Letís talk about Sona

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Fearless

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Game Designer

04-18-2014
9 of 25 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptor6789 View Post
I agree - Sona's different playstyle is pretty cool, but I think there are ways to maker her more "interactive" or perceptively more impactful without making her more mechanically difficult ...
If we do start working on any changes to Sona, I think this would be a core judge of those changes. Sona wouldn't feel like Sona if QWE were now skill shots. Sona has to still be Sona, but I'm positive there is a more rewarding, more enjoyable Sona out there somewhere. So far, I'm really excited, because what you guys are saying is pointing in the same directions we were already looking.

Still happy to hear a lot more.


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Postal Miku

Senior Member

04-18-2014

Really do hope those changes come through

she has had he kit stripped over time, most of the time turning out to be nerfs what work
Sona does work right now, but god damn she is boring to play lategame


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Evalexis

Senior Member

04-18-2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearless View Post
What do you love about playing Sona?
What do you not like about playing Sona?
What decisions are most interesting to you when you play Sona?
What moments of a Sona game make you feel like youíve made a play for your team?

What do you love about playing Sona?

I love her music motif. I love music, a lot. I suffered through several years of band classes because I wanted to compose music myself, and I've had the honor of being Music Lead for two different indie video game projects.

I love that Sona is a nexus of positive energy for her allies. I love her ability to take down towers slightly faster than other supports, even without sheen/LB/IBG.

I love that (unless you build Rylai's or Iceborn) there is some planning ahead on what Power Chord to use on a target.



What do you not like about playing Sona?

I dislike how insufferably squishy she is. I don't think there is a single support more reliant on her teammates to keep her safe than Sona. Her only disengages are a mostly useless MS boost, a single target slow that requires timing and multiple ability uses, and her Ultimate, which is a win for the other team anyway, as Sona brings so little to fights late game outside of her Crescendo.



What decisions are most interesting to you when you play Sona?

There is some differences when it comes to item builds. Tier 2 Boots end up being Mercs, Ionian, maybe Mobility. With only two and a third (power chord) damaging abilities, Sorc shoes aren't that great a buy. I personally buy Swifties over Mobi. She builds full CD as a must, so Athenes pull double duty with the CD and Mana Regen. Mikael's is core for some players, unbought for others (like me, my latency is too high to get a use out of it, 110ping East Coast says hi). For major AP items, she tends to buy ones that offer multiple stats, like the HP/AP/Slow in Rylai, AP/HP/DoT from Liandry's, the AP/CD/M-Regen/Wound in Morellonomicon, and the AP/Armor/Mana/Sheen from Iceborn. Defensive purchases offer her more MR than Armor with Twin Shadows, Athenes, Aegis, and a Sona that is getting focused can always get a Banshee's.

Early game Sona is designed to be a jack of all trades, but she suffers for it if the enemy laners are competent or if her ADC is focused too hard/is just plain dumb. Her Mana pool and Mana regen combined with her ability costs and low natural cooldowns leave her almost guaranteed to go OOM if she actually tries to be an all around support. She either has to dedicate her self to being an assault poker with Q and her passive, or a nanny-bot with W. E costs too much to spam early game, when it is her only CC.



What moments of a Sona game make you feel like youíve made a play for your team?

Placing down wards. Ulting an enemy engage or mage's channel (very, very rare chances to do so). Landing a Power Chord E onto an escaping enemy)

There isn't actually much beyond those, simply because of her limited range of effect. I actually get the most sense of accomplishment when I build Sona for the split push/objective control with CD and at least a Sheen. Sona offers so little in team fights outside of the MS boost and Ult that many times, you're better off making at least one enemy come deal with you in a side lane. Every support offers more enemy disruption than Sona except perhaps Karma, but her MS boost is tied with a great shield, natural active tankiness with a Mantra W, and better ratios all around. Soraka has a low-CD, zero-cost Silence and her Q either ends up being Area Denial or constant magic damage and MR shred.



I have a few ideas for a rework of Sona (which I don't think will be happening anytime soon, I expect this to end up being a slight tuning that will most likely make her viable again, only to have her see severe nerfs afterward. I hold no hope that the Riot Live Balance team can touch Sona without nerfing her in some way or having GD aflame in calls for some) but I'm gonna stew on them a bit before writing them out. They could end up making her the new Lulu or Soraka, but not as annoying.


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Kinaro

Senior Member

04-18-2014

What do you love about playing Sona?
Mainly the ultimate, the passive can sometimes be fun.

What do you not like about playing Sona?
Auras, self targeting spells, keeping track of the passive counter. The ultimate also feels too flash reliant.

What decisions are most interesting to you when you play Sona?
Using the ultimate and choosing the right passive autoattack.

What moments of a Sona game make you feel like youíve made a play for your team?
Almost only the ultimate, sometimes the speed-up.


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Dryad Soraka

Senior Member

04-18-2014

Really no one even notices or plays her for her ability passives, they're pretty bad.


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Fearless

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Game Designer

04-18-2014
10 of 25 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Best Dota 2 Sona View Post
When you constantly emphasize on "fun" you are bound to be blind-sided of the aspect of viability to competitive play. Please do think through and make it a viable competitive champ.
These aren't divorced goals, and in fact they do work together when we do our job well. A champion that is more fun needs lots of interesting ways for people to make choices and interact with their team and their opponents. A great champion has payoffs that reward these great plays. When the payoffs are built correctly, that results to a great deal of fun for our players. Those same payoffs are what give a champ a niche and purpose in high level play.


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Leaphfy

Junior Member

04-18-2014

I like Sona for her buffing capabilities. Her kit is very well-rounded and her Q is very underestimated whenever I play in team builder. It hurts especially with the power chord Q. I also like how quickly she can adapt to the flow of the game, if botlane is struggling then she can babysit, if they're being aggressive she can just harass and zone. I just like her for being so versatile.

I hate the squishiness if you get caught, you pretty much cant duel but in those rare occasions you can kill someone by just spamming Q lol

My decisions would have to be timing my ult and trying to hit as many as possible. Even thinking about flash+ulting takes some thought if it's worth it and if anyone is going to follow up on the engagement.

Moments for making da playz would probably either be team fights where Crescendo hits the entire team or in lane where you flash+ult to give your ADC a double kill, those are when I felt like I helped the team get a huge lead and/or relief off the pressure of the enemy team.

Sona's been my first support and she's always been my favorite support.


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Atanchan

Junior Member

04-18-2014

What do you love about playing Sona?
Personally, I play her both as a mid and a support. And actually, she's really fun as both. My favorite part of her, actually, is how she basically doesn't stop at all, except when autoattacking or using her ultimate. I also love her ratio of utility to damage; she has plenty of power early on and keeps it up decently when she gets AP and especially Lich Bane. Her Q and E's Power Chords are really just awesome, though while I don't really feel the W's I don't really feel like I waste the Chord on it unless they're fully intent on running away and they just barely have too much health for it to be a kill.

What do you not like about playing Sona?
Her auras, honestly. I feel like they hold her back from being the true utility-damage weaver that should be, and honestly I don't really notice them, I just sort of automatically use my E aura when travelling the map and disengaging and my Q aura when last hitting/tower pushing. They don't feel like they actually do anything, I just tell myself that they exist and pretend to notice when really the only thing I do notice are my Spellblade and Power Chord procs against towers.

I also don't like how she has to stop to auto attack, or rather I don't like how she has to stop to proc her Power Chord. It'd be lovely if she could continue moving while attacking when she has that ready, but really that's just a sort of wish I can't expect to happen since it's kind of silly and abusable and would probably make her poke unbearable. A more realistic wish would be to make her attack wind-up a lot shorter when it's read, I think.

What decisions are most interesting to you when you play Sona?
Whether to stay back or launch an assault. The fact that she can easily go back as soon as she hits her Q doesn't negate its dangers of going in such a low range, so I always need to try to catch my opponents off-guard. There's also the mana game; there's usually no point in the game where I have too little mana regeneration to be comfortable, but often I do have to still be wise about what I should do. Should I heal over trying to get another poke in? Will I need this particular Chord, or will I be fine with this other one for until my mana's back? There's also how squishy the poor girl is, so of course there's all the decisions that come with being easily nukable unless I can obtain strong enough defensive items.

What moments of a Sona game make you feel like youíve made a play for your team?
Crescendo is just awesome, I don't think anyone can argue that. Whether it's just to secure a single kill or initiate a team fight with everyone of them caught, there's something about disabling people with a huge giant wave that feels great. There's also the moment where a Q - Power Chord - Spellblade combo chunks somebody's health, not so much that they're automatically out but so much that a feasible advantage is gained just from one wise weave-in weave-out. Also, even if the aura kind of sucks, there's still a great feeling in mashing E and giving the visible speed boost to my entire team as we bail out. X3


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ShanmanT

Junior Member

04-18-2014

I like her q and power chord q poking abilities it's feels rly good to just poke down ur opponents for ur allies to finish off and ya her ult feels nice but the w and e are a little lackluster like because the power is in her auras you can't see very much of the power and it doesn't feel that great. but her poke and ult feel rly good


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Devi Freak Mint

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Senior Member

04-18-2014

What do you love about playing Sona?
She has tools for every situations and doesn't have huge glaring weaknesses outside of being squishy.

What do you not like about playing Sona?
Auras are worth a lot of power budget for not a lot of gameplay. Actives feel weaker than they should.
There's a feeling of randomness far as Q/W targeting goes. It's not always easy to tell who they are going to target.
Unless you're using Arcade Sona, it's really hard to keep track of your buffs/debuffs. And appreciate them.

What decisions are most interesting to you when you play Sona?
Since she's effectively a glass cannon during the laning phase, learning
Her skillsPower Cord usage.
Using the right skills at the right time (i.e.: having E available when you need to slow someone), unfortunately it feels like actives should have a bigger impact.

What moments of a Sona game make you feel like youíve made a play for your team?
Perfect Flash Crenscendo initation/counter-engage.
Saving people with proper use of W-Heals, E-Speed ups and Power Cord-Slows.