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Sona Build Guide by Keondre

The Musical Support

The Musical Support

Updated on September 29, 2012
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Keondre Build Guide By Keondre 53 14 65,466 Views 78 Comments
53 14 65,466 Views 78 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Keondre Sona Build Guide By Keondre Updated on September 29, 2012
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Introducing Myself:
Hello everyone! My name is Keondre, but call me Kat. Today, I will be giving you a guide about Sona, The Maven of the Strings! I chose to do a guide on her because she is my favorite support. I first began using her around November ~ January. My instantly fell in love with her! Her aura abilities, heal, AoE ultimate, movement speed buff, and her amplified damage/effect with her passive made me love her more than I did everyone else, excluding Annie. I played her whenever I could, but only when my team needed a support. I love her a lot, because she is a really fun champion!

Sona Overview:
Sona is a support that relies on lane control, useful strategies, and team coordination to excel to her full potential. She allows her carry to get fed quickly with her harass, lane sustain, movement speed buff/debuff, and stunning ultimate. Those qualities allow her team to get fed quickly. She protects her teammates as well. Her abilities allow her to quickly heal her allies, and deal some nice damage to her opponents. With her stunning AoE ultimate, this allows her team to excel in teamfighting, and ganking. She provides vision in Fog of War to allow her teammates to surprise their opponents. She reveals stealth opponents to allow her team to catch them off guard and kill them quickly.
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Support Role

What a "Support" is:
"A support is a champion whose skills are meant to directly aid the rest of the team. They can either babysit a champion to make laning easier for them by providing healing, buffing allies, applying debuffs to the enemy team, or a combination of the above. The most common ability for a support champion is providing an ally with a shield of some kind. One of the main goals of a support is to let their lane partner farm minions for gold, as supports can buy key gold+ items to get gold for themselves, as well as controlling the map with wards, warding all key areas of the map. These champions usually rely on their skills more than their auto-attack."

- LoLWiki

Credits to jhoijhoi for her warding map.

  • Yellow: Vital to protect the jungler on your team.
  • Blue: For protection depending on which lane you're on
  • Red: To guard Dragon and Baron
  • Orange: In order to Counter-Jungle

Passive Warding:
Passive warding refers to warding areas of interest ahead of time: Buffs, choke points, gank paths, gank brushes. The goal is to give away enemy whereabouts to allow your team to react accordingly when an enemy moves through that area.

Active Warding:
Active warding refers to warding areas in "emergency" situation. The position of the ward won't usually be optimal as the objective is to benefit from the ward immediately.
Some examples:
  • Warding Baron or Dragon from the back of their respective pen.
  • Warding mid-lane brushes from the parallels path
  • Vision Warding mid-fight to reveal stealth characters without being too obvious with an Oracle's Elixir.

fill This is a really important item. This allows you to see stealthed items / champions. This allows you to counter-ward and keep track of the enemy stealthed. Only problem is, if you have it on, you will be focused hard. Here is a list of what it reveals:
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Positives and Negatives

sppaaaaaaaace AoE Ultimate
Multiple auras
Built-in heal
Game Changing Ult.
SPACE SPACE Really squishy :(
Ultimate requires some skill
Can feed hard :(
Practice required
Needs a good carry
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Offense Tree

Improvement in Exhaust.

Defense Tree

To reduce the damage of the enemy AP carry's damage by a little.
To reduce the damage of the enemy AD carry's damage by a little.
Increase in health.

Utility Tree

To increase the duration of Clairvoyance; reduce the CD of Flash.
You can't support your team when you are dead.
Increases movement speed.
Extra starting gold.
More experience.
Spell CDR.

TIP! Remember that you can modify your masteries pre-game, so when against an AP heavy team, put more points into Resistance than into Hardiness ; and vice versa.
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Summoner Spells

Top Notch Spells

Good spell to keep track of the enemy jungler's activity. Even with the nerfs, it's still a useful spell.
Another great spell! Helps a lot with escaping enemies and slowing them so your carries can kill them. In combination with Power Chord and Song of Celerity, your enemies will never get away.
Underrated spell. Don't hate me for putting this as a viable option. This restores your mana so you can heal more. Good spell for Sona, and supports in general.
Great spell so you can escape your opponents with ease. Also, it allows you to get in range to pop out a Crescendo to make your enemies dance to the beat of their death :)

Other Viable Options

Many people are questioning my choice of Clairvoyance. Honestly, it all depends on the enemy team composition. If they have a jungler that is sneaky and tends to assassinate, go for Clairvoyance. If the enemy has an AD carry that poses a real threat to your team, go for Exhaust. It's just a matter of personal preference and the enemy team comp.

Not only does it depend on the enemy team comp. and your personal preference, it also depends if your team is going to need it. If your team has a mid laner that is extremely worried about being ganked, go for Clairvoyance. If you and/or your AD carry is worried about the enemy carry being too strong, go for Exhaust.

Now this is where I go to your personal preference. If you are like me, and you like saving lives with a global spell, go for Clairvoyance. I also go with this because I like spying on people ^.^ Now with Exhaust. If you are a personal that ALWAYS wants to slow enemies, or win 1v1s / trades, go for Exhaust. I tend to prefer Clairvoyance because of these reasons:

  • I like spying on people.
  • I like catching people attempting to gank my allies.
  • I like catching enemies that are doing Dragon or Baron Nashor.
  • I like the thanks I get for keeping an eye out for everyone.
  • I like getting praise from my jungler when I catch the enemy jungler stealing my team's buffs.
  • A whole bunch of more reasons I choose Clairvoyance over Exhaust.

Not just your personal preference, it also depends on your AD carry as well. For example, your AD carry is Ezreal. The enemy AD carry is Vayne. As you can see, Vayne is better at 1v1ing than Ezreal is. Now, with Vayne's sheer ability to 1v1 with ease, Exhaust would be the best option. If your AD carry wants you to take Exhaust, take it. It's a matter of compromise, personal preference, and the enemy team comp.

In my opinion, Clairvoyance is better. Do not fight me over this. I choose Clairvoyance. In all honesty, I believe they are equal. I take one or the other from time to time. Sure, I like spying on people, but I can't spy on them if I am getting owned by enemy jungler Shaco. Tbfh, it all depends. People tend to go with Exhaust because Clairvoyance was nerfed. It's still a viable spell, even if it was nerfed.

I hope I cleared the air with Exhaust vs. Clairvoyance. THEY ARE ON PAR!!!!!!!!!!! So they are equal in power. CHOOSE ONE OR THE OTHER!
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Power Chord Next AA deals extra damage every 3 spells you cast. Being able to have an extra attack that allows you to deal a little more is great. It allows you to pump out more iron on your enemies. The bonus effect varies from each ability, but it doesn't affect Crescendo. If you use this innate correctly, you will make your enemies QQ so hard, especially the enemy carries.

Hymn of Valor You send out blue bolts of sound that deals damage. Extremely bursty ability. Make sure to be spamming it in lane and in teamfights. Try to have it up in teamfights as much as possible because it boosts AD and AP. Make sure to use this in lane to harass your enemies.

Aria of Perseverance You heal yourself and the most-wounded ally. Amazing ability. Remember to be using it in teamfights on par with Hymn of Valor so you can boost you're teams armour and magic resist. Constantly spam it in lane so you can keep your carry alive in lane.

Song of Celerity You energize nearby allies with a speed boost. This is a pretty decent ability. This allows you and your team to catch up to your opponents with ease, especially when combined with Shurelya's Battlesong. A great spell in general, has multiple uses. When chasing an enemy champion, spam this ability to increase the chances of catching them.

Crescendo You shoot music in a line that leaves your enemies dancing. Sona's signature ability. You literally play your ultimate chord and you make your enemies "dance" that were caught in the line. By dance, I mean stun. This is a great ability to use in teamfights. This gives your team a huge advantage, considering it is AoE. Use it for defensive purposes as well.

Staccato Next attack will deal double damage. This is the "bonus attack" that is gained when you cast Hymn of Valor when Power Chord was ready. Use this "bonus attack" to harass enemies, take down turrets / inhibitors faster, and take down Baron / Dragon faster.

Diminuendo You debuff the target to deal 20% less damage This bonus is what allows you to be a great support. Since you are constantly spamming Aria of Perseverance, this is a great effect to go with the spamming. Use this ability on the enemy carries so they can deal 20% less damage on your team. Use this bonus wisely.

Tempo Your next attack will slow the target by 40%. A really nice bonus. When you are chasing enemies, you will be spamming Song of Celerity to catch up. What better way to catch up to them by slowing them? This will annoy your enemies because once they are slowed and your team is closing in on them, they are screwed >:D
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Starting Items

Sight WardSight WardSight Ward
Sight wardsight ward
sight ward
Sight WardSight WardSight WardSight ward

Remember that these are just sample starting items. That being said, your starting items always will depend on the enemy team composition, like most builds. Make sure you are adaptable to your starting items, or you won't have much fun playing if you just get ganked by a Shaco when you could have bought a Vision Ward as one of your starting items and planted it in a spot where he is most likely to Deceive into.

Core Items

Philosopher's Stone

Philosopher's Stone Provides everything Sona needs to excel; GP10, health regen., and mana regen. Just a great item for supports in general. One of the best items, you can get on Sona, a really good purchase.

Another great item for Sona! It gives you health so you can be less squishy, and most importantly, it provides GP10! It's fairly cheap for the price, so don't take this amazing item for granted!

Great item as well. Allows you to escape ganks and catch up to enemies. In combination with Song of Celerity and Shurelya's Battlesong, you will escape most ganks your enemies throw at you.

Early Game Items

sight ward

Perfect boots for Sona. Gives you magic resist to deal with those AP, and tenacity to reduce the duration of CC. With these, you will survive longer against hard CC.

An item made for supports. Gives great stats. It gives a speed boost as well!. Helps you and your allies escape or catch up, has multiple uses in general.

Sight Ward You should always be buying these. Each time you recall, buy one. Depending on the enemy team composition, it will affect your purchase of either wards. Always remember that the wards you buy depend on the enemy team compositions, and if their jungler is "gank happy".

Mid Game Items

Zeke's Heraldsight ward

A great support item. Always get it, always. If your team is getting owned, this is a must. Amazing stats to help your team, the aura is what is most valued.

Zeke's Herald A great item to help your AD carries. Since it provides cool-down reduction, it helps you as well. Gives more attack speed and life steal to your teammates.

Sight Ward You should always be buying these. Each time you recall, buy one. Depending on the enemy team composition, it will affect your purchase of either wards. Always remember that the wards you buy depend on the enemy team compositions, and if their jungler is "gank happy".

Late Game Items

sight ward

An item so amazing, it can't be ignored. This tiem helps you take down the enemy carries with ease. You and your team will be able to own the enemy carry because this item lowers their attack speed and movement speed. Helps you win team fights / trades.

Sight Ward You should always be buying these. Each time you recall, buy one. Depending on the enemy team composition, it will affect your purchase of either wards. Always remember that the wards you buy depend on the enemy team compositions, and if their jungler is "gank happy".

Choices of Boots

My usual boots I get on supports, especially Sona. Just generally helps us. Already explained it tho ^.^

Good pair of boots to get on Sona. If you are going to get these on Sona, take out Zeke's Herald as it puts us well over the CDR cap.

An option, not the best, but it's an option. If your enemy AD carry is fed, or their jungler is ganking with much damage, then these are the boots you get. Always a good purchase, not the best for Sona imo.

Our Build

Zeke's Herald

fil This is my usual build for her. As you can see, I left a slot open. This slot is so you can continuously buy wards for your team. NEVER fill up that slot unless the enemy team just flat out sucks. And by flat out sucks, I mean your team score is up to 25 kills and their's is up to 5 kills. That is what I mean by sucks. If the score isn't 25-5, then keep this slot open.
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Alternative Items

Defensive Items

I get this item whenever I am getting owned by Warwick, Galio, Malzahar, or Urgot. This counters their ultimate, get it so you can see them QQ. A good buy.

As a support, your job is help keep your team alive. Not only does this item revive you once every 5 minutes, it gives you armour and magic resist. Can be built last since it's not a high priority item.

Fairly decent item for Sona. You benefit from all the stats it provides, just for when you are getting owned by the enemy AP carry. This reduces their damage, so it's a fairly good purchase.

Not a giant fan of this item, but it's an option. Helps keep your team alive, but Aegis of the Legion has that job covered. An okay purchase.

Not an option. Bleh item, BLECH! Never build it, ever. I only put this here because it's defensive, but it's not an option. I admit I have bought this before, but it's a bad purchase.

Only get this item if the enemy team is AD heavy. If you get this, do not buy Randuin's Omen. Just for when the enemies are AD heavy, or their jungler / AD carry has a lot of attack speed.

Offensive Items

A good option to get. You benefit from everything it provides for you, so it a good option if you need magic resist. Also, this is a good option if your AP carry is beating the **** out of your opponents. Good purchase for Sona.

A decent purchase. If your AP carry isn't getting it, then you get it. Helps you and your team, mostly benefits your AP carry though. In all honesty, if your AP carry isn't getting it, they need to uninstall...

A great item for Sona. You do well with this item. I don't buy it because it's too expensive, and as a support, you won't have as much gold to burn as your carry would.

A "meh" purchase. This helps you spam your abilities more, but there are better options. Since you will be getting a lot of assists, you will be restoring your mana quickly. It's just an option, not the best item to buy.

I am a fan of this item. If your team is doing extremely well, this is one of the best purchases. Even though it is expensive, your team will benefit from it as well. Helps you catch opponents more, so a good purchase on your part.
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Items Summary

These are the components that make Sona viable:
  • Cool-down Reduction
  • Auras
  • Gold Per 10
  • Movement Speed
  • Armour / Magic Resistance

If you manage to include those components into your build, it will work for Sona. Always remember that your build will depend on the enemy team composition.


Starting Items

sight wardsight ward
sight ward

Core Items

Philosopher's Stone

"Around The Clock" Items

sight ward

Choices of Boots

Recommended Build

Zeke's Herald
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Aggressive Harass:
With Sona, I am an aggressive harasser. This is one of the reasons I choose to grab Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. With Hymn of Valor + Power Chord, you will be doing a decent amount of damage to your enemies. Use this to your advantage. Constantly harass them so they can keep off your carry. Regardless of harass, never overextend just to get them with Hymn of Valor. If you do, one of these 4 things will happen:
  • You will get Exhausted and then killed.
  • Enemy jungler will come and kill you.
  • You give the enemy a free kill.
  • You will receive a turret shot or 2.

Trust me, harassing isn't worth one of those things. I cannot tell you how many times I have died to a foolish mistake like overextending to shoot a Hymn of Valor. Remember, harass harass harass, but don't overextend.

Passive Harass:
Depending on the situation, I will sometimes be a passive harasser. Being a passive harasser is when you do not constantly harass your opponents, but only harass them from time to time. When you are passive harassing, you should be constantly paying attention to your enemies movements and the mini-map.

When you are keeping track of enemy movements, I mean all the lanes. Constantly pay attention to where your enemies are going, but always focus your lane more than any other lane until the turret is destroyed. When you are keeping an eye on enemies, use Clairvoyance whenever you can. Do not just use it some place random, use it where it is needed most.

Keeping an eye on the mini-map is a huge key component when you are passive harassing. Pop a Hymn of Valor here and there and then look at the mini-map. Make sure to tell your teammates if something seems "off" about where the enemies are. When there are 3+ enemies missing, check dragon. Passive harassing requires patience, and accuracy.

Your Laning Weakness

You must understand that there are several weaknesses in Sona's typical attack pattern that smart opponents will try to take advantage of. First, and most importantly, you are vulnerable right after you cast a Hymn of Valor + Power Chord! This is, and I mean it, your biggest weakness early game. So you should try to make sure that your opponent doesn't have time to do damage to you if you cast Hymn of Valor. You might say that you still have Power Chord, but remember that this passive requires you to stop to shoot. It does solid damage, but it is not as good as Hymn of Valor when it comes to harassing. Also, Sona's spells have quite low range, and some enemies can really exploit that.
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Sona is a champion whose playstyle changes according to the current situation and/or the phase of the game. Early game, Sona is played like a caster, much like AP Sona, using Hymn of Valor to deal out as much damage as possible.

Please note that I play Sona very aggressively early game, so if this doesn't fit you, wait until you hit mid game, where you have 2~3 major items. Mid game, you have to play passively, since this is the zone where enemies tend to take advantage of carelessness. If you have had a good to excellent early game, expect mid game to come and go like a breeze. During late game, it is crucial that you do not die. Play cautiously during this part of the game, and don't forget that you can easily be killed. When you are dead, you can't support your team.

Early Game (1-9)

Start with your starting items and head to bot lane with your carry. Hopefully you'll get a good carry that synchronizes well with you, Tristana is probably one of the best carries that synchronizes well with Sona's abilities. If you are on blue team, grab the double golems for an advantage over your enemies in terms of experience and gold. At around 2:50~3:00, plant a ward somewhere in this general vicinity:

When you are in bottom lane, be aware of these zones:

Your enemies will usually be out of lane to recall or if they died to you and your carry. If they have been gone for 2 minutes, then call mia. If they haven't made an appearance in your lane in the next 30 seconds, make sure your mid lane knows to not overextend. If they return to lane, call re so your teammates know they are back in lane and they can take a breath.

If your enemies are aggressive, make sure to constantly harass them so they can keep off your carry. If they are passive, be patient for your jungler, then make a move. If your jungler is doing a level 4 gank, then let your enemies push the lane. By that, I mean do not harass them. Let them push so you, your carry, and your jungler can set up a gank. If the gank was successful, push the lane to their tower, but keep an eye on the minimap so you don't get ganked. Deal damage to their turret until they have returned. Let your carry recall if they wish. Take these into account when laning:
  • DO NOT take creeps from your carry.
  • DO NOT overextend.
  • Try to keep the creeps in the middle of the lane.
  • Call mia / ss. Ping the way you think they are going.
  • Attempt to zone out the enemy along with your laning partner.
  • Harass the enemy champions whenever possible, while maintaining the above.
  • Constantly ward the brush so you can prevent getting ganked by the enemy jungler.
Credits to NoobyPower for the above list. All I did was reword it in terms of the support role.

Mid Game (10-14)

Mid game is where teamfights start to break out and the tide of the game changes. If you lose 3 teamfights, you probably will lose the game. If your carry has a decent amount of kills and has a high creep score, then do not fear. This is when a few (3~5) towers have been destroyed. If only 1 has been destroyed, your team needs to get moving. This is when you and your jungler will usually do Dragon. Here is where you will normally get most of your assists. By now, you should already have Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Shurelya's Battlesong or maybe even Aegis of the Legion if you are doing extremely well. Here are 3 things that are important in mid game for Sona:

1. Teamfights
2. Assists
3. Towers

In teamfights, spam your abilities. Focus on spamming Aria of Perseverance and Hymn of Valor the most. Focus on spamming Aria of Perseverance more because you want to be constantly healing your team. Now lets get to using Crescendo. During teamfights, try to hit 3~X of your enemies. If your team has another AoE ultimate, then try and use it to set up theirs. For example, you have a solo top bruiser Nunu & Willump. Since Nunu & Willump does more damage with Absolute Zero the longer it is channeled, then there you have it. Let him use his ultimate to slow your enemies, then pop out Crescendo. This is a good combo because they will be dead within seconds. While they are stunned, Absolute Zero would have done some nasty damage and your carry should have been there wreaking havoc upon your enemies. In teamfights, always use Diminuendo on the enemy carry. (Refer to the "Abilities" section if you do not know what Diminuendo means.)

Stick to your carry! I literally mean follow them everywhere so they don't get hurt. If you and your carry is ganked, then try to get away with the usual Song of Celerity + Shurelya's Battlesong. If necessary, pop out Crescendo so you and your carry can get away without worries.

If you have won at least 2 teamfights, good for you. Push the mid towers as far as you can until your enemies have respawned. When they have spawned, go b and grab more wards. Plant the wards at the entrances to Baron Nashor. Make sure you grabbed a Vision Ward so you can plant it at the Baron Nashor pit so you can make sure it is not warded. Go grab Dragon and wait patiently for another teamfight to break out.

Late Game (15-18)

By now, your build should be mostly finished, only Randuin's Omen is probably the only item that needs to be finished. If you are still on Zeke's Herald, then hurry up. At this point in the game, you need to always be with your team. Constantly ward key points in the map to keep track of enemy activity. Grab Oracle's Elixir so you can destroy enemy wards and keep track of enemy stealth opponents if they have them. If you have already pushed to their Nexus Towers, grab the Baron Nashor buff then go destroy the towers to win the game.
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Thank you for taking a look at my guide. I worked really hard on it so please do not downvote just because you had a misconception. All feedback is appreciated, but no troll votes are accepted. I hope to see some positive feedback, and thanks again for reading! I hope you all do good with Sona, or learned a thing or two by reading my guide. I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Happy Supporting!

If you liked my guide, feel free to check out my other guides:
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Q.// Why do you choose Clairvoyance over Exhaust?
A.// Just personal preference. I tend to prefer using Clairvoyance because of its short CD, and it's allows you to keep track of the enemy jungler. For more in-depth information on why I choose Clairvoyance, please visit the "Summoner Spells" section.

Q.// Which is better; AP or Support?
A.// Support Sona is more viable because of the utility she brings to the team. Although, if you want to have a lot more fun and deal more damage with Hymn of Valor, then go AP Sona. NEVER play AP Sona in ranked queue.

Q.// What skill order would you recommend for an aggressive enemy bot lane?
A.// This is a tough question. It all depends on how aggressive they are. I would grab an early point in Song of Celerity so you and your ally can escape your aggressive opponents. I personally would max out Aria of Perseverance and Song of Celerity equally so you can heal a lot more, and escape quicker. It depends on the enemy match-up as well.

Q.// When is the best time to use Sona?
A.// When your team needs a support that deals nice damage and can support without items. If your team needs an aggressive support, then Sona fits the bill. Most teams are looking for an amazing support; Sona provides multiple auras, an AoE ultimate, and nice harass damage. Whenever your team asks for a support that does nice damage and supports well at the same time, Sona is an optimal pick :)
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  • Bree - A giant thank you to her for the beautiful graphics present in this guide. Visit her signature cafe here!
  • jhoijhoi - Her guide on Making a Guide really helped me.
  • CasterMaster - Helping me with the cheat sheet.
  • All you lovely people that upvoted my guide!

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Teamfight Tactics Guide