Soraka Build Guide by daeboe
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Intro: Just who is this unicorn demon?
THIS IS NOT A BEGINNER'S GUIDE. THIS IS A NOVICE TO ADVANCED PLAYER'S GUIDE. YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE AT LEAST A BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF MITIGATING DAMAGE, TEAM COMPOSITION, ENEMY TEAM COMPOSITION, POSITIONING, TEAMWORK, MAP AWARENESS, AND HOW TO AVOID GANKS. DO NOT DOWNVOTE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO PLAY OR ADOPT A DIFFERENT STYLE OF PLAY.
Hello fellow guide readers. Welcome to my first and ONLY guide (with the gap between updates, you can probably figure that I don't have enough time to keep up with these things).
So who is this unicorn-like biped? Well, from what I know... Soraka was originally a sorceress who, instead of tapping into the magics of the Valoran, tapped into the magics of the cosmos. One day, she hears about this epic dude called Warwick. Great alchemist, great guy. Anyways, she gets mad when she hears of all the trolling this Warwick dude is doing to her people and starts nerdraging and telling the stars to curse this Warwick. Well, it works, but it also curses her. So she ends up as some unicorn-like biped - which totally confuses me because Warwick gets this really cool wolf-like form and she gets a horn that she can't even impale people with - but with some of her prior abilities still intact.
Some of you already have a biased opinion formed of Soraka. I know I did prior to learning her and how she works. But with one guide read and a few tinkering shots of my own, I have revamped Soraka to be one annoying champion that the other team will HAVE to target and hate.
What to expect:
- A surrender around the 31 minute mark if you pull it off correctly and the other team gets aced.
- Your team to work with and protect you (however, if you're an ******* to your team or you don't watch your own back, I can't be held liable).
- Fun time silencing/healing mana, reducing magic resists, healing single and all teammates.
- The enemy team hopping on your **** as soon as you show up on the Fields of Justice. It's alright, just watch where you are, where you can run. Take note of "safe zones" and stay within them, coming out only to save teammates, and you should be fine.
What NOT to expect:
- Yourself to carry the team to a victory.
- Yourself to be able to hold a lane.
- Yourself to be at the front of the line trying to reduce magic resists or initiating.
- A positive score. Soraka is very squishy and often targetted. On top of that she lacks the higher firepower needed to get kills.
There's also a few other things I'd like to mention for this guide:
One, even if you follow everything I mention in the guide, you might not win the game. Soraka is heavily team dependent; if your team cannot hold in a team fight, don't expect to win. You will need to explain to your teammates what a "HP bar buffer" is and how it works (that means you and how much you can heal vs how much damage they can take. If they take more damage than you can heal or take fatal damage before you can even get to them to heal them, it kind of makes you worthless.)
Two, Soraka's ability to be fun is made by the player and his/her team, not by the spells, items, or the masteries. If your team doesn't like to gank or do any aggressive moves, you're not going to get anywhere in a game. I can only show you the door; you have to be the one who slams it in the opposing team's face.
Three, while this is a high risk AP stacking guide (the survivability build is a derivative for those who are unfamiliar with Soraka and need the extra HP, MR, or Armor), this is not the only way to play Soraka, but I find that if played this way and played correctly, the other team gives up rather quickly at the 31 minute mark. Your results may differ. This is an offset way to play her because instead of survivability, you're switching that out with the ability to heal your teammates (and yourself) for massive amounts of HP. This tradeoff may seem absurd, but it's better in the long run.
Four, solid supports such as Soraka are not good in 3v3s. This guide only covers 5v5 gameplay strategy. If you are looking into doing a 3v3 with her, I don't have very much advice to offer, other than follow what I've already mentioned, silence as often as you can instead of working around mana, and keep your teammates alive.
Recent Changes and what they mean to Soraka:
Will resume this section in the future updates. I think we all have moved past the past few updates.
-Working on the survivability section I'll publish what I have now, but expect updates throughout the night and tomorrow (07/30/11).
There will be gaps or things that don't make sense because of scrapping, adding, and incomplete editing. If you find any, please leave a comment in the comments section below!
-Will update on next patch.
-Am working on a hybrid build to find a meeting point between these two. I will update as soon as I find a stable build. This is being done over ranked games (yes, Soraka is THAT versatile). If you run into a Soraka that has little regard to your last hits, is packing heal/fortify, and just has a IDGAF attitude, chances are you've run into me. :D
Happy ****ing Birthday to ME (07/30). No one else wanted to say it so I'll make you all read it instead :>.
Pros/Cons: Yes, she has many cons that are only outweighed by her heals.
- Can hole up in a lane for a long period of time without having to shop.
- Is, what some people call, a 2nd carry. She can keep a carry alive long enough for them to do terminal damage (and usually escape).
- Turns teammates into temporary tanks with her armor boost from
- Can drastically turn the tables of a team fight. AP Nuking build is more established in this role, whereas the Survivability build is for those who don't like to die or extend for teammates who need the heal.
- Needs a lane partner. Smarter enemy champs will simply ignore you and push the tower.
- Is super squishy early game.
- Is going to be squishy mid game.
- Is still going to be squishy late game.
- Actually, if you want to sacrifice the AP for survivability, that's fine too. 300 heals aren't very much, but can still mitigate some damage for tanks. You're not going to find her as game changing as you would with the AP nuking build though. Enemies will still target you though.
- Lacks an escape mechanism. You either have to pack one in summoner spells, build a , or watch the minimap and anticipate ganks.
- HIGHLY susceptible to disables (stuns, taunts, fears, etc.).
Those are just a few of the pros and cons of this champion with this build. However, the mentions of being squishy on the cons list are not really a problem; by the time you hit midgame, you'll be doing about 400 heal per (without it being at rank 5) and by late game (with full charges on ) you should be doing around 1300 heal per (AP NUKING ONLY). The escape mechanism problem is easily countered by playing style (watching for ganks and not overextending), packing a summoner skill ( or (not recommended)), or buying a shrelya's reverie.
Masteries: My head hurts too much to explain these to you.
Just kidding. Okay. Mobafire doesn't properly show the mastery tree for these, so you'll have to excuse the lack of images in this section. Also, the masteries are the same for AP stacking. You'll need the EXP boost to help bring you up to speed faster than enemy champs.
Mender's Faith: Reduces the cool down of your by 30 seconds.
We use as an "Oh Snaps!" spell. This is a supplement; the 140 + 25xlevel is actually helpful towards keeping your teammates alive in the extreme event that your 2 healing spells ( & ) can't or don't. If you don't use it feel free to put it elsewhere.
Resistance: Increases your champion's magic resistance by 6.
Soraka is squishy. This helps combat it slightly. Also used to unlock Strength of Spirit.
Hardiness: Increases your champion's armor by 6.
Same as above except it's used to unlock Harden Skin.
Strength of Spirit: Increases your champion's health regeneration by 0.2% of your maximum mana.
Same as the above; this is used to help decrease your squishiness.
Harden Skin: Blocks 2 physical damage.
Are you seeing a trend yet? Stop being so squishy!
Veteran's Scars: Increases your champion's health by 60.
More HP = less squishy.
Ardor: Increases your Ability Power and bonus Attack Speed by 4%.
Okay, this is finally something that breaks the pattern. Ardor helps make your heal even more powerful. The attack speed is something of a bonus; you'll be doing most of your damage and farming by using spells anyways.
Fortify: Your causes your turrets to deal 50% splash damage.
This is your answer to those pesky harassers that love to chase you a little too far. If there are minions that are being targeted and you are worried about that enemy champ that is venturing too close, this is your answer to chasing them away.
Tenacity: Decreases all damage dealt to your champion by 4%.
The creme of the crop of the defense tree. You'll want to pack this to be able to stay alive. Some people opt to leave 2 points out of this and ardor to put into Meditation. I prefer to get items and keep that 4% defense.
Good Hands: Reduces the time spent dead by 3.33%.
Okay, if you want to pack instead, put the point here into Spatial Accuracy. Same goes for ; if you want, put the point into Haste.
Perseverance: Increases your total health and mana regeneration by 4%.
This will help with your health regen so you're not so squishy. Also, the mana regen will help you in the long run. I've played a game without the mana regen. by itself is not enough to keep you going.
Awareness: Increases the amount of experience your champion gains by 5%.
Your heals are greatly increased with each rank you put into it. You want to keep level up faster than your opponents. This skill is a must.
Meditation: Increases mana regeneration by 0.33 every second.
Okay, some people say that you need more hefty mana regen, I, on the other hand, prefer to go with the defense tree so I can better "heal bait" later on in the game. When all 5 of the other team piles on top of you and spends all their CC and Ultimates trying to kill you, you're going to wish you put that 2 points into the defense tree so you could have unlocked Tenacity. The extra mana regen is not worth the survivability.
NOTE: You can swap this out for Greed if you'd like. It helps with the income throughout the game, but you'll find that for sustained team fights and lane pushes that you MIGHT run out of mana if you're not careful about your use.
Offense (in the event you want to go 9/21/0):
Do the standard for casters. 3 in Archmage's Savvy, 1 in Deadliness, 4 in Sorcery, 1 in Archaic Knowledge. The boost in AP will help you out late game when you're trying to burst out heals, and the 15% will only further augment the damage you punch out with .
Why we're not going 9/0/21 while AP STACKING:So, a lot of people may look at the masteries and act skeptical about why we're using a 0/21/9 or 9/21/0 build. The answers are logical, however, not apparent. So I'll break it down to you, I've noticed:
- To make up for not having Tenacity and Veteran's Scars, you have to buy armor, resists, and HP items - all which take away from your AP pool.
- When you're a man down and they're pushing towers, you're going to wish you had , WITH the point in Reinforce. There is NOTHING quite like the satisfaction of diving into a 3 man push on your tower, and turning on and watching the enemies scurry away. I've done it in ranked and that mistake was what lost the enemy team the game.
- Quickness will get you from point A to point B faster, but her low base movement speed still makes her slower than most heroes in the game, especially at late game. Can be countered if you bring Greater Quintessence of Swiftness.
- Utility Mastery... You're , you rarely get buffs. You simply don't have enough firepower to get buffs on your own; if you're lucky enough to get a buff, it's because you either sniped someone with or your teammates felt that you could use the blue buff more than anyone else on the team (rare). Your team helps you, cool. You team doesn't, you're SOL. You can meet the MP Regen and CDR by using the build aforementioned.
- You lose Ardor. 4% Attack Speed and AP gain is still quite a loss to take.
- If you don't pack , you lose that 9 extra damage to minion boost that you have when the skill is ready to be cast.
HOLY BALLS BATMAN! WASN'T THIS SUPPOSED TO BE UP MONTHS AGO?! Yes, yes, I know. I haven't been on LoL for a while. I'm sorry. Here is your much needed update.
Okay, so this one is like a mind**** all over again. You thought the 21 points in Defense was bad? Wait till you see what the survivability build entails!
9/0/21. Similar to standard caster, but off slightly in the Utility tree.
We're going survivability, cool downs early game from the Offense and Utility trees will give you 9% off the bat. If you're using CDR runes, it'll even bring you closer. Archaic Knowledge will give you that boost you need to actually do damage.
Utility, Utility, Utility. I cannot stress it enough for survivability. There is a very, very, I repeat, very good reason we use 9/0/21 for casters and not 9/21/0 for standard casters. It offers them the mobility and mana regen for them to be able to do what they do (Soraka has for all those who are going to ask so why use 9/21/0 or 0/21/9?). We're using the same reason for not getting Utility Mastery (2 points).
Runes: Who needs these things anyways? Apparently you do.
Okay, so a lot of people wonder why to get certain runes on certain heroes. I know I do. If you don't, you're wrong (or already know why to get those runes).
Here's the breakdown for what to pack with Soraka:
Greater Mark of Force: With so many marks that you can choose from, we have to remember that Soraka is most useful when she heals for MASSIVE amounts. That little 300 heal you see from time to time ain't going to keep your idiot teammates alive while you wait for it to come off of cooldown. These marks are the best choice for the AP stacking build that we're going to be making. On top of that, magic penetration isn't calculated into the heal.
Greater Seal of Clarity: Yes, I realize we could bomb more AP here too, but in order to heal, you have to have mana. If you don't have mana, you're just a useless champion out on the fields of justice worth 300g to anyone who comes your way to pop you. The seals give the greatest amount of mana regen per 5.
Greater Glyph of Force: Glyphs give you the highest amount of AP per level out there. There should be no question why we're using these. Yes, I'm aware of the cooldown reduction glyphs ( and ), but with plus and , you can hit the 40% cool down reduction cap.
Greater Quintessence of Force or Movement Speed Quintessences: 23 extra AP at the end stages of the game or faster movement speed so you can keep up with your teammates to get stacks on your ? The choice is up to you.
Greater Mark of Force: Same explanation as AP Nuking build.
Greater Seal of Vitality Greater Seal of Vitality: We'll focus heavily on survivability and Mana regen instead of AP so this only adds to our desired effect.
Greater Glyph of Force or Greater Glyph of Celerity: Because we're focusing on survivability, every little bit helps for AP or CDR. It's your choice, but these are both Primary glyphs.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude: Kind of self explanatory.
Skill Sequence: How to make your little miracle worker work.
We've finally arrived at the skill sequence. In this section, I won't be covering why I did a certain sequence for the skills; instead, I'll be covering the pros and cons of each of the skills so you can decide how you want to build. This skill build is highly situational. It's highly important to know the cooldown duration and the power of the skills you'll be using. The stats listed for the skills off of Mobafire are incorrect. I'll try to keep this updated.
Consecration Consecration (Passive): 16 magic resists all around. 'Nuff said.
Starcall (3-1.8 sec cd. 60/90/120/150/180 + .25xAP 40/50/60/70/80 MP cost): This is Soraka's farming skill. But wait, if Soraka can farm, why do we max this last? Simply put, she's more effective as a healer than a pusher/farmer. You'll want to wait till later on in the game when you're more established before you attempt to do any heavy pushing. The magic resist reduction is flat all the way through the ranks, so there's only a need to put 1 point in it if any at all. If you have problems pinning down the last hitting using this skill, consider putting a 2nd point into the skill, but in doing so, you're wasting a point in her mana replenishing skill or her heal. Pushing alone is also a bad idea since we don't really have any solid escape mechanisms. Sometimes I skip getting this skill if the other team is really good at harassing my lane partner, but that's ONLY IF my teammate is actually doing his job at keeping the lane from being pushed. On the side though, if you're caught by the enemy team and are being chased, remember to spam this as soon as it's off of cool down. You'll want to reduce their magic resists by the time your team comes to help you. That magic reduction really does work wonders!
*Note: This skill can actually reduce Baron Nashor and dragon's magic defense below 0. Just a little thing to keep in mind when you're trying to get that extra gold. (Psst, it amplifies 's damage.
Astral Blessing (10-6 sec cd. 60/120/180/240/300 + .9xAP. Adds a 4 second +20/35/50/65/80 armor buff 90/110/130/150/170 MP cost): This is Soraka's main skill. Although we're not maxing it out first, this is the skill that makes Soraka who she is in teamfights. With the 1:0.9 AP ratio, your heals will hit 400 around mid game without it being maxed and up to 800ish by late game (if you're nuking). On top of that, it applies an armor buff, which helps your lane partner against autoattacks from the enemy champions and turrets. Healing teammates in battles while they're under focused fire will help them stay alive longer too. I try to get this to 2 or 3 in this ability early on and wait till later on to max it out because at rank 1 + you only get around 80 heal; with the 2nd rank put into the skill, we boost it to enough to help heal against the constant harass your lane partner will take. Additionally, the mana cost for it rises slower per rank than the mana regen you get per rank for . That makes the better skill to max out first.
Infuse (15-9 sec cd. 25/50/75/100/125 MP restored or 50/100/150/200/250 + .6xAP 1/1.5/2/2.5/3 sec silence 0 MP cost): This skill is HIGHLY situational as to how you'll be using it. I max this out first because our mana regen per 5 per level for nuking doesn't kick in until later on in the game, for survivability, you'll want this skill just to keep casters from destroying you with their nukes. You'll definitely need that early mana regen if you plan on healing your teammates at a cyclic rate. You spend 110 MP to cast the rank 2, so that already carries a hefty price. Also, it serves a second purpose apart from the first. You will need this skill to be able to regen your mana on the fields, but say you need to do some hefty damage to kill an enemy... won't do it. Your autoattack won't do it. This, however, will. Even though it's not powerful, some people never suspect you can actually do damage and it'll stop people with it's lengthy 3 second silence. Ever heard people complain about the 3 second Rammus ? Yeah, this works similarly. I'll get more into depth about some heroes this is particularly useful against - namely casters though. This spell has a relatively low cooldown, so use it when not in team fights as often as you can. You may want to reserve it in a fight for certain heroes that will produce angry comments if you silence them. Also, during late game, you can expect around 500 damage from this spell alone (nuking); if you add in a few hits from , you can surprise the enemy champions with the damage output from it.
Wish (120/110/100-60 sec cd 200/300/400 + 1.3xAP 200/275/350MP): This ult is used mainly as a method of saving your teammates and gaining you free stacks for your . Don't underestimate the AP scaling. 1:1.3 is nothing to scoff at. When your ult does 1300 heals during end game (nuking), the other team will develop a mindset that you'll be undoing anything they're trying to do to your team so they'll just give up. Note: If you see casting his ult , do not hesitate to cast . Most save their ult only for sniping heroes with low hp; they rarely use it to initiate. So when you see it, just shut down his win button ult with your anti-win button ult.
: Restores 60/120/180/240/300 (+90% of ability power) health and grants 20/35/50/65/80 bonus armor for 4 seconds.
Cooldown 10 seconds | Cost 90 / 110 / 130 / 150 / 170 mana | Range 650
: Heals an ally champion for 60/90/120/150/180 (+125% of ability power) and grants them a 20/30/40/50/60% attack speed for 7 seconds.
Cooldown 10 seconds | Cost 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 mana | Range 600
: Instantly restore 60/90/120/150/180 (+40% of ability power) health to himself and half of that value to surrounding allied units. Cooldown ticks down by 2 seconds each time a nearby enemy unit dies.
Cooldown 12 seconds | Cost 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 mana | Range 200
: Karma sends forth hidden blades from her fans, dealing (70/110/150/190/230/270) (+(0.6 per ability power point)) magic damage to units in a cone in front of her.
Mantra Bonus: In addition to dealing damage to enemies, Heavenly Wave will also heal allies in the cone for (35/55/75/95/115/135) plus 5% (+(0.2 per ability power point)%) of their missing Health.
Cooldown 6 seconds | Cost 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 / 95 mana | Range 500
: Janna knocks surrounding enemies back and channels healing winds, restoring 90/130/170 (+0.175) health to nearby allies each second for 4 seconds.
Cooldown 120 seconds | Cost 200 / 275 / 350 mana | Range 828.5
: Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Aria of Perseverance, increasing nearby allied champions Armor and Magic Resist by (8/11/14/17/20).
Activation: Sona sends out healing melodies, healing Sona and the most wounded nearby allied champion by (35/70/105/140/175) (+(0.35 per ability power point))
Cooldown 7 seconds | Cost 75 mana | Range 1000
: Taric brings forth earthen energy to heal a nearby ally and himself for 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+90% of ability power). If Taric heals only himself, the heal will be 40% more effective. Melee attacks on enemies decrease this spell's cooldown by 2 seconds per hit.
Cooldown 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16 seconds | Cost 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130 mana | Range 625
: Blesses an allied champion, healing them for (65/100/135/170/205) (+(0.5 per ability power point)) health and increasing their movement speed by (12)% for 10 seconds.
Cooldown 10 seconds | Cost 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 mana | Range 1000
The above list is a mention of the heals in the game with the exception of . While Nidalee's heal has the highest AP ratio around, and gives a teammate a temporary boost in attack speed, it's aimed to help teammates kill other enemies, not survive. Soraka's heal gives bonus armor, which is extremely helpful for tower diving. Nidalee's is useful for pushing or killing targets faster. It's really up to you to decide which heal is better, but this Soraka guide is aimed to maximize AP to keep your teammates alive and create some sense of hysteria on the other team when they realize they can't kill your teammates.
Sona's heal may give them HP back and have a lower CD and give them armor and magic resist, but Soraka gives a higher amount and gives them more armor. Sorry, at rank 5 Sona's aura gives 4 more magic resist than Soraka's passive.
Kayle's heal gives movement speed, which is helpful too, but for someone who's already slowed, it may not help that much at all. Also, her AP ratio is considerably lower than Soraka's.
Taric has a similar heal in stats, and can pump them out faster if he's actually attacking minions, but his doesn't give any buff bonus.
Karma can't heal at a cyclic rate like the rest of them. She actually has to wait for a Mantra charge. This kind of puts her out of the healer race (although there are some 40% CDR junkies out there who beg to differ).
The CD on Janna's ult is just too high to be of a constant use.
Alistar's heal is halved for everyone within the tiny 200 range. It's rather ineffective for saving teammates from impending doom if the enemy team jumps on them.
Summoner Spells: Who is your summoner and what does he do?
I'm Soraka's summoner and I use
Okay, onto business. You're wondering what the hell is going on with and doesn't it have some sort of debuff that prevents other heal, namely the ones that you'll be casting as Soraka? To be blunt, the debuff from only affects other summoner's . Soraka's healing casts are unaffected by this summoner spell. This is specifically an "Oh Snaps!" spell. You don't really pop it unless you used both your and . This will surprise the enemy and also give you (and your allies) an extra oomph to your heals.
Along with the first spell, we're also going to pack . Why you ask? Because the way we're building Soraka (AP stacking) takes advantage of tricking enemies into thinking you're easily killed so they will dive you. You can even use other teammates as bait if it's needed. If they dive you, then you pop everything you got, including this skill. It makes towers shoot twice as fast, and it'll decimate enemies early on if they're stupid enough to chase and not check that you have up beforehand. On top of that, gives you 9 bonus damage towards minions. It'll help with that tricky last hitting; Soraka does have some ridiculously slow attack animations that take a while to get the timing down right.
Yes, yes, there are other summoner spells available. But of the others available, you lose more than you would with the aforementioned 2.
Other possible choices:
: This isn't a bad idea, especially if you hate ganks.
Note: Jebus McAzn felt that I did not give this skill enough credit. The US player vs the EU player's play style has always been something that's been on the back burner for the LoL strategists. The US are more willing to tower dive, sometimes to the point where it's considered reckless, whereas the EU are a lot more defensive (possibly even passive), enough to make some EU players angry to come to the US servers amidst the latency increase they have to take. Ok, with that out of the way, is great for its map awareness raising ability. However, we don't have the point in Mystical Vision to increase the spell duration to 10 seconds and reduce the CD by 5 seconds. Furthermore, we don't have Presence of the Master to reduce the cast time down by 15% to the 42.5 second CD (In the near future, I'll try to find a way to rework her so she suits a Utility Tree build). If you prefer , drop that point out of Reinforce or Mender's Faith and put it into Strength of Spirit. This skill is great for discovering ganks prior to them engaging you. While solo queue, you don't carry very much map awareness (you're not on skype, ventrilo, mumble, or teamspeak3), but I do mention that you need to constantly look at the map and double check. This skill allows you to triple check and also seek out their jungler (if they have one) for early game ganks. I don't use it personally, but if your playing style needs this skill, no shame in it. Pack it in Champion Select and throw it out on the Fields of Justice.
: Isn't really needed. Sure if you're always burning out all your mana reserves and not casting on yourself, you're going to need to rethink your strategy and mana conservation methods. We already opted to go with the seals to compensate for the lack of mana regen.
and : Yes, these are both escape mechanisms. Soraka has a slightly lower base movement speed than most other champions. If you pack and you flash out, it takes only a little bit to chase and catch up to Soraka. The same kind of idea applies to . You can pop and manage to run back to your own tower, but that is a situational, and if you play according to some of the highlighted points in the Play Style section, you won't have to pop .
: You can use this also to get to the front lines, but if you have your global, you shouldn't need to have to go.
: It doesn't shrug off damage. With your low base movement speed, you still won't be able to get away.
: Battle Soraka? I think not. You're there to heal and provide minor harass and silence. Not deal massive DPS and burn people to death.
: Battle Soraka again?! No. Just no.
: Okay, so you're going to die and burst yourself back to the lines of battle to heal your teammates again? Sounds like a plan. This wouldn't be a bad idea, however the methods outlined in the Play Style section will help prevent you from dying and having to use this spell.
: Even more battle Soraka? The upgraded gives a nice 70 AP increase, but to get those masteries, you won't be able to carry an upgraded , therefore making this a bad idea.
Item Build: How to build epic lulz in under 31 minutes.
Wait, shouldn't it be 20 minutes? Yeah yeah, I know what you mean. But unfortunately, the actual time it takes to build up to a surrender, I've been noticing 31 seems to be that average number where games usually end. :)
This item order mentioned is the one I usually use. The AP scaling is nothing to be scoffed at. You can swap around the sequence if you need to, for better survivability. I've found that as long as I keep an escape route open, I don't generally need to worry about survivability, but I still make the mistake of overextending often so you may want to change up the sequence to better suit your playing style.
Before I go on the whole item sequence, you will need to decide when to throw in your . This item is crucial to heal baiting. If you want earlier survivability, you'll want to get this item. If you want to heal more drastically, save it for late game. I usually get it after I am established in AP casting, because teammates need a heftier heal and getting this item only helps me.
Okay, so the first thing we start off with is a . Why you ask? The gives 5 mana regen and 100 hp and 15ap. The early 15 ap can help your heals, the 100 health makes you slightly less squishy. If you are feeling ballsy, you're probably thinking of swapping this item out with . Just think of survivability and taking any incoming damage/early game ganks. You lose some hefty HP and some AP for not getting . I DO NOT recommend this item and I never go with it. The 100 hp and 15 AP at the cost of 2.2 Mana Regen per 5 is too good to pass up and believe it or not, this item usually follows me till the game's end.
Okay, next item we rush is . By the time you hit 6 or 7, if you're doing minor last hitting, you'll have around the 1235 you'll need to get this item. Note: You need to play defensively and not die for this item to work and stack with 's 30% AP boost later on in the game. When you go back to get your , you're going to want to also pick up a . These will help you get around a bit faster. Also note that pays off for itself at 5 stacks. At 5 stacks it gives 20 + 5x8 = 60 AP. (20 AP/435g) + (40 AP/860g) = 60 AP @ 1295g.
Note: with the recent patch's reduction to CDR items and addition of Morello's Evil Tome, we are getting Mejai's which will help us boost free AP, NOT for the 15% CDR at 20 stacks. See a team fight going down? Yup, free AP right there. 10.4 per assist or 20.8 per kill with Rabadon's.
Why do we get ? Because the are the best boots for what we're trying to do with this build - namely heal as much and as fast as we can.mercury treads are also a good consideration if the enemy team is heavy in CC, although I never get it. sorcerer treads is a bad idea. Why? Because as Soraka, chances of you landing some hefty hits are very little. the spell pen won't come in as handy. There's a reason I opted to go for AP per level marks instead of Magic Penetration marks.
Okay, so here comes the next big question, why are we going for the instead of first? That's because the heal increase we get with just the will provide a bigger boost to you (and your teammates) than the 20% increase in healing and regeneration that the gives for yourself. Your goal is to keep your teammates alive, not just yourself. Quit being selfish. 20% of 280 is 56. provides 80 AP (which factors to 72 bonus to your heal) and is only 50g more. So, instead of trying to work our way up to a and we rush for the . After you get the you should have somewhere around 250 AP (runes, remember?). Your heals with should be doing around 500ish.
As soon as you get enough gold, head back and purchase the and get the upgrade to Morello's Evil Tome when you can. The reason we get this after is because gives you that large amount of AP and 30% AP boost. Let's put this into perspective: gives you +67.5 to your heal and some CDR. gives you 72. Once you get a you add 36 more to that 72. Once you finish the you get an additional 35 AP and 30% to your AP. That's an overall of +181.35 to your heal. The more heal you have, the more likely your teammate will survive while getting targetted. Which is exactly what you want: the enemy targeting a teammate thinking they can kill them and ignoring the rest of your team. When you heal them, they go into a frenzy thinking they can still kill that teammate they've almost killed but just got healed. This allows for your team to get in more CC or get off more damage on the enemy team's carry before they get focused. Getting it gives you a boost to your CDR and also provides you with some Mana Regen per 5. That and oh yeah, the 75 AP. Can't ever forget heavy AP bonuses; this item along with 's passive will give you +87.5 to your heal. This item will help you with the late game pushing and finishing of towers.
Throw in a if you're confident you can stay alive without getting ganked up to this point. If not, put it in earlier.
Usually I'll get another to try to pin down as much AP as possible. I've gone games with 700+ AP before; the heals get really really ridiculous at that point and the silences are devastating. The enemy team can't kill you, nor your teammates. That's why they end up surrendering by the 31 minute mark.
-maybe scrapping this-
Play Style: YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!
No, not really. I'm just kidding. But remember to play defensively. This section is where I offer you some tips and thoughts on how to play Soraka and make her to annoying "reason" the other team surrenders.
Okay, couple things to keep in mind. With this build:
- You have no escape mechanism.
To break that down even further, that means, you will NOT EVER facecheck any bushes. Do not go waltzing into a bush to check if the enemy is there. When you get down to the lane you're going to spend your early levels in, hang by your tower. Let your teammate know that you did not get . However, if your teammate is stupid enough to still check a bush, stand by with your and do not be afraid to use it. The CD for it should be off by the time you hit 4 or 5 if not sooner.
- You are squishy.
Play like one. Do not extend out. A general rule of thumb is that if someone can sneak up behind you without taking tower shots, make sure you stay back. Do not make yourself gankable early game. You will lose stacks in and you'll get frustrated and blame me for writing a ****ty guide that if used properly, you can make the other team just give up. Don't blame the writer, blame the player; this build has been tested and proven true.
- Bushes are your friends.
However much you may not like to think those leafy greens are you friends, they're more than just nutritious. They'll keep you hidden away from damage and also allow you to gain levels without taking enemy harass or crowd control (stuns, slows, taunts, fears, and other miscellaneous disables). A good laning partner will appreciate you hanging out in a bush and healing their HP and MP and reducing MR throughout a fight. This is extremely annoying to the other team who are laning against you and your partner. When they realize they aren't doing anything to your laning partner they'll have to start asking for ganks or they'll lose their tower.
Note: This doesn't mean the bush is your new home. It just means you hide in there so you can't be targeted. You still need to watch for ganks and get back when you think the risk is just too high.
- Check the map all the time.
You never know where those nasty cretins on the other team are lurking, and you most certainly do not want them to sneak up behind you and make you lose stacks from your That would ruin your day and give them gold. Check the minimap constantly, and even if it's not your lane, call that MIA. If the other lanes correct you, then you know where they are. If they confirm, then you just figured out they're missing and can possibly be trying to sneak up on you and steal your stacks like kids after Lucky's charms.
- Watch the positioning in a team fight; have an escape route.
Needless to say, if possible, you want to be in the middle of your team, but not in the middle of your team in the middle of a team fight. If your team is all grouped up and taking an offensive from the other team in one direction, that leaves you able to run away from the other team and heal yourself if needed while your team protects you. If you're in the middle of your team in the middle of a team fight, you have NOWHERE to run. It'll be an ugly situation for you. So do your best to watch where you are during these engagements. The escape route portion is highly critical for you to remember. Remember that with this build, we pack little to no escape mechanism. The escape method we have is to literally run, spam and as they're coming off of cooldown (use if you got it) and hope either your teammates or tower stop the oncoming enemies. You don't need someone cutting you short in the middle of your escape route with a disable or even more incoming damage. Keep this in mind whenever you decide to run forth from the safety of your towers.
- Look around the minimap at your teammates esp during ganks or fights that you're not present for.
The minimap doesn't update the lifebars by the portraits on the left any more. Hell, it doesn't even show a charge up for the Ultimate Ready indicator. (Oh, what? You didn't know that existed? The indicator shown by pressing TAB doesn't work. The little green dot on the top right of the portraits is the working Ultimate Ready Indicator.) So you'll need to scroll around the map for the HP bars of your teammates to update (but the ultimate indicator still updates fine, which is complete bullshi-). When you do these checks and wait for an opportunity for you to gain an assist from using your global, you'll want to be hiding in a bush or away from the enemy team. They can get really nasty when you're not paying attention to them. The last thing you'll want is for them to kill you and rob you of 1/3rd of your stacks while you're trying to gain your next one or saving a teammate.
- Defend your tower.
It's crucial to maintain the tower in your lane for a multitude of reasons.
1. You don't want to have someone sneak up behind you while you're out pushing the lane and have to run a large distance to get back to a tower. Ganks on your side of the river aren't fun and won't have to happen if you keep that tower alive.
2. is useless without towers.
3. If you lose a tower in a lane, the enemy team can push that lane past the outer tower you lost and then move off to other lanes to gank while you have to try to hold that lane against incoming creeps.
4. That outer tower, if still up, allows you to migrate to other lanes without having to worry too much about the enemy team pushing, especially if you've already pushed down the opposing team's outer tower.
- UPGRADE TO SMARTCAST!!!
This is something I've came across in another build that I read. I forgot where, otherwise I'd love to give credit to that person. I'm claiming no credit for this one. To upgrade to smartcast all you have to do is hit the ESC key and go to key bindings. Scroll down to where it says smartcast and where it says the binding is Shift + Q/W/E/R. Replace those with just Q/W/E/R respectively. This works just like how Karthus's works: wherever your mouse is, the spell will fire at the cursor. So in even further detail, just hover your mouse above whatever you want to heal or silence and hit the hotkey.
- Learn hotkeys and shortcuts.
Alt+W = Self heal. Use it in any bad situation where you need to shave seconds off of saving your own ***.
Alt+E = Infuse self. Hate misclicking? Me too. Don't bother misclicking a creep any more. Hit Alt+E to give yourself mana instead.
Shift+W/E = Heal/Infuse whatever is under your mouse cursor. You can use this alternatively to hitting W/E and manually clicking your teammates.
- Use those portraits!
It's useful to know that you can click portraits to heal/infuse. This can prevent misclicks. They don't have the same system of portraits for enemy champs, so sometimes I end up silencing creeps in a hasty effort to silence/kill someone who's escaping my infuse range. It's also good to memorize the location of the portrait of your lane partner. It'll save you a cooldown timer if you get the spell off right the first time.
- Heal Baiting.
This is something you may need to do to initiate a teamfight. I'm no personal fan of it, but I acknowledge its usefulness and potential (it's the same as what we do when we're running away. Duh!). Heal baiting works best when you have a lot of AP so you can undo the damage enemies deal to you. You can pretty much run out and take some damage and scurry back to the tower while Alt+W-ing yourself to keep yourself alive. The enemy team will be so engrossed with trying to kill you while you keep healing yourself that they oftentimes will disregard your teammates coming in to help you. This can offset the entire battle for the other team being that they just spent all their CC on you. If your team isn't there but you make it into tower range, make sure the enemy is still chasing you and wait until right before the 2nd shot from turret to fire off before you pop . This ensures that the enemy chasing champion will take at least 3 shots from the tower to get out (unless they pop or ). gives the tower 100% attack speed so you can get some extra hits in on an unsuspecting enemy champion.
will cut you in half. Literally.
Enemy casts on you and your team will reduce your healing effectiveness by half. This is highly crucial to take note of. If the enemy is trying to take down your lane partner and ignite them, you're going to have to try twice as hard to keep them alive. Sometimes even the and won't suffice to keep them alive; even at low levels, also might not be enough. Try to remind your lane partner to watch their hp and keep it from dropping below a threshold (depending on how squishy they are) and that if they don't, there's nothing you can do to keep them alive.
Champions that hate- err... I mean that you love to silence. Here's two heroes you'll want to specifically save up an for:
: Okay, we all hate this nasty little bundle of sticks. He loves to come in from no where and people. As if that wasn't bad enough, he likes to people and too! That little green link between him and other heroes that gives him a lot of life and prevents people from killing him? Yup, completely stoppable midcast with a . By silencing him, you can stop him short of almost all his combat efficiency. My favorite part is if you have a Fiddle stupid enough to facecheck bushes and you silence him right before he enters the bush. Needless to say, if you have your up, and see him draining, use it.
: This tryhard is a bit trickier and most people don't realize just how badly you can destroy this guy. I've done games where the enemy refused to get into any fight that I was present in because of what my could do. How does silencing a work you ask? Wait till just before the end of his ult and silence him. You've just effectively reduced him to a walking 300g waiting to be picked up off the Fields of Justice. While he's silenced, he can't use to heal nor can he use to get away. You can autoattack or starfall him to destroy him. An autoattack from a minion usually suffices too.
Note: Footynotes asked why couldn't you so he couldn't use his . It was a great suggestion, however I checked in custom game while playing . It's been confirmed now: can still even while silenced or stunned.
Heroes that are worth silencing:
: Do you hate his ult ? I do. Stop it short with and laugh as he says WTF out loud to his teammates.
: You can actually stop him in the middle of his ult so he can't teleport away. You can get a kill or save teammates this way.
: You can stop his ult provided that he doesn't catch you in it initially.
: Prevent the use of his win button (ult) with your silence. Only downside is that he needs to be alive while he's casting; you can't stop him while he's in his ghost form.
: Hate her? Yup, me too. Want to get even? Me more than you. Silence her to stop her from getting away with or laying waste to your teammates with her ult .
: You can stop his ult with your silence, provided that you're not the one being suppressed.
: Yet another caster hero that you can completely screw with if you silence. You prevent him from summoning voidlings and also can stop him from ulting your teammates, before or during.
: Yup. Hate her laugh when she ults ? I think she sounds like a short bus kid that's throwing rocks without her hard hat on. Stop that laugh (and the flying rocks) short and kick her back under the bus with your !
: Yup, you can stop her ult in mid cast. Prove to them that you're the better support.
Not so great to silence:
: His ult has a very short cast. If you can nail it, do it. However, getting close enough to him while he's ulting is a completely different story, and it's rare that you'll be able to catch him in mid act, much less how you'll stay alive trying to get to him.
: Yes, you can prevent him from getting away while using his ult , but you can't prevent his shield that is casted alongside. Also, he has a taunt. Soraka is susceptable to his .
Summary: Thanks for reading!
Remember you're playing a squishy yet fun hero. Do not lead the fight, instead, keep your teammates from having to "b" from a fight. Remember that she is a hero that can be "gayed", but she can recover if you start gaining stacks on . Most of all, that snowball item really begins to pick up towards late game. All you have to do is win a few team fights, so don't despair if you're dying a lot early game (just make sure your teammates aren't).
I hope you have learned a few new things here and there. Please leave me some good (or bad) feedback. Remember that my play style may differ from yours, and if you have a different suggestion, try to see if you followed my guide or if it's just based off of your already formed history with Soraka first. If it's based off of my build, leave me feedback, if it's not, you're in the wrong guide and should be off writing your own.
If you leave me feedback, I'll do my best to incorporate it into this build/guide.
Adonikam for his guide on and getting me onto the right track for Soraka.
Footyballs for his question on so I could confirm it.
Jebus McAzn for his suggestion on .
Sleelan and Trojan995 for pointing out that doesn't slow any more.
Have a great day and game as Soraka!