Sona Build Guide by Kurii
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About the Author
Hi, my name is Chris. Also known as Kurii, Kuriii (League of Legends) synix09 (YouTube), Bananaya (from Dungeon Fighter Online), or Ciel (from Ethereal-RO). I started playing League of Legends at the start of August 2010. I have played DotA for about a year prior to LoL. Having played both DotA and LoL, I can genuinely say I like LoL better than DotA.
I also play a lot of other games like 2D fighters (Melty Blood, Guilty Gear, Immaterial and Missing Power, 3rd Strike), shooters (Counter Strike, S4 League), MMORPGs (Ragnarok Online, Lineage 2, Dungeon Fighter Online), and others (Gunbound, Starcraft, etc.)
My Season 1 highest ELO was 1969. I've made several guides in the past so this isn't new to me. I hope that you will read this guide and take from it what is important and useful. This is actually my third LoL guide.
My YouTube channel is http://www.youtube.com/synix09
You will find some of my LoL matches here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=PL42682BE6F6881557
I went to IEM Guangzhou, China! Read about it here (pictures included): http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1312768
Anyway, I hope you have fun with Sona like I do. Feel free to leave a comment and upvote. If you downvote, please read the whole guide before you do so, and let me know why! Thanks for reading and good luck. Add me (Kuriii) on LoL and we will play some time!
In this guide I will discuss a Support Aura / Cooldown Reduction babysitter supportive role for bottom lane. Your job is to buy the majority of the wards and get map control with Vision Ward and Oracle's Elixir, feed all/most of the minions to your lane partner, try to zone out the enemy from getting last hits and exp, and try to support your team in any way possible.
This type of build won't net you many kills since you don't have great damage. Support Sonna is not a DPS carry. You rely on your teammates to protect you and do the killing while you buff them. However, even though you don't do much damage in the late game, your early game damage is pretty good. If you can afford to be aggressive in lane, you've pretty much won that lane.
Your ideal score would be 0 kills, 0 deaths, and a lot of assists. Taking kills from your carries is not preferred. But sometimes, you have no choice - kill them immediately or risk your carry of dying. You shouldn't be killed as much because you'll be behind the back row in most team fights, and wards should be safe to place if you use Clairvoyance. However, do not hesitate for a moment to sacrifice yourself to save an ally. Your death means less to the enemy team than your carry's death.
My thoughts on Support: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=15559555#post15559555
Video Gameplay (Commentated)
[2011.9.17] League of Legends - Sona (Kuriii)
[2011.9.18] League of Legends - Sona (Kuriii)
After casting 3 spells, Sona's next attack deals 14 damage + 9 x lvl in bonus magic and a bonus effect depending on Sona's last song played.
Additionally, Sona's Auras persist for 3 seconds after deactivating and set off a 2 second global cooldown.
Tips:Always keep track of what aura you have on before using your Power Chord. This could mean the difference between a kill or a death. And keep in mind that Power Chord will not release if you are silenced.
The 2 second global cooldown is reducible with CDR items, bringing it to a minimum of 1.2 seconds. This cooldown also applies to spells already on a cooldown. Let's say you have -0% CDR and cast Hymn of Valor and it has 0.5 seconds left on the cooldown; casting another song will bump Hymn of Valor's cooldown back up to 2 seconds. It's this portion of the passive that disables you from having all three auras up at the same time if you do not have max CDR.
Let's take a quick look at the math. At max CDR, songs have a 4.2 second CD and the global CD is 1.2 seconds, and the aura persists for 3 seconds after being switched. So for the first 10.8 seconds of spell spamming, this is what you would get.
Time at which Skills are Casted (seconds)
- 0.0s Hymn of Valor
- 1.2s Aria of Perseverance
- 2.4s Song of Celerity
- 4.2s Hymn of Valor
- 5.4s Aria of Perseverance
- 6.6s Song of Celerity
- 8.4s Hymn of Valor
- 9.6s Aria of Perseverance
- 10.8s Song of Celerity
Active Auras at each cast (seconds)
- Hymn of Valor: 0.0 - 4.2s, 4.2 - 8.4s, 8.4 - 12.6s
- Aria of Perseverance: 1.2 - 5.4s, 5.4 - 9.6s, 9.6 - 13.8s
- Song of Celerity: 2.4 - 7.2, 6.6s - 11.4s, 10.8 - x
You can see that all songs are active all the time with max CDR. This feat cannot be achieved with less than max CDR.
It's also a good idea to spam your spells to get Power Chord when you want to kill something quickly like Nexus/Tower/Inhibitor/Baron/Dragon.
Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Hymn of Valor, increasing nearby allied champions Damage and Ability Power by 8/11/14/17/20.
Activation: Sona fires bolts of sound, dealing 50/100/150/200/250 (+70% ability power) magic damage to the nearest two enemies (prioritizes champions).
Power Chord - Stacatto: Deals double power chord damage
Cooldown 7 Seconds
Cost 65 Mana
Tips:You should get this skill at level 1 and charge up your Power Chord passive while going to scout for your jungler.
It has pretty large range and prioritizes enemy champions over minions. Keep in mind that even though the skill range is 700, the range in which it targets champions over minions is slightly less than your auto-attack range (550), so you have to walk a bit closer before activating Hymn of Valor. In other words, if you attack an enemy with your auto-attack at max auto-attack range and activate your Hymn of Valor, Hymn of Valor will hit minions instead. Misjudging the range on Hymn of Valor too much will push your lane out or mess up your partner's last hits.
Be sure to have this passive on when you want to push or kill something quickly.
IMPORTANT: Hymn of Valor does not reveal you if you use it while hidden in a bush! You can abuse this so hard early game.
Also keep in mind that if you're doing your two hit combo (auto-attack+ Hymn of Valor), you should always start your auto-attack (or Power Chord) and then activate Hymn of Valor afterwards instead of Hymn of Valor -> auto-attack. This is because when you activate a song, it Sona does an animation and cannot auto-attack until the animation is over.
The Power Chord bonus is great for early harassment.
Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Aria of Perseverance, increasing nearby allied champions Armor and M8/11/14/17/20by 7/9/11/13/15.
Activation: Sona sends out healing melodies, healing Sona and the most wounded nearby allied champion by 40/60/80/100/120 (+25% ability power). Grants double her passive aura bonus to her heal target and herself for 3 seconds
Power Chord - Diminuendo: Debuffs the target to deal 20% less damage for 4 seconds
Cooldown 7 Seconds
Cost 60/65/70/75/80 Mana
Tips:If your lane partner is at full health and you have a Health Potion, don't use this skill to heal yourself. It's a waste of mana. Use your Health Potion, and use your mana to harass with Hymn of Valor.
You should also try to time the activation of Aria of Perseverance to make use of that double aura bonus. During early laning phase, you don't need to time it if you or your ally is at full health because you can just use that mana to heal it back up; in mid or late game, you might have to against a heavy damage hit. Even though you cannot aim it, you can try to target your initiator before he goes in for that extra defense. Very useful early game when taking tower hits.
Try to target your Power Chord bonus on the enemy AD/AP carries during team fights. You can also use this on dragon or Baron Nashor!
Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Song of Celerity, granting nearby allied champions 8/11/14/17/20 bonus Movement Speed.
Activation: Sona energizes nearby allies, granting them 6/8/10/12/14% Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds.
Power Chord - Tempo: Slows the target by 40% for 2 seconds
Cooldown 7 Seconds
Cost 65 Mana
Tips:If you can afford the mana, you should be constantly activating this skill when traveling across the map. This active also affects minions so spam this if you want to push quickly.
Keep your Power Chord bonus in mind when chasing enemies or running away.
Sona plays her ultimate chord, forcing enemy champions in a line in front of her to dance, taking 150/250/350 (+80% ability power) magic damage over 1.5 seconds.
Cooldown 140/120/100 Seconds
Cost 140/120/100 Mana
Tips:This is your only form of hard CC and it's your ult so use it well! You can use it offensively to get kills or defensively to save allies. Generally you want to try to target as many enemies as possible with Crescendo but you need to keep a few things in mind. It's always better to Crescendo their carries rather than tanks or supports, and it's sometimes better to use Crescendo to on enemies like (Akali or Talon) that are diving onto your carries to pick them off.
Also note that this spell does not hit minions, so don't try to use it to last hit and steal Baron Nashor or dragon.
Flash is the ultimate "get away from me" / positioning ability. A great defense spell. If they dive onto you, you just Flash out of the way while your team focuses on that person. Flash can also be used offensively to chase people down after a winning team fight, or a surprise Flash into ult for an easy kill. Or you can tower dive and Flash out of tower range before the tower kills you.
|...||Get this if you're playing a babysitting support role. I've always ran Clairvoyance on support characters. It's underrated. Use it to scout for level 1 ganks. Use it to follow the enemy jungler around. Use it in team fights or ganks so they can't bush juke. Use it to safely place wards. Use it to protect someone pushing a tower. Use it to scout Baron when they killed your Baron ward. Use it for Nocturne's ult. It's so useful! There should be at|
|...||I considered Heal, but then I thought about Flash and Clairvoyance. This is a tough choice since Heal will definitely change the outcome of any team fight now that it's getting buffed. Flash is always a great spell to have even after the nerf since you can position yourself faster and safer for your Crescendo, not to mention early game kills due to Sona's ability to harass. And Clairvoyance allows you to ward safely,|
* If you get Heal instead of Flash, get -1 Hardiness and +1 Summoner's Resolve .
** If you want Swiftness , get -1 Scout , -2 Awareness , and/or -1 Perseverence .
21 in Utility tree is a must. The CDR for spells and summoner spells are a necessity; more Clairvoyance is always good. The reason why I go 9 down Defensive instead of Offensive is because I feel that Defensive tree brings more to the table. This is due to the fact that you can reach Veteran's Scar with only 9 points in Defense, and that extra defense is also nice.
Offensive TreeIf you go 9 into Offense, you'll end up with +4 AP, +4% CDR, and +10% Magic Penetration. This won't add very much if you consider the math. I found that the only thing worth getting in the Offensive tree was the CDR from Sorcery but it costed 8 points to get there. And AP is close to worthless with a support item build. The Arcane Knowledge magic penetration is okay but it doesn't outshine what the other trees have to offer. Let's take a look at some math for Arcane Knowledge .
Let's say your opponent has 30 MR (23.1% Magic Reduction) at level 1.
That'd be 27 MR (21.3% Magic Reduction) instead.
A level 1 Hymn of Valor would do an extra 1 damage, level 2 would do an extra 2 damage, level 3 would do an extra 3 damage, and so forth.
If he had 130 MR (56.5% Magic Reduction),
that'd be 117 MR (53.9% Magic Reduction).
A level 5 Hymn of Valor would do an extra 7 damage.
Don't forget that Hymn of Valor -> Power Chord also does magical damage, but it does less damage than Hymn of Valor itself. If you feel that tiny extra damage is worth it, then nothing's stopping you. Sometimes, enemies live by a single digit of health.
Defensive TreeResistance and Hardiness , still the same from Season 1. Increases at level 1, increases Armor from 11.3 -> 17.3 (10.2% -> 14.7% Physical Reduction) and Magic Resist from 30 -> 36 (23.1% -> 26.5% Magic Reduction). The effect dies off later during the match when you pick up defensive items.
The new Veteran's Scar is now reachable with only 9 points into Defense. Definitely worth getting to boost your early game. And Durability is there as extra.
The rest of the masteries in the Defensive Tree is nice but you don't want to invest too deeply into this or you'll be missing out on what the Utility tree has to offer.
Utility TreeScout increases the sight range on your wards by 5%. 5% will gain you extra radius equal to the size of a small minion. Note that this does not increase a Vision Ward's stealth reveal range, but only the sight range on the ward. This is more useful for catching someone at the edge of your ward in the jungle to catch their presence; not as useful for preventing river ganks (unless placed in the tri-bush - this can catch someone running down river if close enough).
Don't underestimate Greed . Think of all the times where you returned to base and needed about 30 more gold for the next major item. 2 gold every 10 seconds adds up. And it's especially useful to Sona since she does not get much gold in the first place.
Wealth increases your starting gold by 20/40, so either 495 or 515 gold. This gives you more options. Faerie Charm + 3x sight ward + 2x Health Potion + Mana Potion (515 Gold), Faerie Charm + 4x sight ward + Health Potion (515 Gold), Faerie Charm + 2x sight ward + Vision Ward + Health Potion (490 Gold). From my experience at least 3 wards is a good amount to start with. If my Clairvoyance shows the enemy support starting with wards, I might opt to get a Vision Ward.
Perseverence got a decent buff to 3/6/9% more Health/Mana Regen. It might be worth getting since your rune and item build focuses on Mana Regen.
Getting Mastermind means more Clairvoyance, and you can't go wrong with that.
Good Hands won't bring much to the table. You have no global ult like Soraka so even if you die at the start of the team fight, having you back up quickly won't be as meaningful unless you can get back to the fight in time. The only time I can think of it as useful is if your team gets aced and you need that extra few seconds to defend your base with your teammates. Even then, most of the time Sona cannot do much without the rest of her teammates.
Sona can run out of mana extremely quickly and a Sona without mana is a useless Sona. I feel that using Expanded Mind to raise your mana pool would be the better choice.
What about Improved Recall , Swiftness , and Runic Affinity ?Improved Recall , is it really needed for a support? I can see an assassin or a pusher getting it because they might be caught in a bad situation and need to GTFO fast, but I don't see a support needing it.
Swiftness is a nerfed version of the old mastery Quickness . Instead of being 3 points for +3% Movement, it's 4 points for +2% Movement. Sona starts out with 305 Movement so that becomes 311.1 instead. This will also increase your Boots of Speed from +50 to +51 Movement, and Tier2 boots from +70 to +71.4 Movement, and an extra +0.4 Movement from the Song of Celerity level 5 aura. It's not bad but Sona can live without the 2% Movement boost. Remember that the first level of Diminishing Returns for Movement Speed starts at 415, and the second level is at 490. If you still want to get Swiftness , I recommend get -1 Scout , -2 Awareness , and/or -1 Perseverence .
Sona's base movement speed is 305. Boots of Speed adds +50. Movement 2 boots add +70. Level 5 Song of Celerity aura adds +20, and active adds +14%. Shurelya's Reverie adds +40%. Having Swiftness will give Sona an extra 3.95 to 7.9 movement speed.
Blue is a luxury on Sona, not a necessity, and not something that will make a huge impact and win the game. Blue is typically better on your spell casters. Even if they don't have mana problems, the CDR is great for them since most of their damage comes from spells with cooldowns. It's great spamming all your spells constantly but it's just not worth the sacrifice. Once you get Chalice of Harmony, you will rarely have any mana problems. And not to mention that Runic Affinity does not increase the duration of Baron Nashor buff. This is why I don't get Runic Affinity .
Greater Mark of Armor
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Mark of Resilience for early game defense against auto-attacks from the AD carry. Though I do not feel Armor is as important as Magic Resistance during mid game (after the AP carries get their ults), it is important early and late game because that's what most of the damage will be. Aside from this, in this build you only get Armor from Aegis of the Legion and Randuin's Omen later in the build (even though you do gain Armor per level, but not Magic Resist), while you get Magic Resist from Chalice of Harmony and/or Mercury's Treads earlier.
Mana is an issue for any support Sona player. Since Sona isn't usually in the front lines, why not skip defensive runes and get Mana Regen instead? Early game, you won't feel these runes as much but during the mid game, you will notice the difference. And that's a good time for it to kick in because that's when you start getting CDR items, so you have the mana to back up your spell spamming. And you will really feel the difference once you get a Chalice of Harmony.
Sona is really squishy, especially at the start with no items. HP runes is what allows Sona to take risks and be aggressive. You have damage, and you can soak up damage. No one is going to be scared of someone who does decent damage but dies in one easy combo. Having HP quintessences have prevented me from giving First Blood away so many times.
Flat vs Scaling Mana Regen Seals/Glyphs
This graph shows us the data from the four different combination for Flat/Scaling Mana Regen Seals/Glyphs. Now what does this graph tell us exactly? Scaling Seals/Glyphs surpasses all the other combinations at level 7, meaning all the other combinations are better from level 1 to 6. Typically, you hit level 6 around the 10 minute mark, which then starts transitioning into the mid game.
For a stronger early game, I would recommend Flat Seals with Scaling Glyphs because this setup is better until level 10 (which is around the time you start building your Chalice of Harmony), and will still help you in the late game.
So stronger early game with Flat Seals with Scaling Glyphs (strong early, weak mid, medium late), or stronger late game with Scaling Seals with Scaling Glyphs (weakest early, medium mid, strongest late)?Perhaps after getting a Chalice of Harmony during mid to late game, you won't even feel the difference at all (even though the difference is there on paper). If you go with the Flat Seals, your only concern is keeping up with your team from the 10 minute mark to the 20 minute mark (or until you get a Chalice of Harmony).
Magic Penetration vs AP RunesAP runes only makes a difference in early game. It starts to die out later due to Sona's poor AP ratios unless you pick up more AP and ideally a Rabadon's Deathcap to keep up with the enemy's damage output and defense. Magic Penetration Marks help with Power Chord and Hymn of Valor, while AP Marks help with Hymn of Valor and Aria of Perseverance, but the thing is the Magic Penetration / AP you get from Marks is so insignificant. There are really no space for these runes. You really need the Mana Regen from the Glyphs, and HP Quintessences allow you to take risks and be aggressive in the first place.
Armor and Magic Resist RunesViable since you'll be most likely laning against a ranged AD carry and a magic damage support in the current meta. Keep in mind though, that most ranged AD carries start from 0 to 30.93 Armor Penetration + 10% Armor Penetration (depending on runes/masteries), and that most magic damage supports start with 0 to 8.55 Magic Penetration + 10% Magic Penetration. As a quick reference, Sona's Armor at level one is 11.3 (+3.3 Armor every level), and her Magic Resist is 30. You just have to decide which runes to replace. And also keep in mind that bottom lane is most likely going to be an AD and an AP enemy, these runes will only help you against one of the two. The only runes I would replace for defense runes are the Marks, but Magic Penetration will help you be offensive against both enemies while Defense will help you be defensive against one type of enemy.
CDR RunesYou might consider CDR Glyphs. This allows you to reach max CDR with just Shurelya's Reverie and Soul Shroud. Though the spam speed is nice, CDR is useless if you have no mana. This is why I focus on Mana Regen over CDR, especially if I get a Chalice of Harmony.
Gold QuintessencesGold Quintessences are good on support (3 gold every 10s, or 18 gold every 1 min, or 180 gold every 10 mins), but survivability is also very important, especially at level 1 when Sona has 450 base HP. Having HP Quintessences increases your HP by 17.3% at level 1 (528 HP). Having more HP allows you to take more risks and allows you to be aggressive. Without a hard CC, Sona can get First Blooded on quite easily if you get caught out of position. You can get +360 gold at 21:30 but if you die, you give +300 gold to the enemy (+400 if First Blood) and an additional 70% to the assistance. Low max HP could be remedied with a Doran's Ring starter but you miss out on the wards that allows you to be aggressive by placing wards in the bushes. If you want to play passively like a healbot, I see no problem in getting Gold Quintessences.
If you can successfully deny your enemies by being aggressive with HP Quintessences, they'll be behind in gold/exp and maybe even a kill; however, the effectiveness start to die off towards the end (but don't underestimate the extra +78 HP; it's saved me many times throughout the entire game, allowing me to continue buffing and healing my teammates). On the flip side, you can take less risks and play passively, and get more gold guaranteed with Gold Quintessences and is useful throughout the whole match, especially since it can get you your Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold quicker. And with this you can buy more Health items for the late game.
For Greater Quintessence of Gold, the bottom line is (tl;dr):
- Health Quintessences for early game aggression (denying your enemy exp/gold or getting early kills to get gold while having HP to prevent dying and giving the enemy gold).
- Gold Quintessences for late game (getting all your gold per 10 items quicker and therefore having more money for items/wards toward the late game).
It's your call whichever you feel is more beneficial to your team.
This is what your skill order will typically look like, but keep in mind it will not be the same every game.
Generally, you will want Hymn of Valor at level 1 because the Power Chord bonus is too good to pass up. Then Aria of Perseverance at level 2 for sustain. From there, the skill order really depends on how well your lane is doing.
Level Hymn of Valor if you are dominating your lane. This will apply more pressure and prevent them from wanting to get close to you.
Level Aria of Perseverance if you are having trouble in your lane, or once laning phase is over and team fights are about to begin.
You will only need one point into Song of Celerity sometime before level 9 (ideally at level 4 but sometimes you need that extra heal power). If you're being pushed into your tower, you won't really need more Movement Speed. On the flip side, if you're pushing aggressively against the enemy tower, you should get a point into this to prevent being ganked. Don't be afraid to get more than one level in this skill though if you need it. For example, you level up midway though a big team fight and now your team is chasing the enemy and you have a skill point to use. Go ahead and level Song of Celerity to help chase them down.
As a support character, you will have very little gold. You will want good supportive multi-purpose items for a cheap cost while working on your own weak points (survivability, mana, and gold gain).
|...||This is a very underestimated item. It's cheap and it does a lot of work. This item doesn't work well if you don't have a lot of Mana Regen in the first place, but due to your Philosopher's Stone / Shurelya's Reverie, Soul Shroud, Clarity Seals/Glyphs runes, and Perseverance/Meditation masteries, it does a lot. It won't provide infinite mana, but the difference is definitely noticeable. A great item for its price. And in the late game, if you|
|...vs...||...||Chalice of Harmony scales with Mana Regen and a large mana pool. While you may not have a large mana pool, you still have a ton of Mana Regen from runes, masteries, and items - 15.8 MP1 at full mana and 31.6 MP1 at close to no mana. Your spells only cost 65 mana each cast. You just have to wait 2 seconds to cast the next aura but you have to wait|
Tear of the Goddess doesn't scale with anything and it takes a while to start up. The end game mana pool is nice (2425 mana) and at the end you'll have around 15 MP1, so you can spam endlessly for a long time. It builds into something which is nice but that also costs money. You'd probably build it last anyway since it doesn't add utility for your team over the other items you could get for the cost of finishing Archangel's Staff.
Tear of the Goddess isn't a bad item, has pretty much the same effect towards the end. But Chalice of Harmony doesn't need stacks and helps immediately, it also provides Magic Resist, and it costs 105 gold less. With a Chalice of Harmony if you're out of mana, you don't have to recall to get more mana, you can since the Mana Regen will be insanely high - you'll be constantly spamming again in no time. But that's not the case with a Tear of the Goddess; if you're out of mana, you have to wait around a lot longer before you start spamming again.
|...||A great utility item that builds from your Philosopher's Stone. Besides the obvious, with this item, you can stay just a bit longer after an ace to get that inhibitor and speed away with this active. You can use it to get to Baron or dragon quicker. If you don't have an initiator, Song of Celerity + Shurelya's Reverie is a great way to initiate! You can get 530+ Movement Speed when you activate this with Song of Celerity. This active does not affect minions.|
|...||Builds from your Heart of Gold and will give you some protection from AD carries. I usually finish this item last due since your other items is more important than this active. But I feel that the Armor and Health it provides is absolutely necessary late game and not so much in the early game (which is mainly dominated by AP champions with their ults). This allows you to tank Baron or Towers after an ace, and not die in a few hits|
|...||I usually get this item quickly if our team is doing really well. This allows them to be more aggressive. Not only does it do that, it allows you to spam your skills quicker.|
|...||An item I don't pick up very often. The slow is great but you can't target Hymn of Valor in team fights. It's good for chasing or running away after a large team fight. It's a 15% slow for 1.5 seconds. A bit expensive for how you can use it, but keep this item in mind for it can secure an ace or prevent being aced.|
|...||You can get this item for your AP carries if they are doing most of the work and aren't dying. Be sure to check if another player already his this item though since it is an unique aura.|
|...||If your AP carries are being targeted, get this item for them. Even if they already have the item, the person with it will get double the aura.|
|...||You may want to consider this item if the enemy team has a channeling Ult (Galio, Katarina, Nunu) with some CC. Your Crescendo can stop the channeling and prevent your team from taking too much damage.|
|...||Usually better on characters who usually already has a large health pool (which Sona does not). And getting this with Randuin's Omen seems redundant. The CDR is very nice though. And you do not have to use an active to reduce the enemy's attack speed unlike Randuin's Omen. Remember that Attack Speed Debuffs are calculated last so a -20% Attack Speed Debuff on someone with 2.000 Attack Speed would give them|
|...||You can buy this item if your team is primarily physical damage, but this item is single purpose and does nothing for you personally unlike the other support items you get.|
Both are viable. Let's look at the difference.
Other than the obvious stat difference, the first pair is better for late game due to the fact that Kindlegem builds into a supportive item - Shurelya's Reverie or Soul Shroud. The second pair does not build into anything. Eleisa's Miracle only helps yourself. However, you do get CDR more quickly with the second pair which makes it better for early to mid game.
Attack Damage Discussion
Let's take a look at Sona's base stats, then we'll take a look at her skill kit and items.
As of Shyvana patch, 86 total champions.
Health: 380 (16 other champions lower than this)
Health Growth: +70 per level (tied for lowest)
Health Regen: 4.5 (3 other champions lower than this)
Health Regen Growth: +0.5 per level (tied for lowest)
Armor: 8 (3 other champions lower than this)
Armor Growth: +3.3 per level (19 other champions lower than this)
Base Damage: 47 (10 other champions lower than this)
Damage Growth: +3 per level (10 other champions lower than this)
Attack Speed: 0.644 (43 other champions lower than this)
Attack Speed Growth: +2.3% per level (33 other champions lower than this)
Movement Speed: 305 (8 other champions lower than this)
Base Range: 550 (only 6 other champions higher than this)
Now comparing Sona only to other ranged AD carries, her Base Health is pretty average, her Health Growth is the worst, her Base Damage and Damage Growth is average, her Attack Speed is almost the worst, her Attack Speed Growth is the worst, Armor is the worst, Armor Growth is almost average, Movement Speed is average, and Range is average. The only thing she has that outshines the other ranged AD carries were mana related.
Sona's damage from her two only offensive spells doesn't scale with AD unlike other AD carries, which is a big turn-off. Hymn of Valor will grant +20 AD at level 5 which is nice. Hymn of Valor -> Power Chord is magical damage so it's not much use mid or late game. Aria of Perseverance is decent sustain that will eat all your mana until you get some life steal. The Aria of Perseverance -> Power Chord is very nice though especially for one on ones. She has a 1.5 second movement burst but it's nothing compared to a quick dash or jump. The ability to stay on a target is nice though with this skill. Crescendo is still very good in every situation even if the stun only lasts for 1.5 seconds.
Besides being the most expensive item in the game, Trinity Force is a good item for AD Sona for an obvious reason (survivability and damage). But keep in mind that it's your Base Attack Damage so it's +152 physical bonus damage at level 18 that doesn't increase with crits. Getting the Sheen is nice at the start too for a quick burst, but you're still going to have a lot of early game mana problems if you don't get Mana or MP5 items. And if you do, you're going to have a lot of damage problems mid game since your spell damage starts to fall out and you didn't complete any big damage items.
Keep in mind that Attack Speed items scale with your Base Attack Speed, and Sona almost has the worst Base Attack Speed compared to the other ranged AD carries. But the difference is really small like 0.05 Attack Speed, and probably not even noticeable, but you never know when it might matter. Still doesn't change the fact that Sona's Attack Speed and its growth is horrible.
So overall, she's not a hard hitter compared to other AD carries due to her skill kit not scaling with Attack Speed (besides Hymn of Valor aura) or Attack Damage. And her slow Base Attack Speed isn't helping her. And she's pretty easy to kill when CC'd due to low Health and Defense. But as long as she's not CC'd, she does have some nice utility that allows her to win one on ones, and allows her to support the team during teamfights as well. But sometimes I can't help but wonder, if I want utility, damage, and a CC from a ranged AD carry, why don't I just play Ashe or Urgot (since their spell damage actually scales with AD)?
Ability Power Discussion
What will AP do for me?AP will only affect Hymn of Valor, Aria of Perseverance, and Crescendo; the AP ratios are 70%, 25%, and 80% respectively. The heal ratio is weak, and though damage does help the team, it's really not your job to build damage late game. And keep in mind that neither Hymn of Valor nor Aria of Perseverance are target-able spells.
Do you have enough money for items?If you play like a true support (giving all kills and minions to your allies), most games you'll finish with around 7000 - 8000 Gold gained. Don't forget that most of that went into Sight Ward / Vision Ward. If you're really going AP, the first item you'll really want is Rabadon's Deathcap which will take about half of your total gold gained. And you'll probably get this item somewhere between mid to late game anyway. If you want to get more gold or get it sooner, you'll need to take some minion/kills, but you'll be gimping your true carries.
Where are you going to fit AP into the build? Runes/Items?For runes, the only place worth putting AP runes is either Glyphs (8.91 Flat, 27.54 Scaling) or Quintessences (14.85 Flat, 23.22 Scaling). You'd be sacrificing Mana Regen Glyphs and HP Quintessences for this though. Meaning you'll have more trouble spamming your spells, and you have a higher chance of giving the enemy First Blood if you play too aggressively or make a mistake.
For items, you probably won't be filling up all your slots so there is room but the question becomes is it worth getting AP over the other supportive items I could have gotten for the same price?
Let's assume you pick up Mercury's Treads, Philosopher's Stone, and a Heart of Gold (2900 Gold total). By the time you get your Rabadon's Deathcap (3600 Gold), or Rylai's Crystal Scepter (3105 Gold), you could pick up Chalice of Harmony + Shurelya's Reverie + Kindlegem (3140 Gold total). Now which of the 3 choices would be more useful to the team as a support?
Lv18 with current Rune/Mastery setup, Mercury's Treads, Philosopher's Stone, and a Heart of Gold with:
Starting Stats vs Final Stats
Using masteries, runes, and the standard opening items (without any auras).
Early Game - Item Build and Playstyle
A support should always take bottom lane with a partner (while giving all the minion kills to your partner) instead of taking a solo lane.
Why not a solo lane? And why give all the minion kills to your partner?The reason is that support characters need very little gold (compared to your allies) to be useful. Supports are mainly there for utility, heals, and buffs rather than doing damage like a carry, or taking damage and initiating like a tank. If you give all the gold to your partner, it's as though your team has 3 solo laners or 3 really strong characters towards the mid game with a good support and jungler - as opposed to 2 really strong characters, 2 moderate characters and a jungler.
Why not duo top lane or mid lane?Top lane is out of the question because at the start of the game, you want to have dragon control. If you let your opponent take dragon one too many times, your team will start to fall behind. Having more people near dragon at the start of the game is very important. Even if bottom lane can 1v2 the enemy and you're doing great at top in the 2v1 lane, it's generally not worth giving up that control. So why not mid lane because it's close to dragon? The answer is that you are really vulnerable to jungle ganks in mid. If you 2v1 mid, you are most likely going to push the lane. You will need to constantly buy 2 wards to keep yourself moderately safe. Also the use of bushes is really important to your zoning and mid lane does not have bushes close to the minion waves (refer to Early Game Bush Shenanigans section below).
You will want to try to rush your Philosopher's Stone, but sometimes you have to return to base before you have enough to complete the item, and if you're out of wards, it's best that you don't save up your gold, but instead buy some more Sight Ward and/or Vision Ward.
After you finish your Philosopher's Stone, depending on how much gold you have when you return to base and depending on how well you are doing in lane, you can get Boots of Speed or work on Heart of Gold (depending on if you need movement speed in lane or not). If you cannot buy wards after buying a Rabadon's Deathcap, it is better to get Boots of Speed and some wards. Wards are very important. That's why you start out with 3 Sight Ward.
Wards should be used aggressively and defensively at the start of the game. Ward bottom lane bush to prevent them from hiding in it, and ward the river choke points to prevent being ganked. You can take control of their bush if they can't hide in it, and continue to poke at them. If they drop a Sight Ward in the bush, don't be afraid to use a Vision Ward to take control of that bush again. You want to zone them out as much as possible to give you even more of a lead. You should keep an eye out for where they put their wards so you can tell your jungler the location and the time of when it will fall. And you can also counter their wards with a Vision Ward. You should also put a Vision Ward at dragon area. For more details, please refer to the "How to use Wards" section below.
You should be as aggressive as possible without putting yourself at too much risk. You should poke them with Hymn of Valor and Power Chord as much as possible and put them on the defensive. Think of it this way; if the enemy support has to spend all their mana to heal, they cannot attack back - Taric cannot stun, Janna cannot tornado, Sona cannot poke, etc.
But be careful, if you are taking too much damage from the exchange. Heal up using a Health Potion or Aria of Perseverance before engaging again.
Use Clairvoyance often to scout out the enemy jungler for ganks. Try to follow him around while he's doing his jungle path. This allows potential ganks and lets you know if the enemy is about to gank or if he has Lizard buff. If the enemy mid goes missing, try to find him with Clairvoyance.
Early Game Bush ShenanigansThis section is for using the bush effectively during early game laning phase to poke in order to dominate your lane.
Hymn of Valor does NOT reveal your location in the bush. You can abuse this so hard but be caution of the range; you don't want to waste your mana on minions and push the lane.
You can auto-attack more safely by using a bush. To do this, exit the bush, auto-attack and use Hymn of Valor as soon as you see your auto-attack projectile, then re-enter the bush (be sure to auto-attack first and then Hymn of Valor; if you Hymn of Valor first, her spell animation will delay her auto-attack). This prevents them from having vision of inside the bush without a ward or someone already in it. By doing this, you'll be exposed to the enemy for only a short duration (however long it takes to auto-attack and re-enter the bush). If you or any ally auto-attacks from within the bush, a small radius of the bush is revealed for a 5-6 seconds. Some spells also reveal you from the bush. This is also true for cliffs and walls in the fog of war.
This leads to another trick you could do. Since that radius of the bush is revealed, you can just run a short distance out of the radius (while staying in the same bush) or into another bush to become hidden again if you somehow get revealed. Though it's not as safe as the re-entering the bush method, but it's quicker and more of a surprise.
Mid Game - Item Build and Playstyle
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Timeworn Talisman of Ascension
Things are starting to heat up and team fights will most likely start soon. Be sure to level Aria of Perseverance now even if you don't have Hymn of Valor at max.
Picking up a Chalice of Harmony will greatly help with your mana problems. Sometimes I get this item before finishing my second tier boots. But sometimes if you're having trouble surviving, it's better to get Mercury's Treads first.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity can be bought instead if they have very little CC or if they aren't focusing you in team fights. You will obtain over the max CDR obtainable with these boots but you can get there much faster. You can always sell the boots later for a different pair, or keep the boots and buy a different item.
Next, you should aim for Shurelya's Reverie. It's a great utility item for team fights (used offensively and defensively), and it boosts your survivability and spell spam.
Wards and Oracle's Elixir should be bought as always for map control. Check your enemy's items often to see how many wards they are buying. If they're buying a lot, be sure to pick up an Oracle's Elixir sooner. If not, you'll be fine with Vision Ward. Be sure to use Clairvoyance to safely put wards down. It's generally worth the wait for Clairvoyance cooldown, especially if you're carrying an Oracle's Elixir. Face checking bushes is bad.
In most cases, you will end the game with these items.
For the most part, you will want to stay with your team. You shouldn't be farming a lane alone. For one, the gold is better in the hands of your teammates. For two, you are a support character so go find someone to support. For three, you can easily be tower dove. Towers keep you safe in the early game, but not in the mid game.
Late Game - Item Build and Playstyle
Very seldom will you complete these items, but these are the items you should aim for.
The next item is built depending on how well your team is doing. If they're doing well, and can afford to be aggressive, buy a Soul Shroud. If they are having trouble in team fights, buy an Aegis of the Legion.
Afterwards, you have many choices:
1) You can finish your Randuin's Omen if you are getting focused too much by AD.
2) You can build the other item you didn't get - Aegis of the Legion or Soul Shroud.
3) You can make an optional item depending on your team's needs.
Get a Rylai's Crystal Scepter if your team is winning fights so you can chase people down easier.
Get an Abyssal Mask if your team is primarily magical damage and has no problem surviving and no one on the team already has one.
Get a Will of the Ancients if your team is primarily spell casters that have a bit of trouble surviving.
If you have left over gold, and you know for sure a team fight will happen soon (forcing Baron fight, or pushing a tower, or defending), then get an Elixir of Brilliance.
If you feel like you need wards instead of a final item, then just skip the 6th item altogether.
At this point of the game, you will want to stick together as a team. Spreading out and getting picked off might cost the game. Keep Baron Nashor warded at all times if it's up. Dragon does not matter as much at this point. Most of the time, it's worth holding off on your final item so you have space for wards. If you don't have vision of Baron Nashor, use Clairvoyance on it every now and then.
During team fights, your biggest contribution will be your ult, Crescendo. Knowing when and where to use it is crucial. Typically, you will want to trap as many people as possible, but there are exceptions. You may want to save it for an assassin that jumps onto your carries. You may want to save it to stun the enemy jungler to prevent him from using Smite on Baron Nashor so your team can steal it. You may want to save it for Fiddlesticks that's charging his ult or Katarina, etc. You may want to save it for the enemy Jax behind your team even though the rest of the enemy team is in front of you. It all really depends on what your team needs. Do not be afraid to use Flash to get into position quicker.
Besides your ult, try to land an Aria of Perseverance + Power Chord on their heavy hitters like Tryndamere or Brand (before he uses his spells).
If you're chasing, try to land a Song of Celerity + Power Chord on the escapee while spamming Song of Celerity.
Ideally, you will want to give to the kill to your carries because a fed carry is more scarier than a fed Sona. But sometimes you have to get the kill, you don't want them escaping at the very last moment or killing your ally because you didn't finish the enemy off.
How to use Wards
Offensive ScoutingWards can be used aggressively. If you ward the bottom bushes, the enemy cannot hide in there, so you can harass them easily. The enemy support may ward your bush too, but if you have a Vision Ward, it's sometimes a good idea to counter their ward with it if you feel like you will need to take control of that bush. You need to find a good time to place the ward. If they aren't going to hide in the bush, then there's no reason to ward it. Also if you ward right on top of them, if they're quick, they can kill your ward before it goes invisible, so be careful.
If your jungler likes to counter jungle, you can help him set up some wards in the enemy jungle - like the bush by Wraith camp or by Lizard buff. Not only does it allow your jungler to steal the enemy jungle, it also allows potential ganks and prevention of ganks.
If you can scout where the enemy puts their wards, you can counter them with a Vision Ward. Usually if a support character leaves lane and goes towards the river, put a Clairvoyance on them and see if they put down a ward. If they do, you know the time at which the ward will fall as well as the location. Tell this to your jungler or put down a Vision Ward.
Defensive ScoutingWards can be used defensively. Ward up the river choke points to scout for enemy ganks. If you do not have any wards, it's better to not over extend until you can get some more wards to put up with Clairvoyance.
You should constantly keep a Vision Ward at dragon and Baron Nashor. Vision Ward are best placed between the two wooden signs that act as the "doorway" because you can scout for enemy wards that are placed in the very back of the camp site. It is always a good idea to Vision Ward Baron Nashor or dragon before attempting to take it.
Warding TricksVision Ward and Oracle's Elixir that aren't in a bush do not detect invisible objects that are in a bush even though you have sight of inside the bush from an ally or Clairvoyance. And also they do not detect invisible objects that are blocked by a wall even though they are in "range". In other words, if the detector does not have a clear line of sight of the invisible object, then the object is not revealed.
After killing an enemy ward, the enemy vision of your allies disappear immediately; however, there is a small radius of vision in which neutral minions are still shown for about a second. In other words, if you kill an enemy ward that's on top of Baron Nashor and immediately start attacking Baron Nashor, the enemy will see Baron attacking. You could also use this to your advantage - pretend you're starting Baron Nashor and wait in a bush for them to come, or just have your support take out the ward, then start Baron about a second after the ward dies.
It's also a good idea to check how much time you have left on a ward (by clicking on it and checking it's energy) so you can renew it before it dies.
If an enemy put a ward behind Baron Nashor, you can target it with A + Left Click. This only works if you do not have Power Chord charged.
If you're being chased by the enemy team, you can drop wards on your team. Your allies can't click on them but your enemies can. Hopefully, they misclick on one of them and auto-attack it to delay their chase.
Also be alert of the enemy using Teleport onto a ward or other objects that are invisible or in a bush. You can still see the teleport animation even if it's in the fog of war! For example, if the enemy places a ward in their summoner fountain and teleport onto it, you can see the spiraling teleport animation even if you don't have vision.
Keeping Track of Map Objective and Spell Timers
All players should do this but it's primarily a supports job to keep track of timers. If you have the timing down for something, you should always type it into team chat to let your team know. Here are some examples of important things to keep track of.
Respawn Timer:Inhibitor - 5:00
Blue and Red - 5:00
Dragon - 6:00
Baron Nashor - 7:00
This can help with keeping track of jungle times: http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1426881
Buff Timer:Blue and Red - 2:30 (3:00 with Runic Affinity )
Baron Nashor - 4:00 (not affected by Runic Affinity )
Summoner Spells:Flash - 3:30.25 to 4:15
Ghost - 3:30 (2:58.5 with Mastermind )
Exhaust - 3:30 (2:58.5 with Mastermind )
Further Summoner Spell timers can be found here: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Spells
Ultimates:A bit harder to time due to the mass amount of characters and different cooldowns at different levels and CDR, but you should learn a few or get a least a feel of when approximately the enemy ultimates will be up again at the very least.
General Game Settings and Hotkey Tips
Here are some general tips outside of builds, strategy, and playstyle that may help improve your overall performance.
VideoResolution: Should be the highest you can get without lagging. You can see more of the map with higher resolution.
Fast Terrain: Keep it not ticked if possible. You can see more of the map with it not ticked.
If your FPS is dipping, then lower your settings on the other video options first before messing with Resolution and Fast Terrain.
SoundSound FX Volume: Turn it up. You need to hear things like pings, Clairvoyance, Fiddlesticks charging his ult, Caitlyn's traps when you walk into a bush, etc.
The music can be turned off if you are experiencing some unstable FPS.
InterfaceShow HP Bars: Ticked.
HUD Scale and HUD Chat Scale: Lowest possible while still keeping it legible. This will give you more view on your screen.
Floating Text: Every ticked. You want as much information as possible.
More OptionsShow Neutral Camps: Ticked.
Map Scroll Speed and Mouse Speed: Set it to the fastest you can control.
Line Missile Display: Ticked.
Hide Center HUD Wall: Ticked. This will give you more view on your screen.
Flash Red When Damaged: Ticked. Will let you know if you're being hit when you're not paying attention to your character.
Key BindingsLevel Up Spell: Use this instead of using your mouse. It's much quicker.
Change your hotkeys to a setup that feels comfortable for you. If the default setup is just right for you, then don't change it. For me, I have my skills set to zxcv, level up skill to Alt+zxcv, self cast skills to qwer, items to alt+asdfgh, open shop to g. To each their own.
Jungle Timer Add-Onhttp://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1426881
Adds in-game timers that activate when you press the hotkeys (when Blue, Red, Dragon, or Baron dies), to get a clear idea of respawn times. This mod has been approved by Riot and is not against the ToS.
Sona is a really easy champion to learn but playing her to her full potential takes some practice. It's not only about pressing all 3 spells at the same time constantly - it's about knowing where to be at all times, timing your ult, knowing how, when, and where to ward, knowing where and when to Clairvoyance, gaining map control for your team with Oracle's Elixir, etc.
If played well, she can win the lane easily with her early game aggression, and carry the team to victory with her support and utility.
Also, help me fix Sona into a better champion! Bump and comment please; thanks!