Sona Build Guide by AP WormMaW Mid
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
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Even though I am mainly midlane, I still play a lot of support role when getting secondary position in game. I don't think, that this guide will teach you how to play support properly in general, because I might not even be that great support in general. But still, I feel like I have a lot of things to share in terms of itemization and playstyle in general, since I usually keep my support winrates quite high, a lot of times even higher than my midlane winrates.
+ Good sustain/harass in lane
+ Great against poke compositions
+ Capability of dealing decent damage later
+ AoE stun for teamfights
- Quite squishy
- Mistakes with her are not too forgiving
- It might not be simple to position youself against assasins
This is basically my most prefered choice for Sona. Main reason is, that it provides extra poke potential, same as peel potential in lane or possibly in teamfights. Since I am playing Sona more as healing/shielding support than aggressive support in lane, that would constantly poke, it's best possible choice for me, since it gives extra shield.
It is as well beneficial, that if you are sometimes autoattacking, while you don't have your ability cooldowns, it can still proc this rune, keeping it at low cooldown as well, compared to Arcane Comet.
Arcane Comet is pretty good choice, if you would be playing Sona as poke champion in lane, while maxing your Hymn of Valor. Downside compared to Summon Aery is though, that this can be missed, it has longer cooldown and it relies on ability damage, meaning that it can't proc from autoattacks like Summon Aery can.
But since this guide is focused on building Sona as healing/shielding support, it's pretty irelevant here.
This in theory, might be quite viable choice for support Sona as we build her up in this guide. Problem is, that it exposes her weakness even further - she's really squishy. Since you always have to use ability and then go for autoattack, you mostly lose a lot of health in lane, unless you are playing against some support like Taric, that can't answer to your autoattacks.
But whenever you face stuff like Karma, Lulu or even Leona, you mostly don't want to get into autoattack range, which is making your utilization really hard in lane, thus making this choice pretty awkward.
|Might be useful against certain heavy AP compositions or generally if there is some burst mage as support, just to be able to survive it's burst. Except for that it's quite odd choice and it doesn't really give you that much.|
|This is my go-for choice. Since Sona likes to spam her abilities quite a lot and since her heals are quite mana expensive, it's really good to have some extra mana sustain. Even though I usually build up tear, this rune is really great to keep, especially to survive your early game struggle.|
|Shorter ultimate cooldown is always good to have. My problem here is, that you would have to omit Manaflow Band, which would lead to some trouble especially during early game. But if you feel confident to play without it, then this rune might as well be for you.|
|This is first possible choice for Sona. Downside of this rune is, that it doesn't provide you with anything early on. Another thing is, that you don't have that much CDR in your build to get some extra ability power out of this, which makes this choice a bit worse than other ones.|
|Celerity is probably my most favorite choice right now. It provides you with extra movespeed, which is really useful for Sona since you are really squishy. Another upside is, that you receive ability power depending on your movement speed, which synergizes really well with your Song of Celerity.|
Even though I don't personally prefer this choice, it more than worth mentioning. Out of this, you get quite decent ability power boost even during early game. When I previously mentioned synergy between Celerity and Song of Celerity, then you can look at it other way around, that this rune can give you extra movespeed to your Song of Celerity, since it provides you with more ability power, than Celerity does.
Another upside is, that since you have heals, you can keep yourself above 70% health for most of the time, which gives this rune really great utilization uptime. So if you don't feel like grabbing Celerity, then this is probably equal choice (maybe even better in some cases).
|If you would normally play Sona, while maxing your Hymn of Valor, then it would be maybe worth mentioning, but since I am building her up mainly as healer, especially for early game, then it's not really worth taking. At least not with my build.|
|Another rune, that is not worth getting, since this rune is mainly made for champions, that are cappable of roaming a lot and playing around a river. As Sona though, you are mostly sticking to your ADC, while trying to farm up with it.|
Even though Gathering Storm is considered as a trap, because it's useless early on, I feel like it's best choice for Sona with build setup that I am using, because since I am trying to run Rabadon's Deathcap for lategame, it can increase your ability power quite a lot.
Generally, I am personally trying to aim for lategame with my Sona and I feel like none of those other two runes will really help you to overcome weak earlygame anyways.
|I will start off with this rune, since it's the reason, why I am going for Resolve tree as secondary one. There would be definitelly other possible choices, but since I prefer playing Sona as healing/shielding support, I am trying to max out that potential as much as possible, for which reason I am running this rune.|
|Chrysalis is currently my favourite rune, even though it's situational. It gives you a bit more health early, when you are actually squishy, so you can somehow survive laning phase and then after you get takedowns, it transfers into extra ability power to increase your healing potential/movespeed (through Song of Celerity). You have to keep in mind, that this way you might be a bit more squishy compared to, if you would run Bone Plating.|
|Usually I don't run this rune, mainly because of my defensive positioning, where I am mainly trying to keep healing my ADC (or possibly team), so utilization of this rune might not be best in this case. But on the other hand, you can't always avoid everything, especially against heavy engage or heavy assasin comp, where they simply focus you down no matter what. In such case it might be beneficial to run Bone Plating to mitigate some damage, while someone is bursting you.|
|This is my prefered starting item, I prefer it over Ancient Coin, because it ends up adding you some extra ability power, compared to coin. Downside of this though might be, that you need to harass in lane, in order to stack it up, which might be a bit trickier compared to Ancient Coin, so generally, these choices are quite close to each other, even though this one will end up being better for lategame.|
|As I mentioned above, this is another possibility in terms of starting item, even though it doesn't really add you any extra ability power and you get health regen instead, which is rather better for champion like Soraka, that doesn't really have so efficient self-heals. Advantage of this item is, that you can make quest mostly without going into tricky position, thus allowing you to play way more defensive in lane.|
|Tear of the Goddess is one of my favorite early game items, that I am getting. Reason for this item is, that it opens you possibility of sustaining yourself in lane with your Aria of Perseverance that I usually max as first ability. It is as well quite useful, when you are constantly using your movement speed aura to move over map way faster. Generally it's quite cheap item, that is able to open different playstyle, that many people don't even try to use.|
|This was previously my prefered option for Sona, but currently it feels like you don't really need extra AoE heal and Ardent Censer can provide you way more in terms of extra damage for your teammates, healing and obviously movespeed that you should never underestimate. This item just makes you a bit more tankier, but except for that it feels quite awkward to pick up.|
|Right now my prefered choice over Redemption. As I mentioned above, I prefer it for it's extra ability power, movespeed and possibility to buff my teammates with extra attack speed and on hit damage, which you can keep up quite a lot, especially because it's AoE. Even though you are a bit squishier, you can still compensate this if you know how to position yourself and possibly buy Zhonya's Hourglass later on.|
|Really great item in terms of extra healing, that it provides. Since you are usually doing some damage in teamfights with your Hymn of Valor, you are able to utilize this special effect really a lot. Generally it as well adds you up some ability power, cooldown reduction and even magic resist, that always comes handy, when surviving against any magic damage dealing champion.|
|Quite obvious upgrade from your Tear of the Goddess. It increases your mana sustain even further, due to it's special effect and it gives you quite a lot of ability power as well, combined with extra shield, that you can use whenever you find yourself in trouble.|
|This is last item from series of those, that I mainly use, while playing Sona. This item amplifies your power, that you already gathered through your items and runes (such as Gathering Storm). It generally raises your ability power, so you usually end up having around 600-700 ability power, when you finnish this item, making your heals and shields incredibly strong. You shouldn't even forget about the damage, that you are able to pull off, with your Hymn of Valor and Power Chord.|
|Really great defensive option against any heavy engage/assasin composition. You should generally give up Rabadon's Deathcap in case that you are facing such compositions and rather go for this defensive option, because you can't really support your teammates once you are dead.|
|Another really good defensive option, against things like Malphite, Blitzcrank or generally champions with ability to catch you from distance, where Zhonya's Hourglass doesn't really help you, once you get CC chained. Except for that, it provides you with a lot of magic resistance, which makes this item good against heavy-AP compositions.|
Many people generally prefer having Lich Bane, because it increases your offensive strength a lot and I totally agree on that, especially at higher ability power levels. It's pretty sad though, that it doesn't really fit in my build in terms of space, because if you wanted this item, you would probably have to drop either way Rabadon's Deathcap or Archangel's Staff, which would either way decrease your ability power level, or hit your mana sustain a lot. You can as well drop Athene's Unholy Grail, but as I already mentioned many times, I am playing Sona around her ability to heal and shield people.
Generally, you can go for Lich Bane, but mostly it's for different type of playstyle, where you max Hymn of Valor and play it around her offensive power, rather than defensive one.
Crescendo is your ultimate ability, that is creating great tool either way for catching people off-guard or setting up great situations for teamfights. You can abuse it's great power especially in some closed spaces, where enemy team doesn't really have space to be able to spread around and avoid it's AoE potential.
It also creates pretty good peeling tool for your carries, when enemy team has many divers, that jump on certain target at same time.
Even though it might be unusual, this ability is my first one, that I am maxing out. What I generally love about this ability is, that you are able to sustain youself and your lane partner at same time, by providing heal and shield at same time. It is as well great in teamfights, where you can shield your entire team at same time and giving your teammates more time to take down your opponents.
Reason why I max it out rather than Hymn of Valor is, that it opens possibility to play more defensively in lane with ability to farm up, especially in current meta, where you have to face many tanky opponents with ability to engage on you. Except for that, if you are going for harass a lot, it usually gives enemy jungler chance to abuse this fact against you and since you are really squishy and you don't have any real escape tool, you just end up dying in most of those situations.
This ability creates great tool for poking down your opponents or generally dealing damage. It as well gives your teammates extra damage on first hit, after they stand in it's aura.
It's probably as well worth to mention, that it synergizes really well with your Athene's Unholy Grail, that provides you with extra healing for your teammates after you are dealing damage.
Early game really depends on specific player playstyle. People usually try to play really offensively, but that exposes you to possibility of getting caught in lane or ganked by enemy jungler. For that reason I am mostly trying to play it defensively, while maxing out Aria of Perseverance and healing my ADC. For first shop, if it's possible, I am trying to get Tear of the Goddess, because in that moment, you should have enough mana to spam your heals way more often, sustaining yourself and your ADC really well. It's as well good for defensive purpose, to keep Power Chord from Aria of Perseverance up in order to reduce damage output from enemy ADC.
Generally if you manage to survive laning phase without being in too big deficit, you will start having pretty decent impact in game and teamfights in general.
During mid/late game it's not really rocket science in terms of gameplay. You are usually trying to keep your position behind your team, entering inside when you are about to shield certain teammates, but except for that you are trying to stand behind, buffing your team as much as possible.
During this phase of game, it's really important to utilize your Crescendo, in order to set up for teamfights. Except for that, there is nothing to special from mechanical point of view, just run around, keep buffing your teammates and utilize your Power Chord depending on the situation, because you are supposed to decide, whether you want to deal damage, or reduce damage output or slow down your opponent, that is trying to escape.
Except for that, I am not really main support, even though I am trying to pick it up as offrole and quite often I am able to perform pretty well (depending on the situation). So don't try to find any special tips in terms of how to play support in general, but rather how to play this specific champion.
But as always, in case that you would have any questions or points, feel free to ask me and if I would find it interesting, I can consider adding it into guide, because I am aware, that many people won't agree with me in terms of this build, since mostly people tend to play Sona in offensive manner.