[Guide] Sona, Support to the Max
Written: October 22, 2010
Any reply of feedback and this guide is greatly appreciated and will be put into consideration.
This guide is for those people who don't want to tank, but want to be a very important member of your team. Unless there is a Lux or Janna on your team, your team will appreciate you if you do your job right.
Your main job as Sona is to be a support character. What does this mean? you might ask. This means building you character in a way that will maximize the benefits for your team. This means you should try and be involved in every team fight, helping out during ganks, and helping team mates escape with both your heals and movement speed buffs.
This guide will make your score usually end up around 5/2/25. It is very effective and will carry your team and destory the others.
Now into the basics.
Power Cord (passive)
"After casting 3 spells, Sona's next attack deals 24 + 12 x lvl bonus magic damage. Additionally, Sona's Auras persist for 3 seconds after deactivating and set off a 2 second global cooldown.”
This means that after every three auras you cast, your next attack does additional damage. This is great if you have trouble last hitting minions, but should be mainly used to harass coupled with your Q.
Hymn of Valor (Q)
Activation: Sona fires bolts of sound, dealing 70/120/170/220/270 (+0.6) magic damage to the nearest two enemies (prioritizes champions).
Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Hymn of Valor, increasing nearby allied champions Damage and Ability Power by 8/11/14/17/20.
The aura basically increases AP and damage based on its rank. The activation is going to be your main source of damage/harassment. LEARN ITS RANGE. Once you master the range of your Q, you will be able to harass the hell out of the other side. It is a pretty big range so you can most of the time hit the other guy without him being able to hit you. It also will hit enemy champions that are in range over minions so you don't have to worry about that.
Aria of Perseverance (W)
Activation: Sona sends out healing melodies, healing Sona and the most wounded nearby allied champion by 40/65/90/115/140 (+0.5).
“Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Aria of Perseverance, increasing nearby allied champions Armor and Magic Resist by 8/11/14/17/20.
This aura basically increases armor and MR based on its rank. The activation is going to be your main source of support for both you and your team. This heal is extremely helpful in all situations and has a very short cooldown for its power. It will, however, automatically target the most wounded teammate, so if you are trying to heal someone in particular then make sure lower healthed champions aren't in range.
Song of Celerity (E)
Activation: Sona energizes nearby allies, granting them 8/11/13/17/20% Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds.
Persistent Aura: Sona plays the Song of Celerity, granting nearby allied champions 8/11/14/17/20 bonus.
This aura basically passively increases your movement speed by a slight amount. The activation is your secondary form of support for both you and your team. This short movement speed increase can be very clutch in both ganking and escaping. One point should be in here before lever 6, but then it should be leveled last. This skill is also good for moving across the map quicker.
Sona plays her ultimate chord, forcing enemy champions in a line in front of her to dance, taking 150/250/350 (+0.7) magic damage over 1.5 seconds.
Sona's ult is a directional line stun for 1.5 seconds. If you outlevel your opponents, the damage is pretty decent as well. It has a decent range but short duration so make sure you use it for a good cause. USE: secure a kill, stop a nunu/fiddle/kat/etc. from using their ults, to hit 2+ enemies during a team fight. DON'T USE: as a basic damage spell, or if you plan on missing your opponents.
I go with a combination of Clarity and Ghost.
Clarity is great early game so you can spam your auras a little more liberally and know you have plenty of backup mana. Also, the cooldown isnt too bad that as long as the harassment on the enemies side isnt too bad, you could hypothetically stay in lane forever without shopping.
Ghost gives you great movement to get to your team, gank, escape, and any other mobility needs. Always a good choice.
Clairvoyance-It is great to be able to spot enemies in the bush, jungle, etc., and if you dont think you need clarity then go ahead and grab it.
Cleanse-You have no real way to escape, so its a viable option as well.
Teleport, Flash are all OK options as well.
Heal-you have a heal.
Revive, Rally, Ignite, Exhaust, Fortify. You dont need these and there are better options.
I go with a basic 9/0/21 setup. This includes:
3/3 Archmage's Savvy
1/1 Archaic Knowledge
3/4 Expanded Mind
1/1 Presence of the Mastor
If you decide to choose teleport, flash, or clairvoyance, feel free to take a point of expanded mind away and put it into the respective mastery.
You are going to want to run:
Red: Magic Penetration
Yellow: Mana per 5
Blue: CoolDown Reduction
*All of these are flat runes, not per/lvl.
My ending items look like this:
1. Innervating locket
2. Boots of Speed/Mobility
3. Archangel's Staff
4. Zhonga's Ring
5. Banshee's Veil/thornmail/Void Staff
6. Build accordingly...game should not last this long
Guide for items:
I start off directly with a Mana Manipulator. I will then hold lane till at least enough to upgrade to an Innervating Locket and hopefully Boots as well. Next upgrade is either to Boots of Mobility or Speed depending on which you prefer, and either a Meki's Pendant or Tear of the Goddess if you can afford it. If you need to bank before you have enough for your next upgrade, then buy a Blasting Wand. If not, go directly to Archangel's Staff once you have enough mana gained from your initial tear. Start buying Elixir of Brilliances from now on. Next you work on your Zhonga's Ring, buying a wand or Needlessly Large Rod. If the game lasts this long, go for a defensive item depending on the other team..Bashee's Veil(starting with Catalyst) or Thornmail. Game will be over, if not pick your own last item.
1. Hymn of Valor (Q)
2. Aria of Perseverance (W)
3. Hymn of Valor (Q)
4. Aria of Perseverance (W)
5. Song of Celerity (E)
6. Crescendo (R)
7. Hymn of Valor (Q)
8. Aria of Perseverance (W)
9. Hymn of Valor (Q)
10. Hymn of Valor (Q)
11. Crescendo (R)
12. Aria of Perseverance (W)
13. Aria of Perseverance (W)
14. Song of Celerity (E)
15. Song of Celerity (E)
16. Crescendo (R)
17. Song of Celerity (E)
18. Song of Celerity (E)
Q for harassing/damage.
A few points in W early on for healing.
One point in E early on for support.
Ultimate whenever it is available.
Early game you will start off with your mana manipulator, and using Q 3 times at the fountain to get your passive ready. You will then go lane with your partner using Q and your passive whenever available to harass the other team. You should be able to dominate the lane with pretty much and teammate. Last hit as much as possible because you want to grab innervating locker as soon as you can. Once you have your stun at 6, if you havent already then destroy your lane enemies with a well organized gank. You should be using your heals to keep you and your partner in the lane, and clarity whenever necessary to replenish your mana.
Coming around 9ish minutes you should have 2-3 kills under your belt, probably all assists. Nonetheless, you should have enough gold, 2125, to buy innervating locket and boots rank one. At this point you are a very good support for heals/movement, and your samage will start to rise as you max out Q. Start organizing ganks with your stun, and make sure you are there for any teamfights. Once you have your boots of mobility or speed, grab your tear of the goddess as soon as possible in order to start getting that bonus mana. Also, at this point you should be looking to grab blue buff to have infinite aura spamming power.
By now you have finished your Archangel's staff and paired with your innervating locket, your mana should be persistently high. Nonetheless, grab blue buff when available for CDR and that extra mp5. Make sure you are there for every team fight throwing out your heals, damage, and movement speed increases. You are there to SUPPORT your team, never be in a lane by yourself mid-late game. After your archangel's, start going for zhonga's unless you really need to buy a defensive item. The you should most likely start building Banshee's Veil.
Some people like grabbing Mejia's earlygame for the snowball affect with a carry. I personally don't like snowball items and I will never grab a Mejia's unless I happen to have an amazing start to a game/know the other team is bad.
Sona is a very strong support character, and if played right should be able to carry and semi-competent team to victory almost every time. If you have any questions about Sona feel free to ask. If you have any ways to help improve the guide just let me know.
Why do you focus so little on her "E" Skill? It's honestly better than her heal is. Her heal is **** and is going to be **** until you can get some AP, which you'd be getting last if at all. During the late mid-late game when your team is making the big push down mid is when her heal is useful and by then you can have max'd your Q and E and probably have at least 3 points on her W. I notice that people always seem to say "OMG SHE"S A HEALER HEAL ME" but It's her speed boost that's really amazing. You and your lane partner can be at mid tower in Seconds with her speed boost and it Really helps with her escapes.
Even in team fights, her speed boost is amazing because It let's you maneuver yourself and your team incredibly well. In a bad situation? use your 450+ movement to get into a better one, Master Yi running away? Keep up with him using her constant speed boost.
People vastly underestimate the potential power movement speed offers and those are the people you see buy 4 items before they even get shoes.
Her E only gives a 1.5 seconds boost to spped and really that much. I see her Heal being much more useful early-mid game then her E in the games that i have played her
One point in E at around level 5 is ALL you need to give you the edge against teams not running Sona, if you want lane staying power then maxing Q + W quickly is what you really want, the harassment provided by Q coupled with the passive will almost certainly give you lane domination (presuming you aren't laning with a complete newbie/idiot).
I just ran a game with 1/2/23 but I started out in mid (we had ww, 2 melee and zil) against tiri and she couldn't stay in the lane as long as me because of the heal - I didn't even pick up E till I maxed Q and got 3 points in W (I think that's level 9? cmiir).
I always work on Q and W first and only bother getting E when people start being able to chase you and catch you. Even then I generally get boots before E. E is great for team fights and escaping but early game when leaning with a partner I'd rather have better heals and better nuking. Which not only keeps you in your lane longer but your partner. Early game timing power cord just right with your Q can mean the difference between a kill and an enemy escaping. And that is why I focus so little on E its usally one of my last skills to recieve any points with some exeptions depending on the game so far.
i just unlocked Sona after playing with her almost exclusively for two free-weeks in a row.
she's an absolute house of a support character. i've had good games and bad, but on average i usually do about 2/2/20.
i do the typical 9/0/21 (or occasionally 8/1/21- more on that in a bit).
my item build is mostly similar to yours except for my first item. i go for Chalice of Harmony. i haven't really run the numbers or done much research into which is better. do you find the Locket is superior to the Chalice, and why? i haven't tried her with the Locket, so i can only speak to how i'm familiar playing her. once i get my Tear, i try to spam abilities as much as possible to boost my mana pool, so in theory, the passive on Chalice is to counter me burning through my mana (and the magic resist isn't bad, to boot). do you think Locket would do a better job at keeping you good on mana?
for runes, i use my standard caster page (runes pages are freaking expensive to build, so early on, i tried to build two separate pages i could use on the widest variety of champs). it consists of AP marks (i couldn't decide whether to go for flat or scaling when i started building, so i went half and half, with the 9th one in scaling), flat mp5 seals, flat cooldown redux glyphs, and my quints are an alternating mix between magic penetration and flat AP. i typically play Sona concentrating on support over dps, hence the focus on AP rather than magic pen. i figure the AP provides a more versatile array of benefit to my spells than focusing on magic pen would, but it's just a theory. i could be wrong.
on abilities, for the first 3 levels i go Q, W, E. a level in Q out the gate helps your early gank potential (and i always try to lane with a partner that benefits both from the damage and AP boosts), and i like to have a level in all of them by 3 for max utility. after that i prioritize W>Q>E, ofc taking R whenever possible. W not only heals, but provides armor and MR, so i max it first. as was mentioned above, one rank in E should be enough of a speed boost to help out until you start maxing your other abilities.
i'm still kinda up in the air as to my preference on summoner spells. i've gone with a few different set ups and been relatively happy with each.
since i usually go 21 points in utility tree, i typically put a point in Teleport or Ghost out of tier 1. the benefits of Teleport have been discussed ad nauseam, so no need to go into that. in the absence of Teleport, Ghost + your E do a great job of making up for the lack of map mobility that TP provides with the added benefit of being able to get you out of a jam/gank situation if need be, or to just chase down a low life runner.
sometimes i take both TP and Ghost for ultimate map mobility. as you explained, being a support character, you always want to be there for every team battle if at all possible. with the combo of TP and Ghost, you should never miss a team fight.
i've recently read alot of people praising Clarity for helping in early game staying power in your lane. i've never used it, but i've never really had a big issue with running oom during laning phase to the point that i wished i had taken Clarity. usually once i get my first item built, and especially if i can manage to get an early Tear, my mana problems fade quickly.
probably my 3rd most often pick is Heal. i know. people say "why take it when you already have a heal"? well, it's mostly about maximizing your strengths and playing your role to the best of your ability. taking Heal compliments your innate ability to heal and provides manaless healing for when your W is on cooldown or it just doesn't do enough to save you or your teammates. summoner Heal on top of your W and E means that team fights should almost always go in your favor. you're able to negate so much damage healing in a burst, not to mention being useful in the rare occasion (typically early game) that you are oom. there have been several times that my lane mate and i were running from a gank after being low on mana and health from farming or team battling, and popping a summoner Heal to save us when i was oom or on cooldown made the difference in a double kill for the opponent and us getting safely back to the tower/base.
if i take Heal, i will typically use the point i would otherwise put in magic penetration from offense to take the buff in tier 1 of defense. that coupled with the cooldown reduction from 21-point utility means i can use it quite often without necessarily having to blow mana on W all the time.
then ofc, there is Clairvoyance. often times, your teamates designate you as the CV guy since your playing support. a fair request, but i try to avoid it when possible. i'm still not that great on micro-managing it on top of everything else i'm trying to do, so i feel for me personally, it is typically a waste over something like TP, Ghost, or Heal (or even the occasional Flash, Ignite, or Exhaust) that i will utilize much more efficiently.
so that was much longer than i had intended. hope it was helpful and thought-provoking in trying to find the most efficient support build for Sona. i spent a buttload of ip on her, so i might as well try to optimize my build. nice guide. holla.
why not go q-w-e by lvl 3 if youre gettin clarity? use q power chord then e-w (or w-e) and then use q and power chord again?? getting all three spells early lets you harass more often with power chord. but it dos take a lot of mana
Sona is one of my preferred supports as well, but there's something critical about Sona that no guide actually covers. Sona is very deceptive to your own team. It's very hard to tell whether Sona is going to initiate or just poke and back out. It frequently causes confusion with your AD. I'm not sure what it is about Sona, I think it's just sequence of abilities and the difficulty in understanding the visual/audio feedback.
For example, taric is very clear. If he is just poking, he'll just stun and walk away...maybe pop his W, but for the most part it's pretty clear. If he's going to initiate full on, he'll stun, ult and then shatter and stick onto his target.
Sona being ranged, her poke is to charge up her passive, then Q+autoattack and back off. If sona is initiating, it's difficult to tell. She'll use her ultimate, but you don't know if it's for offensive or defensive purposes all the time, whereas Taric always ults for offensive reasons. Additionally, her regular spells don't change her facing, so she can be floating away and tap her Q to poke...which can be turned into a counter initiate, but again, it's hard for the AD to tell.
That all being said, Sona is a very powerful support champ, but you HAVE to communicate with your teammates so they know what your intentions are because she has deceptive animations.
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