[Guide] Sona: Stringing the Team Along

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Cenerae

Senior Member

09-25-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obliverationizer View Post
consider the rylai"s crystal scepter as a good item? like after deathfire?
I can't recommend it, because it only works with your Q and your Q is 'aoe'. It's not spammable enough to justify getting it.


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Cenerae

Senior Member

09-28-2010

Updated the item build again, after realising that the Locket isn't really needed after all. While the Locket does let you spam, I've found that you don't need THAT much spam power at your fingertips. If you're stuck pussyfooting around an enemy tower for five minutes unable to push forward, then your team is doing it wrong. You have more than enough mana for general use, all it takes is a little control over your spell usage. Just because you *can* spam spells willy nilly doesn't mean it's always a good idea to do it.

The item build is more team-friendly and synergises better with Sona's abilities now, too. Or so I like to think.


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Amocoru

Senior Member

10-02-2010

I almost 100% agree with this item build. I used to start with mana manipulator too until I tweaked my runes a bit for some mana regen. I start with two faerie charms and build a philo stone + boots on my first go back. Then I get the second item in Shurelya's and finish up my boots unless I had some good laning going on. Shurelya's > Aegis > Boots > SS > Situational based on team for sure. Thank you for not recommending you always get a **** innervating locket, yes it's nice on Sona, but it takes too long to build and she'd be better served by getting another aura or finishing a better item.

I also agree that you should charge power chord twice in base. Getting the first auto attack > Q > power chord will take almost all champs to somewhere near half health very fast. If you're laning with a good disable that's FB every time. Just build your last items based on the team. Banshees, Zhonya's, Stark's if your team would benefit from it. Don't be afraid to grab a stark's and help your team out....aura whoring might be kinda boring but it's proven effective.


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Cenerae

Senior Member

10-02-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amocoru View Post
I almost 100% agree with this item build. I used to start with mana manipulator too until I tweaked my runes a bit for some mana regen. I start with two faerie charms and build a philo stone + boots on my first go back. Then I get the second item in Shurelya's and finish up my boots unless I had some good laning going on. Shurelya's > Aegis > Boots > SS > Situational based on team for sure. Thank you for not recommending you always get a **** innervating locket, yes it's nice on Sona, but it takes too long to build and she'd be better served by getting another aura or finishing a better item.

I also agree that you should charge power chord twice in base. Getting the first auto attack > Q > power chord will take almost all champs to somewhere near half health very fast. If you're laning with a good disable that's FB every time. Just build your last items based on the team. Banshees, Zhonya's, Stark's if your team would benefit from it. Don't be afraid to grab a stark's and help your team out....aura whoring might be kinda boring but it's proven effective.
I only take a mana manipulator if I will be laning with someone that can benefit from it. Today I laned with a Kog'maw, and a Morgana in separate games. In both situations the mana manip. was well worth it. If I were laning with a Xin for example, I wouldn't bother.

Your starting items are fine if you intend to go for an early Shurelya's, but I have personally found it a lackluster item. Nevertheless, if it fits your playstyle, there is nothing wrong with it.

I agree you could pick up a stark's, but feel other items benefit Sona and her team more, since Stark's is only benefitting your phys. dps, whereas items like Soul Shroud benefit you very well, and provide useful effects for your entire team. I guess you would have to play it by ear between games. Item builds aren't meant to be set in stone of course.

And actually I confess, I had a locket in the previous item build as the first major item. Then I allowed myself to be persuaded by another Sona player that you don't really need one, and tried without it after having played more games with the champ. Since I run mana regen blues and yellows, I can easily avoid the locket and still stay in the field for long enough to do my job. It's not really expensive per se, it's just that compared to other options, the locket does not provide much team support. But if I were a low-level summoner lacking runes, I would probably take a locket.

I agree that aura stacking may feel a bit boring at times, but it's not like Sona greatly benefits from AP stacking. The only real plus I have found AP Sona provides, is vastly superior healing. She still can't really do much to a tank late game, and an aura Sona can still burst their squishies decently. So you trade maybe 300 damage worth of burst and stronger healing, for a plethora of beneficial auras, and extra spam of Celerity for chasing and escaping.


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MBirk

Senior Member

10-03-2010

Hmm, I've done aegis also. not a bad choice.

My typical build is.

start:
mana crystal, 2 pots. Agressive harass
Catalyst. ward. boots.
locket. wards. blue elixer. merc. (Game usually ends)
SS or Aegis if the game keeps going. wards, wards wards. blue elixer refreshing as well.


I find locket makes me nearly unkillable at that stage of the game. Max hp and mana. As well as hp/mana regen. Extra cdr is nice too.
15%mastery, 10% blue elix and 10% locket gets me real close to 40% cdr.
Lockets self heal is 50/2s. or 25/s, and when spaming auras, 100hp/6s. (3s cd) 430 max hp, 450max mana. When spamming skills, 21hp/second regen. or 105hp/5. and 8.5mana/sec or 42.5mana/5s. Nothing else comes close to the self buff value.

At which point, speed buff, and lack of "need" to farm for better gear, makes me a major ward buying machine. This tactical awareness gives my team a bigger advantage then getting SS/Aegis that bit earlier. Team is usually in domination mode long before Aegis or SS comes up.


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Cenerae

Senior Member

10-03-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBirk View Post
Hmm, I've done aegis also. not a bad choice.

My typical build is.

start:
mana crystal, 2 pots. Agressive harass
Catalyst. ward. boots.
locket. wards. blue elixer. merc. (Game usually ends)
SS or Aegis if the game keeps going. wards, wards wards. blue elixer refreshing as well.


I find locket makes me nearly unkillable at that stage of the game. Max hp and mana. As well as hp/mana regen. Extra cdr is nice too.
15%mastery, 10% blue elix and 10% locket gets me real close to 40% cdr.
Lockets self heal is 50/2s. or 25/s, and when spaming auras, 100hp/6s. (3s cd) 430 max hp, 450max mana. When spamming skills, 21hp/second regen. or 105hp/5. and 8.5mana/sec or 42.5mana/5s. Nothing else comes close to the self buff value.

At which point, speed buff, and lack of "need" to farm for better gear, makes me a major ward buying machine. This tactical awareness gives my team a bigger advantage then getting SS/Aegis that bit earlier. Team is usually in domination mode long before Aegis or SS comes up.
Well, I figure it was implied that you should be buying wards for your team (but making the support and only the support do it is....stupid, for lack of a better word). Sapphire crystal is a poor starting item imo, as it only allows you to cast 4 extra spells in the lane before you have to go back, and does nothing to address your hp concerns. Mana regen (be it meki pendant, mana manip or doran's ring) lets you pressure the lane a lot longer or keep you/your partner healed a lot longer.

The locket gives Sona everything she needs to spam, but only if you skipped mana regen masteries and runes for some reason. If you have those, you don't need a locket. As I note in the guide, the only reason I would need a locket is if my team is spending 5 minutes dancing around an enemy tower without committing to a fight yet still harrassing and getting counter harrassed the whole time. IE, my team is being very stupid. The healing the Locket provides to Sona is irrelevant, and is only truly powerful in the next few minutes after a sucessful rush of it. You're already difficult to kill due to your speed, and due to flash (which you ought to have), and locket's heal doesn't stop you being bursted down, which is the general reason Sona dies. Locket does nothing useful for your team either, whereas Aegis has perfect synergy with Sona's W and Q auras, Soul Shroud is good for everybody, etc, etc. And both Aegis and Soul Shroud assist in fixing Sona's squishiness, just like the Locket does.


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MBirk

Senior Member

10-03-2010

It takes 2 minutes and 12 seconds for meki to regen as much mana as sapph crystal gives you.
Granted over a 5 minute laning period that is much more mana. However having that right off the bat for a potential gank-counter gank in river, etc, may potentially be better. and of course its also simply to build into fast cata, and then locket.
Dorans or mana manip are not particularly bad ideas, no. mana manip with an ap teammate, and someone with CC to protect you. dorans if you are 2v1 or other team has shaco/xin/garen, etc.

Aegis is a great item. Someone should get it every game. The problem is, getting it after 25 or 30 min, after your locket, ss or sury's is REALLY late. Someone, ideally your tank, should have gotten it already. IF the game is still going on, and no one else has done it. go for it. Absolutely.
But much like locket, its FAR better for the person that has it, then the team. So the tank/offtank should have it. and you are not the tank. (Although, it would go miles for increasing your surv. esp if you are getting focused)

SS is over-rated. Due to the 40% CDR cap, its aura is often mostly wasted. Nobody plans on it. Either they cap naturally with gear. As anyone that cares, gears for it. Or they don't care because they are a mostly AA champ.

Also, you really can't have too much mana. And the extra healing is not irrelevant at all. it keeps you constantly topped off. and with her escape tools, you can avoid being focused, and stay fighting. And keeping you alive, and keeping you in the fight, is providing your auras.

Why such a focus on wards? what else? Sona doesn't scale with anything but cdr particularly well. AP is ok. But not worth focusing on. So after 40% cdr, you are kindof left open. Auras, and more survival are you only real options. (Abyssal is probably better then SS. hell even starks.) Aegis should be in the hands of a true tank. If they aren't as I said, sure go for it. But all around, do you really need more survival? How are you dieing after you get locket? Your base hp isn't great. Locket gives a 430 boost. And has that extra heal, which shouldn't be underestimated. but w is a def boost and heal, e is a speed boost, and r is an aoe stun. 3 of your skills directly aid your survival. Additionally, all auras and skill have HUGE ranges. Meaning you can keep your distance, and stay well away from danger.
in fact, why do you even need flash with all your survival tools built in? Even Q lets you harass, and dps someone chasing you without targeting or stopping. in a team fight, how are the other team getting through your team, and your aoe stun, AND you popping E to speed boost yourself, and anyone else that needs a quick escape to kite, to focus fire you? Are you over-extending and not watching your back with, I don't know.. wards?

I run heal and clair on sona. Heal goes a long way when you don't have the raw direct heal of soroka/taric/nida. It directly synergies with all your def auras. Again, keeps YOU alive, and in the fight, as well as lets you heal your entire team. Dumb not to have heal. And clair again, mega team support.

You greatly underestimate the aoe heal on locket as well. 20hp/5s yes, is weak. Does nothing against focus. But often is enough, when someone evacs with your speed boost, to get them back into the fight to kill a tower after the fight is over. Especially x5. Being able to push lanes AFTER a fight wins games. 180hp aoe over the 40s a champ is dead and get back into the lane to fight again, shouldn't be underestimated.


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Cenerae

Senior Member

10-03-2010

Sona is the squishiest champ in the game. I get an Aegis right after getting Catalyst to help address this issue and provide the aura to my team. Combining the 20 armor and MR, and the 20 AD from her W and Q auras with the aura offered by the Aegis makes your effect on the team noticeable. It also addresses the major issue of Sona being hyper squishy by giving you the durability you need to not get instagibbed in a team fight. I end up with just over 100 armor and just under 100 MR with just the aegis, merc treads and W aura active. Throw a randuins and banshees in there in the complete build, and you have over 200 armor and around 150 MR. You become very hard to take down, and you no longer risk being swatted like a fly when team fights break out. It is difficult to do your job when you are dead.

SS isn't overrated at all. It gives Sona more health, and nobody is going to complain about the CDR aura. Consider this: You are a champ that loves CDR (Kayle, for example). You know someone on your team will make a soul shroud. You know that you can save money you might have spent on capping your CDR off and get another raw damage item. Sona also needs the CDR herself, and the mana aura doesn't hurt any either. Even your team mates that don't so much care for CDR will benefit, because while they gear for AD or AP, you can't say that letting them use their spells 15% more frequently in a teamfight won't help. That one extra dark binding or black shield from a Morgana could make or break the fight, for example. And your amumu gets his ult back faster for the next team battle.

There is such a thing as too much mana: when you have so much that you can't feasably get rid of it after a reasonable length of time. That's the point where you have too much mana, and that's what happens when you have a Locket. It all boils down to efficiency. Taking a Locket, or running with summoner spell Clarity says 'I don't know how to manage my champion efficiently, so I am using these to help me learn how', or 'I am only summoner level 8 and I lack mana regen runes and masteries, so I am using these to counteract the lack'. The healing is utterly irrelevant on the locket, outside of the early game, because it doesn't heal you close to near enough to counter focus fire. If you follow the item build I've listed, you're plenty tanky already, and W/E spam is plenty sufficient to avoid a gank, whereas if you go with your build of locket + shurelya's/ss and skip the aegis because you decided only the tank should make it, you have no armor and no MR, so you are easy to burst down and the extra healing is irrelevant. Your W already does a plenty good enough job of keeping you topped off when not under focus. Relying on Sona's relatively weak heal and Locket's also relatively weak heal to keep you alive when you're being beat on is a recipe for disaster, especially when you neglect your defensive stats in the process. And what if someone ignited you, or you were fighting a MF, or a kat hit you with a killer instinct enhanced bouncing blade? etc, etc...

If you really, absolutely, cannot survive without the locket, then by all means please keep doing it. This guide is here to illustrate how I feel Sona should be played, rather than how she *must* be played. And I feel that the locket is an expensive crutch to lean on, when the proper runes and masteries are available.


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MBirk

Senior Member

10-03-2010

With 3 of her skills directly tied to giving survival buffs, shes not even top five "squishiest"
Especially with the MASSIVE 1000 range of her auras, and temp buffs of w, and e. Q is still 600, and so is her AA. Even her stun is 600 linear.
She does have low base hp granted. (Not THE lowest btw)

I am arguing she doesn't need much items for survival, nor ghost AND flash.
You are saying, ghost and flash, and Aegis/SS.
Locket does the job.

Nobody will change their build order because of your SS.

Clarity is terrible. Clairvoyance is godly.

FF isn't the only damage in the game. And team fight FF only lasts a moment. Keeping pressure on after the team fight is what wins the game. hp/5 is not irrelevant.
This is ESPECIALLY true when you have evac button of E. No one on your team has any business being killed by FF, when they are constantly moving in and out, and/or kiting the other team to death. The constant regen is quite effective.


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Cenerae

Senior Member

10-03-2010

Nobody changes their build order because of your soul shroud, but everyone benefits from it anyway. Just like they do when you build an aegis, and just like they would if you made a stark's.

Without items, she is one of the squishiest champs in the game. W only provides 20 armor and MR by itself, and she has the lowest base HP of any champ in the game (Twitch is technically lower, but he's overtaken Sona by around level 6). Focus fire is the main way champs tend to die. The other way is intense aoe damage. In neither situation will a locket help you survive. I generally roll with flash and clairvoyance these days, or flash+ghost in solo queue. I never use clarity.

Keeping pressure on doesn't revolve around your Sona having rapid hp regen, because it doesn't rapidly regen the hp of your team. The hp regen aura is irrelevant - when was the last time someone made an emblem of valor because of the hp regen, and not because they wanted to make it into stark's?

You're making it sound like the paltry hp regen offered by the locket is somehow enough to sustain a push, but it's not. Your W is what sustains the push, yes having the locket may help a tiny little bit. But over the course of a minute, you don't heal a noticeable amount to your team with the locket. Over the course of a 10 second team clash, you don't heal squat with it. Focus fire lasts only a moment, because it only takes a moment to gib a Sona who neglected her defensive stats.

Prove to me otherwise, and I may take your locket fanatacism more seriously. Until that time, I'll encourage you to do what works for you, but I will also choose to disagree with your choices.