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Optimizing Sion

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Senior Member


I have been brainstorming the best ways to itemize Sion, and I have come to an impasse and am looking for feedback.

There are good arguments for both AP (though the best AP builds got nerfed a while back) and DPS Sion builds, here is a list of what I have so far.

Increased survivability (DC shield grows with AP)
Fastest ability to farm creeps (basically one creep wave every 4 sec with DC)
Potentially higher burst damage

Increased survivability (vastly increases the usefulness of the Ult)
Potentially one of the highest sustained DPS champions due to a steady +65dmg passive
Can keep an entire team alive with Ult up

They both share some things in common, they both need the following things:

  • Mana (both flat and mp/5) - Sion has very limited +mana growth and his abilities are extremely mana hungry
  • CDR - Reducing the cooldown to under 5 seconds on the two second stun is HUGE (basically 1v1 they are stunned 2 out of every 5 seconds, thats pretty awesome), also allows shield more frequently, and have your ult up 35% of the time instead of 22% of the time.
  • Movement speed - Range on the stun is small, and you are a melee champion after all.

For DPS Sion, he would then need
  • Attack Speed - Sion has a very SLOW attack speed, so this is the biggest dps/gold you can get
  • Crit Chance - Due to the high base damage, it is cheaper to increase your damage with +crit items than with +damage items
  • Lifedrain - only requires 7% to offset the cost of his passive

And an AP Sion would need:
  • AP - duh
  • HP - with less sustainability from lifedrain with your ult, this would be a good idea.

Now this got me thinking, obviously AP is easier to build, but how hard would it be to build a hybrid?
Nashtors tooth is an obvious candidate:
50% attack speed, +55AP, -25% CDR as well as 10mp/5

Guinsoos is another:
35AD, up to 32% attack speed, and up to 93AP!

Trinity force is also obvious, though its more of a late game item.

Glacial shroud (1675g) > Frozen heart is also full of win.

Rod of ages is also an amazingly efficient use of gold

And as it is for any melee, frozen mallet is fekking awesome.

Assuming a 5v5 usually ends at around the 10,000-14,000g mark

Rod of ages (3035g), if you plan to get it, should be rushed, as it takes 15 minutes to get to full power.

Glacial shroud (1675g) + Nashtors (~2700) will give you all the CDR necessary (can upgrade to Frozen heart if you are fighting physical dps classes) as well as:
+50% attack speed, +45 armor, + 10mp5 + 425mana +55ap

Phantom Dancer (3395g) is also one of the most cost efficient methods to get attack speed, critical chance and move speed, so that would be an ideal item.

Possible build order:
Sapphire Crystal (400) + 2 health pots (70)

Trip 1:
Catalyst (925) + Shoes (Boots of Speed, or if you can wait, either berserkers, mercury or tabi) (350-1200)

Trip 2:
Rod of ages (1710)

Trip 3:
Fiendish Codex + dagger (to start stinger)
Stinger + Meki pendant (to start fiendish codex)
+ finish boots if you havent done that yet

Trip 4:
Finish Nashtors, start PD

Also, check this spreadsheet:

<<work in progress>>

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Junior Member


I main as Hybrid Sion. AP works better early game and DPS works better late game. The main items I build are
1. Sapphire Crystal ->Sheen
2. Boots->Ninja or Mercs for survivability
3. Stinger->Nashor's Tooth
At this point you have good burst dmg and enough mana to spam shield and stun and 50% atk speed from Nashor's.
From here I either go offensive and get
4. Zeal (atk, crit, movement speed)
5a. Phantom Dancer against mages
5b. Lich Bane against Tanks

or Defensive if my team is lagging behind or dying too much:
4. Spirit Visage (CDR, MR, and improved health regen for ult)
5. Glacial Shroud->Frozen Heart

He can rock against tanks late game with shield up and ult going + a stun every few seconds. He eats mages for breakfast with stun->sheen strike>shield>sheen strike>shield nuke>dps. Hope that helps.