Build Guide by Morthos
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Here's yet another guide in the "Annoying Heroes to Fight" series. While pathetic in 1v1 situations, she more than makes up for it in lane control and supporting skills.
Runes/Masteries/Skills/Summoner Spells/General Philosophy:
Normally, I group all of these into individual catagories, but there is no need to with soraka.
There are 2 important things you must remember:
1) You are a SUPPORTER. You don't want kills, you want assists. Help your allies stay alive - Starcall is not leveled earlier because you should usually be playing defensively.
You're a walking regen fountain - Given time, you can heal allies up to full in both mana and health.
2) You WILL be focused first. Even if the enemies are total n00bs, eventually they will figure out that you are healing the DPSrs, Armor buffing the tanks, and Infusing the casters. Thus, health is VERY IMPORTANT. Health regen less so, as your Blessing/Infuse combo can act as giant gobs of health regen if needed.
These 2 things also imply other things - If you don't have a good team, you will fail no matter how much you heal them. You die without the team, so keep them close with your endless heals.
For runes, I got health/level and health Quints because you WILL be focused. CD reduction means quicker infuse, which is essentially mana regen. And while playing Soraka, Mana = Health. The AP is so your heals are more effective.
Acceptable options: Teleport, Fortify, Ghost, Clairvoyance, Flash.
Mediocre: Clarity, Heal, Rally, Cleanse.
NO NO NEVER NEVER: Everything else.
Let me say this yet another time. YOU ARE A SUPPORT. You don't need to take heal/clarity, though - you have spells that do that naturally. Flash/Ghost are good contingency spells, and also can help you get to a person faster so you can heal them.will be wasted in solo queue. If you're in an arranged team, though, TAKE IT.
is always nice on a team. The extra 9 damage is nice, as you can deny enemies XP and gold since your attack range is as long as Ashe's and you heal faster than they do.
is a great spell for Soraka. She can wish, TP into the middle of a teamfight, and re-heal the champion(s) she just saved 4 seconds earlier.
Masteries: AP for heals, defense tree for health/durability so you don't hog your heals, and Utility to level up just a BIT faster than everybody else. Pretty standard.
If you're getting clairvoyance, go and use a 0/9/21 build instead.
If you think extra XP and mana regen is worth .6 AP/level, go ahead and use 0/21/9. This is more of a guideline so you don't do something truly bizarre, like 10/0/20 with improved ignite. -.-
Items: Mana Manip / Anti-Magic cloak are both possible first items, as they'll both hopefully be upgraded on your first trip back to base.
Merc Treads are worth the extra cost - as I have said before, you WILL be focused. Am I sounding like a broken record yet?
Now the most controversial item: Soulstealer. Reasons: You pick up assists like mad (You can get them across the map with Wish), you rarely die, and you need AP to be effective late-game. It's REALLY cheap AP - even if you consistently keep about 5 stacks on, it's still worth the item slot.
In the last 5 games I've played with soraka, I haven't ended with less than 15 stacks. Even if you're 0-4-2, or so, you still should pick this up: Most likely you've just been focused in the laning phase, and assists will accumulate once you start team-fighting.
Soul shroud: Nice aura, durability, (you WILL be focused) and upgrades your manip. If you want/like Locket better, go for it instead - ever since the nerf, I've preferred Shroud.
Tear: By late game, you're lacking in Mana regen. You'll be sharing your infuse, and your heal is costing more and more mana. If you use starfall, that only exacerbates the problem. Either this or Chalice are both good options, I pick this as it can upgrade to Archangel's.
Archangel's: You will hardly ever get this item. The game probably should have ended before you do, but just in case... The increased AP is always welcome, and the Mana Regen helps you keep up your frantic late game spamming of Heal.
Rylai's: Durability, (you WILL - oh, forget it, I've told you enough times already) your Starfall turns into a perma-slow, and AP. Great if your team needs another slow, still pretty great even if they don't.
Glacial Shroud/Frozen Heart: I used to dislike this item. Then I thought about it more: Soraka is torn apart by DPS people; she can generally silence casters late-game with Infuse. Armor REALLY helps. Second, running OOM means the team runs OOHP. More mana also stacks well with Archangel's, once you get it.
And finally... A giant heap of CDR. Spells can be spammed more, your team can marvel at your godlike speed, and the 4 Mana/spell of Archangel's will build up that much more quickly.
Guardian Angel: I've focused mostly on surviving attacks, by getting GA you'll just discourage those attacks and make your team get hit more. It works well, but I think you have better uses for your gold.
Banshee's Veil: See above.
Aegis of the Legion: This is a more tanky item - none of its effects will incredibly help you. You're better off with Soul Shroud, Locket, or some other Aura item that benefits you more.
Leviathan: Sure, it's a snowball item that gives durability. I just don't like having 2 in the same build, because then you're screwed if you don't get any assists.
Will of the Ancients: A possibility if the team is caster heavy. (Gailo, AP Kat, You, *insert nuker here*, and Teemo, for example.)
Please don't thumb down without leaving a comment, and preferably leave a comment and listen to my response BEFORE your t-d.
I'll update this guide with Tips and Tricks in a moment, still in the editing process.