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Let's Talk About Soraka

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IntFam

Senior Member

11-18-2010

So, before Season 1 started, I was a huge Soraka fan. Then S1 hit and a bug showed up for a bit where Soraka's heal was not global anymore. The bug came and went, but when it was gone, people were pretty much saying that Soraka was totally useless.

Now, I've recently decided to give her a try again. Back when I played her regularly, I found that no other champ, back then or at present, really brought lasting results quite like Soraka when I played her. (Although lately, I've been finding that Rammus is VERY good at bringing results to the team as a whole, as well)

So, before I jump back into the Starchild, I'd like to know what people currently think of Soraka and her place in the game. I'm still dreading queue dodgers when I pick her up again.

Also, I'd like to make it clear that I'm aware that Sona is an overall better choice at the moment, so this does not need to be noted unless you plan to go into detail about what it is Soraka lacks that Sona has that she, Soraka, would need to get on Sona's level.

In what situations is she most useful? What are her most notable strengths? Let's get some discussion going here.


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Shasyr

Senior Member

11-18-2010

Quote:
IntFam:
So, before Season 1 started, I was a huge Soraka fan. Then S1 hit and a bug showed up for a bit where Soraka's heal was not global anymore. The bug came and went, but when it was gone, people were pretty much saying that Soraka was totally useless.

Now, I've recently decided to give her a try again. Back when I played her regularly, I found that no other champ, back then or at present, really brought lasting results quite like Soraka when I played her. (Although lately, I've been finding that Rammus is VERY good at bringing results to the team as a whole, as well)

So, before I jump back into the Starchild, I'd like to know what people currently think of Soraka and her place in the game. I'm still dreading queue dodgers when I pick her up again.

Also, I'd like to make it clear that I'm aware that Sona is better, so this does not need to be noted unless you plan to go into detail about what it is Soraka lacks that Sona has that she, Soraka, would need to get on Sona's level.

In what situations is she most useful? What are her most notable strengths? Let's get some discussion going here.


First, I'd like to note that Sona is not BETTER than Soraka. She's a little more well-rounded, but the tools Soraka has are irreplaceable if used right.

Soraka, from my experience, is the most team-dependent champion in the game. You still have amazing support skills, and you don't need to stand right by someone to Starcall them now. She's an excellent support in my opinion, and that's how I build her: usually aura support, with a soul shroud and Aegis, and other items depending on the game.

As for as where she's useful, any time they have a caster carry like Ryze or Annie, Soraka is useful. Any time your team has someone like Ryze or Annie, she's useful. You can babysit like a pro, harass reasonably well early and keep your carry farming. Having a map-wide heal can't be overlooked, either.

Soraka is at her weakest against a heavy physical team, and just early game in general. I hate fighting teams with a Warwick, because he knows exactly who to go chew on for kills >.<


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imhuge

Senior Member

11-18-2010

She has an instant cast ranged silence, a global heal, and armor+resist buffs
Potentially she can counter an anti-carry; someone like Kassadin or Akali dies instantly if they get silenced when they engage and heal counters their burst
Silence is only countered by Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash, compared to stun being reduced by Merc Treads (Taric, Sona)

She's still boring to play and her mana costs are insane
Infuse is still good for lane but her heal costs too much for her to zone with the old autoattack spam (compare to other supports with stronger and easier harass)
Wish is pretty awful without a good AP ratio; I don't think it was a good decision to cut both base and ratio so much

In the common ranged carry team, I find her not worth focusing, which should be one of her strengths
She should counter aoe because of Wish but she can't keep up with enemy damage since she doesn't farm so much


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IntFam

Senior Member

11-18-2010

I have to disagree with the mana costs problem. I just played a game with her, started with sapphire to tear, and had zero mana problems from the getgo. I even managed to run a solo lane, much to my amazement. She performs almost exactly the same as she did back before S1, as far as I can remember, except this time I built her smarter, and I'll be ****ed if I didn't get great mileage out of the change. Managed to heal a teemo through three, count'em, three consecutive gank attempts by the other team.

I also find her quite fun to play. It's very satisfying when you simply walk out of a gank attempt because you kept yourself well healed, or, like the aforementioned teemo incident, keeping an ally alive long enough to destroy an enemy team through sheer virtue of your heals and buffs. Also, I never realized it before in my earlier days, but Starcall is an automatic last-hit button.


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ZWulf

Member

11-18-2010

i know Sona is better than Soraka but they are both different champions. Sona is much more a jack of all trades champ and the reason why she is better is because she can stun. Soraka is too dependent on his team mates and one reason i dont intend to use him since i play 98% solo queue most of the time... But i love soraka more than sona.It is more satisfying to play a champ that can babysit and prevent your team mates from dying because they will love you if not they will learn soon.


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Cenerae

Senior Member

11-18-2010

If you want to compare Sona to Soraka, well I switched from maining Soraka to maining Sona so I suppose I could give it a try.

1) Lack of utility. Soraka still has the best healing of any champ (despite the varied nerfs her healing has been slapped around with), but raw healing doesn't make a lot of difference in a teamfight most of the time. Given that 2 of Soraka's 4 spells are healing, and don't do anything else (save her single target heal's armor buff, which let's face it, isn't very good when stacked against Nidalee's AS buff or Kayle's MS buff), she lacks a lot in utility to make up for it. Healing can be a gamechanger, and it is still useful, but in the age of tanky dps meets aoe R button smashfests, healing just doesn't have the impact it used to. Sona has a plethora of various auras to buff her team with, including a movespeed buff that makes it a lot harder to escape or chase her/her team. Soraka has...a 3 second silence, an MR aura passive that's equalled by Sona's W aura at rank 5 and a single target armor buff. Infuse is nice for the laning phase, but since they halved the amount of mana she can feed to an ally, her utility isn't so high. This also leads on to the next point.

2. Lack of offense. Sona has powerful burst early game, and a great poke. She lacks a bit in maintaining it when faced with counter harrass, but Sona is more able to apply hard pressure. Soraka is stuck sitting there autoattack poking for minor damage. While effective, it's not the same. If you ignore Starcall to pump Infuse (which is the usual case), then you have a moderate damage nuke that silences, on a relatively long cooldown, compared to a 2-target nuke that does the same amount of damage, on a relatively short cooldown, and a passive that does moderate damage to boot. If you max Starcall first, then you have great harrassing power, but you push the lane too quickly and will be more vulnerable to being ganked. Soraka is very easy to gank.

Moving on to the teamfight stage, Soraka has a 3 second silence, and a very short range aoe nuke that is centered on her, rather than a target. Sona has a 'skillshot' aoe 1.5 second stun. While a well timed silence can surely make or break a fight, let's face it. It's nothing special, and many champs can do some kind of disable to prevent that Amumu or Galio from ulting into your team. But aoe disables are worth their weight in gold, even if the duration is short. It's why Amumu, Galio and Morgana are so strong - they can damage and disable an entire team by themselves. Sona's not so big on the damage part, but you didn't bring her for her amazing damage, but what she brings to the team.

Soraka's Starcall is potentially really nice for teamfights, save for the one major issue - the range. You have to get so close to hit anything with it, and you're putting yourself in danger to try. Since you're support, you generally want to be hiding behind the rest of your team rather than diving into the middle of the fight as if you were an Olaf that just hit the R button. Sona's nuke, while not very noteworthy by the teamfight stage, has enough range that she can fire it off from safety without getting herself killed in the process. Sona's movespeed buff also serves it's purpose as an offensive ability, since it lets both herself and her team outmaneuver the other team much easier. It's like a mini Ghost aura.


So basically, while Soraka can still contribute to a team - as I say, healing can be useful. It can change fights. It's just not as likely to do so as bringing auras or hard disables. Janna, Taric and Sona all have hard disables and/or a ton of auras or single powerful buffs. Janna also has a burst heal on her ultimate that's more powerful than Soraka's ultimate if it channels fully, and Janna isn't even considered a healer champion.

So what do I think Soraka needs to get on Sona's level? I think her main issue is her lack of teamfight contribution. You heal someone. Okay. You silence someone. Great. What now? You run around like a chicken with it's head cut off until stuff comes off cooldown because you can't risk Starcalling unless you're already winning the fight (in which case this becomes irrelevant anyway). I think making Starcall an aoe skillshot of some sort would allow Soraka to stay behind the fight and act as a debuffer, making her a specialised buffing/debuffing supporter. Wish could possibly be changed to add some sort of small teamwide armor buff like Astral Blessing does for a couple of seconds. Given all the counters that exist to healing, I don't think it would be unreasonable to give the Starchid a little loving in the form of actual utility and mobility.

Right now, if you wanted to put her into any sort of lineup, the only lineup that she really would shine in would be a healing/poking strategy. Even then, it'd be a tossup between her, Taric and Sona (and maybe Nidalee too), and would still probably be beaten out by both of them simply for the hard disables and extra auras. If you want to include her in the generic beefy DPS, or generic aoe R-to-win team comps, then you'll probably want to build as a CDR tank, so you can actually afford to get stuck in with everyone else and actually do something with that Q button in clashes. It's not a perfect solution, but I've found that it does work to some degree. I've had more sucess with it than generic aura stacking, and more sucess than AP stacking too. The former can be done by any other support, and the latter is nice with big healing numbers, but you're just far too fragile (to the point where you'll get blown over by a stiff breeze, or the enemy Kassadin jumping on you and killing you in .5 seconds) and you still can't do anything except heal your team. :-/


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PhantomOfAres

Senior Member

11-18-2010

Yeah, I think that Soraka's just fine, but needs quite a bit of skill to be played effectively. It's sometimes tough to know which target needs to be healed and when, when to silence an enemy, and how to do it properly to interrupt a deadly combo, and having the map awareness to properly use a global heal on someone who's potentially across the map. I think if you can handle all of her skills effectively, (not to mention her FREE mana-granting, giving incredible babysitting power early game), she can definitely still be a game changer. I think the real reason why you see Sona over Soraka so often is because Sona is EASY, and Soraka takes a lot more careful deliberation. Sona auto-heals the ally with the least HP and herself. She has two high-damage pokes early game. She has an AoE stun, which is quite easy to land when it offers itself, and she has an MS-boosting spell for getting out of tight situations. Sona is by far the easiest support to play, and that's why she overshadows Sona for healers, not because Soraka's not viable, but because why would you learn to play her if you can just play as Sona?


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Cenerae

Senior Member

11-18-2010

Quote:
PhantomOfAres:
Yeah, I think that Soraka's just fine, but needs quite a bit of skill to be played effectively. It's sometimes tough to know which target needs to be healed and when, when to silence an enemy, and how to do it properly to interrupt a deadly combo, and having the map awareness to properly use a global heal on someone who's potentially across the map. I think if you can handle all of her skills effectively, (not to mention her FREE mana-granting, giving incredible babysitting power early game), she can definitely still be a game changer. I think the real reason why you see Sona over Soraka so often is because Sona is EASY, and Soraka takes a lot more careful deliberation. Sona auto-heals the ally with the least HP and herself. She has two high-damage pokes early game. She has an AoE stun, which is quite easy to land when it offers itself, and she has an MS-boosting spell for getting out of tight situations. Sona is by far the easiest support to play, and that's why she overshadows Sona for healers, not because Soraka's not viable, but because why would you learn to play her if you can just play as Sona?


Nobody picks Sona for her healing abilities. Sona is probably the worst healer out of all of the champs with healing spells. They pick her because she has an aoe CC and a movement speed buff, plus a built in Aegis aura and good poking game. The fact that she can heal at all is a bonus, even if the healing does suck. (0.5 ratio on a non targetable spell? Come on...)


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Sophyne

Senior Member

11-18-2010

I have lots of fun with my Tank/CDR Soraka. For the most part healing a little more with AP won't make a difference because of her terrible AP ratios. So you may as well focus on taking some damage for the team and healing more often (which actually heals more in my opinion), and getting auras to support your team.

SS, Frozen Heart, Aegis is usually all I need. xD


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Repthski

Junior Member

11-18-2010

I have been playing Soraka since I started playing LoL and I can say that it only gets better with age.

Seriously though, I build innervating locket, spirit visage, force of nature, boots, and soul shroud. If it ever gets that far. That on top of my 0/21/9 plan gives me enough hp regen and mp regen so I never have to heal myself or give myself mp. I am constantly silencing and am always close enough for starcall. I played a game earlier today where I had the most kills on my team and more assists than the opposing team had kills. What basically happened was that I neutralized all their offense.

Another little sidenote on how I play; wish is global and works toward map control. So what's one of my summoning spells? Fortify. I couldn't tell you how many times I save people being turret dived or chased into a turret with the clicks of two buttons. Wish then fortify as the turret is targeting the enemy and they think they can tank it. By then the person being chased is like "oh **** thank god" and turns around and kills the chaser. I get the assist and they don't get the kill. Sometimes I even get the kill. Mainly it teaches the enemy team that they can't do whatever they want. I keep them in line with my global heal, single heal/armor buff, silence, fortify, and locket helps in team fights. How often do people get away with just under 100 health? Plus, whenever I use starcall locket activates and regenerates some of my own hp and mp so I don't have to pay nearly as much attention on myself because I can tank most champions 1v1 just by being able to outheal their dps. Then starcall begins to stack and before they know it they just got killed by a Soraka with nearly 100% hp.

EDIT: regarding fortify, people love to chase/dive soraka. I think you can figure it out from there.


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