Sona Build Guide by Yasutsuna
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Choose Champion Build:
Green Sona (Heal)
Blue Sona (Poke)
Threats & Synergies
Her range is subpar at best. Just be careful of her stun during ganks as it can kill you. Otherwise just poke her down.
Pretty easy to deal with. Don't stand near walls, poke him. The only issue is his ult so be careful as he can tower dive you.
This guy. Stupidly easy to land his combos. The only way is to dodge his stun after he uses his pillar. Become increasingly dangerous with Rylais. Don't pick Sona or get Ancient Coin.
Depends on enemy ADC. He is tanky and disrupts your Crescendo. Dodge his stun, especially if the ADC can easily stack it.
Easy match-up. Her poke is weaker compared to yours. Wither her down and try to all-in her. But, her shield can get strong so don't try to tower dive her unless you can get it.
You're screwed. You can try to deny her pre-6. Once level 6, she rapes you. Don't pick Sona or get Ancient Coin.
Depends heavily on your skill or his. If you can constantly dodge his pull, you'll be fine. The problem is if your ADC gets pulled, there's not much you can do to stop it. Get Coin if you're not confident on dodging and want a more passive lane.
Also depends on ADC, which is Ashe most of the time. If you don't get stun, she can't kill you. Her bounced Double Tap can hurt so don't stand too close to a near death minion.
More annoying compared to anything. Her snare can really kill you and her Black Shield pisses on your Crescendo. Try to break it with Power Chord beforehand.
Like Blitz. Although she have a bit more leeway as you can Flash before he AA you with his passive. Be careful of his ult because it can easily knock you up.
Annoying. Her poke is subpar but the problem is it relies on both you and your ADC to dodge to deny her heal. Don't all in if she has ult or you will lose.
He grab you, he will chain CC you. You dead. He is squishy early on so you can try to poke him to prevent all ins.
Dodge her plant and it will automatically attack you. Her poke is stronger compared to you.
Good lord this guy. He has a really good CC, so watch out for that and you should be fine. Post-6, his ultimate can be potentially game-changing. Don't be afraid to use your ultimate to nullify his. In lane, you can always dominate him by just watching for his stun.
Threats & Synergies
She can kite you very well due to her slow. If she is with an aggressive support, try to stay near the way or in the bush so she can't perma slow you for free. Be careful of her ultimate post 6.
A pain to lane against. She outranges you and when she pokes you with Headshot, it hurts like hell. Try not to take too many shots and punish her when she goes for CS. Get a early cloth armor if needed.
Reliant of the Draven's skill. A good Draven can juggle between last hitting and harassing you. When there's no close death minions for him to hit, stay away from him as his Spinning Axe can chuck your health down. When he moves in for a CS, poke him hard. Also, do not move into a position where you can't retreat as Draven has amazing chase potential with his W.
Don't get poked by his Mystic Shot. Also, try to time your Crescendo properly since he can Arcane Shift away to safety. Just poke him as often as possible. All his skills are skill shot so it should be easy to dodge.
Just hide behind minions. His buckshot can't hurt you. Dodge his Q and you should be good.
She is probably one of the more annoying ADC. Try not to recall together if she is close to the turret or her minigun will demolish the turret. Be careful of her rocket launcher poke because it can hurt a lot, especially during teamfights.
His full rotation is painful, but it will burn his mana down fast. Get an early Boots of Speed so you can dodge his Q easier. If he is laning with Braum, dodge Winter's Bite so he can't easily stack the charges and stun you.
She's more of a poke based champion with her new update. She can deal a ton of damage on you without relying on her Q. Try to play around that when you poke her. If she tries to AA you, just shield up to reduce the damage taken. If she ults and you're close enough, just stun her so she can't continue.
Ehhhh, depends on how good she is. Be careful of her Spell Shield and the bouncing.
Easy to deal with early on due to her range. She takes turret fast so be careful of her shoving.
Just keep poking her, her short range makes it easy for you to do it. Avoid standing near terrain so she can't stun you. Post-6, always keep a Vision Ward handy so you can reveal her. Also, if you're alone, try not to get too close to her as she have really good chasing potential with her ultimate.
She's a bit trickier to deal with. Generally, she'll go for an on-hit build. She can stick to you so watch out for her ultimate. Laning phase, you can punish her due to her short range, just poke her when your minions are close so her Q won't all target you.
About Sona, Maven of the Strings; TL:DR
Sona Buvelle, Maven of the Strings
CDR Reduction > Mana Regeneration > AP
Sona is a AP Ranged Support who excels in having a lot of utility. She has poke, sustain, a speed boost, CC, a slow and a nuke. Basically, she is a jack-of-all-trades, allowing her to be very versatile. Her kit revolves around buffing her allies with her active and using her Crescendo to disrupt her enemies in teamfights. Since she is naturally squishy without much form of escape, she is best suited to stay behind and use her auras to aid her team. While Ability Power is important for her since she scales off raw AP, Cooldown Reduction is way more important because it allows her to continuously use her auras to aid her team, followed by mana regeneration so she can constantly keep up her auras. Ability Power comes after that.
DISCLAIMER: There are some low-brow dirty stuff in here. You have been warned.
If you find anything outdated, drop me a PM or comment and I'll fix it as soon as possible.
Summon Aery - Summon Aery have a manipulable cooldown where you can move closer to Aery to shorten the cooldown. Aery can shield an ally, giving an even better shield coupled with your Aria of Perseverance. A side note, the shield will proc on all of your basic abilities as they buff allies in one way or another. So if you want to poke, make sure your ADC isn't in range of your aura.
Manaflow Band - Manaflow Band improves Sona's later game as it keeps her top up with mana, so you won't need to pull back as often. Early game, it wouldn't matter much but once the mid game rolls around, it becomes really good. The mana regeneration will keep you running around longer instead of being forced to go back.
Celerity - Gives you more movement speed which is nice since you can no escape and low base speed. It lets you get damage off your Song of Celerity which is always nice. Transcendence is a bit redundant at the moment because nearly all your item gives CDR anyway.
Scorch - Allows you to take advantage of when you're at your peak. Try to wither down your enemy as much as you can ADC can get ahead in farm and exp.
Ultimate Hunter - It allows your to have your Crescendo up for sooner. Since it's your only reliable way to peel for your ADC, it's good to have. The only tricky part is you're most likely only going to get it fully stacked by mid game.
Relentless Hunter - An alternative to Ultimate Hunter if your team has sufficient CC to protect your ADC (Not always the case). In this case, Relentless Hunter is better as it allows your to move around easier.
Eyeball Collection - It's really easy to stack this due to the nature of your kit. It gives some extra AP which is good for later on.
It gives you free boots. Not only that, it gives you an extra +10 movement speed which is decent to boost up Sona. The 300 gold will go towards your support funds.
CDR is important for Sona. Getting this gives you an additional 5% CDR. Good for spamming your abilities later into the game.
|The most preferred spell for Sona who lacks a reliable escape mechanism as it can be used to jump past walls. Also, Flash allows her to do the Flash- Crescendo combo. Finally, can be used to dodge skill-shots that will otherwise kill you (use it sparingly as it has a whooping 210 cooldown).|
|This might be better for Sona, especially if you lane is kill-orientated. Her early game damage coupled with Ignite can easily kill the enemy AD Carry or Support (if he/she is a squishy mage type). Also good to stop ******** healing and lifesteal.|
|A standard support spell. It is useful regardless of the phase of the game especially if the enemy team has a champion who can dish out a lot of damage in a short time. Also very helpful to win skirmishes. Always get this if your enemy have a snowbally champions, since Ignite will be useless against them when they dive on your carry.|
||Hymn of Valor||
Your bread-and-butter skill for damage and poking. It deals amazing damage against your enemies during laning phase, especially when combined with your Power Chord. This skill is a non-targeted skill which will target the enemies closest to you, or champions if there are any present in the 850 range. During laning phase, remember to land an auto-attack with the aura buff to dish out more damage. Also, the aura could help you win early skirmishes when you buff your allies.
Combines with the Power Chord the damage can be used to shatter Morgana's Black Shield. However, the on-hit damage provided by the aura will not trigger on structures. Combined with Lich Bane, you can deal massive damage to a single target.
||Aria of Perseverance||
The sustain skill of Sona. Similar to Taric's Imbue, it allows Sona to heal her and the most injured ally witihin 1000 range. A very good skill to negate poke in the laning phase. However, the major drawback is it takes a lot of mana and shouldn't be used carelessly. Also, try not to use it when near a stealthed champion unless your other partner is more injured as the bolt will fly towards champions under stealth, giving away their position. Try to spread the aura to as many people as possible during teamfights to minimize damage taken, especially by AoE. With the reduced cooldown by her Crescendo and the increased heal by Redemption, her heal actually became a lot stronger, especially when you cap her CDR and get some mana regeneration.
The Green Power Chord reduces damage done by the affected enemy. This is good especially against assassins who can dive your backlines as it reduces their damage output by 25%. Using this is normally better against burst assassin or mages as they normally want to get their combo out as fast as possible. If you can't get to them, getting this on ADCs is also good as they're normally the damage once the assassin done their job.
||Aria of Perseverance||
Boosts the movement speed (MS) of Sona and her allies. A good spell for engaging or retreating. This skill is maxed last due to it being having the least impact in a fight. However, a level is taken at Level 3 or Level 4 as the boost can potentially secure a kill, whether by Power Chord or by boosting your allies' speed.
This ability is the least impactful in teamfights and your Power Chord should never have this unless you're using it to catch someone out or chase someone down. Generally, your blue and green Power Chord is just better but this does have it's niche uses. It's good against enemies who are weak against kited ( Nasus, Darius).
||Aria of Perseverance||
Sona's ultimate. It is a really strong skill that stuns people within its range. Depending on when it is used, it can potentially break a team-fight or skirmish into your favor. Note that it does have a travel time and can be blocked by Yasuo's Wind Wall or Braum's Unbreakable, so cast it before they get to use those abilities or after they used it, but never when they are using it.
Also, try not to miss this skill.
Eye of Frost - Finish the quest as fast as you can to make sure you can ward up.
Redemption - Never get this as your first major item since it scales with level. It's good as the second major item, after Athene's Unholy Grail but not as impactful as a first. Remember you can still use this when you're dead and it scales off the increase in health and shield line. Try not to use this for the damage as it gets very sub par in later levels. During teamfights, try to use this where it will hit most of your allies.
Ardent Censer - It's still decent. How early you'll build this will heavily depend on how reliant your ADC is on attack speed, followed by your team. If your ADC is say Vayne, who relies on attack speed a lot and you have a Master Yi jungle, it's a good idea to get it as soon as you can. If only one person can make benefit of it, it's alright to delay it to your third item. However, you'll eventually want to get it for your ADC.
Locket of the Iron Solari - Good against enemies with AoE magic damage like Annie and Katarina. Using this item at a critical moment can migate a lot damage off initiations or protect your ADC.
Gargoyle Stoneplate - Decent item which offers both armor and magic resist. You're likely to be closer to the frontlins anyway to buff your allies so the passive is quite easy to proc during teamfights. Since your damage is quite non-existent with this build, there won't be any drawback for using the active. Could be used when you start getting dived on. However, the odds of you getting this over other utility-defensive items is low unless you're getting dove on too much. It's sort of a I got nothing to buy, might as well get it to be tankier sort of item.
Lich Bane - Mentioned below.
Mikael's Crucible - A really niche item for me. The active is still good, especially against roaming champions like Twisted Fate or champions like long duration soft CC Morgana. The problem is it offers nothing apart from cleanse, which relies a lot on your timing and regeneration don't stack with Athene's Unholy Grail. You can replace Lich Bane with this item if you really require it.
Credit to Gumae
Eye of Frost - Because spoilers are good, aren't they? How aggressive their jungler is and what support you're facing will dictate when you'll buy this. Get this as your first back if the jungler is roaming around often to watch out for ganks or to ward bushes if you're facing Blitzcrank or Thresh. No matter what, this will be your second item, latest.
Lich Bane - A more offensive pickup. The AP boosts your heals and shields when giving you a very strong poke even with no other major AP items. It also caps your CDR with the 10% it gives and allows you to charge Athene's Unholy Grail more effectively.
Void Staff - Why? Since Sona's AP scaling on her Hymn of Valor isn't the best, penetration will always be the best option for her. Since tanks and everybody have innate magic resistance anyway, there won't be a point when it's useless.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Good 4th item if you're getting burst down too quickly. It provides some additional health and AP. Get this if your enemies rely a lot on movement speed Warwick or if they are weak to kiting so your ADC will have an easier time.
Luden's Echo - It gives some AP and extra poke for your Athene's Unholy Grail's Blood Charge, along with some movement speed, allowing you to reposition better. Since Sona is generally quite spammy, you can easily charge this up. Get this if you don't need Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Athene's Unholy Grail - The heal is really good. No matter how you look at it. In teamfights, you need to constantly poke enemies to get the Blood Charge to heal your allies. It gives you everything you need, but most importantly, it boosts your heal by a massive amount.
Stopwatch - Only needed if the assassin is constantly targeting you. (I see you, Zed). This shouldn't be the case, however, since the midlaner and ADC would have a higher priority compared to you. Later on, it can be sold or just upgraded into Zhonya's Hourglass or Guardian Angel or Gargoyle Stoneplate as needed.
Banshee's Veil - Similar to Stopwatch, get this if the enemy team that have a AoE stun that can royally screw you over. (Think Annie's Summon: Tibbers). Build this depending on how important it is, but only after Eye of Frost as vision is more important.
A lot of champions are AA-reliant to the point 2 or 3 quick auto-attacks can completely remove you from the fight. Getting Ninja Tabi, early or otherwise can give you a slight immunity against these AA-attacks.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Another good option compared to Mercury's Treads. Pick this up if your enemies are not CC-heavy. Alternatively, if your enemy assassin is getting fed and roam around for kills, getting this is also a good option as your Exhaust will be on a shorter cooldown.
This is the last option of boots that you should choose. The only time when you pick this up is when the enemy has little to no CC, thus nullifying the need of Mercury's Treads and when you capped your CDR and their assassin is behind, nullifying the need of Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
Poking: Sona's Speciality
You have 2 ways of combo.
1. Hymn of Valor -> Auto-Attack
2. (2 Stacks of Power Chord) Auto-Attack -> Hymn of Valor -> Power Chord Auto-Attack
The reason for the AA beforehand is because using a 3 stack Power Chord will reset your auto-attack timer, allowing you to chain 2 attacks one after another. Try to use the bush to your advantage. Only pop out the bush to poke then quickly return to prevent them from poking you back. Don't hang around the bush when it is warded as it severely limits your option from running away. You normally out-trade most poke supports since most are reliant on their CC so as long as you don't get CC-ed, you can easily win the trades. Don't try to get greedy, you don't always need to hit 2 if you're still learning. Prioritize the ADC so you can deny their farm.
Overextending: The Bane of Sona
Sona has two glaring weakness, her obscenely slow movement speed, as well as how squishy she is. This is especially true during the laning phase before she get any items. Never underestimate the amount of damage 2 champions can deal against you. Never linger away from your minions as they can sort of help you if your enemies attack you. If you were to overextended and get caught out, it's best just to burn Flash and/or Exhaust to get away. It's normally not worth it to get killed just to poke with Power Chord.
Crescendo: Sona's Only Hard CC
As the title implied, you only have one hard CC, which has a bloody long cooldown time, therefore, you must be sure to hit the damned thing. What most beginner Sona aren't use to is there is a travel time for Crescendo. Back when I just started playing her, I always thought it was instant, causing me to miss this often. Another thing to note is that there is a travel time for Crescendo, so you're unlikely to hit your targets at maximum range if they're running from you. Practice can easily rectify this.
Sona: How E-Cups (maybe) can be a problem
One of the things that you may need to learn early is how to deal with the grabby champions. Primarily, Blitzcrank, Thresh and Nautilus. As told by above, they can easily move you out of position, especially so if they have follow up. While you'll start noticing their tell signs, Blitzcrank stopping for 0.25 seconds to fire his Rocket Grab and Thresh's wind-up for Death Sentence. The beauty about this matchup is you can force it into your favor by poking them so they can't afford to pull you. However, if you're not confident and you got counter-picked, you can pick up the Ancient Coin instead to play more passively.
Teamfight: Sona's Shine Days
Your teammate looks like a tank, feels like a tank, has items like a tank, and even smells like a tank. Let him tank. Depending on how you build Sona, your role varies.
Blue Sona - Poke
Try to wither them down by poking them before teamfights, just don't get caught out. Once the teamfight starts, just focus on poking and healing. Due to you building damage, you're generally still squishy so you should just hide around the back and do what you need.
Green Sona - Heal
With this build, you're slightly more tankier, which means you can take slightly more punishment. With your heals and shield, you can easily survive even if you get pulled too far from your team. With this build, you should stay closer to the initiators so you can keep healing and shielding them as needed. Just don't neglect your ADC, especially if your enemy has an assassin.
Just remember, in both builds, you have Athene's Unholy Grail, so you need to poke every so often so you can get the most of it.
LilyPichu - TL;DR Sona Video
jhoijhoi - Formatting Guide
Latest Legend - For Proofreading this guide.
Nubtrain (from another website) - Tips on guide writing
Dr. D (from another website) - Formatting Guide
Corsair - For the punchlines.
ScrapComputer - Sona Tips
Owner of the Pictures - For the Pictures
You - For taking your time to read this guide
04.07.2018 - Patch 8.13 + Runes Explained
17.06.2018 - Patch 8.12
01.06.2018 - Patch 8.11
04.05.2018 - Patch 8.9
08.04.2018 - Patch 8.7
17.02.2018 - Updated and removed from reference to old items.
14.11.2017 - Changed The Ultimate Hat for Manaflow Band.
11.11.2017 - Updated for Preseason 8.
23.06.2017 - Updated some items, add some parts. Added some colors.
23.05.2017 - Changed item sequence, removed Guardian Angel since it offers only armor and gives attack damage. The later which costs the most of is sort of pointless for Sona.
01.05.2017 - Mid Build (Still Experimental)
22.03.2017 - Removed and repaired some images. Removed Experimental Build.
11.03.2017 - Removed Hextech Gunblade and replace with Ardent Censer
06.02.2017 - Replaced Greater Mark of Precision with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
21.01.2017 - Overhauled items and some parts to fit update 7.1
2016 - Lots of small updates.
09.12.2015 - Major update. Clean-ups, simplifying and update to 5.24
26.07.2015 - Updated to Patch 5.14
12.07.2015(?) - Updated to Patch 5.12 + 5.13
12.06.2015 - Updated to Patch 5.11
10.06.2015 - Added Warding guide.
30.5.2015 - Finalize the Ardent Censar change.
29.5.2015 - Updated to 5.10. including items and champions.
20.5.2015 - Added Kennen
18.05.2015 - Added Nunu & Willump, Tristana and Volibear
17.05.2015 - Added 400k Banner & 5.9 Update & Some item changes
Late April 105 - 5.8 Update.
12.04.2015 - Added Spell Combo
08.04.2015 - Reworked the Skills section. Thanks to Latest Legend!
01.04.2015 - URF Mode added. I realise there's something wrong with the icons under Support Matchups and Carry Synergy, currently working on it.
31.03.2015 - Major cosmetic update/
25.03.2015 - Added Banner.
17.03.2015 - Added the AP Support build and Additional Section Alpha. Preparing AP Mid.
14.03.2015 - Added Bard
12.03.2015 - Replace some mistypes of skills and items.
07.03.2015 - Clean-ups. More on the way. Thanks to MissMaw and Vapora Dark
06.03.2015 - Added Zilean, bring back the Iceborn Gauntlet.
01.03.2015 - Typos. Added 100k Banner. Will Add one every x2 of the previous banner.
23.02.2015 - Added 50k Banner. Thanks for support!
15.02.2015 - Added some carries and fixed some typos. Added Kayle (oops)
13.02.2015 - Removed Ancient Coin. Never found a situation where it is needed, even in hard lanes.
06.02.2015 - Typos.
05.02.2015 - After some explanation from Vynertje, changed items a bit
02.02.2015 - Guide Published
30.12.2014 - Draft Started
- Edit the Small Things section for clarity.