Soraka Build Guide

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Soraka, Healer to the Stars

written by Sympho De Proggy

Soraka Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Sup, this is a revamp of my now ancient Soraka Guide.

    Soraka's a support champ.
    a support's role can be boiled down to a few main points:

    1) Keep your teammates alive.

    2) help your teammates get kills

    3) ward.

    4) ward, damn you!

    5) WWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!

    warding is one of the most important things you'll every do as a support.
    don't be stingy with the wards.
    also don't be afraid to remind your team to help you out with warding.
    ideally everyone who has some gold and a spare slot should lend you a warding hand once in a while.
    the exception here is the carry, who should be busy stacking Bloodthirsters, or Phantom Dancers, or ICBM missile launchers, or whatever carries buy these days.

    now, more specifically:
    Soraka is the quintessential support champ, meaning everything about her is geared toward keeping her team alive.
    she's the LEAST offensive support in the game, which is saying a lot.
    personally, i prefer the raw power of her heals over the utility of other supports.

    that's not to say she's necessarily better than other supports (most people would probably say she isn't), but dammit she's fun.
    nothing like out-sustaining an AoE combo that would otherwise Ace a team.

    anyway, down to business:

  • Abilities

    [spell=Consecration]
    ok buff.
    nothing to say about it, really.


    Starcall
    this is the only offensive ability.
    since it has no defensive purposes it is of low priority in your skilling order.

    while a good harassing spell early-game, it has the terribly side effect of pushing your lane, which is simply not worth it.

    it can be used to farm very well after a few points in it, but you shouldn't be getting farm anyway unless it's to protect a tower.

    speaking of which, it sometimes pays to take one rank of this spell early so you have some way to push minions away from your tower.

    without your Q you can only stand impotently and watch your tower going down, which is damn frustrating.


    Astral Blessing
    the reason you're rolling Soraka.
    on longer CD now, but also more powerful.
    this spell still does what it needs to.

    also, the armor buff is very useful since you're gonna be laning against an AD carry.

    one thing to keep in mind about this spell, it can be used on allied minions.
    this means 2 things:

    1) it is possible to accidentally use it on a minion instead of an ally.
    watch where you aim that thing.

    2) it can be used on a minion to keep it alive.
    very useful if you and your lanemate are pushing a tower.
    healing the cannon minion gives you a lot of time to keep whaling on the tower while it struggles to kill a healed and armored cannon.


    [spell=Infuse]
    extremely useful spell.

    -during early-game use this spell to:
    1. lanestay by casting on your lane partner.
    2. harass your lane opponents casting on them whenever you and you partner don't need the mana.
    3. stop enemies from using escape abilities/spells during gank

    -mid/late game used to:
    1. sustain pushes by keeping your mana up to heal/refreshing your nukers and other mana users.
    2. silence enemies who have high burst damage (Annie, Veigar, Ahri) or escape capabilities (Kassadin, Ahri, Ezrael).
    3. interrupt !!!
    Fiddle Ult, Galio Ult, Karthus Ult, Katarina Ult, Malzahar ult.
    you get the point.


    Wish
    during laning, this is the ultimate gank rescue.
    .
    mid/late game this ult keeps your team alive during the shitstorm.

    notice that there is a slight delay when casting this ability, so don't wait too long to use it.


  • Skilling Order

    basically, you want to level W and your Ult whenever possible.
    prefer E over Q, though as mentioned, you might find yourself needing an early point in Q just to keep minions off your tower.

    if you think you might need it, take Q at level 4 or 8, so as not to hold back your W leveling.

    that caveat aside, you can get Q whenever you want, so long as you level W whenever possible.
    personally i find E to be much more useful to invest point in.
    more points in Q means longer silence, which can be very noticable against certain casters.
    also, during earlygame you are at risk of running out of mana if you don't invest in E, so be careful with your mana if you decide to skip a few points in it.

    to sum up:

  • Items

    there are various possible builds for a solid support
    i'll break this part into 2:
    first items that are a viable option in for Soraka in general.
    then the build i'm currently working with.
    .
    so-

    Ionian Boots of Lucidity
    typical support boots.
    so here's the deal with Ionian:
    The Good: very early CDR without disrupting your build.
    The Bad: CDR's a dime a dozen for supports.
    you're pretty much guaranteed to hit the cap every game.
    that in mind, do you really need CDR boots ?

    really the question here is how early do you need your CDR.
    if you (like me) can't wait to reduce your CD, you can get these boots.

    what i do normally is buy Ionian, then at lategame (assuming i have the cash) i sell them and buy different ones, since i'm often at the CDR cap anyway.


    Mercury's Treads
    while i already stated i now prefer Ionian, there's much to be said for CC reduction.
    if you're getting early CDR these are probably your best bet.
    also some nice resistance to complement.

    Boots of Swiftness, Boots of Mobility
    another alternative to Ionian.
    these boots will keep you out of reach and help you ward faster and safer.

    Philosopher's Stone,[item=Heart of Gold],[item=Kage's Lucky Pick]
    your main source of income during early-mid.
    GP10 are vital at the beginning, but can be sold as more and more assist gold starts flowing in.
    for maximum efficiency try to not sell them, but rather build off them.

    Locket of the Iron Solari
    excellent, excellent item.
    the shield does wonders for your team's survivability, making you that much more annoying to deal with.
    also, builds off HoG, which is great news since you don't really want Randuin's anyway.

    Aegis of the Legion
    a nice midgame team buff.
    this is another typical support item.
    giving your team useful stats without costing them the cash or the item slot.

    Zeke's Herald
    good supportive item for a physically oriented team.
    get this if your carry or any other other AD champ is doing very well.
    keep in mind this gives CDR, which in all likelihood will be wasted.

    Shurelya's Reverie
    i used to scoff at this item, but it's just a natural choice for supports.
    it builds off a GP10 and a defensive CDR item, both of which fit soraka.
    also it adds a very useful active effect.

    Soraka sorely lacks utility thank to her brute-force supporting approach.
    the active MS buff goes a long way towards fixing that.

    [item=Eleisa's Miracle]
    good alternative to Reverie if you're dead set against it.
    also provides CCR, freeing up your boot selection even more.

    Deathfire Grasp
    nice AP, CD reduction, mana regen, and a little sting to help your allies seal the deal.
    builds off Kage's, which is very convenient.

    this item can really help your allies down a stubborn enemy.
    the downside here is that the active forces you to get very close.
    using it is dangerous, so don't get carried away with this one.
    your team needs your heals more than that single target burst.
    supporting should be your priority at all times.

    [item=Morello's Evil Tome]
    generally, i prefer this item over DFG.
    however, supports don't need the extra AP as much, and you have so much CDR anyway that the difference is usually irrelevant.

    i feel DFG edges out Morello thanks to it building off Kage's, but it's a judgement call, really.

    Abyssal Scepter
    while this seems an atypically offensive item, note that the debuff aura will benefit your nukers in a teamfight. (this is assuming you're a caster heavy team, of course).
    the great thing about buying this is that it frees up your caster to get a Void staff without losing out on Abyssal's aura.

    other than that, good AP and some magic resist... all good :)


    Will of the Ancients
    another item your casters can benefit from even if it's not on them.
    consider this if your caster is carrying.
    the main trouble with this item is that is serves no support function until it's complete, which can take a while.

    also if gives you more AP than you really need.
    it's not a bad thing, it's just your money's better spent on other things.

    check if you have anyone else on the team who's planning on buying it.
    also, take the champ you're buying it for into account.
    a Malzahar will benefit from this item nicely, while a Veigar probably won't even notice it.
    burst champs don't benefit from Spellvamp as much as sustained damage champs do.
    keep that in mind when considering this item.

    Banshee's Veil
    -a great defensive item.
    will save you from stuns and ults, which will come often if you're not careful, as your enemies will take every opportunity to squash that annoying champ that makes their enemies invincible.
    that said, you probably shouldn't spend your money on what is a very expensive item that does very little to enhance your supporting ability.

    don't get this unless you REALLY need it.

    Quicksilver Sash
    a very good alternative to Banshee's.
    cheaper, plus YOU choose when to use it.
    so unlike Banshee, which is popped by every pathetic poke, you can save this for when it really matters.

    Frozen Heart
    good against a physical dmg heavy team, especially the carry.
    crazy armor+slow debuff aura makes you a very annoying opponent against any fighters trying to take you or your pals down.
    in addition CD reduction is great for you (specially your ult).

    that said, depending on the build much of the CDR may be wasted.
    plus it's very expensive.

    this is a nice lategame item to get if your tank didn't already pick it up, but you really should leave it for the tank if at all possible.

    Zhonya's Hourglass
    will keep you alive if you're being focused in teamfights.
    only get this if you're getting burst down fast and often.

    oh and if you're gonna buy it, don't forget to activate it.
    derp.

    Rabadon's Deathcap
    this one's just straight up AP.
    what it lacks in finesse it makes up with raw power.
    basically, your heals will be LEGENDARY.

    still, it's an expensive item, and there are more cost effective ones to get first.
    save this one for lategame (possibly last item) if at all, or rush it to troll as AP carry Soraka :D


  • Example Item Build

    this is my personal preference playing Soraka.
    i'll try to be as linear as i can, but keep in mind a good player has to adapt.
    this build assumes you're speccing into the bonus gold mastery in the Utility Tree.
    .
    Starting items:
    4X.

    -----

    [item_icon=Heart of Gold][item_icon=Kage's Lucky Pick]
    start building your GP10 items, starting with Philo into HoG into Kage's.
    get boots somewhere in that time.

    -----

    [item_icon=Kage's Lucky Pick]
    finish your boots and get your core item, the Locket.
    the enemy team will definitely feel this one kick in.
    that shield is a bitch in a teamfight.

    -----

    [item_icon=Kage's Lucky Pick]
    game's usually over by this point.

    if for some reason it isn't:
    either finish DFG or go straight for your 5th item.
    get whichever you feel you need most frome the above list.

    [item_icon=Kage's Lucky Pick] OR

    (Prospector's Ring is a placeholder for any given item off that list)

    finish both and you're at full build.

    note that Reverie + DFG + masteries brings you to the CDR cap. so you have no need of CDR boots after finishing DFG.
    you can sell them and buy whatever boots you feel like
    -----

    full build examples:





  • Summoner Spells

    the best:




    the rest:





    it only goes downhill from there.

    if you REALLY want flash, take it over Clairvoyance.
    the new Heal is incredibly strong.
    don't miss out on it in favor of CV.

    especially considering CV has been nerfed.

  • Masteries + Runes

    this is the mastery build that makes the most sense to me:





    as for runes...

    Greater Mark of Strength/ Greater Mark of Insight
    Greater Seal of Avarice/ Greater Seal of Resilience
    Greater Glyph of Potency/ Greater Glyph of Focus
    Greater Quintessence of Avarice

    i use the ones on the left, but the alternatives are also good.

    Greater Mark of Strength is used to harass at early levels.
    Greater Glyph of Potency because AP is better than CDR since you're gonna cap that anyway.
    Greater Seal of Avarice+ Greater Quintessence of Avarice give you a free GP10 item

  • Warding

    TO DO: Write something here ...

  • Actually Playing Soraka

    Now that we're done w all the crap, here's how to actually play Soraka effectively.
    first of all, acknowledge that you're not gonna get kills.
    you will never be a force to be reckoned with.
    .
    an aggressive Soraka is a dead Soraka.
    .
    earlygame, stay close you your laning partner and cater to their every whim.
    they need HP ? they got it.
    mana ? refill them.
    that annoying nuker preventing them from farming ?
    silence him so they can that they can punish him.
    .
    you job is to carry your Carry, basically making him a god.
    or to make a Carry out of a non-Carry.
    .
    help your teammate lane for as long as possible.
    try to stay as long as possible yourself to farm as much as you can before all hell breaks loose around lvl 10.
    .
    when the gankathons begin, be there to make sure your squishies aren't dying.
    if a far off ally is in danger, Wish him to safety, if possible.
    try, however, not to waste your ult on a hopeless cause.
    if your Ryze is surrounded on all sides by your enemies' entire lineup chances are no amount of healing will save him.
    help those that can be helped,
    and flame those dumb enough to get themselves screwed.
    .
    jk.
    flamers type when they should be playing.
    .
    make sure to use your Summoner spells when it matters.
    Clarity to sustain a push when all your allies need mana and your Infuse can no longer deliver, Heal for those early game HOLY F*** moments, and basically, whatever's needed atm.
    .
    all in all, Soraka's not a very difficult character to play well.
    just know your place (no tower-diving for you), and make your allies damn unkillable.



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