Build Guide by Ataraxia
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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.
There are a lot of Sona build/guides out there that are... well... outdated. Many have the Innervating Locket, and that was removed prior to the Ionia vs. Noxus battle about a month ago, and still have the Zhonya's Ringwhich was transformed into two now items. There are plenty of items that are good for Sona, and I like to implement them into this build to share what I have been using. Maybe a lot of people has been using this same build, but I just want to make it known.
Sona recently became my new 'main', second from Ashe. I love ranged characters, and though Sona isn't really a 'ranged' character, I still use her as if she is one, just a lot more supportive. She is a very simple champion to use. Just press a key and hope the person you're aiming for is in range.
I won't do the Pros/Cons section of a typical guide, since many should know them by now.
Also, this guide will NOT be decked out with pictures of random things, only of those you really need. It's how I roll, so that's what I'll do.
and beware: THIS WILL BE A RATHER LARGE WALL OF TEXT, SO BE READY TO READ!
Let us begin, shall we?
Flash: Teleports your champion to target nearby loaction. Ah yes, Flash. My addiction in LoL. I use this spell with every character I use. It's a great escape tool when you find yourself in a hairy situation like a gank or about to be smashed by an Area of Effect (AoE) or Crowd Control (CC) type of deal. This spell WILL be the reason why you survive most of the time. The improved Flash is taken for the reduced cooldown, so you can use it more often.
Clarity: Restores 100 + 25 x level mana to your champion and 50% of that to nearby allies. I take this spell because of the amount of mana I use in the beginning of the match, since I like to harass those who comes too close, or last hit minions for a good amount of gold. It remains useful even during mid-game because there's always someone who needs mana, and I don't usually get Archangel's Staff very early. I only get the improved Clarity for my teammates, since I am the support, I want to make sure they're always ready for a team fight.
If you want, you CAN use the other Summoner Spells, these are just the two I always use when I play as Sona. I won't go into detail on which other spells are good as well, for I can't give you an honest explanation. I have been using Flash and Clarity since I first used Sona, and I don't intend on changing anytime soon.
Going utility is a given, since she is an AP (Ability Power) user. Though I'll give an explanation on each one I picked. You need regeneration, period. Thus why I picked Perseverance and Expanded Mind. Both increases mana regeneration at a steady rate, and so both are 3/3. And since Sona isn't the fastest champion in the world, I wanted to give her a little boost of speed, which is good so you don't have to buy Boots of Swiftness or Mobility. The nice cooldown is also a HUGE plus, since you have to be in your toes when there's a team battle, and your team is relying on you to heal/save them from the brink of destruction. 21 points in Utility is a very basic, and very common knowledge to get for a AP champion.
Only 9 points here because most of the points are on Utility! But in a serious note, just grab the extra AP boost, Cooldown Reduction and Magic Penetration. Or to name them specifically: Archmage's Savvy, Sorcery, and Archaic Knowledge.
Greater Mark of Insight: Magic Penetration 0.95 This rune is invaluable for any Magic User in my opinion. Sure you can get Health Runes instead, but Magic Penetration is there to make sure that Sona's attacks will hurt that much more, for you do have to attack with her sometime.
Greater Seal of Clarity: Mana per 5 sec 1.8 (0.1 per level) These are used to regenerate your mana without abusing the Summoner Spell Clarity. When the opponent isn't giving much opportunity for you to attack them, you simply attack minions and let the mana regenerate right back up, so when it is time to act, you're more than ready to show them what you got.
Greater Glyph of Potency: Ability Power 0.99 You need AP to be a good Magic User, enough said.
Greater Quintessence of Force: Ability Power 7.74 (0.43 per level) Even more AP! What more do you want?
Now if you're wondering, "Why not any cooldown runes you noob?" Well because you need a good amount of AP for Sona to really be affective in anything she does. When she has low AP, her Aria of Perseverance heals for less than 100! So it's good to get a good amount of AP as you can.
Now to explain why I picked certain items. Now I don't usually get these items in the order I present. I usually grab the Rabadon's Deathcap as the third item, but that's only when I'm having a good game and made enough to buy the Needlessly Large Rod (silly name).
15 Ability Power, 100 Health, 4 mana per second. You should start off with this item because it gives you a good amount of Health Points (HP), a good mana regeneration that works well with your mana regen runes, and gives you more AP including the boost from Hymm of Valor.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
15 Cooldown Reduction. Passive: UNIQUE Passive: Enhanced movement 2 UNIQUE Passive: Reduces all ability cooldowns by 15%. To be honest, I became all giddy with joy when I saw these boots in the upcoming new items after the Ionia vs. Noxus battle. The day it was released, I immediately slapped it on Sona and loved it ever since. Her skills have a rather large cooldown, which is not good for a support character like Sona. I used to grab Sorcerer's Shoes for the Magic Penetration, but I never had the time for cooldown items, which made me rage.
45 Ability Power, 400 mana, 25 Mana Per 5 Sec. Passive: 3% of your Max Mana is converted to Ability Power. UNIQUE Passive: Each time your Champion uses an Ability their Maximum Mana will increase by 4 Mana. This affect has a 3 second cooldown. Bonus caps at 1000 mana. 'Tis a nice item to have especially for Sona. With the constant use of mana and skills, it's a good idea to get this as early as you can.
155 Ability Power. UNIQUE Passive: Increased ability power by 30% There's just so much AP in this item, that this will make sure you'll heal like a beast and hurt like hell, and maybe even get a couple of kills here and there. Such an epic item.
Rod of Ages
80 Ability Power, 630 Health, 725 Mana. Passive: Your Champion gains 18 health, 20 mana, and 2 Ability Power every 1 min. Bonuses cap at +180 Health, +200 Mana, and +20 Ability Power This item is standard for any AP user. And this will eliminate the 'squishiness' of Sona and allows her to be out there with her team longer and work more efficiently with so much mana and health, and the extra AP doesn't hurt either.
330 Health, 25 Health Per 5 Sec, 12 Mana Per 5 Sec. UNIQUE Passive: Reduces ability cooldowns by 15%. UNIQUE Active: Nearby champions gain 40% movement speed for 2 seconds (60 second cooldown) This item will turn you into a beefy Sona, and the more cooldown the better! Since the cooldown on the Boots of Lucidity aren't unique, this item is perfect to complement that and you're able to spam your skills like there's no tomorrow! And the active in this item will help you run to the fray or away from it with your team. Though I very rarely reach this item for the matches usually ends rather quickly.
I'll go over the skills rather quickly, since they're pretty self-explanatory in the chart above, but I want to make sure you'll understand where I'm getting at.
After casting three spells, Sona's next attack deals bonus magic damage. Additionally, Sona's Auras persist for 3 seconds after deactivating and set off a 2 second global cooldown. This is the harassment key when you are Sona, or even last-hitting minions. Before you go off to your lane, charge it up so when you encounter someone in your lane, hit them with the Chord to make sure they know you mean business.
Hymm of Valor
Sona plays the Hymm of Valor, granting nearby champions bonus Damage and Ability Power. Additionally, casting this ability sends out bolts of sound, dealing magic damage to the nearest two enemy champions or monsters (Champion priority). This is the first skill you must take when you're Sona. It gives good harassment and helps the person you're laning with more attack. Also helps in early ganks. You rank this skill up to 5 first.
Aria of Perseverance
Sona plays the Aria of Perseverance, granting nearby allied champions bonus Armor and Magic Resist. Additionally, casting this ability sends out healing melodies, healing Sona and a nearby wounded ally. The second skill you get once you reach level 2, and when your mana begins to run low very quickly because your partner now thinks he/she can take on the opponent and not die because of your healing. Though regardless of the recklessness of your partner, it's still good to use, especially when your teammate is about to die until you heal, then all of the sudden he/she lives! You rank this skill to 5 second.
Song of Celerity
Sona plays the Song of Celerity, granting nearby allied champions bonus Movement Speed. Additionally, casting this ability energizes nearby allies with a burst of speed. Though you get this skill third on your third level, you don't touch this until you reach level 14 again. It's only good for chasing and fleeing, so there isn't much use for this skill, though I can't deny it's a good spell, for it has a lot of good moments.
Sona plays her ultimate chord, forcing enemy champions to dance, taking magic damage over time. Like what the description says, it is her Ultimate. Though you can use it to save your allies from being ganked, overwhelmed, or even to spot brave people from pushing the turrets. You can even use Crescendo as a initiator, since it stuns the enemies, giving time for your allies to jump in and kill the other team (just like Amumu's Ultimate: Curse of the Sad Mummy).
Things to Remember
I'll make this clean and simple, since there's a lot of other things you have already read and is probably tired of my repetition. I won't teach you how to play as Sona, since she's extremely simple, but I will explain what you should do as her.
Don't be shy to use your Ultimate to save someone.
Sure there's a long cooldown on Crescendo, but sometimes it's worth using when someone is about to die. Usually that gives the person a chance to turn around and kill the champion who was chasing and you get an assist! Though don't forget to heal after you use your ultimate so your Crescendo won't be in vain.
Spam Hymm of Valor when you have a chance!
Believe it or not, your extra damage in an team fight is very useful, help take down the enemies faster, and the aura it gives helps significantly. And in early-game, it's very good to use as a harassment, showing the enemies you're not a force to be reckoned with.
HEAL HEAL HEAL!!!!
Can it be anymore clear? You have to follow your team (or team member) sometimes to make sure you're there to save them when something happens. You're a support, so you're there to support, simple as that. Don't go back to buy an item unless you know your team won't be engaging in a battle anytime soon.
Always be there with the team.
Sadly, you don't have Soraka's global healing skill, so you have to be there with the team. Though you offer more to the team than a Soraka, so you have a bigger role than just being the healer. You can always harass and keep the opposing team at bay until someone is brave enough to strike first. And make sure that Power Chord is locked and loaded, because it still does a good amount of damaged with a good amount of AP.
Sona is NOT a solo lane character!
Trust me, I tried. All I did was linger by the tower and feebly kill minions while they're taking a good chunk from my tower and the champion was having a good laugh seeing me struggle in mid-lane. Sona is no longer a mid-character. After her massive nerf in a patch a long time ago, she can no longer be utilized as a solo character.
All you have to do is play smart. Don't over extend, and don't be too far behind.
ANWAYS, have fun and good luck out there!