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Soraka Build Guide by Wicked Cherry

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Soraka - climbing out of low elo while saving your team.

By Wicked Cherry | Updated on October 26, 2019
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Runes:

Sorcery
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band
Transcendence
Scorch

Resolve
Font of Life
Revitalize
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

1 2
Standard
LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust

Exhaust

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #12 in
Support Role
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Ability Order

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

Soraka - climbing out of low elo while saving your team.

By Wicked Cherry


Hey,
I'm Wicked Cherry, I'm playing mainly Support since season 4. Welcome to my guide to Soraka.
Soraka has a huge carry potential although she is super squishy and doesn't have a lot of CC. She is known as the ambulance of League of Legends in a humorous kind of way and in this guide I will try to teach you on how to improve (and hopefully climb) with the help of the star child.


+ can spam heals to everyone
+ compatible with many ADCs
+ huge sustain potential
+ very adaptive playstyle possible
+ can carry pretty much every team
+ can interrupt many enemies' ultimates and casts with her silence
- can't really force teamfights
- needs at least one frontliner & CC
- especially aggressive playstyle of your team can be quite health-consuming for yourself
- squishy but can heal herself
- not much CC
- struggles hard when being focused
- kind of relies on fed carries




Passive
I seriously love this passive because it will enable you to reach a crazy amount of movement speed (600 something last time I checked) if you're relatively close to an ally who is below 40% of health.
So basically this passive was the reason you're being called "ambulance" because you're able to speed into action when allies need you most.

Q
Soraka literally calls down a star which will deal damage and also slows targets. It will heal herself if it hits an enemy champion and activate its passive "Rejuvanate" which will give her some movement speed for a short amount of time. This passive can be transferred to allies when using Astral Infusion on them right after hitting an enemy with Q Starcall.


W
This is your healing spell which you will want to spam constantly - especially in late game. But you cannot heal yourself or allies when YOU are below 5% health. However, after a successfully cast Q Starcall you can pass on its passive Rejuvenate (movement speed) to an ally.


E
This ability will silence enemies who are within its circle. If they stay there for too long or move in while it's duration ends, they will be rooted. So please do not underestimate this ability, it can be quite powerful - especially if you want to annoy that Katarina who just tried to ult you. ;)


Ultimate
If everything goes wrong and your allies tank too much damage, make sure to hit R for your ultimate Wish. It will heal all allies - not matter if your bot and your top laner is about to die - so pretty much every ally out on the rift with you! And what's even better, you can heal allies that are not targetable (like a Zed or Kayn in their ultimate). It's affects are improved if allies are below 40% health but that's pretty much always the case when you'll use it anyway.



Click to see recommended rune page



Since Summon Aery consists of two components: Damage and Shield power, it's what you'd consider as perfect match with Soraka's playstyle since you will have to damage and enemy with your Q Starcall to heal yourself and when you heal an ally with Astral Infusion they will gain a shield on top. Also, Aery gives you some early game aggressiveness that you need (since your early is not really that awesome) and the ability to shield your allies. With the extra damage you will gain some more health when hitting an enemy with Starcall.
Since you are relying on mana to heal yourself or silence the enemy, it can be quite mana consuming, especially when playing against your counters. This rune will help you along with Ancient Coin - however if you decide to go with this rune, you might want to consider picking up Spellthief's Edge instead. But you can also swap this rune if you feel like you won't use it to its full extend. See the "Alternative Runes" sections below for more information on that matter.

The additional free cooldown reduction will allow you to either buy a rather aggressive item (like Liandry's Torment) instead of another CDR item. Also, if you exceed the limit, the abundant amount of CDR will transform into adaptive magical damage which should also be something you can’t really decline, especially because additional AP means more effective health with Q Starcall.

I know most people prefer Scorch, but I like the adaptive damage more in late game because it works so well with your Q Starcall. Keep in mind: More damage = more health for yourself with your Q. So you will also be able to heal a lot more.


Alternative Rune choices

This rune will give you some movement speed for a short amount of time, right after casting your ultimate Wish. So you might be able to run to allies faster or escape when being low.
You can use this rune instead of Manaflow Band, but personally I think it's not the best decision on Soraka but it's up to you and your playstyle.

You can't say No to movement speed because you're basically the running "ambulance" of the team. I promise you, there won't be a moment when you're realizing that you've joined a fight too early - rather the opposite, that you've been too late.

Basically, this is a damage rune. It will allow you to deal enough magical damage with your Q Starcall. You might notice that enemies will try to evade getting hit by you because they want to drain your health. Furthermore, even if you’re being forced to go completely defensive, you’ll still have at least the damage from this rune to help you heal yourself again.


Healing your allies should be your main focus (just right after it comes silencing them). This rune just works really well with the slow of your Q Starcall and is a must for Soraka players. In low elo, it even seems to help your team mates to focus more on certain champions because you have an extra visual effect.
It's just the round up of a perfect combo together with all your heals ( Starcall, Wish, Astral Infusion and Redemption) you'll do. Stronger heals and shields - it's like the rune version of Redemption.


This should be your standard item if you decide on the Manaflow Band rune which I would recommend. It's one of the most important items because it will transform into your warding item. For more details on warding, check out my Warding section below.
Also, it's your Gold item which will help you to not fall behind compared to other roles. Try to harass whenever you have Mana and the situation allows it. You should try to get into harassing range and after you've dealt your damage, stay behind and wait in a safe distance to harass and recharge again.

I like to pick this item too when I feel like I'll have to face a somewhat difficult laning phase. Most of the times, this will be the case when you're up against high damage supports or you have the feeling you'll get ganked a lot... Well or when your ADC tells you he's been auto-filled.

You cannot not buy this item as Soraka. It basically just boosts your abilities so much that you will want to rush this item in most situations. It improves your shields and even boosts your carry's Attack Speed. Celerity can even stack with Ardent Censer and they therefore enhance one another.

Redemption also enhances your healing and shielding power. But it also grants you more access to mana which means: More heals, more damage, more Soraka plays!
Furtermore, you can heal your allies with its active. Whenever a teamfight starts, I make sure to use it as soon as possible because it takes 2,5 seconds to become active. Try not to bait your own allies into a bad situation just for the heal. It also provides vision to the area it's casted but you should prefer using your warding item for vision. ;)

Standard Boot Upgrade. The movement speed allows your to actually become the "ambulance" your team might need. If it doesn't, it will still need heals and silences. You can swap these for Boots of Swiftness if the enemies have a lot of Crowd Control. I know that many people like to go for Ionian Boots of Lucidity but I usually experience that I'm already at the 40% Cooldown Reduction limit and that buying these would be a waste.

Why should I spend gold on this item? It's a fair question but when you think about Soraka and that every heal slowly drains her health, especially in team fights and that she's a very easy target you will come to the conclusion that building her a bit tanky would certainly not hurt. If you manage to accumulate enough health (3000 HP right now) on her to enable this item's passive - regaining 5% of health per second after not taking any damage for 6 seconds -, you will soon realize that not only worth the gold you've spent but a really decent item. For more health, I would recommend building Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Redemption. With your warding item upgrade you should have enough health to activate the passive.

I love the aura (additional shield) that this item's actives grants to all nearby allies. This is probably my favorite Magic Resistance item. And it will also give you some (30) Armor which means you don't have to choose when you're indecisive toward building Armor or Magic Resistance because you're getting both plus an additional shield! How awesome's that? (:


Defensive item choices
  • You can choose these items depending on the match up and how the game's going for you and your team. When it's obvious that you'll face a hard laning phase, do not hesitate to rush for example Locket of the Iron Solari.
  • If you decide on building Warmog's Armor, make sure to pick up more health items so activate its passive.
  • I would mainly recommend items that provide you with more basic health or health regen in general because your W Astral Infusion might drain your health bar too much, especially when behind.

Aggressive Choices
  • It's not a bad choice to buy Ability Power items because with more AP your Q Starcall will heal you more. I'd probably prefer Liandry's Torment because the passive adds Grevious Wounds to enemies and these will lower healing effects. However, it can also be a wise decision to buy Rylai's Crystal Scepter for some more health.
  • I usually only buy 1 or 2 Ability Power items when I notice that the game will turn out in our favor, my team lacks AP champs or that the enemies aren't buying Magic Resistance. However Soraka will not as powerful as a Brand or Nami with AP - which is another reason of why there aren't many AP items I would recommend.


Flash is pretty standard. I allows you to handle small positioning mistakes or jump into teamfights if your team unexpextedly dashed forward. Exhaust is also a standard support summoner.
It slows the targeted enemy by 30% and reduces their damage by 40%.
I do not recommend using Ignite when playing Soraka although it is not an uncommon approach. In my eyes it puts you into more danger when igniting the carry since you don't want to use it on their frontline, but it's up to you.
It damages the targeted enemy for 5 seconds, dealing true damage and canceling out all healing effects by 40%.
Choosing Heal is a bit uncommon but you can pick it if your Marksman decides to go Barrier. However you two should communicate that matter in advance to rule out any misunderstandings.


Jokes on you: You are the ambulance of your team. So everyone expects you to make sure that ...
  • ... heal everyone, especially focusing on the carries.
  • ... your team gets the peel it needs.
  • ... your carries survive or at least are able to get out their damage.
  • ... you have enough vision of the crucial parts of the map. I put you a map with helpful tips in the warding section below!
  • ... check where the enemies are on the mini map and help your team with pings to prevent ganks or traps.
  • ... in laning phase you can try to bully the enemy ADC as much as possible. This way, they would have to focus on staying away from you which would result in losing CS.
  • ... you don't lose too many objectives. Sometimes you cannot prevent it but you can always try to steal a Baron or Dragon with the help of your team!
  • ... you don't go off warding and dewarding alone while you have no vision and no idea where the enemy team is at right that moment.
I could probably point out many things more but I think it's really important that you at least try to keep the basic ones in mind and focus on them. I know it sounds a lot at first glance but you'll get used to them more and more. Like try to focus on one or two things you want to improve on several games. Once you feel aquainted with them you can focus on the next ones. :)


Since there are different situations and game phases, I will try to point out the ones that occur most of the time.

Early to Mid Game

You're winning the lane and are ahead
  • Try to deep ward, such as warding the enemy jungler's buffs in order to track their activity and prevent ganks in an early mode
  • Ward objectives like the Dragon and some part of the river
  • If the enemy team has Support s that rely on skillshots and are extreme threats for you, such as Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab, you should either watch your positioning very carefully or ward any bush that you feel you would need vision of. If you don't feel the enemy match up as threat at all (which should be a rare occasion), you might want to ward jungle bushes behind you, since you might consider going for an early First Blood Tower and swap lanes with your Toplaner.

You're behind and risk losing the lane
  • In this occasion you usually do not have to opportunity to deep-ward a lot. However you should try to ward as much as possible. Why? Wards can save lives.
  • Ward one of the lane bushes.
  • Ward the river and the Dragon pit.

One more thing about early game: Ask your Jungler and/or Toplaner to ward the Rift Herald because you don't want to give one (or more!) Towers for free to the enemy team, do you? They might even come bot and destroy your winning lane this way. That's not your intention - is it?

Mid to Late Game

You're winning - Yay!
  • You should use that advantage nicely. Ward objectives!
  • If you notice that the enemies tend to prefer one side of the map, e.g. topside, try to ward the one slightly more.
  • Ward the enemy jungler's buffs or often used bushes and pathways, such as the area around the Red Buff .
  • Animate your teammates to ward if they aren't doing it already! You can't ward the whole map alone with 3+1 wards!

You're losing - oh no! Time to turn the game around.

I know that warding alone will not win you a game, you'll also have to pay very close attention to the mini map and it is not a joke when I'm saying that it should become one of your very best friends in the game. Like I'm only Gold but I'm kinda spending 40% of the whole game's time watching the mini map, looking out for ganks or where to position my next ward because once you notice a certain behavior, you might realize what the enemy might want to do in their next couple of moves. Okay, I get this might sound like you should take a look into the fortune teller's crystal ball but it's not that mystic or weird.
I'll give you an example:
Say you realize that the enemy team kinda keeps pushing mid and bot lane. Meanwhile you see that the enemy Jungler or Support clear out your river wards. What would they want to do next? Right! They'll go for the Dragon . Another crucial point is to keep an eye out for the timers, like Dragon timer or Baron timer, but you might also want to know about the Buff timers to at least roughly guess when enemies will show up in that area - which is also always nice to catch them off-guard. But beware because you will probably want to ward the area carefully before you set up your surprise trap.
So let's get back to warding when losing:
  • Keep an eye out for objectives and ask teammates to go warding with you because let's say you only have all base towers that remain but want to ward Baron . The likelihood that you'll get caught is at about 65% roughly guessed.
  • Try to have as many pink wards out as possible - I'd recommend close to buffs.
  • Ward around camps, such as the wolves .
  • Use the vision plants whenever it is possible and safe

When you're going kind of equal.
  • Study the opponents' way of walking around the map and warding it. When you see that they rarely use wards, try to bait them in the jungle or just wait until one or two of them start fighting camps.
  • I might be repeating myself but: ALWAYS WARD Dragons AND Baron
  • Ward often used pathways, mostly the river
  • Try to ward their jungle, but try not to go alone or do not stray too far from your teammates. You're super squishy and have no escapes!

Here's an example for warding especially for the bot side (you're team blue and start at the left bottom of the map):
  • Icy blue dots are for your vision cones. Do not hesitate using them unless you want to save them for special events like a soon spawning dragon .
  • Red dots are for the blasting cones (bomb plants).
  • Green numbers are for your usual vision wards. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 display the best vision spots where you should want to place your wards every time. I know that it's not always possible for various reasons (like you don't know where the enemy jungler and/or mid laner are or you're losing the lane and you don't really care about having vision of the enemy jungler). For these situations, I added the numbers 4 and 5. However, you should try to ward the blasting cone inside the enemy jungle as well.
    I know there number 5 is there twice but that's because ensuring vision of one of the side brushes will depend where you are "tower hugging" or the enemy's freezing the lane.
One more thing which might occur as a frequent question:
Why ward the blasting cone instead of the brush underneath it?

Well, imagine that the enemy jungler just finished Gromp and now checks if they could gank bot lane. He'd probably walk through the tribrush and either use the blasting cone (ward 3) or walk back to the blue buff and then walk through ward 2. Either way, you'll spot him. If you just warded the brush below the blasting cone,you will still see him but by that it'll be probably too late to escape - especially if you've pushed the lane.
  • Lastly, pink numbers are for Control wards. The lower the number, the better the position. If you feel that you need a Control Ward in your tribrush, you could always ask your ADC to buy one. When you're playing rather defensively, I would advice placing a Control ward at position 1 or 2. But if you're going equal or winning, you should definitely try to place it as deep into the enemy jungle as possible (one of the number 3 positions). I wouldn't recommend putting a Control Ward into position number 4 because both number 3s are more valuable and the enemy will walk through either your stealth ward or the Control Ward in position number 3. :)




Since this whole chapter is already quite detailed, I'll try to keep it short, promise.
Laning Phase & Early Game
Personally, I like to think that this phase of the game can be one of the most important. Why? You might say that you're not able to do much but that's not completely true. Remember how they say when you see a person the first few seconds will manipulate your opinion of them? It's not that much different from that. I'll give you an example.

I once faced a Lucian and a Brand or Sona (doesn't matter that much, really). I knew that they would probably ruin my game pretty much, especially our early. So we played bot quite safely but without showing them our respect towards their champions' abilities. Which means that we didn't force fights but focused on farming and denying their damage by my heals and silences. The enemy jungler could not really gank us because we had wards pretty much everywhere where (s)he would show up. As Soraka, your power spike is mostly around mid and late game when you can spam abilities (basically heals) and most enemies won't even try to focus you because you're standing somewhat behind your own team's backline. But getting there can be tricky. So keep a calm mind and don't show enemies your potential fears or even allow yourself to make mistakes. I know it's not that much of an awesome story but sometimes you don't need something special when basics do the trick as well.


Mid Game
In mid game you should have the feeling of where this game will go. Will it turn out in your favor or do you have to work hard to keep up with the rest of your team?
Winning lane & being ahead
Most people think it's easier but it's actually the same -
keep it cool and...
  • deep ward (objectives!!, crucial pathways etc.),
  • watch your enemies' steps,
  • don't start fights when you have no vision (one of the most basic mistakes that happen a lot).
  • only force teamfights when you know you'll win them.
  • never lose focus and sight of the enemies' carries.
  • communicate with your team via pings (such as when to do objectives or missing enemies).
  • try to move around as a team, set up traps and
  • stay as close to your carries as possible - sometimes it's worth if a Zed misclicks and kills you with his ult if your ADC/carry will stay alive in return. But make sure to get out as many abilities as possible before dying.
  • never go off alone (not even warding).

Losing lane & what it means to play passive
  • Playing defensive means you can't afford forcing team fights or harassing the enemies as much as you might want to. But it's crucial to ensure your ADC to keep on farming and at least to not fall even further behind.
  • Ask your team for help: Ask your jungler to gank, maybe your top can Teleport into a deep ward and help your ADC get some kills or your mid lane might want to ensure your ADC to scare the enemies off and recall so your ADC will hopefully manage to either get a kill, an assist or at least some more creeps. :)
  • Having to play defensive doesn't mean that you can't ward, but you might want to have only one or two deep wards out if it's too risky to put out the rest. You should go warding when you know where the enemy jungler is (like doing his red buff) to place your deep wards.


Late Game
Late Game is mostly the same as Mid Game but you should consider your steps more carefully, because the enemies might have full builds as well as your team, therefore ...
  • check the builds of your carries and see what the enemies' answer is in their builds. Do they build Armor because your ADC is fed? Does your ADC have Armor penetration in return?
  • What do you need as last item? AP or rather some Armor or Health?
  • Waaaaaards! Try to animate your team mates to ward with you.
  • Don't fall into traps and watch your enemies' movements closely to be able to prevent potential objective losses. You woudn't want to risk losing a Baron Nashor just because your whole team showed on bot lane half a minute ago.
  • Try to go in groups or communicate if split pushing would be an option to obtain more objectives.


Roaming
You can or should roam when ...
  • your lane looks safe (like the enemies just recalled or don't have much pressure against your ADC)
  • your ADC just recalled but you don't have to (like full mana)
  • you got a lot of vision, especially deep wards (!!) and you know where the enemy jungler is (like up top)
  • your mid hasn't much pushed and asked for help
  • your jungler will gank mid soon and it's enough time for you to run mid
  • your team decided to take the tower down and has lane priority
  • your team decided to summon the Rift Herald to take the tower
  • your ADC has pushed the bot lane to reset the wave and you got some capacity to gank/roam (remember: wards, mana, spells available)
  • you got lane priority on bot
  • you're going even on bot but need some extra money to get lane priority
  • mid is going even or feeding and a shut down would benefit the whole team
  • the roam wouldn't be in vain (imagine a LeBlanc, Ezreal or Talon mid who can simply hop or dash away from you and you've just wasted your time while your enemy bot can safely get CS while you're missing out)
  • your mid and/or jungle are fighting in the jungle or river and your help would turn the fight in your team's favor
  • you know the enemies don't have wards on the paths you're walking or you deward while walking. In this case you might want to consider that the enemies are cautious though.
  • But keep in mind that you can rush toward low HP allies thanks to your passive Salvation. So helping others shouldn't be considered as a bad idea. When you already have a speed boost in your kit, why not use it?

As you can see, there are sooo many possibilities to roam. Of course there are also quite some things to consider (Is it worth it? Do I have enough vision? Will my team benefit if I roam right now?). Now, I can't answer these questions for you because they're situational ones. But I can say that if you roam, the likelihood that you'll help your team even more and you can give them some advantage will be higher compared to not roaming at all.

Also, you probably realized by now that mid lane will be your most favored lane to roam to. You can also roam to top lane but this will most likely only happen when the enemies have already diminished the first tower and are pushing towards the second while your top laner is exasperated and can only watch. It's not always favorable too because you cannot simply run back to bot lane which would allow the enemies to pressure your lane freely.
It's favorable to roam with your ADC but not completely necessary.


Recalling
You should consider recalling, when ...
  • your ADC indicates you he/she can buy an important item (like B. F. Sword) or has a larger sum.
  • it's obvious that the enemy jungler will most likely gank your lane very soon.
  • you've pushed your lane all the way up to the enemy tower.
  • you need to reset the lane.
  • there's no risk of losing the turret.
  • if it's impossible to protect your turret.
  • you've run out of wards.
  • you have to possibility to help another lane and you won't lose objects (turret, drake etc.) in the meantime. This is also known by snowballing and you should only consider this move when going equal or you're winning your lane.
One more thing.
Never forget that League is a team game - you will most likely not win this game all alone by going solo. It's just not happening. You're with the people you entered the game with until it's over. So make sure to treat everybody accordingly and with honor and niveau - just the way you'd expect them to treat you plus another 10% of honor, because you can make this community better by your own behavior. If they flame you, don't get triggered. We all make mistakes but we can only change ourselves.



  • Warding is very important - it saves lives and wins games.
  • Don't go warding alone (or stray too far from your team), especially when you don't know where the enemies might be.
  • Keep an eye on the mini map to guess your enemies' next steps and use that knowledge against them.
  • Objectives are important! Don't forget them.
  • Peel for your team by rooting their carries and keeping your allies healthy.
  • Know your strenghts just as well as your weak spots and play accordingly.



S O R A K A
The Starchild


"An age ago, when time itself was young, the inhabitants of the celestial realm regarded the fledgling races of Runeterra with growing concern.
These creatures deviated wildly, unpredictably, and dangerously from the great designs intended for them by those above. The guidance and fates that had been woven into the night sky often went unseen—or worse, were misinterpreted by their simple mortal minds, leading to chaos, uncertainty, and suffering."


Click to continue reading


(copyright by RiotGames, see here.)

You can find a short story about her here.


"May the stars remember this day!"

"Fight without hatred in your hearts."

You've made it so far, thank you for reading my guide to the very end. I hope I could help you with possible questions or decision to make! I'm happy to help and I'd appreciate it if you left a comment to let me know what you're thinking about this guide.

Cheers, Wicked Cherry!

P.S.: If you feel like you could still learn more, click on a picture below. :]

Change Log:
  • 20/09/2019 Creation of the guide (yay!)
  • 21/09/2019 Added some pictures & graphics

To do List:
  • Match up section with explained synergies
  • Adding Tips & Tricks

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the pictures (animated or still) shown on this website.
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.