- Quick Guide
- Author / Skins
- Item Build
- Rune, Masteries, and Summoner Spells
- Strategy and Tactics
Strategy and Tactics
Keyboard set-up when you main Support
I’m going to be frank and to the point. You will never be a pro-Soraka player if you don’t use self-cast (not smart cast). Self-casting is simply holding down a key modifier that, when held down, allows your abilities to be directly casted upon your champion without the need to click yourself or the unit frame on the upper left hand corner of your screen. The amount of additional clicks it takes to play Soraka effectively without using self cast is insane, especially provided the amount of auto infuse and heals you will be casting. She requires constant keyboard spamming of her abilities, effectively every time her abilities are available.
If you plan on focusing on support, I would recommend going to your key-binding options menu that is in-game and changing it to a key you feel most comfortable with.
I set-up my SHIFT key to work on self casting. For example SHIFT+W or SHIFT+E would self cast on myself without having to click my champion in-game. You can also opt to change your SMART CAST keys to Q, W , E and R. This will make it so that those abilities will smart cast when you use them
For a level 1 fight, get your heal first. It might be tempting to get silence, but this usually does not payoff. It has a longer cd and sometimes on a level 1 fight, a champion with low health may bait another champion on the opposing team to overextend and die. Providing a heal at the right time can create the bait needed to get first blood.
The Laning Phase
Soraka works best in a duo bottom lane. Her ‘infinite’ mana pool can allow some carries to completely change their main item builds. For example, a soraka/corki lane may allow corki to bypass manamune and go straight for an infinty edge or trinity force.
If you’re vs. a Duo lane of a non-heal and AD ranged champion:
If the opposing duo lane does not have a heal ability, your carry will be able to trade, back out, heal and initiate to trade hits again. This form of harass wears down your bottom lane opponents. Think about it as a war of attrition – where eventually your opponents will be left with less. Your combo will want to avoid a full out early initiation. When laning with soraka, tell your Duo partner to wait for them to get low before going for the kill. You’ll want to also let them know to harass as much as possible.
If you’re vs. a Duo lane of 2 melee champions:
Then I usually run armor pen on Soraka. This enables her to do harass of her own. Her ‘banana attack’, or auto attack does some serious damage early game. Stand in the bush, just below the creep line and constantly harass as the opposing champions come to the lane for last hits.
If you’re vs. a Duo lane of a heal and AD ranged champion:
Think about the play style similar to that of a non-heal, but you're going to just have to wait longer to do a full engage. Soraka is by far the best lane sustaining champion in the game with the infinite pool of health and mana. Pay close attention to the mana pool of the opposing support champion and tell your lane partner to engage when its low.
In all laning combinations, it’s important to have bush and gank control. This means placing a ward in the opposing bush (of course without the opposing team seeing you do this) would make it very hard for the opposing team to zone you out of lane if they have a higher damage output combination. In addition you can ‘bait ward’ champions that are hiding in the brush. It is common for the opposing duo support champion to be in the brush, just sitting there waiting to heal or attack. By moving into the bush and placing a ward, you and your duo partner can get off some heavy damage on them while they run to safety. Timed correctly, you might even be able to pick up a kill.
The timing on your infuse(E) silence is the most powerful contribution Soraka can have to a team fight. Before the match even starts, think to yourself; who should you be trying to silence and when.
• If you're facing a Taric in lane – You’ll want to silence right before he’s in range to stun. This will allow your Duo partner to get off some nice damage on him before the silence wears off.
• If your facing most ability power champions – During team fights you’ll want to position yourself safely (try and identify where the closest walls are going to be in a teamfight. Try and stay close to the wall so you can silence an ability power carry and then immediately flash back over.
• Akali, Mord – These champions, even though they are not official casters with mana pools, silence still works very effectively on them. Our team will almost always run a Soraka vs. an Akali line-up. For one reason, when she decides to dive the carry, an instant silence once she dives in can mean her death.
As you can see from the example below. I’m out of range and also out of sight of Alistar, but able to get off a perfectly timed silence so that Tristana does not get combed and then stunned by Taric.
Silencing in a team fight
It’s important during a team fight to use your silence on the correct champion. It’s best to think about this PRIOR to a team fight happening; what are your options before the game even starts? Evaluate your best options and select one of these in the few seconds you have to make a decision.
If you were Soraka, who would you silence in this match versus CLG?
(Annie, Vayne, Sona, Amumu or Miss Fortune)
The correct answer would be Annie or Sona. Annie would be the preferred choice (even though she doesn’t have her stun up), but she might be slightly out of range. If you cannot get your silence off on her, then you would silence sona, to stop your team from being aoe stunned by her ultimate. In this exact game, I was able to stun Annie for 2.5 seconds, so she died before getting off any aoe on my team.
Strengths: Item/Heal Combinations
Soraka is extremely strong with her heal synergistic effects with items.
Knowing the other champs:
You won’t be very useful support if you're dead. That is why it's important to know the range abilities of your opponents. If there is an Alistar on the opposing team be sure to keep your eye on him constantly in team fights. One combo and you could be dead.
Where to stand in team fights:
It’s also important to position yourself BEHIND your allied team.
If your team is hiding in a bush, hide in the bush behind that bush, don’t ever stay in the same area as the team. If your team is combo’ed you want to be able to support the team from behind.
Don’t get ward baited:
Especially with a team that has Twisted Fate or Nocturne – you must be very careful where you walk on the map. Since you are so squishy, you can be easily caught alone. When you want to clear wards – ask the team to come with you, especially late game around baron. Tell your team “I need to clear wards, come with me to baron”. Going alone and getting caught is too risky.
There are many times when pushing a tower, it might seem like a good idea to help the team auto attack with it. Don’t even bother. It’s safer for you to just stay back and not die.
Sorakas role in a team fight is to properly time her silence(E) and cast her heal(W) and wish(R) at the right time. This all needs to be done with the very best positioning in mind. Stay behind your team, and never be in front. Don’t be baited too close to a team fight by using your starfall(Q) – be cautious and watch the enemy champions that you designated as your ‘key targets’ for your silence. Often times, if I need to get a critical silence off on an enemy champion, I will walk close into the team fight, just in range to get off a silence and then immediately FLASH OUT to safety. This works very well because that way you can get off the silence appropriately and get yourself back out of the range of danger.
Duo Laning Tactics
If you are facing two melee champions, harass with your auto attack. If you are faced against an attack damage ranged and support combo on bottom lane, you’ll need to play much more passively. Often times, I will stand out of range of the experience of the creeps. This way your attack damage partner will pick up on solo experience in the lane, keeping up on levels with the other solos. So stand really far back from the creep line and allow your duo partner to pick up on the extra experience.
Make sure you are warding the bottom brush appropriately. This means that you should always have a ward on you early through to the late game. Properly placing wards on the corner of brushes is usually the best place. If your opposing team is good, they will counter and buy oracle or pink wards. You will need to counter by doing the same. It will then just be a race to who spends more on those items.
Since you are playing support ward placement is paramount and can make or break games. You can bait enemy teams into standing in a brush that is warded, you can have vision so you can steal objectives without the enemy team knowing; you can control vision for your jungler so they can gank and counter jungle effectively. Map control is one of the most important concepts in this game. Where you place your wards and the selection of green and pink wards is important. In low elo play you can probably get off by just placing green wards (since the enemy team will likely not ward). In higher elo, you are better off buying pink wards so that you can eliminate vision from the enemy team while providing vision at the same time. There are key spots on the map that are commonly warded by the enemy team, which you can pink ward. Here is a map of the warding locations that are common:
Soraka is not a very strong zoner. She does not want to stand in danger by being in front. The only time she can successfully zone is very early game, between the 1:55 and 3:55 minute mark, and it will depend on your lane combo versus your opponents. If your opponents lane combo has stun ability, you will likely not want to zone, if they do not – then you might be able to get away with trading auto attacks (because you can just heal back up)
Tips and Tricks
You can see from this example, all the red areas are the very best place to put wards. They are also the logical location of enemy wards. This way you can kill those wards (just be careful when going alone to kill wards).
Not shown here are more late game wards, those would include the wards on Dragon and Baron. You’ll want to put wards at these locations at the appropriate timing.. Baron spawns every 7 minutes and spawns for the first time at minute 15. The Dragon spawns every 5 minutes. You’ll want to keep visibility on these when you feel it is appropriate based on the movement of their jungler.
Synergies and Counters
[Warwick, Swain, Vladimir, Alistar, Chogath, Irelia, Mordekaiser, Olaf, Udyr, Xin Zhao]
Soraka works very well with any champions that have a built in heal component to their skill, or champions that would go items that would cause healing effects. The multiplicative effects of astrals blessing(W) and wish(R) with these items can be very strong. It also lets you know that if you had to choose between two champions to heal, which one will heal for more based on their items and abilities. When you are designing a team composition you absolutely want to select from this champion list. If the other four champions on your team are not on this list, you are not making the most of a Healing team composition.
Using an AD Combo Bottom Lane:
You want to use Caitlyn, she is 100% the best AD champion for Soraka Combo. She can spam her Starcall (Q) on creeps and push the tower really fast. (use caitlyn's traps in the triangle brush so you know if there is incomign gank). Have Soraka ward the River. This way you can push without fear of being ganked pretty aggressively. Because of the range on caitlyn's auto attack (foucs more on pushing the lane and getting the tower (try to get it in under than 6 minutes) than trying to get kills. Once the tower is gone, have Soraka ward the Golem or Lizard area (depending on which side), then continue pushing aggressively and back if you see gank coming.
Going Mid on Push Strategy:
A really fun combo that is very good is to run Soraka + Heimerdinger in mid lane.. You upgrade soraka's Q and E (not her heal!!) and you just use the abilities every time they are up on the minion waves. You get CV and Clarity (with mastery upgrade) – no escape so you have to be more careful about you’re positioning. Have Heimer get mana regen runes and max rockets. Both of you should spam your abilities (even on minions) and push the tower as hard as you can. If enemy support does not come mid lane to help, you will get tower in less than 5 minutes on the time clock. Then have soraka go bottom and heimer can continue farming mid or have bot lane switch to mid and do the same thing bottom lane. It's really strong and there is nothing that can stop infuse+starcall+rocket and turret spam by heimer. It's really strong. You are only susceptible to Ganks, but even then its just a 2v2 gank, so you should be fine.
Nocturne is the anti-soraka. If you ever want to counter a team with Soraka, grab nocturne. Nocturne can easily ward bait, by placing wards – the ones that you are trying to clear with your oracle. If Nocturne catches you out of position clearing a ward, you can literally die in three hits. This is not good and will cause a 4v5 fight. You won’t even live long enough to have your team come and help (even if they could see you being killed). Because of this Nocturne is very strong against Soraka. In addition, Nocturne can his ultimate on you in team fights – making it so you have to waste the heals and wish on yourself, rather than your allies.
Lastly, there are other champions that counter heal compositions. These would include Miss fortune, Tristiana and Katarina – because they have built in healing reduction effects on their abilities. It might be a good idea for you to ban some of these champions if you plan on running a team composition with Soraka in it.
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