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Sion Build Guide by jlang22894

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League of Legends Build Guide Author jlang22894

Zombie Cannibal - A guide to Apocalyptic Domination

jlang22894 Last updated on May 17, 2013
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Top Lane
Ranked #1 in
Top Lane
Win 53%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Hi everybody, thanks for checking out my guide! I have a guide similar to this on LoLKing, and wanted to post it here since this site seems a little more popular. Sion is in the bottom 15 champs of all games played, and I believe he is so much more powerful and useful than that.

I am still a low ranked player, but all of the games I have played with Sion I just bulldoze through anyone and anything that gets in my way. I hope that you can take some build ideas and some general playing tips from this guide.

Feel free to comment with *constructive* criticism, and let me know your ideas or how your games with my build went. I will update this guide as much as possible as I play more matches and as people leave me feedback.

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Summoner Spells

Now summoner spells can be chosen to whatever you prefer. But my favorite Sion combo is Teleportt and Flash. Teleport allows you to quickly return to your lane or to jump around the map when you want to assist a pushed lane or you need to quickly defend a key location. Flash is obviously flash and you should know its endless benefits.

Other viable options are Ignite for finishing off enemies, Ghost for moving super fast to chase or escape, or Exhaust if you want to keep an enemy from fleeing and slow down their attacks.

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I prefer the AS setup, although an AD setup is also sufficient.
Alternates include: MR glyphs when going against heavy AP, movement speed for better chasing/escaping, even some percent health runes if you want more health scaled up with your "e" passive.


Let's look at some math (oh noooooo math!!!!)
Sion starts with a base AD of 59 (no runes, no masteries, no items, no "e"). Invest in your "e" and turn it on, 84 AD. Buy a sword, 94 AD. That is almost 100 AD with no mastery and no rune page. I know there are some stronger moves early ( Master Yi's Wuju Style will give 30 AD over 25, Dr. Mundo's Masochism gives 40 AD) but these are not always active and have a cool down. So I pick Sion over those any time.


But now onto the rune choice. Attack Speed = your attacks per second, AD = damage of attacks (ignoring reduction from armor). So AS*AD=DPS. Sion's base attack speed (no masteries or runes) is 0.635.

So with nothing extra (just your sword and "e" start) you're doing 0.635 * 94 = 59.69 DPS

Speed Runes

Now for my AS rune page you're hitting 0.769 * 94 = 72.26 DPS (take into account this 21.06% AS increase. this makes you crazy later and you can buy another damage item instead of a speed item)

AD Runes

In an all AD rune page (replacing AS where I have them) results in 0.635 * 105.07 = 66.72 DPS

Also note that your stun is 1.5 seconds. So with my AS page you get 2 strikes in on a stunned target, while with the AD page you only get in 1 strike (with no items and no masteries).

So not only do AS runes increase your DPS, they also becomes more useful later game allowing you to pick up another situational item in place of an attack speed item.

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Ability sequence

Did you notice that Sion's Enrage gives you flat AD bonus yet? Did you see that it gives you health upon killing any units? Max this first. At champion level 1 its like you have a free pickaxe. At champion level 3 you have a pick and a sword (not to mention you aren't going back to base). At champion level 5 you tack on another free sword. You see where this is going.

Get your stun (q, Cryptic Gaze) at level 2 for free hits when they try to farm and to aid in an early gank. Nothing beats a point-and-click stun in a 2v1, or even a 1v1 for that matter.

I pick up the shield (w, Death's Caress) at level 4, and then max that second. Protecting yourself for 100-350 damage or popping it early for 100-350 damage can swing a 1v1 very quickly.
Always buy your ult at 6, 11, and 16. Always. If any tries to 1v1 you from this point on in the game, I guarantee you win (unless they have crazy AS slows and stuns and 3 more items than you).

*****The only times I've lost a 1v1 was against a Jax with a bilgewater cutlass. That paired with his dodge can prevent you from getting the lifesteal you need to win the fight.

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Building the perfect zombie

It's hard to go wrong when building Sion. If it says Attack Damage or Attack Speed, get it. But here's a little bit of order and suggestion.

What I like to do

My build order: Long Sword, Tiamat, Boots of Speed, Ravenous Hydra, Berserker's Greaves, Zeal, Phantom Dancer.

This is where you can split into more damage or more speed. Base it on how much money you have when you go back. If you can afford a B. F. Sword, start the Infinity Edge.

If you can't do BF, pick up another Zeal, then build the IE. The second zeal will boost your move speed, crit chance, and you attack speed. All of this will be useful in clearing a couple minion waves or jungle camps in your spare time, racking up more gold to put towards your Infinity Edge.

When Starting

I like to start Long Sword because of Sion's early heavy hitting power. The alternate start of two Rejuvenation Beads also will build into a Tiamat. Why would I rush a tiamat? When you ult you get 50% lifesteal, so the more enemies you hurt, the more life you regain! Then build this into a Ravenous Hydra for some more lifesteal and AD.

The other benefit of starting with a sword is that if you have to back earlier than expected, you can get a Vampiric Scepter. I've gone back and forth on this idea with a friend of mine. He always says get the scepter first. This is pretty useful for negating the life lost per attack from Enrage, but the regen from the tiamat and the lifesteal from your ult won't make it necessary as your first purchase. Do whatever you feel safer with, as I would hate to give advice that makes you do poorly. Always evaluate the situation before dropping all that gold!!

Now how about some movement

After the tiamat I build boots. Depending on how much gold you have you can just go level 1 boots or the extra piece to your level 2 boots. The only boots I ever use on Sion are Berserker's Greaves or Mercury's Treads. Attack speed for, well, attack speed, and the MR boots because you're going to quickly become a CC magnet. So again, choose based on the situation.
*A very key point is knowing what CC the enemy team has. If they are heavy on stuns and slows, Merc Treads will be the must, and during draft/ranked, you may want to alter your mastery page for the tenacity in the defense tree.

**Another option: late game (or mid if you have enough gold) you can make the daring choice of selling your boots and grabbing the Zephyr. This paired with the Phantom Dancer you should have picked up will give you move speed equivalent to boots, as well as give you attack speed and tenacity (a combo of your two boot choices). Not to mention the cool down reduction bonus.

Now that you have some mobility and damage, you're ready to own any fight you're involved in. My next items are usually a Phantom Dancer and an Infinity Edge. Because big critical hits plus big lifesteal equals invincible Sion.

The rest of my games in my recent memory end around this point, thanks to surrender of the other team. So if the game goes on, here are my situational items.

The Choice is Yours

--Need Magic Resist?

Spirit Visage: If the enemy is hitting you hard with magic, get some magic resist from this wonderful item. Not to mention the 20% boost to lifesteal and health regen. Think about it, at level 16 your ult gives you 100% lifesteal, plus the 12% from your hydra. This is over 100%, plus tack on a 20% boost from the spirit visage. If you want to die even less than never, this is a great item.

Mercurial Scimitar: If you're absolutely sick of CC, then get this to wipe it away at the click of a button! Just make sure you don't clear yourself until after a stun, because you'd just look stupid if you wiped a slow and got hit by a stun right after.

--Want more health?

Frozen Mallet: Tired of your target running away? How about a slow on every melee strike. Throw in the 700 health and you're gonna be super tanky counting all of your "e" stacks up to this point.

Sunfire Cape: A very versatile item. Health, armor, and an AoE. Perfect for lane clearing, as it synergizes wonderfully with the hydra, hurting everything around you. And with Enrage on, you get stacks whenever something dies, not just from auto-attacks. So the faster everything dies around you and the more kills and farm you get, the harder you're going to be to kill.

Warmog's Armor: I hardly ever buy this anymore. Only get this as your last item if you want to slap the other team in the face with your 4-5k health. Very demoralizing to an enemy team when they're against a champ with over 400AD and 4k health.

--Just want a little armor?

Thornmail: Do this if you're getting focused by their carry (it'll happen after you 2 hit them a couple times). 100 armor plus returned damage? And if you have the sunfire cape? Just stand there and let them kill themself.

--Time to rub it in their face!!!

Zephyr: Get this if you bought AS boots and you're being CC'ed a lot. The AS boost and the movement speed boost also aid backdoor Sion

The Bloodthirster: Get this for overkill. Or if you want to solo baron. 100 AD and 18% lifesteal at full stacks results in the unstoppable force of Semitruck Sion.

The Black Cleaver: If the other team starts to build armor, grab this or a last whisper to bypass it. I like this thanks to the small health bonus also.

And honorable mention goes to Atma's Impaler. I used to get this frequently (armor, crit chance and AD based on your ever-growing health) but I feel there are some better choices now. If the game goes past about 50 minutes, drop your boots and snag this for more damage output per swing. Not really reccomended, but once you Ace at that point its a guaranteed win.

**A key point that I did not mention would be the combo of Warmog's Armor and Atma's Impaler. This is great against an AD enemy team, as it increases your health and armor, and scales well thanks to Enrage. This is a very viable combo for both defense and attack.

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Backdoor Sion!!

I mean this section as pure info, and this is totally up to you. If you'd rather brawl it out with your team, none of this is necessary.

This is by far my favorite use for Sion when I play. The only game I got to use him in ranked was a 5v5 team game where I took 5 turrets unopposed. COMMUNICATION AND MAP AWARENESS ARE VITAL. I'm usually skyping with my team when I play so there is no loss of comms in an important match. Wards are nice, but if you're team lets you know who is missing from the main skirmish you can decide how much of a lane you can take.

In many of my recent games, once I get my Hydra and AS Boots, I will roam lanes and push up to turrets. With your ult, you have enough clear speed and sustain that I have gone 10-15 minutes jumping between lanes and clearing the enemies jungle camps, stacking gold. One of the last times I did this I ended up with 5k gold before going back, being able to straight away pick up a phantom dancer and a BF sword. Sion is so easy to make into a turret demolisher and make the enemy crazy.

Bonuses of backdoor Sion: unchecked farming of minions to stack up your health and gold, 5-10 second turret destruction to give your team a beautiful little gold bonus, and paranoid other teams to prevent them from trying to push when you are missing.

Some Examples

Scenario 1: *This is from my team ranked game* When the enemy is stupid, punish them. All 5 of the enemy team were bottom lane trying to take the inner turret. My team was confident they could keep them at bay, so I ran top. This was approx 20 minutes in, and I had my hydra, AS boots, and a zeal. I take the outer top turret, no problem as it was under half. Other team didn't care since they had a turret lead before that. They made the mistake of all staying bottom. I arrived at the next turret and popped my ult (50% AS boost) and tore that down in about 10-15 seconds. Now the ult lasts for 20 seconds, so I kept pushing (communication from my team let me know that 4 of them were still trying to take the bottom turret). Thanks to my boosted AS and my hydra, I blew through the enemy minions and was able to chunk away the inhib turret. The enemy team was stupid, and I made them lose 3 turrets in less than a minute and a half, while they didn't take anything.

Scenario 2: *From a normal game* The whole enemy team was mid, so I decided to try and take a turret bottom. Now this team was smarter than from the first scenario. 3 split off from mid to come and get me, and my team let me know ASAP. My teleport was ready to use, and our minions were slightly pushing top. So I tele'd up top, the enemy team arrived bottom, and I took a turret from top lane. If you play smart and communicate, you can take free turrets and change the pace of a game. (I suppose this would be more of split-push since my team was forcing them back, but either way, you can't argue with free turrets.)


If you take a free turret but the rest of your team dies, 3 enemies can take a turret faster than 1 Sion can (unless they don't have strong AD, you can still take a turret faster). Its better to flank a carry and let the rest of your team crash into the fight and score an ace than to take a turret at the cost of 3 or 4 deaths and a turret for your team.

Counter Backdoor Sion!!

With Sion's unstoppable 1v1 power, you can easily drop in on someone that thinks they are about to take a turret. Just save your stun for if they try to escape and hack away until you get a free kill. Always run through the jungle so (hopefully) they don't have vision on you and you can punish them for trying to push alone. Taking teleport allows you to quickly show up near them or to quickly rejoin your team after stopping the aggressor.

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Additional Bonuses of a Sion

Instead of always backdooring, you can easily take down dragon or give your team a head start on baron. Dragon is a joke once you pop your ult, and you can take it uncontested if your team puts a little pressure on your opponents.

Now baron is slightly different. Barring a build of 3 bloodthirsters and 2 phantom dancers, don't try to count on soloing baron. But letting your team push back the enemy while you start baron is useful.

In a normal game with my ranked team, the rest of my squad was fighting the enemy in their base and had taken an inhib. Now their team had to play defense I started baron as soon as the inhib went down. My health got below half, I popped my ult, and had 20 free seconds of smacking baron while keeping my health full. The rest of my team shows up at the tail end of my ult (baron was sitting just under half health) and the clean up is easy for 4 more champions. I went back to base, grabbed some homeguard for my boots, and sprinted up to join the rest of team mid for our final game winning push.

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Score Card
" K D A CS
T jlang22894 6 11 309
T jlang22894 5 3 2 272
ADC Friend Carry 6 1 4 236
T jlang22894 5 3 9 236
T jlang22894 8 3 4 203
Row 1: I had built Phantom Dancer, Ravenous Hydra, Berserker Greaves, Infinity Edge, Stinger and a Pickaxe. I also had destroyed 6 turrets and an inhib.
Row 2 and 3: Comparing myself with my team's ADC (ranked 5s team, a good friend of mine). I had built my AS boots, a Ravenous Hydra, Phantom Dancer, Bloodthirster, and a Zeal. I had 6 turrets this game as well and 2 inhibs.
Row 4: I had AS Boots, a Hydra, Phantom Dancer and a BF sword.
Row 5: AS Boots, Hydra, Phantom Dancer, BF Sword, Zeal and a Pickaxe. Took 4 turrets and an inhib.
Score Card
" K D A CS
T jlang22894 8 3 8 284
Row 1: AS Boots, Hydra, Phantom Dancer, Static Shiv, Pick, and a BF Sword at end of game. 5 turrets destroyed.

Feel free to send in a few of your stats if you do well with my suggestions! I will add it on here to show how awesome you are!

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Akali. Akali is intermediate. She can be problematic if you aren't playing as smart as possible. Her ability to nuke people hurts, and her Twilight Shroud making her untargetable can be a bother. Early help from the jungler will help you shut her down, drastically limiting her ability to fight later in the game. Always make sure to let your team know when she is missing, because you don't want her to roam and get some free kills. Save your Cryptic Gaze for while fighting, because with her ult she will close any gap you try to make with it. If she goes invisible, use the active on your Tiamat/ Ravenous Hydra to still get a hit and some lifesteal on her.

Cho'Gath. Cho'Gath is tough. A friend of mine used to play Cho'Gath a lot, so seeing someone play him well is the easiest way to learn how to counter him. Your best bet is to avoid his Rupture. Its easy because a giant circle appears on the ground, but if your opponent knows what they are doing, they can usually head you off without you being able to react. My biggest piece of advice is know when Feast is on cool down and when it isn't. You don't want to both be low and he just eats you. It just makes you feel bad. The fact that he has a knockup can disrupt your 1v1, because if you're winning he'll knock you up and run away. If you're losing, he'll knock you up before you can run and then he'll eat you. Just play smart and safe and don't make daring plays unless you know you have the upper hand.

Darius. Darius is intermediate. Darius is one of those champs that can take you down hard if you're not careful. His true damage ult is painful, but the lifesteal from your ult should keep you high enough to avoid getting dunked. Hemorrhage will sap your health after trade offs, so you need to be wary of that. You can get ganked if you play to close to him and he Apprehends you. Followed by a Crippling Strike, you have a low chance of escape. So ult up and fight if you don't have your flash and stun on hand. Early help from you jungler will help you dominate the lane and shut down the monster that Darius can become.

Diana. Diana is intermediate. Another champ that if you play smart against you should be ok. She really isn't that scary until 6 and she gets Lunar Rush. This will be her gap closer if you try to escape in a fight. This is also useful for the enemy ganking you. She can also use Moonfall to slow your escape, so never overextend without vision. Again, early help from your jungler will ensure you prevent Diana from getting crazy powerful (my friend pulled a 52-6 in normal, you don't want to be the cause of that). Manage your shield and your stun, stay back and play smart. A frozen boring lane is better than a lost lane and a fed Diana.

Dr. Mundo. Mundo is tough. Dr. Mundo was the first champ I ever bought and holds a dear spot in my heart. That being said, playing against him can prove problematic if you are not properly prepared. This is a match-up where I strongly encourage Ignite. This can be hard to predict if you need it or not as I see Mundo jungle more than top lane. His Infected Cleaver is a 4 second cool down slow, and does more damage based on the more health you have. He can do constant damage if you stand near him when he has Burning Agony active. His Masochism gives him a gigantic AD boost, and puts him up to par with your Enrage. And his ultimate, Sadism, will keep you from finishing him off in a 1v1. Ganks will be the greatest way to ensure a kill on him, otherwise you just need to focus on out-farming him.

Elise. Elise is intermediate. She has very good pokes and can output a high amount of damage if the player knows what they are doing. Try to avoid her Cocoon to keep her from getting free shots on you. Her Volatile Spiderling will also hurt later, so try to force it into minions. She can also escape with Rappel, so long story short, just be aware of what form she is in and what she can still do in an engagement. The plus side for you is that she can be very squishy, so hit hard when you can and try to punish her when she is in spider form. Jungler help will always be appreciated here, because the sooner you are stronger, the better.

Fiora. Fiora is easy. Fiora is one of the few champs with less of a gap closer than you. Her Lunge is alright, but it shouldn't bother much. Her Riposte boosts her AD like your Enrage, but not nearly as high of a boost. It can block a single attack, but that's it, just one. You should be attacking much faster than 1 attack per engagement. Her boost of speed gives a huge attack speed bonus, but its only for 3 seconds, while your ultimate lasts 20 seconds. Her ultimate Blade Waltz has diminishing returns when used on only a single champion, so you do not have much to fear from it. When she activates it, just hit some nearby creeps to keep your life up thanks to your lifesteal. When she gets back down, I like to hit her with a stun and get a couple free whacks in as retaliation. Pretty easy lane, just don't let her get early kills on you.

Garen. Garen is intermediate difficulty. When going against a Garen I start double Rejuvenation Bead to try and keep up with his healing. A tactic that I found will work against him is turning on your Death's Caress when he tries to use his Decisive Strike. This will negate some damage, and then I like to follow up with a stun after he starts Judgment (spin to win). This way he can't follow and hurt you.

Irelia. Irelia is extremely tough. Her basic attacks will heal her thanks to Hiten Style, and your basic attacks hurt you thanks to Enrage, so there's that. She will also stun you with Equilibrium Strike if you're at a higher health percentage (which usually happens when you're fighting thanks to your Cannibalism). Jungler ganks are very important if you want to win the lane, otherwise if you play passively and try not to dive her, your lane will just be frozen. If she pushes and tries to dive you, just stun her and use your ultimate to try and tear her apart.

Jax. Jax is extremely tough. Jax is the only champion I have lost to in lane. Part of this was me not checking his items. He had a Bilgewater Cutlass, which slows your attack speed, which is Sion's biggest weakness. Jax's Counter Strike is also a pain, because if you can't get hits, you can't get lifesteal. My 2 words of advice are swing at minions to keep your health up, and use Cryptic Gaze to stun him before you get stunned. This way he isn't getting free hits on you. Grandmaster's Might gives him free bonus damage, and so does Empower. He will hit hard, so be very careful when going in for a fight. Jungler help early is super helpful, so communication is really helpful in taking down Jax. Remember his Leap Strike, so he can escape or dive in at any time. Play smart and don't feed, and let you're team dominate this game while you tie up Jax.

Nasus. Nasus is easy. When he tries to farm punish him. I start Long Sword so that I can hit him hard while he is wasting his Siphoning Strike killing minions to make it stronger. If your jungler will help you get a couple kills early, he won't stand a chance moving into mid game because of how much you can punish him while he tries to strengthen his strike.

Nunu. Nunu is tough. In my opinion one of the harder top lanes I've gone against. His Consume lets him sustain. His Blood Boil makes him move faster than you. His Ice Blast slows your attack speed, and his ult Absolute Zero will also slow your attack speed. When he ults, I really hope you had your ult up and are already hacking away. You should be able to get your health to full before Absolute Zero pops off, and then your attack speed will go back up and you can finish hacking him to death. Jungler help is always appreciated, so you can get stronger early. If his jungler shows up you might as well try to escape, because 2 people hurting you while your AS is significantly slowed will not end in your favor.

Udyr. Udyr is tough. Udyr was the champ I loved to play before I started playing Sion. Udyr is surprisingly tough as long as the person knows how to play them. My best advice is have your jungler gank often so you get a kill lead. Udyr can out-sustain you with Turtle Stance and depending on how your opponent is building, Tiger Stance or Phoenix Stance will have a nice bonus damage output against you. If you see him go tiger turn on your shield to negate his bonus damage. If he goes Bear Stance you can stun him after you are unstunned, allowing you to damage him in response to the free hits he just got. If he goes Turtle Stance, i suggest that you hit nearby creeps to keep your life steal bonuses, and then attack him again once his shield is down. This way you can get your farm up (boosting your base health), keep your health up, and still hurt him a little as long as you have your Tiamat/[ravenous hydra]]. If there are not nearby minions, just keep hacking away. *Either way you could keep attacking him, I'm just a farming addict.

I will update this over time and give tips on how to go up against certain champions.

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Thanks again for reading and feel free to leave comments or questions! Happy Sion Playing!!!

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Update Log

Published May 13, revised later that day with coding.

May 15 - began adding match-ups and will update frequently through today and next couple days as I have time. This section will probably also be continuously updated afterwards. As I play more against different people, I hope to give you readers an idea of what to expect of an opponent who is really good, not just if I roll through them 1 game because they were bad.

May 17 - Made a few important changes in the build section, taking into account suggestions. Hopefully this will give a couple extra ideas to play with. Also continuing to play with coding and layout. My summer starts next week and will have the time to make everything (hopefully) perfect.