I like playing support characters, but having some trouble with this one, what's an effective way to play her/build her?
Build her with any items you want and she will win
There's two ways to build her: Tanky, and AP.
Not to say that as AP you aren't tanky as well. Anyway, I'll start with tanky.
Why these: Heal should be obvious, you -are- support. Cleanse because you -will- get targeted. And Clarity because it let's you be -much- more agressive with your E ability.
Teleport because map mobility is godly.
Mana Manipulator first (that will take all your money)
Go lane with someone, if you're doing well and think you can swing it, grab your giants belt and maybe your Soul Shroud before boots, if not build boots.
For boots you have two options: Mercury Treads and Ninja Tabi - see if physical or magic is more threatening and build appropriately.
Swiftness are an option, but honestly the threads or tabi will be more useful.
After boots and shroud you've got a few options; Frozen Heart reduces their attack and caps your cooldown redux. Aegis is AMAZING on any support, Stark's if no one else gets it. For your melee.
You're looking at something like this build:
Mercury Treads/Ninja Tabi
Aegis of the Legion
With this build you'll want to level your infuse and blessing before starfall. Level starfall to 2 for farming purposes, and leave it there. Another interesting option to play with is innervating locket. Spamming starfall in a team fight gives tons of health/mana to people.
Regardless, while laning focus on last hitting and blessing your partner (BEFORE they get hit - it gives armor too remember) use starfall when pushing or to help your partner (especially magic based champs) going for the kill, remember infuse can pack a decent punch early game. This soraka is a bit more passive and supportive, but a valuable asset to the team.
The other option is AP Soraka, I prefer this one myself. She excels in assisting the team with her heals and MR debuff, also helps chasing people.
Clarity so you can be more agressive, that's it. Tele for mobility.
Mana Manipulator -> Soul Shroud
Mercury Treads/Ninja Tabi
Rylai's Crystal Sceptor
Rod of Ages
The last two slots are flexible, if you're doing fine as far as surviving you can go Archangel's staff and Zhonya's for more AP, or you can go Banshee's + Locket/Aegis/Starks some other support item. Banshee's shield is amazing.
with AP Soraka you are NOT there to get kills - you are still support, the reason to go AP is for her ult which has a ridicolous 2:1 AP ratio. In addition her infuse scales fairly well, and starfall is halfway decentish. Plus extra HPS on blessing never hurt.
With the AP build you want to get blessing first level, infuse second, then starfall, infuse to level 3, starfall to level 3 infuse to level 5, then blessing to max. level Ult every oppurtunity. You can help chase fairly well with a 15% snare on their entire team constantly (it's not much, but it's still gonna get you guys close to them) as well as infuse as a 35%(I think) snare.
I've been playing with goign mana manip->boots1->locket->mercury treads->aegis->stuff for the tanky build.
Locket is amazing with starfall spam.
Here's the tanky build:
Mana Manip->Boots1(not treads)->Locket->Treads->Aegis->Everythingelse
I play her as a mini tank, and so I usually focus on CD reduction with her. She can regen insane amount of mana through Infusion already. Unless you spam Starcall at any given moment, you will never need to get any mana item for her.
I usually start with Feindish Codex, Aegis, your favorite shoe (I take Ninja Tabi). By this point, you're pretty much tougher than any tank at your level. Enjoying playing the 2nd tank for your team for the next 10 min while you work on getting Glacial Shroud -> Frozen Heart.
Congrats, you are now unkillable unless the entire opposing team use all their spells on you. And expect to survive even that if you choose Heal as your summoner spell + a lot of defensive mastery.
Also, your Wish should be on a 45 seconds cooldown. Spam it as much as you want.
Push for Mejai's Soul Stealer afterward, since it's cheap spell power.
You won't be getting much glory with this build. Chances are you'll buff your friend, buff yourself (your CD is short enough to keep Astral Blessing up on 2 targets), run in, spam Starcall and heals..and well, that. It's boring, but effective beyond believe.
Oh, and don't forget to use those spare Infusion on your teammate. The more mana they have, the more they can spam.
I want to know how you are supposed to afford all this gear as a support character laning with another player. Do you have to steal all the killing blows with starcall?
Start with Meki Pendant. Upgrade to Fiendish Codex.
Now pick up some boots.
Why don't you get mana manipulator early on? Because it's not needed that early game. The aura effect is useful when the game starts to approach the later stages, where grouping up for extended periods of time take place.
So after these two items, then you can start working on Giants belt first and finally Soul Shroud. You'll have pretty good mana regen for yourself along with 25% ability reduction speed.
I usually then go Rylai's Scepter and or Aegis of the Legion, the order is up to the situation at hand.
You'll be pretty tanky with a high HP pool, 25% ability reduction speed, and a nice pool of AP.
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