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I play Soraka in mid elo as an offensive, lane pusher, ganker style for TT. It requires a LOT of zone control and planning ahead, and there are a few hard counters for her, but It is quite sucessful for me.
How well does it work for me? These are my stats on Soraka:
I only have total of 400 games, so i play her about 25% of the time. I use her exclusively in TT, dont like her for Summoners rift and it is my favorite TT champion.
What can Soraka do?
Here's is what you can do:
- Harass, farm and gank lanes from level 1 through about 11
- Support lanes from lvl 7 and up.
- Stop enemies from farming
- Fool people into ganking you (and kill them in the process).
- Survive some incredible situations
Here are some of the limitations:
- Gangplank... yea he rapes you... not much you can do to him he just rapes.
- Garen... most annoying silence ever.
- You are not an assasin... cant simply sneak up and 1 hit kill
- You are not a tower pusher (you can push a lane with ease, but the tower will take a while to die).
- You are not a heal machine, you will be using a LOT of heals, but mostly for self survival.
I like this style because it employs a lot of harassing and Zone control, probably doesnt work on high Elo, but on mid and low elo (where most people play) Soraka is extremely effective.
- Ghost or Flash
- Heal is there for survival, and it is quite efficient at that.
- Ghost and Flash are for ganking and zone control. I preffer Ghost than flash but your mileage may vary. Ghost has this interesting property that last for over 14 seconds, which means you can harass for a long time (and kill people) thanks to it. I've had plenty of opporunities where I was about to die and ghost allowed me to run away, get some spells off cooldowns, and come back for a kill.
- Boost your summoner spells, get max movement speed and the lowest cooldown for spells. Since this is TT, get the -10% revival time bonus from tier 1 utility. The rest is up to you
- Quints: AP +15
- Glyph: APxlvl, 28 at lvl 18
- Seal and Marks: Mana regen.
I could recommend the following builds on runes:
- Quints: Flat HP, Flat AP, Flat Cooldown, Movement Speed
- Glyph: Flat Cooldown, APxlvl
- Seal: Flat HP, Flat Mana Regen
- Marks: Magic Penetration, Magic Resist or any of the recommended for Seals and Glyph.
There are several tweaks for this build. Depends on how you are doing with mana and harassing, but the general idea is the following.
- Starcall (or Astral Blessing if they are very annoying).
- Astral Blessing (or Starcall if you had Astral Blessing on lvl 5).
Then increase starcall and infuse as you progress... unless you are doing extremely well with mana or you really really need extra healing. Remember this is an offensive Soraka, your heals are secondary to your damage output.
You build should look like this:
@lvl 7: 3/1/2/1
@lvl 11: 4/1/4/2 or 5/1/3/2
@lvl 14: 5/2/4/3 or 5/1/5/3
The trick with Astral Blessing and Wish is that they have a 1:1 AP ratio and 2:1 AP ratios. Meaning that if you have 100 AP you get an extra 100 heal for Astral and 200 for Wish. You dont need a high lvl Astral Blessing for it to be useful, all you need to do is compensate with some AP and you should be ok. Your heavy healing will come from Wish and Heal summoner spell. With small compliments of Astral blessings.
As a reference here are the numbers for the spells:
- Starcall (3 seconds) 42/54/66/78/90 mana
Damage 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.25) and reduces their Magic Resistance by 8 for 8 seconds.
- Astral Blessing (9 seconds) 80/100/120/140/160 Mana
Restores 80/135/190/245/300 (+1) health and grants 35 bonus armor.
- Infuse (15 seconds) Free (no mana cost)
If cast on an allied champion, restores 50/100/150/200/250 Mana.
If cast on an enemy champion, silences them for 1/1.5/2/2.5/3 second(s) and deals 50/100/150/200/250 (+0.6) damage
- Wish (100/90/80 seconds) 250/350/450 Mana
Instantly restores 250/400/550 (+2) health to all allied champions.
- Health Crystal
- Boots (if everything is fine, return when you got money for both Catalyst and boots)
- Boots of Mobility (or whichever you like).
I seldomly get to my late game items, usually I get two mid game items and the game is about to be done. Sometimes I get 3 of them
- Mejai Soulsteal: My favorite, but also means you gotta get kills and assists.
- Deathfire Grap: An alternative for when assists and kills are hard to come by.
- Spirit Visage: Only if you are having problems with survival.
- Leviathan: This is only if you are doing extremely well with assists and kills and feel confident enough to get those stacks going.
Things get a little rough in late game as you dont have the same firepower. But your survival has gone up by a lot thanks to Astral Blessing and Wish...
- Zhonya's Ring: I NEVER have enough money for this one, but if you ever do you should buy it.
- Rylai Scepter: All purpose item.
- Abyssal Scepter: For offensive power or against heavy magic
- Banshee's Veil or Innervating locket: If the game gets this late, might as well get something useful out of Catalyst. Banshee for survival, Locket for mana.
- Guardian angel: Save idea, survival.
How to play Offensive Soraka
- It is best if you Solo top lane. It is some insane early experience if you manage to do it, and it is not hard to harass the enemy.
- Buy your health crystal and run to top late, get in the bush and wait for either creeps or an enemy champion. If they try to gank you, run to safety (use heal and ghost if necessary to survive).
- Keep an eye on your allies, they might need your help if they decide to do an early gank (or if they get ganked). You should try to SOLO top, do NOT team up with your allies for a gank, because it will probably not work. You are better laning top solo than trying to do a 3-man gank on bot. Unless you see something that makes you change your mind.
- Assuming you decide to stay on top (and nothing special is happening on bot). There will probably be 1 or 2 champions coming to lane with you. Stay in the bush and when one champ approaches use your auto attack on him. As soon as you see your projectile flying cast your Starcall spell. After the first starcall and if he keeps getting close, run back to your creeps for safety while mashing Starcall. You should get at least one more Starcall or maybe 2 more. total of 3 Starcalls and 1 auto attack = 200 damage.
- Just keep doing auto attacks on the enemy champion, and time your Starcalls to last hit minions, while harassing the enemy. If you get too low in life (about 50%) use heal (summoner spell), dont wait until they ignite you to heal, better heal early than too late. Remember your goal is Catalyst and boots, which needs 850+350 gold. That's a lot of gold so you gotta stay in lane as long as possible.
- If the enemy tries to kill you (1v1 fight), you should always try to fight in between your minions, they will protect you and attack the enemy. People dont realize it but Starcall does a LOT of damage early game, so if the enemy has about 800 HP, you can probably take him down faster than he can take you. Just make sure you harass and measure the damage before getting in the fight.
- On lvl 2 you got a new weapon. Silence! Infuse has a larger range than it appears in the circle, also it instant and costs no mana. So dont be afraid to use it offensively. The idea is the following: Get somewhat close to them, when you think they are in range to cast an ability, cast infuse, get a bit closer, cast Starcall, auto attack ONCE, then run away. If done right, this is a 150-250 damage combo. Just repeat this everytime you have extra mana (if you are less than 50% you probably need to use infuse on yourself).
- Another good weapon you have is your running speed. If I know I can take a Champ I usually position myself near the enemy and do NOT attack him until I have Starcall and Infuse ready, then I hug the enemy and cast Starcall non-stop, healing myself and casting infuse if possible. If he tries to run away I follow him WITHOUT AUTOATTACKING. If you autoattack he will run out of range of Starcall. I usually save infuse for when they are running out of range, or if I know they got an important cooldown coming (jump, flash, slows, stuns). Even if I do not kill them I always try finish with an Starcall->Infuse->Autoattack combo (your attack has a larger range than Starcall and about the same as Infuse), to lower their HP to the bare minimum
- Farming is VERY VERY easy with Soraka... just place yourself in between the melee and ranged enemy minions, autoattack one of them and cast Starcall until they all die. Usually with 2-3 Starcalls they are gone.
- For tower huggers you can use your autoattack to harass. If the enemy is sitting next to the tower, you can walk in, autoattack while your creeps are tanking the tower, and move out before the tower picks you as a target (similar to Zilean's bombs and Katarina's blades). You can also try it with Infuse as it has a really long range, and you can punish them with Starcall+1 auto attack combo if they try to melee some of those ranged minions of yours. Another trick is to get in range for a Starcall, while the turret is hitting a minion. Cast Starcall while the tower bullet is in mid air and run out. If you do it right you will hit them before the turret chooses you as a target.
- Starcall can hit things that you dont see... for example if you are outside a bush, you can cast Starcall and hit the enemy that is inside the bush even if you can't see it. You can use this to check if a bush is populated with an enemy. Just mash up the Starcall button as you approach the bush, if it activates then you gotta run, otherwise it is empty. You should get into the habit of walking around clicking on Starcall, it can save your life more often than not. It is never safe to approach a bush in this map but it helps a bit if you check with Starcall before going in.
- Jungling is quite possible with Soraka, it is just very very slow compared to other characters. Basically you need Astral Blessing and just mash all your spells on every cooldown. If you have enough mana you should also use infuse to kill the creep. If you dont have enough mana infuse yourself. I would only jungle when I need a bit extra gold for an item or if you know where the enemy is. You can even jungle dragon and Lizard at lvl 5+, but they take an awful long time so it is better to call your allies to help while you tank the creeps.
- Wish and Heal are part of your lifebar. Dont be afraid to use them everytime you are engaging an enemy. Wish is very strong so you can use it to safe your allies, while Heal is somewhat weak for mid and late game, but it is always a nice complement to have. Remember that Wish will heal you for about 50-70% of your life, so time it right and dont wait until you are 10% to cast it. Usually if you are that low you are dead. The important part is that Wishrequieres quite a bit of mana... make sure you have enough to use it and STAY in fight. There's no point on having a full lifebar if you can't do any damage or run away from your enemies.
- Late game you just go back to support Soraka, but now it is actually fun since you have done so much owning in early game. With about 150 AP (runes and items) you could be healing anywhere from 200-450 with astral blessing, 650-850 with wish, and 200 with heal (400 to yourself). You should still be able to do some damage thanks to your magic reduction debuff, 210 damage every 3 seconds from starcall, and about 350 with infuse, but you will have to rely on wearing down your oponents instead of instant kill them.
I'm going to try to get some videos up... in the meantime everyone should watch the Zone Control video. It is NOT on TT but the same tricks apply.