Soraka Build Guide

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Soraka, a Force to be Reckoned With

written by Jekka

Soraka Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Many people will argue with me that Soraka is a bad champion, someone who is not worth the time it would take to master her. Countless times I have proven them wrong, and countless times I have gotten comments like: "You are the best Soraka I've ever seen," "You make me want to play her," and, my personal favorite, "F**k your heals Soraka!"

    She is certainly not the champion for everyone. Everyone has a different play style, and to some, simply getting absurd amounts of assists isn't enough. I will not try to fool you - Soraka is not a damage champion. Following this guide, you might only get one or two kills in a game. But leaving most games with 20 to 30 assists and very few deaths is very satisfying to me.

    If you are looking for something different, for strong heals, great survivability, and a lot of fun, try Soraka. I think you'll be surprised.

  • Abilities

    [spell=Consecration]
    Consecration is a wonderful passive. It helps out your entire team, and it works very well when you build high survivability, as this guide will show you. It's not a game changer, but It adds to the many ways you support your team.


    Starcall
    Starcall is useful, but definitely do not focus on this skill. Early game it's used mostly for zoning and occasional last hits. Lowering enemy MR is great, but it requires you to get in the middle of fights, and can distract you from healing effectively.


    Astral Blessing
    This is your bread and butter skill. Never be afraid to use it, and keep in mind that it increases armor significantly as well. At level one it is rather costly, but once you hit level two and get infuse you should have no trouble dumping heals on people as needed.


    Infuse
    This is your gimmick. Many other champions have heals, but only Soraka has Infuse. This will give you and your laning partner lane dominance. It give your entire team absurd amounts of push potential as well, because you can support them better then any other champ when it comes to battles of attrition. This skill costs nothing. NOTHING. Use it every time it is up. It does a great deal of damage and silences as well, and it is wonderful for sniping kills under turrets.

    When enemies come in for a gank, throwing out a silence can save you a lot of the time.


    Wish
    This is a fantastic ult. It is a strong heal that scales well with AP, and hits everyone on the map. With cooldown reduction you can hit this pretty often, and it really can turn teamfights around. Keep in mind, with this ability you need strong map awareness. If you are not good at understanding what is happening at most times, or can't manage multiple things at once, choose a different champion.


  • Masteries + Runes

    For masteries I go 8/1/21. People would ask me why I don't go for the extra 15% spell pen, and it's simple. You aren't attacking. You need the in offensive to get to [mastery_icon=sorcery], and the point in [mastery_icon=mender's faith] is too good to pass up. The spell pen simply isn't worth it with how little you attack.

    Masteries

    If you plan on midding then pick up the spell pen and drop the point in Menders Faith.

    If you find you have trouble staying alive in games then a defensive build may help. I am confident in my ability to be slippery, and thus do not go for defensive masteries on Soraka. If you choose to, this is my recommendation:

    Masteries

    The added health is nice early game, and the armor and MR are very desirable.

    For runes it's pretty simple

    Greater Mark of Insight x9
    Greater Seal of Vitality x9
    Greater Glyph of Shielding x9
    Greater Quintessence of Avaricex3





    Marks can go several ways. I use Magic Pen because it makes up for some of the lost M Pen in Masteries, and there really isn't much better to put here. Other good options are

    Greater Mark of Resilience
    Greater Mark of Warding

    I use Hp/level seals because I don't use flat health Quints and they give a lot of survivability. Mana Regen seals aren't really needed, you have Infuse. However if you want to use them, it will allow you to harrass a little more early game. This is great if you know your laning partner is not very skilled or has little ranged harass.


    Glyphs can go a few ways. If you are doing premades and know that you are laning with someone who will need Mana Manipulator then use
    Greater Glyph of Potency because you won't be getting an Amplifying Tome and they will really strengthen your early game.
    In most cases I use scaling MR runes. Scaling MR runes are some of the best runes you can have on any champion, and the reason is simple. As your champion levels, base armor scales nicely. Base MR however, does not scale well on most champions, Soraka included. Unexpected MR is a beautiful thing, and I trust you will be surprised at how beautifully these help you.


    Many people will argue that flat health quints are better. However, since they nerfed the flat health quints, they aren't really worth it because of how strong your heal is. Flat health quints are good, but only for the mind game. Soraka is one of the only Champions that should ever use Gold per 10 quints, but they were practically made for her. You won't be farming minions, and you should save last hits for your laning partner. The build that those quints let you achieve is well worth a little less health or AP. You will quickly make up for it with items.

    There are other good options for Quints, such as

    Greater Quintessence of Potency x3

    or

    Greater Quintessence of Swiftness x3

    The Ap will give your heals a great boost at early levels,
    and the move speed gives you a little more survivability and utility to your team.

    What Quints you use are really up to you and what you need. Try a few games with each and see what you prefer. There are very few ways to go wrong.

  • Items

    Your first item always depends on whom you're laning with. If your laning partner notoriously has trouble with mana, get a Mana Manipulator This will drastically improve the laning phase. If you do not have to worry about your partners mana, always get an Amplifying Tome and quick build it into a Mejai's Soulstealer Get this before you even get boots. I cannot stress that enough. This is the only means of getting AP in this build, so get it quick and love it lots. It is your best friend from here on out. Even if you have to start out with a Mana Manipulator Get your Mejai's Soulstealer ASAP.

    Starting Items:



    or




    As soon as you can afford it:



    After you have your Mejai's Soulstealer analyze the enemy team. If they have a lot of Taunts/CC/stuns and bullshit, get Mercury's Treads They are the only item in game that can help you, can you will find that most game you will need them. If, however, you teams is dominating, the enemy doesn't have too much cc or magic, get Ionian Boots of Lucidity. The cooldown reduction is really useful, but only get them if the circumstances are right.

    Second Trip Back:



    After boots I normally start building my Guardian Angel. My build is very defensive, for several good reasons. Soraka's heals are very strong on their own, and with your Mejai's Soulstealer you should have all the AP you need. At this point, the goal is to not loose stacks, and to keep alive as long as possible. If you build AP, yes, you're heals will be stronger, but that does nothing for your team if you are dead. Weaker heals more often > strong heals only once in a while.

    After my Guardian Angel I normally build my Banshee's Veil. If the enemy team has a karthus, a stun team, or lots of magic, I will sometimes get this before Guardian Angel. This is very rare however.

    That completes your core build.



    If the game is lasting particularly long and you find yourself with an excess of gold, I like to get Glacial Shroud. The cooldown reduction is amazing, and the armor will make you even harder to kill. After that, if by some miracle of nature the game is STILL going on, get Rabadon's Deathcap. This with your Mejai's Soulstealer and defensive items will make you an unstoppable healing machine.

    So for a look at your ideal but oftentimes unattainable build, this is it


    You can go AP for both of the last two items, and if you choose to do that I recommend The hourglass will make the team rage, and the deathcap works beautifully with your Mejai's.

    Another way you can go is cooldown reduction. Will give you max cooldown reduction with your masteries, more armor and increased healing.

    Use common sense and your build will work.

    If you did have to get a Mana Manipulator and you really want to do something with it past the laning phase, you can build it into a [item=soul shroud]. I normally do not see the need in doing this, and oftentimes just sell the Mana Manipulator.

  • Skilling Order

    For skills I always start with her heal. It will save you and your partner from early game ganks. I'd rather both of us be oom then both of us be dead. You decide. From there on out I bounce between her heal and Infuse as needed. If we are having trouble with mana but not health, then focus on infuse. If your laning partner is having trouble killing minions, get higher ranks in Starcall. Soraka is all about responding to the enemy team and the needs of your teammates. If you cannot adapt then you are not a good support. When deciding what skill to get next, decide what your team needs most. This is my general build if everything is going dandy.


    You pick up a rank in Starcall at level four for zoning purposes.

    I'm sure most of you have seen this video before, but for those of you who aren't sure what zoning is, here you go:




    This is a great example of how to use Starcall properly and zone for your laning partner.

  • Summoner Abilities

    For summoner spells I always use
    Heal
    Clairvoyance

    Having heal makes you a real bitch to kill. You can use it for your allies as well, and I can guarantee it will make the enemy team rage. Having three different strong ways to heal yourself and others really seems to piss some people off.

    Clairvoyance is a wonderful summoner ability, and I personally feel that it is underused. You can constantly be checking for ganks, seeing if they're at baron, let a backdoorer know when to get out....the uses are endless. My biggest tip is don't forget that you have it. I cannot count how many time's we've gotten an ace at baron because of Clairvoyance.

    Flash Is another great choice. It can get you out of ganks and many bad spots. I love flash a lot, but I feel that Clairvoyance is more of an asset to my team.

    If you find that you don't need Heal, get flash.

    Other okay options are
    Clarity If you get this then it's not for you, it's for your teammates. If you need this as a Soraka then you are doing something HORRIBLY wrong. It can, however, help out your team.
    [spell=fortify] Another good support skill. I personally don't think it's worth the minute cooldown, but I'd be foolish to say it doesn't help.
    Exhaust This is good if you like to have more control over the enemy team. Not one of my favorites, but it certainly can help. If you choose the get exhaust, make sure to grab improved exhaust in the offensive tree. The damage reduction in great.

    Things I wouldn't get with this build:

    You don't need ghost because you have enough survivability as it is. Ignite is only for offensive Champs. You can heal anywhere on the map so teleport is pretty useless. You aren't a jungler, and you won't be dieing enough to justify revive.
    And rally.... well it's rally. It's really only good for Backdooring beasts.

  • Notes on Warding

    As a support, it is your job to ensure that the map is properly warded at all times. This does not mean the team should not help with wards at times, however because support builds are typically very inexpensive, warding falls on you.

    In the laning phase make sure to ward river, especially if the enemy has a jungler or are gank-heavy. If they have a champion such as Blitzcrank or mundo that is sitting in the bush skill-shotting, don't be afraid to ward that too. Lane control is very important to having a good game.

    Late game warding is very reliant on what is needed at the time. This video shows where to ward in given situations.




    Keep in mind that sometimes the danger of placing a ward is not worth the benefit. If you are pushed into your base and baron ward goes down, there isn't much you can do. Clairvoyance is a godsend at this point, but sometimes you must cut your losses.

  • If You Mid

    Soraka is a very good mid. I do not normally recommend midding on her, because her benefits to a lane are much higher than that of mid. There are, however, several good reasons to go mid.

    -Shes got the best staying power in game. With Infuse she never has to base.
    -She can survive ganking if you are aware. As long as you keep of your three heals up, you'll make it out.
    -You have a great farming ability. I've based before with ‡k gold because I didn't have to leave and can farm like a boss.

    If you go mid, get a Doran's Ring. It gives you even more staying power and survivability. When you do have to base, follow the build above, starting with the Mejai's Soulstealer. Focus on farming. You won't get any kills in this phase, but neither will your opponent. This is a great advantage, because you don't need kills to do well, but your opponent more often than not does. Remember to ward the rivers.

    Masteries stay the same, however for runes switch out

    Greater Quintessence of Avarice x

    and instead use

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

    You don't need the extra gold, and the health will really help you survive potential ganks.

    For skills:


    You start with infuse because it is a great harass and also silences. Heal next because you need it to support yourself. Then starfall, and from there you just level your abilities evenly, keeping heal up to defend from ganks, and farming and harassing to your hearts content.

    Mid on Soraka is definitely boring. Wards will save you from ganks, but sometimes it's hard to find a good time to base. Remember to clairvoyance whenever you think someone is coming. Play things by ear and you'll do fine. It's hard to do poorly mid as Soraka. As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment.

  • Ideal Teammates

    When playing Soraka it's important to think about your team. I normally play Premades, which is where Soraka really shines.

    A Soraka/Malphite lane is unbelievably powerful. Malphite has a very strong harrass, but it is very mana intensive and thus not a spammable ability. With infuse along with a Soraka counters Malphite's mana issues and you are guaranteed lane dominance. Soraka matches well with any mana intensive high damage champion or tank. Kog' Maw, Cho'gath, and Malphite are all good examples.

    One very important thing to remember is that your laning partner does not need to be one that uses mana. So often players fall into the thought that Soraka would only be useful if she has someone to give mana to. On the contrary, laning with a Vladimir, Tryndemere, Mordakaiser, or any champion without mana can be a deadly combo. It makes it so you don't have to rank infuse up as quickly, meaning you can dump stronger heals on your laning partner and you can be much more aggressive. It's great to only have to worry about your own mana.

    There are some champions that are not great to lane with. You won't be doing damage, so you either need a partner that does high damage or that can take a lot of hits, like a tank. You need someone that does legit AOE damage, because without it you will be pushed pretty hard. If that happens, rank us Starcall sooner.

    The strongest thing that I can recommend is to experiment. Find champions that you and your laning partner are comfortable with, and adapt Soraka's abilities to what your partner needs. It can be a lot of fun to test what two people are capable of.

  • Champions to Watch out for

    There are many Champions that are great to play with, but in the same regard there are many enemies that you don't want to see. High burst damage stealth champions can be a real bitch. If you are having trouble because a Twtich, Eve, or another stealther keep ganking you, there are things you can do. Early game, get a Vision Ward. If it's late game and you have your defensive items, an [item=oracle's elixir] can be your best friend. If you are having trouble dieing, have your tank get one instead.

    The other type of champion that can be a problem for you is any that has a healing reduction debuff. Miss Fortune, Gangplank, Tristana, and Katarina can all be problems. The Debuff always puts the same icon over the champions head, and you will learn to look out for it. Sometimes it is necessary to heal a Champion even if they have the debuff, but try to avoid it. Ignite does the same debuff, and the DOT can be a bitch. try to let it run off before you heal, but half a heal that keeps a champion alive is better than ho heal at all and a dead champion.

  • Working in the team

    You are, ultimately, useless without your team. You cannot be a good support if you have nothing to support. Always be in teamfights, always be looking if you need to Clairvoyance, and always be paying attention if you need to ult. You need to be a very aware player.

    If you are in a teamfight, prioritize your own mana over others. Always keep enough mana to have an ult or a heal available. It's better to have an OOM team then a dead one. After yourself, make sure that the carries have the mana they need, and that you've got constant heals on your tank, increasing their armor and keeping your team up. Starcall if you have the mana and your heals are on CD. The damage is negligible, but the reduced Magic Resist is helpful.

    Sometimes it's a lot to handle. If people start dieing, It's probably not your fault. You are one person, you can only do so much. But make sure you do your best.

  • Summary

    Soraka is a very strong champion when played right. I cannot stress enough that your success as a whole is reliant on your ability to adapt with the enemies and your team. Don't expect yourself to do well the first time you play her. Like all champions, she takes time to get used to and you need to make her fit your personal play style. She is not the champion for everyone. If you have any questions let me know. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


    So go out there, try Soraka, and have some fun pissing of the enemy team.
    =D

  • Edits and Changes

    Date Broken - Edited for typos.
    Date Broken - Changed masteries link.
    Date Broken - Added Section on Midding as Soraka


    6/22/11 - Big Update
    - Added Warding Section
    - Changed Skilling order to incorporate Starcall at 4
    - Added multiple videos to help player
    - FINALLY FIXED number bug. =D
    - Added MR suggestions

    I plan to continue updating this guide as items and abilities change and as I evolve and progress as a player.



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