Sona Build Guide

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Play That Funky Music, White Girl

written by Demigod82

Sona Build



Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Power Chord
    After 3 spells, Sona's next auto-attack does a flat amount of extra damage based on her level (12 + 24/level). Pay attention to the Power Chord buff (see next section, "Power Chord"), and when it's ready-- that's the perfect time to surprise your enemy with a quick Hymn of Valor + Power Chord combo.

    Tip: Cast Hymn of Valor twice in the well so that after your first Q against the enemy champions, your next auto-attack will apply Power Chord for a little extra damage. It could be just enough to net you first blood instead of first death.


    [spell=Hymm of Valor]
    A surprisingly powerful spell that hits the two nearest enemies, prioritizing champions (suh-weet!). The damage is awesome early to mid game, but gets less impressive as the game goes on. Casting this spell activates an aura that buffs yourself and nearby allies with extra AP and AD.

    Details: 7 Second Cooldown. Passive aura adds 8/11/14/17/20 AP and AD (not increased by AP). Active deals 70/120/170/220/270 (+ 0.6 per point of AP) damage to the two closest enemies, prioritizing champions.

    Tip: This spell has an awesome range, and since it is a projectile there is a slight delay between you activating the spell and it hitting the enemy. This means that once you have a feel for the range of the spell and the time it takes to reach the opponent, you can practically tower dive, throw Q at a low-health enemy champion, and then float right out of the tower's range without getting hit. I've gotten so many kills this way, which often leads to the recently-deceased crying "f*ck Sona's range." This makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.


    Aria of Perseverance
    A decent healing spell. It heals yourself and the lowest-health nearby ally. It also buffs your team with Armor and Magic Resist, which persists for 3 seconds after switching to Song of Celerity, a combo you'll be doing often to save your teammates.

    Details: 7 Second Cooldown. Passive aura adds 8/11/14/17/20 Armor and Magic Resist (not increased by AP). Active heals Sona and the lowest-health nearby champion for 40/65/90/115/140 (+ 0.5 per point of AP).


    Song of Celerity
    A speed boost similar to Udyr's Bear Stance, but applied to your allies as well (this includes minions)! Great for chasing, escaping, sneaking in last hits, and harassing. This spell is your low-cooldown mini-Ghost. The passive speed buff is fairly small, but it's enough to put you ahead of an enemy with the same tier boots.

    Details: 7 Second Cooldown. Passive aura adds 8/11/14/17/20 Movement Speed (not increased by your AP). Active grants Sona and all nearby allies (including minions) 8/11/13/17/20% Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds (not increased by AP).


    Crescendo
    A loud, flashy skillshot that does damage and briefly incapacitates enemies in a wide, long, straight line. Save this for team fights, cause it is incredible. Plus, they dance. :P

    Details: 160/140/120 Second Cooldown.Deals 150/250/350 (+ 0.7 per point of AP) magic damage over 1.5 seconds. Targets are completely disabled for the duration of the spell, but it is not suppression and therefore is effected by things like Mercury's Treads and Cleanse.


  • Power Chord

    Just to make things clear, these are the icons you're looking for amongst the buffs above your spell-bar.

    External Image

    Don't underestimate the extra damage this passive does. If you make sure you have it before starting a gank, you'll get it off at least twice, maybe three times, adding a good chunk of extra damage for a better chance of netting the kill or assist.

  • Introduction

    Sona is everything you want in a woman. She's beautiful, talented, half-naked, and she can't talk. Male chauvinism aside, though, it was clear from my first match as Sona that she is a game-changer.

    If you have quick enough mental reflexes to decide what is best for your team at every instant, you will act as the mastermind behind every team fight-- turning the odds just slightly in your favor no matter what it is that your team is trying to do. Read on for explanations of Sona's skills, when to use them, and what items best compliment varying strategies. Check out this screenshot to see what kind of scores you can come out with.

    External Image

  • Disclaimer

    This guide is NOT perfect. I've written it because I have had absurd levels of success in nearly every game with her, and I would like to help you do the same. If you have any criticism or suggestions, please, please, PLEASE post a comment. This is a work in progress, as every guide should be. I will update it often, so come back from time to time.

    P.S. I've seen some GREAT Sona's out there following my guide. Glad it's working out!

  • Summoner Abilities

    Clairvoyance and Flash are excellent choices.

    You're squishy, and if you follow my guide you're staying that way. Flash followed immediately by Song of Celerity will save your ass 100% of the time, 90% of the time. ;)

    Clairvoyance is an extremely underestimated, underused, and underappreciated skill. Use it at the beginning of the match to see who's coming to your lane, use it 50 seconds later when they're trying to sneak around you through the brush, use it 50 seconds later to help the other lane see into their brush, use it 50 seconds later at blue buff to scare Warwick away, use it 50 seconds later in the river when mid goes missing. You see my point.



    Other Possibilities

    Ignite - Sona doesn't put out a lot of damage. After Q, you're stuck auto-attacking until it's back up again. Ignite can certainly help you net a few more takedowns.

    Clarity - It is very, very nice early game. But by the time you have Tear of the Goddess, you will almost never need to use it anymore. Mid to late game it will only be useful in team fights when your allies are running low on mana. But if you find that mana problems early on are ruining your whole game, give this spell a try.

    Heal - I would recommend Heal on very few champions, but Sona is one who it can be used effectively on. Considering you should always be there for every team fight, and you will be saving asses left and right, it's kinda nice to have a second heal up your sleeve.

    Teleport - Always a reliable spell. It helps you get back on the field after you heal up and grab some items. This might solve any early game mana problems while still being useful mid and end game (as opposed to Clarity).

    Exhaust - It's a safe choice. Great for ganking, great for escaping. Not much more to say about it.



    Spells Not to Get

    Revive Revive is only there to help you make other people queue-dodge.

    Ghost Similar to Flash in its purpose, but since Flash has the superior component of instantaneous movement and Song of Celerity is like a mini-Ghost in itself, I really don't see much use for it.

    Smite Although some may disagree, I would really only recommend Smite for junglers. Other spells are just too useful to pass up for this.

    Cleanse Between Song of Celerity, Flash, and the fact that you will be maintaining some distance from your enemies, you really shouldn't be getting disabled very often. Not to mention ever since they added Suppression this spell has become much less useful in general.

    [Spell=Rally] You don't need attack damage. And you definitely shouldn't take up an entire spell slot just to give your ally some attack damage.

    [Spell=Fortify] Rarely useful. I've seen it save a few towers... I've seen it save a few lives. But how many more towers and lives might you have saved indirectly if you had a better spell in that slot?

  • Masteries + Runes

    Masteries (9/0/21)

    Go down to Magic Pen in the Offense tree and all the way down Utility, making sure to get the move speed, CDR, and Clairvoyance/Flash buffs (if you're taking them).

    Click Here


    Runes

    Greater Mark of Insight is a solid choice for any AP champions dealing damage. Also, it partially makes up for the fact that you won't be getting Sorcerer's Shoes.

    Greater Seal of Evasion is what I've settled into for the time being. It's in the background, but the damage mitigation it provides helps keep me in lane for as long as I want. If you're having mana issues, Greater Seal of Clarity is a viable alternative.

    Greater Glyph of Celerity so when things are heating up at higher levels you can spam that nuke or that heal more effectively (note that CDR does not effect the 2-second global cooldown on Sona's spells).

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude to help you get first-blood and stay in lane longer. I use this on almost all champions.

  • Items

    (Check back often for tweaks! Read the comments for clarification and theory-crafting)



    Aggressive Support (Do NOT read: carry)

    1. Doran's Ring
    2. Tear of the Goddess
    3. Boots of Speed
    4. Blasting Wand
    5. Archangel's Staff
    6. Mercury's Treads or Boots of Swiftness or even Boots of Mobility
    7. Deathfire Grasp
    8. [item=Soul Shroud] or Spirit Visage or Lich Bane
    9. Most games will not go this far... [item=Zhonya's Ring]
    10. If a game lasts this long a touch of survivability will go a long way. Get Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart or Banshee's Veil.



    Defensive Support(for those who want to level W primarily)

    1. Doran's Ring
    2. Tear of the Goddess
    3. Boots of Speed
    4. [item=Soul Shroud]
    5. Mercury's Treads or Boots of Swiftness or Boots of Mobility
    6. Blasting Wand
    7. Archangel's Staff
    8. Deathfire Grasp (I simply cannot recommend not getting this item)
    9. [item=Zhonya's Ring] or a Survivability Item such as Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart or Banshee's Veil.
    10. If you didn't get Mejai's or can't keep stacks on it, you'll probably want to get another Survivability Item.


    Detailed Item Explanations

    Doran's Ring - I suggest starting with Doran's Ring because it has everything you need to get first blood and to stay in the lane for a long time. Even though you'll have to sell it later for less than you paid, it will more than pay for the difference with all the lane-staying and/or kills it helps you get that you wouldn't have gotten with Mana Manipulator, Meki Pendant or Sapphire Crystal.

    Mana Manipulator - I see so many Sona's get this first and I truly believe it's a mistake. Fine, you're getting [item_text=Soul Shroud]. I get it. You have auras so you want more auras. I get it. But if you are even DECENT with Sona, and your lane partner can put out some damage and/or has a stun at level 1, Doran's is hands-down THE BEST option. If you absolutely must have Mana Manipulator early on, choose Teleport for one of your summoner spells, buy Doran's Ring, go get first blood, then bluepill, buy your Mana Manipulator, and f*cking teleport back! Happy now?

    Deathfire Grasp - This item is essential on mid/late-game Sona. Besides your ult, Q is your only damaging spell... and it's not always reliable if there are other enemy champions nearby. Deathfire is another nuke (a POWERFUL one), and remember that it gets better with AP! With an easily achievable 300 AP, it'll instantly tear off 35-40% of your target's health, making them think twice about staring at your cleavage again.


    Situational Items

    [item=Rylai's Scepter] - Rylai's is not as useful as it is on some champions because Sona only has one skill that can apply its slowing effect... and this skill will often be blocked by minions. In most situations, I would not recommend it-- but if your team is severely lacking in CC this item will help you somewhat in that department while adding a respectable amount of AP and some HP to boot.

    Items I'm Experimenting With

    Sheen - In theory it sounds great... grab this cheap item early on and it can boost your damage significantly, especially considering how often you're using your spells. From other people's comments, it seems that some are seeing success with an early Sheen-- but in the games I've tried it I'm running into some serious problems. Compared to Tear of the Goddess, which usually puts an end to any mana issues, the mana on Sheen isn't nearly enough. So you still really need to get Tear first. Then you ought to at least get Boots of Speed. And if you then go for Sheen (1,260 gold) instead of Blasting Wand (860 gold), it will take longer to get the item, you'll have 15 less AP, and you'll be much farther away from completing that beautiful Archangel's Staff which will give you a huge AP boost. I won't write off Sheen just yet, but so far it seems vastly inferior to rushing Archangel's.


    Items I do NOT Recommend

    [item=Shurlya's Reverie] - "But Phreak builds it!" Well, if Phreak jumped off a-- you get the point. The 330 health is alright... a little survivability for the squishy big-boobed beaut' isn't a bad idea. But the health regen isn't necessary (you have a spammable heal) and the mana regen is worthless (after Tear of the Goddess you will NEVER have mana issues). Cooldown Reduction? Okay, cool. But if you really want CDR there are much better options (read: Deathfire Grasp). And the most important part of the item-- the justification for spending thousands of your hard-earned gold and giving up one of your precious 6 item slots... is a 2-second buff. And it's a buff you already have. Granted, Song of Celerity is only 20% (less before rank 5), but still-- aside from the rare, epic, split-second escape it might net you, it's simply not worth it. Celerity will almost always be enough to take care of business.

    [item=Innervating Locket] - Another one of Riot's shiny new wastes of gold (at least for Sona). I can't stress enough that stacking health and/or mana is just a waste of gold on Sona. If you play well, you won't be taking a lot of damage (and you'll heal back any damage you do take). And you'll never run out of mana after Tear. Period. The CDR is not a big deal (see my CDR explanation above). And since the once-useful health and mana restoration upon using an ability now only applies to yourself, it's unnecessary for the same reasons health and mana are unnecessary. Pre-nerf, it might have been awesome on Sona since she's constantly switching auras (remember how epic it was on Udyr?), but alas-- it never came to be.

    Mejai's Soulstealer - Are you thinking "whaaaaaaat??!" Please, please read this (lengthy) explanation for why Mejai's is not worth it on Sona. I realize it seems like a no-brainer... as Sona you should be getting assists left and right. That was my thinking, too, and the reason why it used to be in my main build. But although you will definitely be getting assists, it (usually) takes quite a while before you get enough stacks to make Mejai's worth it. Mejai's is like an investment... you spend 1235 gold on it, greatly delaying the completion of that badass Archangel's Staff, and then it's essentially worthless for a long time. It grows, yes, and assuming you aren't dying much it will eventually be incredible. But even so, think of it this way: it's a shitty early-game item but an awesome late-game item. This is not what we want with Sona. Sona shines most brightly early and mid game. By the time you reach late game, your influence is very much in the background and you'll find that you must rely heavily on your carries (with or without Mejai's!), so what you really want to do is boost your early and mid game ASAP. Having mediocre AP early and mid game is really awful... your damage will suck and your heals will suck, so you'll be getting far fewer kills, assists, and minion kills (read: LESS GOLD). As if that isn't bad enough, right around when Mejai's really starts to be worth it you'll be in late game, and you'll probably start wishing you had a free slot for a survivability item. There are champions on whom Mejai's is a necessity. But Sona is simply NOT one of them.

  • Skilling Order

    (I'm sure my skilling order is surprising to some of you... but give it a shot before you rate down)

    Start with Q, then at level 2 choose W if you and your teammate need some health (if you went for fb, you will), otherwise choose E. Then at level 3 get another rank in Q for better harassing, last-hitting, and possibly even landing an early kill (unless you got E at level 2 and now find yourself in need of heals-- in this situation get W). At level 4 get either your second rank in Q or your first rank in E. At 5, consider again whether your lane needs more healing or not-- and skill up accordingly. Obviously get R at 6, and from then on either focus on Q primarily and W secondarily (if your team isn't dying much and you want to help net kills), or W primarily and Q secondarily (if your team is struggling). It is perhaps a possibility to level E secondarily, but even if you want to play defensively I believe Q should be secondary so that you are still putting out damage and getting some kills here and there.

    Offense



    Defense



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