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Soraka is one of the physically weakest heroes in League. Her attack speed is low and thats only matched by her poor Hp (early at least). Needless to say playing her requires patience and you must realize that you will be targeted generally very quickly. So lets go over Strategy before we touch on item builds.
So you start the game against any team combo, contrary to popular belief you can solo with soraka or lane with her - both with the same effectiveness. The strategy is similar - Maximize your normal ranged attack to harrass while you heal yourself. First i go Astral Blessing whether i solo or go in a lane - This lets you be a little pushy in a lane. Generally you dont want to take the bushes at level 1 unless your with a stronger hero that can deal an awful lot of damage fast. Regardless, use the creep waves as your main way of fighting. let the creeps engage and make sure you throw a good hit or two when they try to farm. This is actually very easy to do because you can take a little punishment that you can heal easily - keeping them at lower Hp and less able to kill you. Your going to want your mana spell next, as it doubles as a nuke and lets you once again harrass effectively. Keep last hitting and harrassing as you level growing your skills as you see needed. You will at least need one or two levels of your starcall however, as its a weak , spammable nuke. Just another way to make people pay for going after you while you heal yourself. On top of this basic early game strategy you should look at different summoner spell combos. Personally i find Ignite/Heal the best road with her, as ignite lets you get kills early and heal well...Makes you even more annoying. Ghost would be my next most suggested summoner spell.
Anyway so your approaching mid game , This is where your really going to shine. At this point your spells should be strong enough just watch your mana to make sure you can do your ulti and your regular heal just in case you get focused. Work with your team, Heal who you need to and dont be afraid to play bait. (Your astral blessing is an armor bonus as well - Dont forget!) Anyway you should be able to roll in assists and/or kills. This comes down to coordination - talk to your team and make sure your not alone or out manned.
Important Weaknesses to Soraka
- Ignite. The bane of soraka reduces your healing by 50% which is devistating
- Early stuns or fear. Stops you from healing which can kill you rapidly as you have no HP outside of your healing. Mercury's treads are essential (See below).
- some of the straight DPS heroes are difficult to fight straight up - Rely on making them greedy and forcing tower diving rather than going hit for hit. Also if you can abuse your ranged abilities to throw a couple hits while staying out of range do it - Wearing them down is key.
- Executioners calling. Sure its not as bad as it used to be, but It can still beat on soraka pretty badly if they know what they're doing.
So heres a base build that i find does the trick with soraka...
1. Dorans Ring
2. Hp potion (saves mana early)
3. Mercury's treads
4. I usually can go straight Guardian Angel here - Armor makes you survivable and you resurect but watch for the soraka glitch that i've mentioned in other threads.
5. Rylais - amazing
6. Zygonia's Ring or other Ability power item of your choice (maybe deathfire grasp or something if they got like a Chogoth thats rocking)
7. Void Staff - lets hope the game didnt last this long
8. Idk you could even go Lich bane somewhere in here - Never got past void staff and i've gone 15-0-7 XD
*You may need more HP stuff right around 6 but thats no garuntee and it really depends on your surroundings
*The golem buffs great for your CD's too
Anyway i hope this helps to any soraka players who are interested and such. I hope it helps somewhat and Feel free to jump around on builds but the strategy is key.