[Guide] Soraka, The Helpful Supporter

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Vangu

Senior Member

10-18-2009

Masteries

Offense
Archmages Savvy - 0.60AP per level
Cripple - Buffs Exhaust
Sorcery - 3% CD reduction

Defense
Menders's Faith - Increases Heal

Utility
Perseverance - 4% total health and mana regain
Good Hands - 10% reduced death time
Expanded Mind - 5% maximum mana
Meditation - Increases Mana regain
Quickness - Increased speed by 3%
Intelligence - 6% CD reduction
Presence Of The Master - 15% off summoner ability cooldowns

Summoner Abilties
Exhaust
Heal

Skills to increase when you can

Starfall
Infuse
Astral Blessing
Starfall
Starfall
Wish
Starfall
Starfall
Infuse x4
Astral Blessing x4

If the other team is being aggressive in your lane you will want to take two levels of Infuse and Astral Blessing after learning starfall at level one. This will help you stay alive at the start along with keep your lane partner alive. So if they are aggressive you learn SF>IF>AB>IF>AB>Wish then back to the normal rotation.

Items
*Tear of the Goddess/Archangel's Staff*
Boots of Mobility
Rod of Ages
**Banshees Veil**
Rylai's Scepter
Zhonya's Ring
___________________
*At the moment I only get tear of the goddess as the AP addition is not that great for my level. Once I get more mana runes the AP gain will be worth getting the item but at my level it is not worth the cost.*

** I only get Banshees veil when I am against Ashe. I have come to find out that Ashes ult really loves Soraka. You can get the veil for many reasons but I really dislike putting off rod of ages so I only get it when I am against Ashe**This does not mean only buy it because of Ashe...if you need some magic res in general and have a person/s that would be best to av

I get the scepter because I have come to find out the health and AP that comes with the slow is just to good to pass up with starfalls damage and unlimited number of people it can hit is just awesome. I have got many kills and assists with the slow added to starfall.

End-Game Item/s
If you do not get the veil then its up to you on what to get if your game goes on long enough to finish all the items. Guardian Angel is a great item to get if you happen to be getting killed by melee. Though really you shouldnt this late in-game because you should be near your team...but if there is a warwick or someone that always targets you then runs off after you die get the armor.

If your game gives you no reason to get Banshees veil so you pass it up thats fine. But if there are annoying casters in your game the item is always worth getting especially if you are against Veigar because his ultimate will ruin you.

Runes
Mana per level
cooldown reduction

Blue
.9 cd/18
.65 cd/static
25.56x7= 178.92

Yellow
21.06/189.54/18

Red
21.06/189.54/18

Quintessence
2.34/18
2.34/18
75.06/18


Level 30 AP/Mana
Did some adding and with the way I am going to make my runes you will have 3,678 mana at level 18. With the expanded mind mastery you will have 3,862 mana. So the Staff will give you 77 AP..and for those that care this means Veigar will now do a total of 1,366 damage to you from his ultimate and this does not count his AP ratio.


*List of all my guides http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...ad.php?t=18804

Disclaimer
This is not the only viable way to play Soraka and is only how I do it and I am not forcing others to play this way. If you do not agree with a certain part of my guide/playstyle please post it in a mature manner and write exactly what you dislike. Also I am not looking for others to post their playstyle/guide in my guide if you wish to do so please make your own thread.


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thegamenet

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10-18-2009

your awesome guides are available on www.thelolwiki.com

Nice work vangu


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Vangu

Senior Member

01-20-2010

Changed the order that I get my items in and took out useless information. While I don't play many games the ones I do play I normally win (if the teams are anywhere near even in summoner level and such) and I am a huge driving force in those games. If anyone that has been in a game with me would like to comment on my style and bring this build in the light I would be thankful.


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Kesshisan

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01-20-2010

Thank you for this guide, Vangu. I am a new player and am enjoying playing Soraka as a support character, but I have questions regarding your item choices.

First to note is that the Archangel's Staff has no +hps. Soraka has very little hps, and I believe that she needs more hps to help out. Many of the items I get have lots of bonus hps to help increase her survivability.

Boots of Swiftness give you movement 3, but I find that movement isn't the problem, it's when you get crowd controlled. Mercury Threads seem to be a better solution, albeit a much more expensive solution.

I noticed you chose a Rylai's Scepter, this item seems to be more of an offensive based item. True it can be used defensively as well, but this still means it is more away from support. Hmm, the more I think about this, it could be a nice support item to help slow down enemies while your team ganks them. Still, 15% from Starcall is not very much, and offensively using Infuse for the 30% slow isn't always possible.

I believe that the Rod of Ages is a nice touch, however lacking an aura means it is more solo ability than support. Don't get me wrong, you need self preservation, but many supportier items have close to the self preservation stats of a Rod of Ages.

For my items I have found the following to work out well:

Kage's Lucky Pick
Philosopher's Stone
Mercury Threads
Soul Shroud
Aegis of the Legion
Innervating Locket

Usually in that order. The last three items have incredible bonuses for my allies which helps Soraka sway team fights into our favor. Note the HP bonuses from the last three items.

This item build is very expensive. The extra gold from the first two items is very welcomed, especially with aggressive enemies in your lane preventing you from getting too many minion kills. To start I usually grab an Amplifying Tome to turn into a Lucky Pick. If I have low money my first time back to town I may grab the basic boots for a small speed increase. Usually I'll return with nearly 1500 gold my first time, which is more than enough for completion of the Lucky Pick and Philo stone.

Once I get the Soul Shroud, I usually go kill neutral Golem right away (if my team doesn't need me at that very moment) which gives me the ability to spam W heals all over the place, keeping everyone at as close to 100% as possible. The Aegis utility goes without is handy, and has extra hps. And the Locket with Soraka is amazing!

While building the last 3 items, I will always try to take the +hp items first. If I can't afford the +hp item, 'll try to get the +armor item if applicable.

Now I fully acknowledge that you said "This is not the only viable way to play Soraka and is only how I do it" which is why I want to discuss my item choices vs yours. Okay, now for the questions:

You choose very few group-buff items, yet you claim your build is "The Helpful Supporter." Why have you chosen to forego group-buff items? Why did you make the item choices you did? Could you go into detail about the pros and cons of your item choices?

I level myself very much like you do, with Starcall first. Pre level 8 or 9 I find myself running out of mana quite frequently. How do you manage your early game mana? Do you use potions?

*note* I am only level 13, and that gives my extremely limited access to masteries and runes. I hope that is part of the problem.

Also, I hope I did not sound like I am trying to say "You should play Soraka this way." Like you, my item choices work for me, just after I get over "the hump" which usually lies somewhere between level 8 and 11. But I am interested in your feedback.

Thank you for reading this, and a pre-emptive thank you for your reply.


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Vangu

Senior Member

01-20-2010

I never have problems with mana on Soraka but even more so because my Archangel's Staff. Though if you ever have problems it is always best to kill the golem for the buff or get help doing so. The title of the guide may be a tad misleading as the supporting does not really come in full force until I get further in the game. I still do very well at the start but getting starcall first always hinders the support but if you dont get starcall first and only focus on the supporting spells you will have mana problems the whole game mainly do to never getting above level 14-16 (depends how game went) as without starcall your leveling will be non-existent.



I get the scepter because it has three things I want for the build. And I wouldn't knock the slow until you start using it because I have seen it help fairly often. If not to kill a character it scares them into not wanting to take chances they otherwise would. Same effect any stealth character has on players when they go stealth. They backup a little and don't push as much...

As for the lack of HP I do agree that I may have a little less then others would like but you also need to take into account the AP I am getting and how people focus Soraka. If they are a smart team you will be the focus on damage and not so much CC. So the boots help get out of range (and get to teamfights and such) fast while the AP lets you heal yourself to full health with AB/Wish. And never worry about using wish to keep yourself alive even if the whole team does not need it. The CD on it is just the right time to have to ready when you need it. So overall lack of HP is a slight problem to some but if you take into account summoner heal, AB, and wish you shouldn't die often.

*And now that I think about it maybe my two Soraka guides should have their names switched :P. I won't do that but meh.

http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...ad.php?t=16025 <- other guide.
Do keep in mind I have not updated the linked guide yet but the main idea of 40% cd-reduction would stay.


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Kesshisan

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01-23-2010

Vangu,

Thanks again for this guide.

I've been toying around with my Soraka play, taking some advice from here and elsewhere, and have noticed an improvement in my play. And while my win/loss ratio as of late does not reflect this that's another story for another time.

The changes I have made:

I respecced. Being low/mid level (I just hit 15) means I don't have access to everything just yet. I took everything out of utility, and put it all into defense. Anything to take less damage, and then Veteran's Scars for extra HPs and Mender's Faith for summoner heal.

I changed my spells. I used to use Fortify and Heal. I discovered I was using Fortify as a crutch for minion kills. Since I've been forced to time my last hits more accurately I have been forced to increase my skill here. This has worked out well, and I feel I became better at getting the lasthit because of it.

My new spells are Heal and Flash. Flash has increased my survivability in a way I didn't realize it would. I am very impressed with this spell, and I don't know why everybody doesn't use this spell!

I changed my item choices. I used to get Kage's Lucky Pick and Philosopher's Stone before boots. Now my starting item is Doran's Ring. This may seem like a poor starting item to some, but I've found that the cost difference between buy/sell cost is less than the opportunity cost lost early on. This item has 3 stats Soraka is starving for early on, AP, HPs, and MP/5.

My item order is usually:

Doran's Ring
Philosopher's Stone
Boots of Swiftness
Soul Shroud
Aegis of the Legion
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Innervating Locket

I may swap the order of Soul Shroud, Aegis of the Legion, and Rylai's depending on the gameplay at the time. But that's the basis of my build.

I still have mana problems up until I get my Soul Shroud, which is usually around level 8 or 9, and even then I'll have some minor mana problems here or there. That is mostly dependant on how aggressive I am with Infuse. I try to pick off fleeing enemies at low health with Infuse. I usually cherry-pick 3-4 kills a game, sometimes I get lucky and land as many as 7-10 killing blows.

You were absolutely right about the Rylai's Crystal Scepter. After using that for a few games I found that getting those few fleeing enemies at low health at the end of a skirmish was much easier.

Also, I played one game with the Boots of Mobility, and I think they may be superior for Soraka. Soraka, the way I play her, is quite often running from one place to another, trying to save people, or setup with the team for a gank. Having the extra speed outside of combat is extremely useful.

Anyways, Vangu, do you have any advice on how to improve further?


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Vangu

Senior Member

01-23-2010

You seem to do being well and I wouldnt really worry about your win/loss ratio. As long as you know you did well in a game is all that matters as a healer/support the actual win on the game is not on your back you just help. I have lost the last couple games I have been in because people don't seem to know what Soraka does so when people need a heal or mana they run off or go a way that does not lead them to you. Or they portal back to the base...though to be fair it is not their fault as almost no one plays a healer in this game...at least until we get another healer in-game.

I am glad I got you on the scepter because I enjoy it very much myself. As for improving anymore there is not much I can think of. What do you do for runes?

Hmm maybe I will trade in my swiftness for boots of mobility...my extra speed in-battle almost never makes me live its the healing that does that.


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Kesshisan

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01-23-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vangu View Post
I am glad I got you on the scepter because I enjoy it very much myself. As for improving anymore there is not much I can think of. What do you do for runes?
I'm level 15, and I craft tier 3 runes. This means I get what I'm given. I would like to have HP, Armor, and Magic Resist runes, but beggars can't be choosers. If you were to take a look at my profile, you would see that I've been unlucky and received a lot of secondary runes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vangu View Post
Hmm maybe I will trade in my swiftness for boots of mobility...my extra speed in-battle almost never makes me live its the healing that does that.
I would encourage you to give them a try. Perhaps games are different up at your Elo, but where I'm playing Soraka, there is an awkward phase after the laneing phase in over, but before the end-game everybody-group-up phase. In this phase people run around seemingly aimlessly, and are almost never nearby. I find this phase the most difficult as Soraka because I am just getting ahold of my first two or three support items, and nobody wants to sit next to me and benefit from the buffs. Instead I find myself hoofing it all over the place trying to find the largest group of allies so that I can feel the most useful...and safest.

Admittedly I've only used the boots of mobility for two games, so I can't say they're all that an a bag of chips just yet, but both games they proved to be useful. Further testing is required.


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Vangu

Senior Member

01-27-2010

I have to say that boots of moblilty are nice. I suspect the reason I never got them is the fact they are the only boots missing on the recommended items on every character...such as you click on boots of speed and when it shows you what boots can be made from it mobility is always missing. But again really nice boots for Soraka.

*Going to edit them in guide

Edit: I did a bit of math and will see if this leads anywhere.

With the normal items (no veil and going to assume you never reach the ring) you will have 3,045 mana and will get 61 AP from the Staffs mana/ap ratio.

For those of you that care that means Veigar will do 761dmg with his ult..thats just from the mana effect alone in total he will do 1,161 damage +AP.

I will add to all this later and see where it leads me. If anyone plays Veigar I would like to know around about how much AP you end a game with...a normal 30-40min game.

Going to try and change an item or two in my build to see if I can maximize my playstyle.

Item I am planning on trying is Fiendish Codex instead of the staff...I mean only 50 more mana and some AP from staff.


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Kesshisan

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01-27-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vangu View Post
Going to try and change an item or two in my build to see if I can maximize my playstyle.

Item I am planning on trying is Fiendish Codex instead of the staff...I mean only 50 more mana and some AP from staff.
If you want a real kicker, try playing Soraka as a tank.

You seem intelligent enough to understand this statement without further explanation: "The more armor you have, the more efficient your heals are."

One game the enemy team had 5 physical DPSers who were eating me up and I started stacking armor.

I started with Ninja Tabi boots.
Followed up with a Frozen Heart.
Worked my way into a Thornmail.
Followed up with Warden's Mail.

I would literally walk away from multiple enemies stunlocking me once the stuns wore off. Even though I only had about 1700 HPs at level 18, I was unkillable. I killed their Ashe 2 times that game by standing still healing myself while Ashe pelted me with arrows. Go go Thornmail! This wasn't from full health, mind you. It was during a skirmish. Ashe and I were both around 1/2 health and she just kept shooting arrows while I pelted her with Starcalls and kept my self heal up.

If the enemy has a mage, I'll go get a a Banshee's Veil and a Guardian Angel after the Frozen Shroud. I'll opt out on the Banshee's Veil if I just need magic resist but don't need to block spells (For example if the enemy team has a Kat.)

This is far from perfect. The problems with this build aren't few, but the benefits can be very handy.

One such problem is that you will probably be skipping out on other useful items to get your defense built up quicker. You probably won't be getting a Rylai's with this build.

Another problem is when the enemy has two carrys, one physical and one magical.

The last problem is your low HPs. You can supplement your low HPs with a Rod of Ages, but that takes time to build up, so you need to buy it early. Warmog's is another handy item with an incredibly HP boost. But this item, too, needs time to build up. The good thing is that when Soraka hits max level Starcall can kill most minions in 3 hits. Huge groupings drop in about 4-5 seconds if you make liberal use of the Q button.

Regardless, the item choices for "Tank Soraka" are many, and the item choice order is very influential to your game. I put "Tank Soraka" in quotes because while Soraka has tank stats, she isn't a "Tank" in the true sense of the word for this game. She is a "Tank" in the sense that she can survive towers wailing on her, and she can survive short stun-locks, and walk away to tell the stories, but she should NOT be a fight initiator like how traditional tanks function in this game.

Support drops and gains. Support drops in the sense that you have fewer support items. (Frozen Heart vs Soul Shroud, Thornmail/Warden's Mail vs Aegis, etc.) and fewer AP items, reducing the size of your heals. Support increases in the sense that you need less heals yourself, and you can "stay in" longer, and go in deeper with less threat of death. Tower diving to save someone is easily accomplished with a "Tank Soraka." Also support gains in that you don't get insta gibbed. If the team fight starts by you getting jumped, you can usually survive and come out of it spamming heals all around, this is superior to the alternate. Ultimately, overall support is lower and it only makes sense that one would lose out on team support to increase individual survivability.

This is just another way I found to play Soraka, and to be honest, I've been having a great deal of fun with it. Actually "a great deal of fun" is an understatement. I've never had so much fun playing this game as when I manage to deck Soraka out in full-blown tank gear and watch as the enemy team screams in all chat about how I got lucky I was able to make it to my tower with 3 of them chasing me all around the map.

If you try this, good luck, and learn not to be afraid anymore.


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