disclaimer – I used zomgtehcake’s taric guide for the formatting! Tks!
The League calls, my child of the stars. Their calls are filled with pain and anguish; their calls are too strong for you to ignore any longer. Take up your moon-shaped scepter and help ease their suffering with your strong magic.
For those who call themselves your allies, you ease their suffering through the light of life.
For those that you cannot call friend, you ease their suffering by quickening their demise.
This is the calling of the starchild, the serene and calm Soraka. She is no Carry, no Assassin, and only in the late game can she tank. She is also notably squishy, so putting yourself in excessive danger will not help your allies. Patience is Soraka’s greatest strength.
For those that heed the call of the League and want to support their fellows, this is the guide for you. I will discuss how to flow within the team, filling gaps, keeping your allies alive and keeping the pressure on the enemy.
Runes and masteries however, are of no real concern for Soraka. Her auto-attack is weak my summoner brethren, so please avoid any direct attack runes (armor penetration, damage, attack speed, etc). Mana, cooldowns AP power and magic penetration however are very beneficial, as they complement her magical power.
Keep in mind the following: We starchildren, among few champions, are gifted with tremendous laning ability.
We rarely ever need to return to the fountain, as all our magical abilities complement each other to provide us with constant health and mana. With skill and practice we can remain indefinitely within our lane, only pushing when we have forced our enemies to fall back and regroup. Our only concern should be ranged DPS, as they are able to kite our magic, and therefore almost nullify our pushing-presence.
We shall start, starchild, with a discussion on Summoner spells:
Spells you should consider:
Heal: Usefull all game long.
An indispensible ability for any champion. All starchildren know the power of the heavens and the benefits of full health. This ability should be used in three cases: we have been targeted by a spiker (any DPS), our minion-shield* is low on health, or our nearby allies need health immediately and wish is on cooldown.
*we will discuss the benefits of our minion-shield later. Patience my child, it is our greatest strength among the stars.
Clarity: Usefull in the early game to mid-game. Pretty much forgotten in late game.
An indispensible ability to keep us laning in the early game. Neglect this skill and you will suffer from mana pool problems until the late game. Although we will rarely use this skill in the lategame due to our large manapool, the benefits it provides to our early game pressure makes clarity wonderful.
Teleport: Usefull all game long for switching lanes and purchasing items.
Since our starfall allows starchildren to gather gold quickly. Teleport is great for getting back into the lane after a quick purchase. Teleport also allows us to team up with other champions quickly.
Rally: Technically the same as Heal, but I will explain.
Since Heal protects us from spikes, Rally should only be taken if you are worried about counter pushers like Heimy or a doppelganger Soraka. The problem, starchild, with a heal-over-time ability is that we already have a good heal over time ability (Astral Blessing). Since we forgo the use of heavy armor and favour mana over health, a regen ability such as Rally does not benefit us as much as a spike heal.
Spells you are better off avoiding:
Smite: Technically usefull in the early game for a Blessing/Infuse start.
Starfall does better damage. You don’t need single-target kills, but simultaneous last-hits. Smite will not help you against other champions either, which are your only threat.
Cleanse: Technically usefull against ranged condition champions.
Starchildren need not fear stuns, silence or blindness. If the enemy champions are close enough to give us a condition, starchild, then we are not paying enough attention and we will die. Most opponents will target our primary damage dealers with their conditions; their only solution to deal with us is to kill us, not disable us.
Although on first glance this looks like a good spike addition to Infuse, we starchildren are not worried about kills, only assists. Ignite will not help us against assassins sent to destroy us, or champions sent in to test us. Leave ignite to our more formidable allies. We can spike decently with a well timed Starfall/Infuse combo.
Although on first glance this looks like a good escape skill, it isn’t. Boots are not important to us starchild. Flash does not let us travel very far either. Speed is definitely our weakness. Flash might be good for chasing for the most aggressive of our number, but we are serene, calm and patient. Chasing seems much too aggressive for our taste.
Promote: This is getting a rework since this guide was written. Previous version was helpful if laning alone and pressuring an unsupported tower.
Clairvoyance: You should not necessarily care about scouting. You are there to pressure your current lane and support your team, not hunting other champions. Stick to a lane where there is at least one other champion with you.
Our communion with the stars and the magic entities of this world has allowed us to bestow part of our essence with those around us. Our mere presence increases our allies base magical resistance by 16. This aura is larger than our Starfall range, so make sure you stay close enough to your allies to give them this benefit.
Warning: There exists an abomination within the enemy that negates our serene aura. Fear not the creature that is made of straw and sticks, but beware his fowl magic. Those that keep their distance from him will still benefit from our aura, but those that rush to close the distance will find their magic resistance lowered.
Ah, my starchildren. This is one of our greatest blessings. With this spell we call forth the power of the heavens to strike all around us. We need to learn the range of this ability in order to maximize those affected. This spell allows us to pressure champions on the other side of our minion-shield without putting ourselves in danger.
[w] Astral Blessing:
Our heavenly blessing to refill spirits and armor the soul. This ability is important for us, but not so important that we chose this skill over others. With a good collection of gold, we can purchase Ability Power (AP) items and effectively double this spell’s healing power. With a short cooldown, we can effectively spam this spell throughout the game and heal decently even with a low level.
As we are tremendously patient, we should realize what opponents we face. There are some enemies that spike, others that disable and pressure. Starchildren that find themselves facing many spikers should set Astral blessing on a higher priority than my discussion below.
Being a creature of magic and the night sky, Infuse is our greatest asset and our most versatile ability. We are able to bestow mana unto ourselves and our allies when we are pushing and defending. We are also able to silence and spike in the early and mid game (less so in the late game my children, as others will certainly be able to out damage us), which is an invaluable support ability.
Please note that with a substantial investment into AP, we can give 300+ damage with Infuse. This allows us to get last hits on fleeing champions even more frequently than with Starfall.
Out of Character information: Note that Infuse does NOT use a projectile. It is an instant hit, similar to starfall (but with minimal animation). If the enemy is in range, you will hit them, simple as that.
Starchild, our patience has yielded us the blessings of the moon. Our wish provides tremendous health to all our allies, regardless of how far away there are from us. The night sky knows no boundaries, and so shall our blessings to our allies. With ability power, we can affectively double the output of our wish, healing allies by 700+ each wish. Even our tank allies will appreciate this substantial buff to their soul.
But please, starchild, be patient. This is a late-game ability that need-not be maximized as soon as it comes available. With appropriate item purchases a low level wish will still benefit your allies.
Out of Character information: Although not applicable to premades, maximizing wish early in pubs is not recommended, as your team will take unnecessary risks. They should be focused on keeping themselves alive at all costs, and not rely on your wish to save them.
There are a number of different ways to help our allies, starchild. As with all things under the night sky, remain calm, serene and patient. As long as we remain in our lane and using Starfall to maximize our gold, we will be able to afford anything we need.
Please forgive the repetition, but there are some items I would recommend you take regardless of how you wish to proceed, starchild.
Focusing on Ability Power to maximize damage/healing
Void Staff: As we stack our ability power, starchild, we can manage to get Starfall to 200+ magical damage on a 2-3 second cooldown, as well as get Infuse to 300+ magical damage. With greater magical penetration, our damage output will increase! Enemy champions will have their suffering ended much sooner as we stack our ability.
Archangel’s Staff: Since the tears of the goddess should be in any build for those of the night sky, this upgrade will allow our heavy mana pool to become a further boost to our damage output. Yes starchild, I know on paper 2% is not a big number, but when we apply this 2% to over 3000 mana, our AP will increase by 60!
Abyssal Scepter: This scepter is similar to the void staff, starchild. Our patience and calm belies our ability to pierce our opponents magical resistance. Since this staff creates an aura similar to the abomination of sticks and crows, your mage allies will love you all the more.
Zhonya’a Ring: As our mana pool grows, so will our love received by both our allies and the recently eased souls of our opponents. By the moon and the stars, not only will our moon-bestowed wish heal over 700 per cast but our Starfall and Infuse spells will punish those who try to take us one-on-one.
Mercury’s Treads: Thesewill not allow us to escape a gank, but they will be handy against the occasional late game debuff and allow you to get into the action quickly.
Since the aforementioned items are quite expensive, starchild. I doubt you will be able to afford all of them. Void staff and Abyssal Scepter are not BOTH necessary, so feel free to pick and choose as you see fit.
Focusing on Tanking power to pressure lanes
Aegis: Any child of the night sky knows that many are stronger than one. With this shield you can bestow a very helpful aura to allies. A great early game item.
Soul Shroud: For those starchildren who feel that their staying power is insufficient or their patience running thin, a mana manipulator will help with mana budgeting. This armor is also beneficial to those that do not bring Clarity for the early game.
Force of Nature: Although our magical atunement is one of the greatest among the champions, there are times when our physical frailty becomes a barrier. When opponents immediately gang up on us, or when they are using a lot of magical abilities (or that stick abomination is near), extra health regeneration and magical resistance is the perfect solution.
Frozen Heart: Ourphysical frailty is our biggest weakness. With this, our armor will be notable, and combined with nature’s force our moon-blessings will never be stilled. Combined with the aforementioned pieces of armor, we shall tank like no other, healing allies regardless of distance and softening up those who dare to engage us directly.
Mercury’s Treads: These boots will greatly increase our base mobility and lessen any conditions. We will wade through the peaceful forms of our foes, easing further suffering by pushing straight into the opponents stronghold.
Focusing on Pure Support when you simply do not want to be in danger
Archangel’s Staff: The point of this staff is Tears of the goddess. Extra mana on cast (and you will be casting a lot, starchild), is tremendously beneficial. You should wait patiently for the staff however, starchild, as the other items are cheaper and more beneficial to the early/mid-game. Only upgrade Tears to the staff in mid/late-game.
Soul Shroud: This item supports your team through mana regeneration. Ideally starchild, Tears of the Goddess and Mana manipulator should be your top priorities, as they provide you with a substantial mana pool with which to keep your allies alive.
Aegis: This item supports your team, which makes you invaluable to the group. Everyone will love you for healing and for +10 damage, let alone the armor and magical resistance you provide.
Rylai’s Scepter: If you cannot substantially damage your foes starchild, then you should snare them. Since Starfall has a short cooldown, you can essentially slow everything in its range by 15% as long as your mana holds out. It would dishonour the moon to ignore such a benefit! By forcing your opponents to gaze upon the stars for a little longer, you will ease their suffering into the next life.
Mercury’s Treads: Inevitably, your calm, serene canter will be too slow for your impatient, hot-headed allies. These boots will allow you to keep pace with them, but allow your eyes to remain unclouded.
-----Early game strategy: (Regardless of the starchild build you will be playing)
*Minion-shield: It is time, starchild, to discuss the benefits of the minion-shield. Only flash, ghost and a select few champion abilities negates what I am about to impart.
Instead of direct armor, our small allies provide a consistent, hearty buffer between ourselves and the opponents. By keeping our moon-twinkle children from joining the unending sleepers, we have a perfect opportunity for opportunistic starfalls and a great way to pressure our opponents early.
This minion shield should be fostered early game and relied upon throughout the game regardless of whether you are the sole champion in that lane or not. The many working together will always be greater than one. This is our philosophy.
In the early game, focus on last hits. Multiple last hits are ideal even if your lane partner gets mad at you. Remind them that you are the lure so they can get champion kills, and they should remember why you are partnering with them in the first place.
In an ideal early-game, we starchildren should not need to return to the fountain at all.
Skill selection early game should be Starfall, then Infuse to build back your mana for more starfall. Infuse should be your top priority, then Starfall, then Blessing. Why? The Starfall and Blessing combination eats through your mana like no tomorrow. Unless your team-mate has greatly over-extended, don’t over-use your Blessing. Always use your blessing when early game enemies charge you, as the extra 35 armor for 9 seconds is invaluable.
Out of Character information: Ideal ability selection: Q, E, E, W, Q, E, Q, E, Q, E, Q, R, W, R, W, R, W, W.
Out of Character information: Why? AP stacking should make your heals sufficient. At a high level Infuse will allow you to spam low level heals very frequently. If you pick Blessing over Infuse, you will likely have more mana problems mid game.
-----Mid game strategy:
As long as you are playing the harass and annoy game, you will put your opponents on the defensive. Be sure to play patiently, my child, as too much aggression will invite your own eternal slumber beneath the moonlight. Keep your laning opponents contained and in their lane.
If you are successful starchild, the heveans will seek to test you. Expect a ganking attempt by this point as you have not left your lane, have pressured your opponents back to their tower, and made them call for help. Expect mid to be ‘MIA’ and converge on your position.
Keep your calm, dear moon-twinkle, and plan for the inevitable gank attempt. I am afraid the stars cannot tell me when exactly this will happen, as the will of the heavens is not for this lowly summoner to say, but it will happen if you are pressuring properly. There are two ways to handle this:
a)Lure them, dear starchild. Get your allies to hide and wait, then jump on the opponents as soon as they appear.
b)Warn your allies, and have them push where the enemy is weak. What is your death worth, if not to press your team’s advantage?
-----Late game strategy:
There are really two strategies here:
a)Push lanes that aren’t well-defended (this risks ganking if the opponents are not dealing with your team mates – works well for item builds 1 and 2). This also sets up tower destruction from a more suited champion, as your purpose is mainly to keep the minion wave at its maximum
bFollow your group and support them. Starfall incoming/fleeing enemies or minion groups to soften them up for the team, heal/infuse allies as necessary, and silence troublesome enemies. If you are really aggressive, you can spike decently at 500+ damage every 4-5 seconds, but really you should be spamming heals and spamming starfall to pressure everyone in your range.
I hope that helps, fellow children of the stars.
Information is decent, but the Soraka-style writing is kind of annoying.
Also, Void Staff is an item you never want to get on Soraka. Her Starcalls and potentially Abyssal will lower the enemy MR, leaving less to Penetrate. Remember that Penetration goes 1. Reduction (can go below 0), 2. % Pen, 3. Flat Pen (cannot go below 0). So the more reduction you have, the less effective %pen is. Additionally, the AP output on Void Staff is minimal, and if you're going AP, it's not for damage, it's for Heals. Soraka's Ratios are low (.25 on Starcall and .6 on Infuse) enough that AP will never turn you into a blaster, no matter how much of it you get. However, the heals have a 1 and 2 to 1 ratio, making them very boosted. If you do go AP Soraka, you need to start with a Rod of Ages (possibly two if you can get a lot of assists early), then an Archangels, then finish off with Zhonya's and possibly Abyssal and/or Lich Bane (gives MP and MR, good amount of AP, and actually gives her a 1:1 AP ratio attack to use).
Also, Force of Nature < Banshee's Veil. Veil gives HP and MR and blocks the initiator spell. Force just gives MR, a little bit of movement (not significant since you're only running level 2 boots probably), and HP regen that will be meaningless when you're being focused down or ganked, especially since her HP does not hit huge levels.
Tried the style for effect. Duly noted.
Secondly, Banshees is great for SPELLS. But as a Soraka player I am NOT worried about spells. the only spell that is worth blocking is silence, and most of durations are not that worrisome. You are MORE worried about direct/indirect DPS that is being applied to you.
I never played DOTA, but I played a ton of Guild Wars as a Monk primary. That metagame was all about 5v5 pressure/spike. These builds heighten Soraka's ability to BOTH pressure and defend against spikes. By focusing only on heals like you suggest, you are ignoring her pressure potential.
Just because she has low AP convertability, doesn't mean you shouldn't max it for her damage. Her damage is ALREADY great for a pressure character, which is why any higher AP ratios would make her OP.
The reason WHY I support Force of Nature is for the sole reason that you shouldn't be healing yourself. If you are in a situation where you are healing yourself, you are likely dead already. Force allows you to be somewhat of a tank, when you want to be a tank-like Soraka.
Void allows the FIRST starcall to be as damaging as the subsequent starcalls. Since there are always people moving in and out of range, the MR reduction due to starfall spam only really applies to minions who are dumb enough to stay within range.
Good players will not stay for the 6 stacking Starfalls, so you need the pressure AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
I liked the guide and enjoyed the writing style. I've been tinkering with Soraka lately and really enjoy her when playing on a 5man premade. I tried a more aggressive battle-style Soraka and have been having some interesting results with her.
I always start out with a soul shroud because she needs the hp to survive and the cooldown reduction to all your allies is very useful. Then I get berserker's greaves. Then I build a nashor's tooth because it has attack speed, ability power, and cooldown reduction. These two items gets you to the 40% cooldown reduction cap. Then I build a Guinsoo's for the damage/AP and after that you can get any of the big AP items. Although Lich Bane could work well with the sheen aspect of it. Same with Rylai's for the slow and hp.
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