AD SONA: My Personal Experience & Build Guide

When I first heard someone say “AD Sona” I thought they were joking. Then after having done some digging around it seemed to me like it was a legitimate possibility. I spent a large chunk of time developing changing builds and strategies and waited to write this review until I was certain I had something solid to say.

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It’s safe to say that being fluent in Sona’s playing style as a support champion (perhaps one of the champions I’ve played the most period) made it exciting to play in a completely different way. I will admit though, that even grabbing Doran’s Blade as my first item made things feel scary and unnatural. I was very careful at first knowing how squishy I am, and in some games completely overextended myself. I tried Solomid.net’s AD Sona build putting some faith in the site,rather than mobafire.com (who has a nasty reputation for trolls ‘liking’ terrible builds so people play them). I ended up disagreeing with a lot of their suggestions, and created my own play style which I will be sharing in-depth in this blog post.

There are three major conflicts with Sona that become very apparent while playing her as a damage dealer. First of all, her inability to aim. A lot of people snuff off the champion because she’s just a ‘bunch of spamming’ which in some cases may be the case. In the middle of an intense team fight with a bunch of aggressive males all throwing down for an example (boy do I feel like a babysitter on her often enough)…

But as AD Sona it is the WORST possible thing that you could face. Starting with damage dealing items, Sona can pack a real punch that rivals the GP gunshot, she’s got a miserable time trying to hit what she wants to. Farming isn’t a problem, especially with increased attack speed (a problem in itself– easily adjusted by item build) but also because every bit of AD that Sona collects, the easier it is to chow down on creeps. Trying to assist your lane partner’s in killing an enemy is difficult in a creep filled lane, and easily avoidable if you’re facing her. In team fights, shots are fired all around, and though she can still be helpful to the team, she is by no means in the proper bracket for snagging kills. Just as she does as a strict support role, she nabs a ton of assists. Being able to pack a punch however can be VERY helpful when chasing awkwardly positioned or flashed out champions. Her range is good for that. I do NOT recommend wasting your ultimate to try to KS even if you deserve the credit. It’s too important a skill to waste, not even knowing 100% you will score the last hit.

Other conflicts of Sona’s are her mana pool problem and her cooldowns. Ionian Boots of Lucidity are one option in dealing with the cooldown problem, yet I prefer the attack speed on my boots as a personal preference. This is why I have cooldown runes. As a damage dealer it isn’t as important that she spams her spells as much as she hits them. Spamming can lead to wasted mana and lots of frustration. There is more planning involved in dealing damage rather than keeping teammates topped off with health.

Speaking of heals, yours as AD Sona are on par with the Taric heal. Pretty much useless unless it’s a dire situation. I tend to warn my teammates as soon as I start the game so they don’t rely on me when they do something crazy. Her weak heals may not even make much of a difference if you do spam them in trying times.

In order to correct the mana problem, I have found two routes to go. You can get Philosopher’s Stone early game, or grab Trinity Force asap and begin it with Zeal. Gold is the main reason that making a call on what to buy in this department is tricky. A lot of your items are going to cost a LOT and you want to grab damage as fast as you can. However, I personally believe in getting Philosopher’s Stone because it not only offers you mana regen but also streaming health regen with the +5 gold, which will save you a bit of time in farming for your items. I’ve specified in my build at what point to take it.

Experimenting with AD Sona has been fun, but in conclusion, her biggest conflict keeping her from being a shining AD carry lies with Riot Games. Not all champions are created equal and Sona is a prime example. Each champion is crafted for certain purposes, and shines the best in their element. Janna maybe the support champion that breaks this rule, which is why she is probably constructed to be one of the most difficult support champions to master. If you really want to wreck your opponents with attack damage, take a champion that was MADE to be an AD carry. AD Sona is a novelty in the end, and fun to play with if you’re bored with the same ol’. If it’s an embarrassment to admit you’ve been playing her like that, you know at least she’ll never squeal on you.

Good Luck in your endeavors, Summoners!

RUNES

 Greater Mark of Desolation (9) +1.66 Armor Penetration

 Greater Glyph of Focus (9) +0.65 Cooldown Reduction

 Greater Seal of Resilience (9) +1.41 Armor

 Greater Quintessence of Desolation (2) +3.33 Armor Penetration

 Greater Quintessence of Swiftness (1) +1.17% Movement Speed Increase

 

MASTERIES

Offensive Tree (21)

Brute Force 3/3

Butcher 1/2

Alacrity 4/4

Weapon Expertise 1/1

Deadliness 2/4

Havoc 3/3

Vampirism 3/3

Sunder 3/3

Executioner 1/1

Defensive Tree (9)

Resistance 3/3

Hardiness 1/3

Durability 4/4

Veteran’s Scars 1/1

Utility Tree (0)

SUMMONER ABILITIES

I recommend Heal and Flash or Ignite and Flash. For first timers, I’d recommend you grab Heal just until you feel out your play style and get more confident and careful.

     

BUILD

There are two routes I would go depending on the makeup of the other team. I will provide both of them from start to finish. At the end of the build guide I will provide information on where each of the items are located at the merchant screen.

Starting out for either build:

Both builds start out pretty much the same. You can begin with a Doran’s Blade  or begin to immediately work on your Wriggle’s Lantern . Starting Wriggle’s you’ll be building up Madred’s Razors which means you ought to begin with  and a health potion or two (found under the Consumables tab on the merchant screen).

If you go the Doran’s route, you’ll want to grab your standard boots  next, then . With boots on the board you can finish your Madred’s Razors immediately.

If you start with , you’ll want to grab standard boots after, then finish the rest of the Madred’s.

Once you have Madred’s  you’ll want to finish your boots . There are two possible routes for boots and I recommend Berserker’s Greaves  which give attack speed.

However, it’s possible that you may experience a problem with cooldown reduction, and may opt for the Ionian Boots of Lucidity . There is no extra step involved with Ionian Boots of Lucidity. You will need to buy prior to finishing your boots if you go the Berserker’s  route.

After boots and Madred’s , finish Wriggle’s lantern .

Following this, you’ll want to snag your Philosopher’s Stone now .

Your build should now look like this:

 and  or .

OR and or .

After this solid beginning game build, you’ll take one of two paths.

1a) Direct Damage

1b) Hulky Damage

For the Direct Damage Build:

Begin with Trinity Force.  Second, build The Black Cleaver . These are your most important items in this build.

For the Hulky Damage Build:

You should get Frozen Mallet  followed by Atma’s Impaler . This allows you some sustainability since you are a squishy champion, and by building health, your Atma’s will pack a punch. You opt for more damage later on in this build but it’s highly rewarding once you do start to take major chunks out of your enemies.

At this point: (Assuming you may have sold your  along the line…If you haven’t keep it in mind while you look at the build together. You may have skipped Philosopher’s Stone by preference, so take that into account too.)

Your Direct Damage build should look something like this:

and or  

And your Hulky Damage build should look something like this:

and or

Great end game items to follow-up the items in each of these builds are Infinity Edge , Zeke’s Herald  and Sunfire Cape . Depending on what you need the most, you should plan accordingly. I personally would get Zeke’s Herald first in almost any occasion.

HOW TO GET TO YOUR ITEMS – If you’re not familiar with a new build or certain items it wastes precious time tabbing through panels to find them. I’m hoping that this assists in saving time.

 Doran’s Blade: Attack – Damage : Single Item

 Wriggle’s Lantern:  Attack – Damage : Built From:

 Boots: Movement (You can find the boots you intend to build after you’ve clicked on the base pair)

 Philosopher’s Stone: Magic – Mana Regen Built From:

 Trinity Force: Attack – Damage Built From: ()  ()  ()

 The Black Cleaver: Attack – Damage Built From:

 Frozen Mallet: Defense – Health Built From: ()

Atma’s Impaler: Attack – Damage Built From:

 Infinity Edge: Attack – Damage Built From:

 Zeke’s Herald: Attack – Attack Speed Built From:  ()

 Sunfire Cape: Defense – Armor  : Built From:

 

Sona’s Lore:

“Sona has no memories of her true parents. As an infant, she was found abandoned on the doorstep of an Ionian adoption house, nestled atop an ancient instrument in an exquisite case of unknown origins. She was an unusually well-behaved child, always quiet and content. Her caretakers were sure she would find a home quickly, but it soon became apparent that what they mistook for uncommon geniality was actually an inability to speak or to produce any sound whatsoever. Sona remained at the adoption house until her teens, watching in hopeless silence as prospective adopters passed her by. During this time, the caretakers sold her unusual instrument to anxious collectors, hoping to build her a trust. For a myriad of bizarre and unexpected reasons, however, it would be returned, or simply appear again outside the house.
When a wealthy Demacian woman named Lestara Buvelle learned of the instrument, she immediately embarked to Ionia. When the caretakers showcased the instrument for her, she rose wordlessly and explored the house, stopping outside Sona’s room. Without hesitation, Lestara adopted her and left a generous donation for the instrument. With Lestara’s guidance, Sona discovered a deep connection with the instrument which Lestara called an ‘etwahl’. In her hands, it played tones which stilled or quivered the hearts of those around her. Within months, she was headlining with the mysterious etwahl for sold-out audiences. She played as though plucking heartstrings, effortlessly manipulating the emotions of her listeners – all without a single written note. In secret, she discovered a potent and deadly use for her etwahl, using its vibrations to slice objects from a distance. She honed this discipline in private, mastering her gift. When she felt prepared, she went to the only place which could offer her a fitting recital: the League of Legends.
”Her melody moves the soul, her silence sunders the body.” – Jericho Swain, after attending her concert”

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