Build Guide by BecStorm
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
| Item Slot 1 | Item Slot 2 | Item Slot 3 | Item Slot 4 | Item Slot 5 | Item Slot 6 |
- Slot 1:
Start with Boots of Speed. In first kill ganking phase of the game, the boots to allow you to catch up to opponents and can be the difference between killing someone and not. There is also the added advantage that if things turn sour, it is much more likely that you can get away.
- Slot 1:
On your first visit back to base, finish your boots. Ninja Tabi is always useful as it gives you some armor and increases your dodge chance. Combined with runes and/or masteries the dodge attribute can be immensely helpful. However, if you happen to be facing an opponent with some effective/damaging slow spells, I would suggest going for Mercury's Treads as they will reduce those slow/stun/snare/fear effects and reduce any magic damage associated.
- Slot 2:
Once you are done with the boots, make sure to rush Rod of Ages, this will give you a critical advantage throughout the entire game. This item gives you an automatic boost to HP and MP (which is ridiculously helpful, especially early game) AND a boost to AP. Its passive ability ALSO gives extra boosts to HP, MP, and AP every minute. So basically, not only does this item give you bonuses to help you outlast other players and stay in the field longer, but it also massively increases the effectiveness of Cryptic Gaze and Death's Caress, two abilities that you will want you use very frequently.
- Slot 3:
Now that you have a good amount of health and mana from Rod, go for the Regrowth Pendant or Philosopher's Stone. Both give a good amount of health regen, which is necessary to maintain Sion's endurance. You are already increasing max health with Enrage, but regen is critical to stay in the field to rack up both HP and XP. The only real advantage to getting Regrowth Pendant (over Philo) is that it builds into Philo, allowing you to have some health regen before you can afford Philo. While it may be tempting to just stick with regrowth (and build straight into Warmog's), always go for Philo as it does more regen, also has mana regen, and gives and additional 10 gold every 5 seconds (allowing you to get EVERYTHING faster).
- Slot 4:
After you have some regen, go for Warmog's Armor. Warmong's is immensely helpful throughout the game as it provides massive health and health regen AND permanently increases health and health regen per minion kill. Because Warmog's is expensive, as soon as you can, get Ruby Crystal. This item is cheap, gives a good health boost for the price, and will build into Warmog's. Get the two other build items as you please or just buy Warmog's flat out after that (assuming you can afford it of course).
- Slot 5:
Now that you're well equipped to outlast the vast majority of players on the field, it is time to increase your damage. Atma's Impaler is almost unanimously accepted among Sion players as the best way to do this. Given that you have owned the Rod for a decent amount of time, you have gotten a hold of Warmog's, and you have had enrage activated for the vast majority of the game, you should have around 2,500-3,000 total health. Not only does Atma's give you some armor and critical strike chance, but its passive ability adds 2% of your max health into physical attack damage. With a character that is built to constantly increase max health, this means that the amount of damage you do is increased with every single kill, thus increasing your amount of kills and perpetuating this wonderful cycle. By the end of the game this additional attack damage will be quite significant at roughly an extra 80+ damage.
NOTE: The "Attack Damage" stat on the cheat sheet does not include the extra damage added by Atma's. As such, the actual attack damage of this character is roughly 190-200.
- Slot 6:
You'll notice that Sion's attack speed is fairly slow and mid/late-game attack speed becomes VERY important to gain the edge on enemy champions. For this reason, grab Stinger. This item does a good job of increasing attack speed and damage and will build into your final item, Nashor's Tooth. Many would argue getting some attack speed even earlier than this, so grab the dagger (+15% A.S.) early on if you want, but I am a proponent of getting what you need to survive before getting what you need to kill. Sion already has a high attack, can stun people who try to run away, and can blow up minions and/or champions circling him, he can stand without attack speed just fine. He'll miss out on some kills because of it, but he'll miss out on a lot more if he spends half the time dead.
- Slot 3:
As the the late-game period begins, it becomes increasingly important to survive against enormous odds. As you encroach upon an enemy base, you find yourself facing hordes of minions, attempting to take down base turrets, and fighting champions that are attempting to prolong their inevitable demise. Spirit Visage not only boosts your total health by +250 and 30 magic resist, but also reduces all of your cooldowns and add +20% health regen. You will need to sell Philo, but the advantages are well worth it. The main one being that Visage combine with Warmog's makes you nearly unstoppable, generating health faster than minions can take it down. This, of course, gives you a much better chance at survival and success through to the Nexus.
- Slot 6:
If the game happens to persist long enough, pick up Nashor's Tooth. While it is not an overall important item for Sion, it has some great attributes that will allow you to finish off the game. Basically it combines the attack speed and cooldown reduction of Stinger and boosts your AP by +55, which certainly isn't anything to scoff at. In addition, it increases your mana regen, which can be useful in longer matches that will inevitably limit the trips you can take back to base. Now, while these boots are very useful and can help clench a victory that has so long eluded your team, they're certainly not necessary to success. It is more of an icing on the cake, not an item that you will want to rush or return to base just to get, however, considering that all your item slots are full and you only have one upgradable item left, why let the gold go to waste?
For the first kill/gank period, it is best to start with Cryptic Gaze. This ability will allow you to stun your opponent immediately so that they cannot run away and/or stun the before they are within range of their turret to finish them off. Stun can also be helpful when you find yourself running away from an opponent. Once they start getting too close for comfort, spin around and give them a mean look (Cryptic Gaze), they will stop long enough for you to run away, and the attack does a decent amount of damage. Using this strategy, only Yi, Xin, Shen, and Akali can hope to keep up with you and usually your cooldown for stun is about their cooldown for their charge, meaning you can usually lead then right to your turret if they're willing to risk it. An especially effective strategy is when an opponent decides they are willing to take damage from your turret in order to get a kill. Simply let them enter turret range, hit you or an ally once, then stun them and (if you're low on health) run away. Often you can get a kill, or at least an assist using this strategy. Never underestimate the value of Cryptic Gaze. Once Enrage reaches 2.0 maximum health per kill, this will be your focus as each ability level increases damage and decreases cooldown time.
This will be your second ability. It is critical to use this early game and if Sion weren't so slow, it would be your first ability. Focus on minions and chase champions away only to ensure they don't kill you or leech XP. You can often use Cryptic Gaze and then run over and do a ton of damage. If they stick around long enough for you to stun them again, they're usually dead, but if not at least they will boot it out of there. Don't really focus on Champion kills until mid-game. Keep this ability active for the majority, if not all, of the game, it is a sustained effect that requires no MP. Once you have this ability to 2 total HP per kill, that is enough, switch your ability focus to Cryptic Gaze. Combined with your item purchases, very soon you will have a good amount of health and then you will be able to make full use out of Cryptic Gaze to crush your opponents.
TIP: Turn this ability off when you are running away or attempting to hold a turret defensively with low health (usually waiting for relief so you can recall). This ability does leech away a small amount of health every hit, so if you are trying to conserve HP, it is best to turn it off until you can afford the health loss. With any regen item, above the rejuvenation, bead the health loss is almost negligible.
This will be your third standard ability. Normally it is disadvantageous to spread ability points across all three standards, but in Sion's case you need all of them to maximize your effectiveness. This shield absorbs all damage up to a certain amount of total damage depending on the ability level. The first level absorbs up to 120 damage and adds 50 damage per ability level after that. If the shield survives for 10 seconds, it then explodes, dealing damage to everyone around you. This is very helpful for 4 main reasons, in ascending order of importance.
1. Obviously, you can use it as a shield to reduce damage taken when fighting other champions, but this is not the most effective use of this ability.
2. When rushing a turret you can turn it on to eliminate the damage done by enemy minions attempting to fend you off. The extra health retained by this strategy can be the difference between a destroyed enemy turret and one that you will have to fight your way back to finish off after you've recalled to heal.
3. You can activate this ability, bring multiple minions down to below half health (in 10 sec you can usually do this to 2-4 minions), and let it explode. When it explodes it will kill all the minions whose health you depleted and add quite a bit to your max health.
4. Most importantly, when running away, you can activate this shield to make sure you don't take any damage. Many special ranged abilities from enemy champions that would normally kill you will instead destroy this shield.
While this is a useful ability, it definitely ranks as the lowest one on the priority list. You will want to activate this ability with your third ability point simply so you have the option to use it, mostly in retreat and minion attack scenarios. You will not want to focus on this until Enrage has reached ability level 3 and Cryptic Gaze is maxed out.
This ability mainly grants Sion 50-100% lifesteal (depending on ability level) and 50% attack speed for its 20 second duration. This ultimate is extremely helpful when ambushing opponents, activated in group battles, or used to turn the tide in a 1v1 fight. However, the most effective use of this ability is actually when attacking turrets. Not only are you attacking 50% faster, taking down a tower's health in 3/4 of the time, but as an extra ability, 25-50% of your damage done to the tower is returned to your minions and fellow champions, keeping minions alive longer to give turrets targets and allied champions alive longer against a defensive onslaught.
TIP: Use this ability often. The 75 second cool down (especially combined with the recommended item purchases) allows you to use the ability almost once per minute, making you a formidable foe to enemy champions and turrets.
I prefer to go with the basics for Sion. Because Sion needs to be a survivor early on, having the Heal spell is always handy so that he can stay out in the field and not return until he has gained quite a few levels. This will also assure that by the time he needs to recall, he will be able to return with a lot more HP at his disposal. Because I make freqent use of Heal, I like to use the Heal cooldown mastery.
The second basic spell for Sion is clarity. I find that time and time again with Sion as I use Cryptic Gaze and Death's Caress, especially the former, I run out of MP. I cannot tell you how many times I have been chasing after an enemy champion, tried to use Cryptic Gaze, not had enough MP, used clarity, and then used Cryptic Gaze to kill the enemy champion. Clarity is a MUST.
If you'd prefer not to use Heal, sometimes I like to change up my tactics, get either Ghost or Flash. Sion is one of the slower character's in the game, so escape is often difficult. If you're like me, and sometimes get overzealous and get in too deep, Flash and Ghost are great options. I prefer Flash because it is instantaneous and you can flash through solid barriers to lose your enemy, which is very helpful... not to mention it has the added advantage of pissing off the enemy summoner. Ghost can also be handy because it ignores character collisions and makes you run away faster. If you do decide to go the ghost route, I recommend using a mastery point to increase its speed by 8%.