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Sona Build Guide by Veajal

Support Sona support guide (4.13)

By Veajal | Updated on August 11, 2014
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LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


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Support Role
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Support Role
Win 55%
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Sona is the first support I ever played when I was level 10 and she was free to play one week. My level 30 friend who got me to play this game then gifted her to me and since then I've played more Sona than any other champion by a huge margin.

Sona is a support who brings alot of utility to the team, she has a strong laning phase with excellent poke and sustain if you can manage her mana correctly and utilize power chords. In my opinion Crescendo is one of the most game changing ults in team fights. Shes fairly easy to pick up and play as long as you have a basic understanding of her.

The main point of the Sona rework is to make her abilities have more of a noticeable impact and I believe this has been achieved, all of Sona's abilities have been given a longer cooldown with much stronger auras helping you to be more involved and consider your position in a team fight much more so you can make the most of your new smaller radius auras
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Pros / Cons

  • Very fun to play
  • Huge amount of utility
  • Crescendo can cripple an entire team if used correctly
  • Hymn of Valor and Power Chord provide very strong early game poke
  • Goes very well with almost every ADC
  • Very squishy if caught out at any point
  • KS will happen, I feel bad every time but Hymn of Valor has a mind of its own!
  • Have to manage mana well until mid/late game depending on whether you pick up Chalice of Harmony or not.
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Summoner Spells

Flash is an absolute must have, it has many uses, from escaping over walls, escaping under turrets, dodging skillshots, getting in the way of Caitlyn Ace in the Hole, flashing into this to save your carry usually provokes a response from Caitlyn in /all chat. Also you can combo Flash with Crescendo for a deadly engage or to save a team mate.

Exhaust is my second spell for a few reasons, it reduces damage done by the target by 50%! as well as reduces movement and attack speed by 30% for 2.5 seconds, it can save your carrys life, it can stop people escaping. It can pretty much make the enemy carry useless in a team fight for 2.5 seconds..

Those are the two main spells but I'll cover two of the others that are more situational

This is a strong spell right now, it has a high cooldown but it has diminishing returns if multiple people use heal. It gives you a debuff reducing the effect of the next heal cast, and usually your attack damage carry will take this ability, running two heals is never worth losing Exhaust for.

This is a decent spell, but I wouldn't take it for Sona, it can help secure kills sure and reduce healing effects but it just doesn't bring as much to the table as Exhaust, which can also help secure kills by stopping someone from running away.

If you are not level 12 yet then take this in place of Flash.. also if your not level 8, take Heal instead of Exhaust.
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The Sona update has changed her a lot, her cooldowns arn't as quick and her involvement in teamfights has been increased, no longer does she sit in the back and chip away until its a good time to cast Crescendo. Now she is alot more involved with a very strong heal and shield. So onto her new spells -

This is your passive, you gain a stack of it every time you cast one of your other abilities. Once you reach three stacks you get a Power Chord buff, which stays with you until you use a basic attack, when you cast your next basic attack it will have an additional effect depending on the last aura you cast and deal a small amount of additional magic damage.

Hymn of ValorYour next basic attack will do double the damage of your current Power Chord. This scales with your ability power.

Aria of PerseveranceYour next basic attack will debuff the target, reducing the damage dealt by 20%, this scales with your ability power.

Song of CelerityYour next basic attack will slow the target by 40%, this scales with ability power.

Hymn of Valor deals magic damage to the two closest targets to Sona, it always chooses champions over minions if any are in range.
When you cast Hymn of Valor you also gain an aura around you for 3 seconds, any allied champion who walks into this aura will receive a buff which grants them bonus magic damage on their next basic attack for 5 seconds.

Aria of Perseverancewill heal yourself and the most wounded champion in range for an amount which scales with missing hp percentage, the lower the health the higher the heal. At max rank with a little bit of AP on a low health champion this spell will heal a generous chunk of health.
The second part of Aria of Perseverance emits an aura around Sona for 3 seconds that will shield any allied champion in range for a small amount.

Song of Celeritylasts 3 seconds but the duration increases if champions are inside your circle, any champion inside your aura will receive a moderate movement speed buff, and when you initially cast the spell you will receive a moderate movement speed buff yourself. This is great for escaping ganks, engaging teamfights, disengaging teamfights. Combined with talisman of ascension you can transport everyone around you very quickly across the rift.

Crescendo stuns everyone in front of you for 1.5 seconds and deals a small amount of damage, its effect if used properly in a teamfight is tremendous and can change the tide in the entire fight. it also has a passive effect.

Every rank of Crescendo increases the power of your auras.
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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

All of Sona's abilities are strong and situational, there isn't really a set way to level them as situations are entirely different game by game.

I always start with Hymn of Valor as its very rare you will need to heal before level 2.

At level 2 I put a point in Aria of Perseverance every game.

Heres where it can change, does the enemy team have a jungler like Elise Lee Sin or Elise, if so then you may want to put your next point in Song of Celerity to get out of a gank quickly. If they have a jungler like Nocturne or Warwick they will generally farm more until they reach level 6 before ganking.

So if you opt not to put that point in your speed boost then you want to consider how your lane is going and who you are up against, if they are a very strong poke comp like Karma Caitlyn and you have a non pokey adc like Vayne then you should probably focus on maxing Aria of Perseverance first.

If you are against a more passive lane like Vayne Janna then start maxing your Hymn of Valor first and be more of a lane bully.

Lastly, never put your point in Song of Celerity later than level 7, by that time you can definitely use it if only to get back into lane after you died / backed.
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No champion has a set build, everything is different. This rule is true more for supports than any other role. You always buy to the current game, there is no such thing as a core build, you have to change your build to the current composition of your team and the enemy team.

Choose your gold gen item

Ancient Coin is my preferred gold gen item, use it for lanes where you have to play a little more passive or just have a passive playstyle, I prefer to use it because 9/10 games I will take the talisman of ascension over the Frost Queen's Claim because I prefer the active

A strong alternative to Ancient Coin, I personally rarely use it unless I'm against a team where I'm going to be harassing all lane, its a strong choice and if you do like to play the lane bully 100% of the time then you will get alot more gold from it than the Ancient Coin.

I usually buy one of these to start, the only time I wouldn't is for junglers that don't gank early on. I'll keep it on me until we push close enough to the river, if that never happens I go and put it at my junglers red/blue buff before I go back for my Sightstone. If I'm forced back early with at least 575g I'll pick up another one and use the last of my gold on pots, if I have 800g I'll grab a Sightstone and Sweeping Lens.

Learn to buy these throughout the game, they don't go invisible like the Stealth Ward but they don't have a 3 minute duration either, these will last until destroyed, you can put them in bushes to grant vision in and around the bush and they can't be seen by anyone who doesn't walk through it, have 5 hit points whereas a stealth ward has 3, they also grant true sight, whereas a stealth ward only grants normal vision within its range, they will reveal a stealthed Teemo or Evelynn, they will also reveal any nearby Stealth Ward's. They also have a larger vision radius than their Stealth Ward counterpart. However you can only have one on the map at any time whereas you can have three Stealth Ward.

This item is your friend, in my opinion is the most compulsory buy for you in the entire game, I started playing support at roughly level 10 and I was told to come to this website and look up a guide for my champion, it told me to buy one, I bought one, I learned to keep an eye on the map and now I feel naked without one. Wards are your friends, they save your life, they save your jungler's buffs, they save dragon and baron. They also reveal locations of the enemy jungler opening up ganking opportunities and counter jungling opportunities, for 800g you change the way your entire team plays just by dropping wards. always ward key points and keep a close eye on the map at all times. Just remember its not only the supports job to place wards but you should be placing the most. It has 4 charges, meaning you can place 4 wards with it, the charges refill whenever you back to the well.

talisman of ascension
This is an amazing item, 10% cdr, mana regen, flat movement speed bonus, gold income.. and the active is fantastic, use as an engage or a disengage, it will make you and everyone in range almost uncatchable. You upgrade it from Nomad's Medallion and Ancient Coin
talisman of ascension

This is the upgrade to the Spellthief's Edge. Its a good item with some ability power and an active that is a skill shot slow in a small radius, I prefer the talisman of ascension but this is a strong item with AP which the talisman of ascension lacks.

The Ardent Censer is now a very very useful item for Sona, build it as long as you have more than one ally that rely on basic attacks, always your ADC, normally your top laner and jungle, and sometimes your mid laner, your Aria of Perseverance will normally shield everyone in a team fight and everyone will get the buff, every time you cast your heal.

A very strong item, provides extreme mana regen which will completely solve your mana problems, gives you some magic resist and CDR to boot. Its active is fantastic, removing all cc on the target and throws them a sizeable heal. Its on a lengthy cooldown however (180 seconds) so it wont be up all the time.

An alternative item to Mikael's Blessing, you should never build both, you should build this if you don't really plan on building any other high cdr or ap items, it has 20% cdr and 60 ability power, making it a nice offensive item.

Choose these boots if you are only building 20% cdr, however with all the cdr items to choose from you could definitely pick other boots that would benefit you more.

These are my go to boots, they are cheaper than all the rest and provide a nice movement speed bonus when you are out of combat, pick them if you plan on roaming alot.

A strong option if your playing extremely aggressive and building lots of damage, your abilities will hit harder, pick them for these reasons, but they are generally more situational than the other two.

A very strong defensive item for heavy AD, it has a 10% attack speed debuff when you are hit by a melee attack and an active slow and an activated 35% aoe slow around you. Take it vs heavy AD comps, the active can be used as a strong disengage along with your talisman of ascension. Really strong vs heavy AD teams.

Strong vs AP teams, such as teams with an aggressive high damage support such as Zyra and a mage mid laner, also top and jungle can sometimes deal magic damage. It gives a small MR buff to the entire team and yourself and also builds into a locket of the solari later in the game.

Build this item vs a team that relies heavily on basic attacks, it throws out an aura which shreds enemy attack speed by 15%, gives you a nice amount of mana and armor and 20% cdr.

This item is a solid choice for defensive, it packs a nice wad of magic resist and health but where it really shines is the spellshield, its passive puts a spellshield around you that blocks the first ability against you. If you take no damage for 45 seconds it refreshes.

Theres no reason not to build this item if you build an Aegis of the Legion but I usually save it until later, you still keep the old passive but now you get a new active which shields all friendly champions in range for a small amount, its not gamebreaking but it helps somewhat. you also get 10% CDR and 200 health.

A strong item with high ap, you want to build this for one of two reasons (or both..)
Firstly you want some AP and CDR, for the price of this item it offers a ton of cdr and AP so if your looking for some stronger abilities and you don't need any more defensive / utility items then this is the one for you. Secondly, the passive reduces healing taken by 50% on anyone you hit with magic damage below 40% health, this is a great passive for champions such as Dr. Mundo or Soraka

An upgrade from your Sightstone it offers an extra 350 health and another charge to place wards. Pretty good for finishing off your build.

A strong offensive item which will catch enemy champions, it sends out little unattackable shadowy things which catch and slow enemy champions, you can use this to check bushes that you don't really want to facecheck (hint... all of them) it has a lengthy cooldown but if your ghosts don't find anything then the cooldown is lowered, it also packs a healthy amount of AP and 10% cdr.

Zeke's Herald
Build this if you have team that relies on AD and lifesteal, chances are you won't need the CDR, but the aura it puts out is strong with AD champs giving them more life steal and sustain and letting then pack a slightly harder punch.
Zeke's Herald

Both of these are good boot enchants.
Enchantment: Distortion to combo Flash and Crescendo more often.
Enchantment: Homeguard is good for defending your base
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What to do throughout the game!

Before getting into lane you want to see if your jungler needs a leash, what will happen (if your unfamiliar with the concept) is if your jungler starts on your side of the jungle, he will want to take the buff camp there straight away, he will need you and your carry and sometimes the mid laner to come and help him attack the buff monster to half hp and then run away so he can finish it and take the xp. Always leash if the jungler wants one, it costs you nothing (maybe a tiny bit of xp from getting back to lane too slow) and it helps him out a massive amount.
Alternatively if he starts out top, pop a warding trinket up in the bush next to the buff camp at about 1:45 so you can see if the enemy jungler tries to take his buff, if that does happen you and your carry can go and stop him and your jungler can go take his buff.

Laning phase

When you get into lane you are going to want to play it by ear, you will have put one point in Hymn of Valor already so use it to harass, generally you want to stop the opposing ADC from picking off low health minions, so keep an eye on the health bars of your minions and when one or more starts getting low, move in to scare the enemy carry away, either they will get the CS and lose alot of hp or they will miss the cs and keep some hp.. Or both, which would be ideal.

When being a bully, remember you are squishy, you can poke out some nice damage but you can also take a ton of damage, keep an eye on the other support and don't get yourself instagibbed by being too aggressive, Don't move up too far from your carry and don't lag too far behind him also. Try to keep somewhat parallel lines with him so if one of you gets attacked the other can come help as quick as possible.

Check the maps below for warding locations, try to ward the river as much as you can and if you have a spare 100g when you go back then pick up a Vision Ward and put it in the blue side tri bush, even if your not on blue side its a good ward location to see the enemy jungler.

Mid game

Mid game is the point where people start roaming, mid laners will roam top and bottom to try and gank and take towers, if you destroy your first tower you and your carry might roam mid and try to gank the enemy mid laner and take his tower. Mostly you will stay with your carry, protecting him and working together to take objectives, this is the point where you want to make sure you get wards on dragon, and soon baron. Note that baron spawns 15 minutes into the game.

Mid game doesn't really have a specified end point, its different every game, but generally its when there are very few towers left and its dangerous to wander around in ones and twos. This is where vision control really comes in, you want to know if they are wandering around in ones and twos, or if they are in a clump and where. Wards are your friend here more than ever.

Late game

During late game you want to not wander around alone, stay with your team, team fights will break out everywhere.. This is where strategy is key, you want to push the last few towers / inhibs, clean the lanes, defend your base, keep control of baron and take it if its safe.

This is where Sona really shines again, when teamfights break out, its possibly to win one by using Crescendo at the right time, if you need to peel for your carry, go ahead and use it on whoever is trying to wipe them out, if you can get all 5 of them in one shot, go ahead and do it. But for the most part you want to be hanging back, alternating your auras, defending your carry, throwing out heals, don't forget your active items like Mikael's Blessing and Locket of the Iron Solari. Be ready to push up with your team if your winning or blow talisman of ascension to disengage. Mostly just keep chipping away with your team until the right moment for Crescendo.
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Where and when to ward.

Warding is a huge part of summoners rift. You want to make sure you have your wards out whenever possible. Because of my amazing paint skills, I found a map of summoners rift and drew little circles on it, if you couldn't tell, I used to be an artist.

This is for early game / laning phase
The little perfectly drawn green circles here are the wards you want to place. Start with the river but when you get a sightstone pop one in the tribush too.
The pink circle is a really good spot for a Vision Ward, it'll be found eventually but you will get a good 4-5 minutes out of it if your lucky. It will give you complete information about who is coming and going down the river on your side.
The yellow circles are wards that your team will probably place.

This is for mid game Please disregard the pink circle in the enemy tri bush. It was supposed to be green, I'm gonna blame my cat for changing it to pink when I went and grabbed a drink int he middle of my art-work.
A little more complicated, the green ones are now for everyone, these are good spots to place wards as they give you alot of information on the other team.

This is for late game
very complicated now, obviously your not going to get all these wards out, and its dangerous to do so.. but consider who is on the offense and who is on the defense, the ones outside / inside the base are for harassing and seeing over the walls, you want to keep baron warded at all times. Always have a pink ward on the map until you literally have 6 fully built items, I always save my last spot (if a game goes on that long) for Vision Wards until I can build my last item outright.

These arn't the only places for wards, but they are where I mainly place mine, and they are where you can mainly sweeper theirs. Vision control is king at this point in the game, it allows for smart teamfights, and smart splitpushing.
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Thank you for taking the time to read my guide, I spent quite a while making it, and even longer learning to play Sona well enough to make it, I started playing in season 4, only 4 months or so ago. Most of that time I have played Sona both in ranked and normals.

Special thanks
Wicked Eye
For his tips and advice on certain items
The All TomatoFor his advice on writing and formatting of the guide.
Please if you have any comments, improvements or criticisms feel free to leave a comment and I'll address them / change stuff.
I do plan on adding lane matchups for Sona at a later date, but I did this guide in one sitting so for now I'll just leave it how it is.

Thanks for reading:)
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