Build Guide by gigabitsofwit
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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.
Anyone can tell you that to be a good Soraka, you can't be one wanting all the glory, with a kill count in the 30s, and 8 or so razes. With this build one is able to consistently "carry" your team to victory, but not in the conventional way a regular carry does, this is more in a support/set up champ, making it easy for your real carries to get kills and keeping the whole team rolling forward with mana and health.
Comments are encouraged and appreciated.
Survivability throughout the game
Total lane domination if paired with caster or tank
Excellent late-game carry babysitter in early lane phase
Can meet a whole team's mana needs much earlier than typical Sorake builds
Has stronger heals late game than typical Soraka builds
Excellent for baiting with self or allies
Not as much healing as typical Soraka builds early game
Easy to be overlooked and not much glory in the role
Requires above average map awareness to play well
Relies on stacks and will be let down if all teammates are weak players
●Infuse is maxed first. It is her most useful spell. It nukes, it silences, it replenishes a significant amount of mana to an ally or herself and as a kicker, it costs no mana.
●One in Astral Blessing (henceforth refered to as "heal") is taken mainly for lane stayability and the +35 armour buff (which doesn't increase with subsequent levels). It only improves by 55hp per level, and a half second of silence per level will save much more than 55 extra hp. Once you get stacks on your soulstealer (more on this later), the 1 to 1 ap ratio will compensate for the lack of skill points in this.
●Starcall is taken next to be able to farm, as well as have a permaslow akin to ashe's once you have rylai's (with your cooldown reduction runes and golem buff). It also helps immensely in getting stacks.
●Wish is taken whenever able. With less than 2 minutes of cooldown at skill level 1, and less than a minute at level 3, it is your key skill for assists, and thus stacks. Map awareness and timing are *essential* to pulling off a good wish. Cast too late, and your allies die; too early, and you either miss the assists (yes, casting wish will grant assists to any kills your team does shortly after) or even worse, mess up the kill in the first place by scaring the enemy away. It's essentially heal baiting, but on a global scale.
Flash and ghost are taken for their mobility utility. With the mastery points in both, one is generally always ready in case an unexpected gank comes your way (which should be rare since as Sora you should be extra map aware anyways). They also compensate for my early lack of boots (in some cases I skip 'em altogether). With flash, ghost, silence, an armour buff and two self heals, you should be able to get out of most sticky situations, and can even rambo a low hp enemy in front of tower at level 6 for that early first blood (which people never see coming from Soraka XD ) then simply heal off the damage.
►►Early game and core item build◄◄
Start with doran's ring and a hp pot (for would-be fatal DOTs while heal is down or any early burst damage before you hit 2 for heal). Unless there are two matchups that are insanely good who insist on laning together (two heavy disablers, people in vent/same room together, etc), you want to avoid the solo mid lane. Soraka serves the team best by:
(1) babysitting someone with a weak early lane game (Jax, Yi, Eve, etc)
(2) keeping the mana of a heavy offensive mage up to spam for lane dominance (Ryze, Aniv, Kass (*bonus* her low cd spells keep his pulse always ready), Cho, etc)
(3) supporting a tank who will need both the health and mana
●Try to avoid a lane with someone without mana (Kat, Garen, Trynd, Morde, Mundo, Ninjas) if you can, although it's not a problem if you are forced to, since it leaves infuse free for yourself (if required to heal a lot) or your enemies (if you're owning the lane and just need a bit more harassment).
●As soon as you have your ult and hit 1235 gold, head back to get mejai's soulstealer. From here on, keep your awareness on the minimap to see possible assists with wish, or at least to save an ally. As Sora, you're a walking fountain, and you and your lanemate(s) have no need to head back to base except to shop. Around level 8 there are some team battles that start to take place. Remember to buff the tank before the fight for the armour, and keep the mages topped up on mana. Insist you get the blue golem buff whenever it's up (unless you have a Karthus on your team I suppose), as when you have it, it's like the whole team has it, since no one ever runs out of mana.
●Again, when you have enough for leviathan, head back when there's a lull in the action. Once you get enough stacks on mejai and levi and get the Giant's belt for rylai's, you will probably have enough hp and healing that you just get ignored. Get oracle's elixir if it's required at about 4 or 5 stacks of levi. By the time you make rylai's crystal scepter you should be unkillable, your level 1 heal should be doing a significant amount, and your wishes should start making the enemy team curse you in all-chat. The survivability that comes from flash, ghost, the AP-boosted heals, and the HP rivaling most tanks ensures you never lose stacks.
You're focusing on getting stacks, while supporting whoever you can.
With this build an assist adds a stack to both your snowball items, and Soraka has one of the easiest times amassing them:
●In a teamfight, throw down at least one starcall. It tags all enemies easy enough with it's large AOE, and gets you stacks if they die with the magic resist debuff on.
●If the astral blessing buff is on a hero when they kill someone, you get an assist, even if no damage was done from you, so make sure you get it on your teleporters (TF, panth, shen, and to a lesser degree anyone with summoner spell teleport) if you see them going in for a kill. This also goes for a teamfight were it may be too dangerous to get out in the front line, but a tank or high dps is able to.
●For assists, infuse is essentially just a nuke/silence. It is best used on champs that have a natural escape(trist, ez, kass, garg, shen, trynd, etc), as 3 seconds of silence is enough to beat most people down before they can get away. Bonus: silence stops the use of flash (but not ghost). It is my understanding that it will NOT stop trynd's endless rage, but will stop his spin. I think it will stop Kayle from casting hers though (confirmation anyone?).
●Again, wish is your bread and butter for assists. Watch you allies' hp, and when it's low enough to make your enemy commit to the kill, pop your ult from across the map and watch the tides turn and your stacks rise.
You should get the boots that best counter your opponents (generally treads and if not then tabi. Swiftness or sorcs work if your team is dominating) and get help with quickly getting golem so you can keep the mana and health flowing for your whole team. After that item build, I leave it open. You can get zhonya's ring if more AP is required, void staff if there won't be enough time, keep a bril elix always on, banshee's or quicksilver if the team is heavy in disables, wards for map control, etc. Sora's not really as dependent on items, so it's really whatever works best. If the game goes on, you can sell the doran's ring for something that would benefit you more.
►►Counters to this build◄◄
This shuts down flash, both heals, and your own silence (can ghost away from silence though).
Especially Garen (since his silence is a self buff so yours won't stop it (plus he seems to outspeed ghost when that's up, and his ult which is great vs high hp characters) and blitz who always has friends lurking around him
Malz and Warwick if they can get close enough and have friends nearby (your silence outranges their ults).
Fidd, Kass and another Sora to a lesser degree
Anything that reduces healing cuts her heals in half.
Kat's killer instinct buffed bouncing blade
Trist's explosive shot active
Plank's basic attack
Executioner's Calling active