any AD champion in the top lane. If you feel as though mana won't be an issue for you throughout the early laning phase, building Bramble Vest and coupling it with Ninja Tabis is a way to essentially counter half the top lane roster. The two part passive of inflicting Grievous Wounds AND magic damage when struck by a basic attack is unbelievably good. Whether the champion you are up against is an annoying hypercarry, such as Jax, or an early game lane bully, such as Sett, the powerspike this item gives you is absolutely massive. Build it if you've fallen behind in lane and need something to ensure you don't get popped in lane against AD threats, and build it if you manage to get ahead and are looking to snowball. The item is just too good at what it does. Just take it.
|Domination as the minor keystone for Sion, so we gain access to the Ingenious Hunter rune. When fully stacked, this provides Locket of the Iron Solari with an additional 40% CDR! The other item you must pair with this build is the Gargoyle Stoneplate (refer to the item further in this guide to understand what it does). When you combine all the sources of bonus health Sion gets, and under the right circumstances, it is not unreasonable to grant every single one of your teammates with a 1000+ HP shield. To put that in perspective, this is enough health to completely mitigate Darius' ult ( Noxian Guillotine) at max rank AND with Noxian Might activated.||Tryndamere and Sett. Even if the enemy team isn't populated by many AA reliant champions, towards the late game, you at least have a go to purchase to help itemize against the backline. For the price of 2700 G, this is one of the best items in the game for Sion. It's just too good at how it synergies with his kit. If you decide to go bruiser Sion to Split Push, or are playing around vision with AD Sion, selling your build to adapt this as a part of your core ensure you scale extremely well into he late game!||Spirit Visage is the second MR item you should be looking on purchasing in the event you happen to be paired against considerable amounts of AP. However, the item does have some situational use as a first item. The passive synergies well with champions such as Soraka and Nami, as they will have their healing bonuses increased by 30% when used on you. Rushing this item in lane can benefit Soraka's global ult! The problem with the item is that if your team doesn't have any healing to support the passive, it can be very gold inefficient, as Sion has no way of healing himself with his abilities. The item does enhance your health regen and the amount you're healed by potions, but I personally don't think that's enough to warrant you rushing the item if your team still doesn't have considerable healing! It's a good item to purchase if the enemy team is flooded with magic damage, but it's an item designed for bruisers who heal damage from Conqueror and in extended trades.|
|Warmog's Heart passive relatively quickly! This passive gives Sion an insane amount of health regeneration outside of combat, if he has a minimum of 3000 health. This passive is strong enough to the point where the only factor determining how long you can stay outside of base is your mana. Purchasing Warmog's Armor as your second item is EXTREMELY effective, but ONLY if the first item you completed happens to give you health. This is because, although Sion's passive provides him with bonus health, it is not enough to unlock the Warmog's Heart passive if it is the first item which grants you health. Towards the late game, the item serves as an excellent way for Sion to expand his already massive health pool!||Gargoyle Stoneplate is one of the best purchases you could possibly consider! The item gives you 40 armor and 40 MR, which might sound quite lackluster on paper, but the primary reason we purchase this item is for its passive and active ability during teamfights. When three or more enemies surround you, Sion gains an additional 40 resistances of each type, granting Sion a total of 80 resistances of each type from a single item! Furthermore, when activated when three or more people surround him, the item DOUBLES Sions health momentarily, at the cost of dealing reduced damage. Furthermore, the bonus health you get from it also applies to the Locket of the Iron Solari Shield, so you should be looking to complete it earlier in the game if you plan on building around that item. If not, just complete this as a final item, or when you think your damage is beginning to fall off. It's value is just too good.||Titanic Hydra is the item you're going to want to get! Once you're done itemizing against your opponent in lane, rushing this item provides Sion with an incredible amount of utility in and outside of lane. It gives Sion a decent amount of AD and health, and its build path is exceptionally good. Rushing an early Tiamat allows Sion to have solid waveclear without having to waste mana. But the main reason we would want to purchase it is for its AA reset and its passive, cleaving damage in an AoE around the target we hit for bonus physical damage scaling off our HP. This means by sitting in a side lane all game, killing lane minions, and stacking HP off our passive, the item will just get stronger as we play the game! The Titanic Hydra build path helps Sion with his already insane waveclear, and split pushing all game will allow you to scale insanely well into late team fights! When your damage and relevance begins to fall off, and champions begin to contest your split push, sell your bruiser items, and purchase the Locket of the Iron Solari and Gargoyle Stoneplate to maximize your playstyle around your carries!|
Adaptive Helm is easily the best MR item in the game to purchase for Sion (aside from Locket of the Iron Solari). The build path is extremely friendly, providing you with a decent amount of MR until you finish the item. Furthermore, the passive is something which is always beneficial; being able to negate 20% of the damage from mages who rely on sustained damage is insane, especially since those are the types of champions which counter Sion! Champions such as Cassiopeia and Mordekaiser will eventfully scale to build Liandry's Torment to shred Sion's massive health pool, but this item can help prevent that! This is the better of the two other MR tank items, Abyssal Mask and Spirit Visage. If you need a decent MR item to rush, this will be it. Unless your team has a lot of teamwide healing, which would encourage you to build a Spirit Visage, Adaptive Helm will be your go to MR item.
Sunfire Cape is another excellent item to rush on Sion, if conserving mana on him is not an issue! The build path is very friendly against AD matchups, and the Immolate passive gives Sion incredible mid game damage scaling off his bonus health. The reason I refrain from rushing this item under most circumstances, is because the DoT passive is unable to be turned off, and will continuously deal damage to minions surrounding Sion. This makes it very hard for him to freeze waves, which is something crucial for a champion who is unable to contest many early game matchups. Build the item if you like what it has to offer, but I refrain from finishing it until the midgame.
|Iceborn Gauntlet is going to be the item you want to build! Just like Frozen Heart, the item gives Sion everything he wants to function as a champion; 65 Armor, 20% CDR, and 500 Mana is nothing to scoff at all. The primary reason this remains a situational item is because the item is mostly outclassed by Frozen Heart unless you begin stacking armor, which is when the passive from Iceborn Gauntlet becomes extremely effective. The passive creates an AoE field which briefly slows enemies trapped inside of it, which increases in size based on Sion's bonus armor. If you find yourself in a situation where you're forced to stack large amounts of armor against the enemy, you should highly consider this item! If not, just build the Frozen Heart if you plan on front line tanking.||Randuin's Omen is most certainly not an item you are going to find yourself building ever game, but it does have very powerful situational use. The build path for it is already rather friendly, allowing you to rush the item against specific matchups. The item gives Sion 70 armor and 400 health, but the main reason we purchase it is because of its passive, which negates 20% of all damage from critical strike basic attacks. Because of this passive, Randuin's Omen should always be rushed if you find yourself having trouble against champions such as Tryndamere and Yasuo. In fact, this item should always be rushed if you find yourself playing against a Yasuo in lane. This is because Yasuo's critical strike chance is doubled in exchange for reduced critical strike damage, so reducing his critical strike damage by another 20% can be detrimental for him being able to push you out of lane. If the enemy AD carry in the bot lane manages to get fed, and you need a reliable item to prevent them from completely taking over the game, this is also a very valuable item to incorporate as part of your build.||Abyssal Mask is honestly the worst for Sion! It's in no way inherently bad, it's just the other two are able to synergize with his kit much effectively without the added effort. The two parts passives give Sion mana restoration based on how much damage he's taken, while nearby enemies take increased magic damage. By the time the item is actually completed, Sion should be at high enough level where the majority of his mana issues are negligible. Even if it's gained from what Sion already should be doing, tanking damage, the value is still not worth what you have to pay. The increased magic damage to nearby enemies is nice, especially since two of Sion's abilities deal magic damage, but you have to understand that Sion's viability does not come from his magic damage, it comes from him being a frontline threat who can function as a bruiser! Pick the item up if you're stacking full MR against an all AP team, or if your team has AP bruisers who can increase their damage from the item's passive. IF not, just stick to the other two items mentioned previously.|
|Sterak's Gage can be an amazing item to purchase on Bruiser or tank Sion! The item mostly depends on how well you value the passive and whether or not the enemy team has the appropriate burst to activate it. The first part of the passive grants Sion boonus AD equal to 50% of his base AD, which is always nice to have, no matter what build you decide to go with him. However, the primary reason we purchase the item is because of the second passive, Sterak's Fury. This passive grants Sion a shield which sales off 75% of his bonus health after taking a certain amount of burst damage. This means that all the HP you stack from your passive and will contribute to the shield's strength, which is capable of reaching absurd numbers in the late game! The best part about it, is that it includes the bonus health from activating Gargoyle Stoneplate, which effectively doubles the strength of the shield, if it activates while you have the bonus health.||Aegis of the Legion, but the added resistances make this item absolutely broken. The main reason we are able to build it is because on top of the resistances it grants us, the passive mitigates 30% of all damage as DoT, allowing you to negate absurd amounts of burst damage. It scales incredibly well into the late game, where it'll prevent you from getting absolutely shredded in teamfights. The only real reason I consider this a situational item, is because of the price tag tacked on to it. 3600 G is a lot of farm you have to generate to purchase the item, so unless you're ahead in lane or managed to pick up kills in early game team fights, I would just hold off on purchasing it until the late game.||Trinity Force one of the more situational items to build on Sion. However, there's a reason why it's considered one of the best items in the game. If you plan on split pushing in a side lane, manage to get fed in lane, or plan on playing AD/ Bruiser Sion, this item is an absolute must to pick up. Sion utilizes every passive and ever stat this item has to offer, where the only downside to it is the high price tag of 3733 G you're force to shell out. The passives grant Sion increased MS and increased damage on the next AA after using an ability, which turns him into a turret shredding machine. Honestly? This item will be down to personal preference. If you like the playstyle it has to offer, and want to spend your time farming side lanes, test it out for yourself and see if you can get any use out of it!|
As a Darius main, let me be the first to say that there is absolutely no way for you to win this lane. I have never lost to a Sion player before. If the Darius player has even the slightest idea of how to play the game, there is zero way for him to lose, and he will use you as an opportunity to get fed. This is the absolute worst case scenario when playing Sion, and easily Sion's hardest matchup overall.
EVERYTHING about Darius is designed to counter Sion. Your Q is a two second channel; Darius' is able to cancel it with his E ( Apprehend) and perform a flawless trade. You will attempt to stack armor; Darius' kit ( Apprehend) comes with passive armor penetration. You are ALSO an easy target for him to stack his passive in a teamfight, and when you eventually die, his ultimate and passive will just reset off your dead form. He counters you from minute one in lane until the end of the game. Don't even ask for Jungle assistance to help bring him down. If your Jungle insists on ganking, don't even step up to lane. Allow Darius to kill your Jungler, and not get the double kill. This lane is so free for Darius, that he doesn't even need to outplay a gank against you for it to turn into a double kill. All it takes is one well placed Q for him to have the sustain necessary to perform a successful chain execute.
Even if he is SOMEHOW behind, he will find a way to make it happen, and it will absolutely depress you how fast he can turn unfavorable situations into his favor. He can take over the game and snowball SO damn hard that it will seriously depress when you every time you come back to lane, just to get put down again and sent to spawn.
As for what you can do to play the lane out, if you are absolutely sure you arrived to lane first, you can TRY to bush cheese him with a charged up Q. However, I wouldn't recommend it, especially if the player might be aggressive. If you ended up leashing your Jungler, and you have no idea where he is in lane: just give up level one. Don't even step into lane. It's not risk him level 1 bush cheesing you. Starting level three, nothing much changes. Darius hits his largest early game power spike, and this is the point in the lane where even overstepping the smallest amount will kill you. If, for some reason, he wastes his E and misses the pull on you, or he doesn't manage to chunk you out with it, you have a massive 24 second window to go in for a solid trade.
Your best chance of surviving laning phase is to go the tank rune setup designed for ranged matchups, since you don't want to even get into AA range of him. If you want to play even more passive, take Arcane Comet and purchase a Doran's Ring. This will allow you to poke at him more, so I recommend maxing your E first. Once you begin stacking armor, you can CONSIDER stepping up to melee range to CS more appropriately, but I would still just give up anything past the halfway point towards his tower, even if you're playing from range. In teamfights, the biggest tip I can give you is to keep an eye out on your Hemorrhage stacks. If you reach five stacks, or become low on health (to the point where he executes you), Darius will be granted Noxian Might and will have the opportunity to dish out an unreal amount of damage against your team. This applies maximum Hemorrhage to any target he attacks, grants him a massive AD boost, and he retains the buff as long as it remains active.
If Darius is not focused in a respectable amount of time that this happens, you risk completely losing the team fight! Believe me when I say that your team will have a much easier time bursting down an 0/2 Darius than a 2/0 Darius! Just survive the laning phase, and hope your backline can shred him with the adequate peel you provide!
Even though I don't have NEARLY as many games on Vayne as I do Darius, I at least have enough to understand how the matchup is supposed to play out. Thankfully, Vayne in the toplane isn't a traditional pick in lower elos, so the chances of you facing one are slim. However, in the event you are up against one, you're going to be in for a rough time.
Similar to Darius, she counters you from minute one until the end of the game. And unlike Darius, she scales to be absolutely frightening in the late game.
Something you can look forward to when playing against a Vayne in the toplane is possibly the lack of a frontline champion on the enemy team. While, yes, Vayne does scale to be a late game hypercarry, having that potential means nothing if her team is unable to appropriately peel for her. This is why I typically scoff at players who claim "Our team is late game oriented," when it consists of zero champions with engage or appropriate peel.
As for your performance in lane, Vayne's aggressive poke comes from her Silver Bolts dealing a percent of your maximum health in True Damage, while being able to dodge your skillshots with her Tumble. In all honesty, this champion is in need of a rework. She's played in the toplane, because she performs better here than in the lane she was designed for. It's all because her Silver Bolts are are impossible to itemize against, allowing her to do half health trades against melee champions. Fiora also has the same damage, but it scales off her AD, meaning champions such as Malphite can abuse her early game. This means that even if Vayne is behind, as long as she kites properly, she will still have kill pressure over you.
I digress, there is a small bit of counterplay you have against her. Vayne is one of the squishiest ADCs in the game, and a quite immobile one at that (without her ultimate). You want to be playing around vision in this lane. Try to use bushes to fire your skillshots at her. Since she is not able to AA you from outside a bush without vision in it, she will be forced to ward to avoid taking damage from you. By getting her to waste her vision, she is highly susceptible to ganks. This is the most straightforward way to play against her. If your Jungle ganks, and she burns flash, make sure you get a repeat gank while it is on cooldown.
The two most important tips to remember are to not get greedy for minions, and to care for her all in if you find yourself overextended in lane. Your goal against a competent Vayne is to primarily soak up lane XP. The gold from a canon minion is not worth being run down back to tower with 200 health remaining. And if you are extended in lane, make sure you do not approach a wall. Being condemned into a wall spells your death.
Rushing Ninja Tabis is a massive powerspike for you in this lane, and sitting on a Warden's Mail will help lower her AA speed, allowing her to proc her Silver Bolts less often. Take the runes against ranged matchups, as it will help you sustain in lane against her longer. If she manages to sneak in an AA while you're trying to maintain CS, just back off the wave until the stacks fall off. Seriously, Vayne getting a successful trade will depress you, so a wave is not worth getting half your health chunked out because of a PTA proc.
For the most part in lane, Sett is a skill matchup slightly in his favor! The reason why Sett is a level 5 threat, regardless of rune setup, is because of his impact outside the laning phase.
Since Sion will be stacking a ridiculous amount of health (due to his passive), you will be Sett's prime target in a teamfight. Sett's ultimate does AoE damage scaling off how much bonus HP his target has. That's a Big yikes for your team! If he's gotten ahead in lane, and has finished his core items, I kid you not when I say his ultimate will one shot your backline. Try to prevent him from free farming. I would also recommend purchasing Bami's Cinder in this lane, which will allow you to take favorable trades to push him out of lane. try not to fight him early, as his base damage on his Knuckle Down wil be enough to take you to half health in the early game.
The biggest tip I could recommend to you is to use your ultimate EFFECTIVELY and WISELY. Remember, when you activate your ultimate, Sion becomes unstoppable for the full duration. This means he is not affected by any CC debuffs, which INCLUDES Sett's Ultimate. It takes a good amount of prediction skills, but there have been times where I have used my ultimate at the EXACT moment Sett uses his, preventing The Show Stopper from carrying me across the lane.
Even with everything previously said in the threats section above, this lane is a skill matchup heavily in her favor, and it's mostly because of how fast she out scales us. In order to prevent her from snowballing, I recommend rushing Bramble Vest and Ninja Tabis, which will be part of your core build.
Fiora is REALLY bad when you manage to freeze the wave, and if she rushes Tiamat, she will eventually end up slow pushing to your tower. If she goes the Vampiric Scepter route and skips Tiamat, just hard shove into her tower if you need to reset. Try to use these tips to your advantage! The only time she should be problematic in the early laning phase is if she goes the Grasp of the Undying route and pokes at every single one of your vitals. Even still, you can just move off the screen for a moment to reset her Duelist's Dance passive.
If you're caught overextended, and she has her ult up, you'll be in a position where you're going to lose a TON of health. With that being said, as long as you don't die in this lane and try poking her with your abilities, she might even be further down this list! You can try to counteract her split push by building Titanic Hydra and Sanguine Blade, but you need to understand that her true damage in the late game will completely overwhelm you. And as much as I hate to recommend this, but if you absolutely despise the champion and think she's the bane of playing top lane (and assuming you enjoy engage tanks), just counterpick her with Malphite!
Olaf is yet another unwinnable matchup for Sion, unfortunately. There really isn't a point in the game where you can match him in duel. He has a better early game, mid game, and even a better late game (despite the champion being near to useless at this point). First off, give up level 1. Don't even step up to lane. Olaf's level 1 is among the strongest in the game, even rivaling that of Darius. He will constantly throw axes at you ( Undertow) in an attempt to cheese first blood, so don't even step up to lane.
Some advice I can give for playing against one is that no matter what stage of the lane you're in, do no get hit by an axe. If you get hit by an axe of his, you are legit screwed, as you'll be perma-slowed, and he'll be able to pick it back up off cooldown until you're dead. To circumvent this, go the tank rune setup designed for ranged matchups, since you don't even want to be in the range of where he can throw his axes. You could also take Arcane Comet and purchase a Doran's Ring to poke him down from range more.
When level 6 comes around, the lane becomes even more in his favor. You will have no way to stop his Ragnarok, so being overextended in this lane will net him a kill. While Olaf does counter you for the entire laning phase, don't forget that if he manages to fall behind (from a decent gank), the enemy team essentially doesn't have a top laner, since Olaf falls off HARD. If nothing else, give him the necessary farm to keep you safe. A snowballed Olaf will take over the game.
With that being said, I want to thank everyone who took the time to read any portion of my guide: whether it was the matchups section, or wanted to see what items and runes tot take on him!
I also want to thank jhoijhoi for creating the guide which provided me with the format I used for my item descriptions, and Katasandra for creating the guide which provided me with the format I used for my rune descriptions.
I also plan on updating this guide whenever I get the chance, and will try to find time to make a dedicated section for Bruiser Sion, which is actually my preferred playstyle as of the preseason changes for season 2021. Thank you all for taking the time to read the portions of the guide that you did, and please don't hesitate to comment on any portion of it if you have any concerns!