Welcome to the first edition of LoL News Champion Guides. For this article, I would go over and talk about a champion who’s by no means a League newbie. For more than half a decade, summoners have continually witnessed her hymns that have either sent enemies packing with an unexpected shock or provided a brief reprieve for allies in the heat of battle.
Summoners, you guessed it right. Today, I’ll be talking about Sona, the Maven of Strings.
Sona, the Maven of Strings
On paper, Sona is a basic support champion. She comes equipped with three abilities: Hymn of Valor, which shoots bolts at two nearby enemies, Aria of Perseverance, which heals herself and one nearby ally champion, and Song of Celerity, which gives herself movement speed. Each ability would trigger an aura that related to the ability, increasing damage output, granting a shield, and increasing ally movement speed, respectively. Three casts of these abilities would charge Sona’s passive: Power Chord, an ability that grants an enhanced auto-attack with an additional effect depending on the last basic ability cast before the charged attack. Her ultimate ability, Crescendo, grants both a huge CC mechanic and a passive that lowers her basic abilities’ base cooldowns.
Summary of Her Playstyle
A brief look at her kit and one can see that Sona is akin to a jack of all trades support. She can be aggressive in lane with harass, provide a little healing and sustain, enable escapes and initiates, and ether set up for one big teamfight or turn it around at the crucial moment.
This strength of hers also translates to her flexibility in terms of laning and choices of which skill to level first. A Sona player can choose to focus on maximizing her damage output and lane harass by putting in more levels on Hymn of Valor. Should the player want a more defensive approach, prioritizing Aria of Perseverance in skill leveling ought to do the trick.
While “knowing” how Sona plays is a relatively simple task, the key to playing her well is awareness and skill in reading the game state. A skilled player would be able to make the right judgment call on which among the auras to activate as a fight unfolds.
Besides the auras, Crescendo can be used both ways: as an initiation or disruption tool. Despite its nature as a mass disable and initiation tool at first glance, sometimes it’s actually better to use Crescendo as a counter engage and tide turner in fights that would go particularly bad for the team.
- Your Power Chord resets attack cooldowns. An important thing to remember in lane would be the current charges on Power Chord. When it’s at 2 charges, you can start an auto attack, immediately activate a skill just as the animation starts, and immediately follow up with the now-charged Power Chord. This is extremely effective with Hymn on Valor on early levels. Keep this in mind when punishing overextending enemies.
- Practice your Power Chord triggers. You have three abilities, and the possible applications in lane are much more than what can be seen at face value. Besides the obvious usages, the Power Chord shots can be used for more minor things that could impact the laning phase in the long run. For example, a well-timed Aria Chord can mess your opponent’s last hit rhythm. Likewise, Celerity Chord, besides its uses in chasing or escaping, can help contest for prime positioning in lane.
- An alternative win-con in lane would be well-timed bait skirmishes. Should you feel confident about you and your partner’s trading abilities, you can try baiting the opponents into committing on a 2-on-2 fight. Precise timing on Exhaust/Ignite, along with the correct Power Chord and the quick shield from Aria of Perseverance should be able to give your AD carry the advantage.
- Sona is very squishy, and she can be easily picked off. If possible, avoid roaming alone too much, and make sure to always be aware of the possible dangers that can displace you such as Blitzcrank hooks.
- Note that the cooldown reduction stacks with the Crescendo passive, allowing you to exceed the 45% threshold.
- With that in mind, it would be wise to invest in cooldown reduction items for this champion. As Sona, you would want to spend teamfights constantly moving around your team and switching between auras.
- Know when to use your abilities. Despite her reputation as a “button mash” champion, maximizing Sona’s potential is a matter of “precise mashing” when the situation calls for it.
- Ardent Censer is an excellent item on Sona. It provides cooldown reduction, mana regen, and ability power, all which scale with her abilities. These also come with movement speed bonus and increased shielding and healing power.
- Don’t underestimate this delicate champion’s power. A Sona that decided to build AP items can also unleash a world of hurt in short bursts. A Power Chord that’s buffed by Lich Bane and a substantial amount of AP can easily chunk down squishy enemies. Her three basic spells and their short cooldowns would make sure that the same single target burst would once again be ready sooner than later.
To summarize everything that has been said so far, Sona is a support champion that can provide a whole lot of utility. While she may not harass as well as Zyra, heal as well as Soraka, and engage as well as Janna, but her strength lies in her ability to do a little of all the support attributes listed above. At the right player’s hands, Sona’s sheer versatility would prove to be a very valuable asset to the team.