A Look at the Sona Taric Bottom Lane Combo
If you’ve been following theMa href=”https://www.esportstalk.com/news/iem-chicago-trouble-blast-pro-la-csgo-news/”> competitive League of Legends scene over the last couple of months, there’s no way you could have missed the dreaded Sona Taric bottom lane combo. Much like many other insane strategies and combos, this one came straight out of solo queue and has quickly risen in prominence in professional play as well. But why though? What does it offer that a standard bottom lane duo doesn’t? What are the pros and cons, and are the benefits big enough to warrant a foray into the unknown meta-wise? How does a standard game of League look like when there’s no AD carry involved? Let’s take a closer look.
The Sona Taric Bottom Lane Strategy Explained
The sight of a Sona Taric bottom lane is a confusing one, to say the least. We’ve seen both of these two support champions over the years but never one alongside the other. But the current meta is extremely flexible, and it favors a bit of craziness. This combination (and a couple of its subsequent derivatives) was so strong that it was instantly picked up by professional players across the globe. It became the hottest strategy almost overnight, and the teams that were unable to adapt and utilize it quickly succumbed to the pressure.
They either had to play it themselves (to success or failure) or ban the picks entirely. Either way, it was tricky business. Perhaps most surprisingly, we saw world-class AD carries throw years of experience out the window and play Sona. That, in and of itself, is at once both shocking and refreshing. And the champion (played in such a way) was so strong that they really didn’t need much time in order to become incredibly dominant and proficient.
When played correctly, the Sona Taric bottom lane has a fairly linear (and user-friendly) learning (and power) curve. Their power spikes are logical and concrete, and so are their strengths and weaknesses. There are no confusing ifs, ands, or buts.
There are a couple of inherent weaknesses and pitfalls, but with the right approach and mindset, they can be easily overcome.
So with that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the Sona Taric bottom lane combo, and why you should give it a try!
How Does It Work?
Although confusing at first sight, the way a Sona Taric bottom lane works is relatively straightforward, and also pretty darn ingenious. Both Sona and Taric start off with the basic support items — Spellthief’s Edge for Sona, and Relic Shield for Taric. What this means is they both have gold generation through their early builds.
Their early game roles are very distinct — Taric is supposed to take all the farm (regardless if he has a Relic Shield stack or not), and Sona is supposed to harass as much as possible in order to both stack her item as well as gain additional gold.
Once you complete your quests, the dynamic changes. That’s when Sona starts taking all the farm and Taric goes into a fully supportive role.
Because both champions have a steady gold income, they will become a powerhouse duo sooner rather than later. And seeing how they have a ton of built-in healing and shielding, they’re able to strengthen their team and seriously boost their chances of getting the win.
A Key Vision Advantage
One of the biggest advantages that comes from playing a double support bottom lane, is the fact that you have double the wards. Because both champions build support items, your team will have a huge upper hand in the vision department. This is an invaluable benefit — especially in competitive play where a single ward can be the difference between victory and defeat.
Having better vision control will seriously improve your chances of winning regardless of your elo. A Summoner’s Rift that isn’t shrouded in darkness is a far less dangerous place and by knowing where your opponents are moving and when they’re rotating, you will have an easier time in dictating the pace of the game.
You’re always looking to build an advantage through any means you can, and having so many wards is a superior benefit.
The overall team composition is an important factor whenever you go for a Sona Taric bottom lane. Seeing how you’ll basically be non-existent throughout the early and mid stages of the game, you need the rest of your team to carry the heavy load. Taking passive champions that also want to scale simply doesn’t work.
Furthermore, the rest of your team should go for teamfight-oriented champions. Because your bottom lane provides so much healing, crowd control and protection, you should have the right allies to boost and enable. A Sona Taric bottom lane combo is absolutely insane when team fights break out because you can literally top a dying ally to full in a matter of seconds.
Champions that thrive off of skirmishing and team fighting is the right way to go when you have such a potent bottom lane supportive duo.
This is the hardest part, by far. A Sona Taric bottom lane simply doesn’t have any early game presence. Perhaps that’s even an understatement. They’re just not strong enough in order to contest anything. So what you’re looking to do early on is to survive. Survive by any means necessary. You’re going to fall behind almost by default, and you should focus on not dying as much as possible — you’re waiting things out, you want to scale and reach the later stages of the game.
Seeing how you want to farm (if you’re Taric) and harass (if you’re Sona), your opponents will try to capitalize when you decide to make a step forward and put yourself in danger. That’s when you’re most vulnerable; that’s when your opponents have a window of opportunity.
If you’re playing against someone who knows how to counter a Sona Taric bottom lane, they’re going to lock in aggressive picks like Thresh, Blitzcrank, Varus, and so on — champions that have the ability to engage and create plays. Because you lack a built-in escape, you need to be cognizant of their engage tools and potential avenues for success.
In other words, hug your turret like it’s your long lost mother and wait things out.
You’re a complete pushover in the laning phase and you have no lane control. You have meager means to work with when it comes to early skirmishing or wave clear, and if your jungler needs help in taking a Dragon down… Well… You’re not exactly fit to help.
Also, don’t worry if you’re falling behind — that’s perfectly normal when you’re playing a double-support lane such as this one. You’re waiting for the mid game. That’s when you get to truly shine.
Mid & Late Game
So you’ve been getting harassed beyond measure for fifteen-twenty minutes. How do things get better? When do you get your power/item spike? After the early game concludes, the Sona player basically becomes an AP carry. Once Sona completes her support quest, she begins farming. Furthermore, the fact that she has Kleptomancy (an overpowered rune by all metrics, even after all the nerfs) seriously empowers her gold income. You might not look the part, but after you build two or three items you start hitting like a truck, which will be a huge surprise for your opponents seeing how you were a complete non-factor throughout the entire game.
You basically fall behind to a staggering degree, but because you generate gold through multiple means you’re able to overtake the opposing AD carry by a considerable margin in the gold department.
In the mid game, Taric stops farming and becomes a full-fledged support. He’s there to heal, shield, land his stun and provide invulnerability through his ultimate. Because he farmed throughout the early game, he should be able to reach a solid build far quicker than the opposing support player, thus becoming a more concrete threat.
Because both champions attained a solid lead through different means, they’re able to play a huge part in any ensuing team fight. Perhaps that’s even an understatement. A Sona Taric bottom lane provides a staggering amount of healing, shielding, movement speed, crowd control, along with two disgusting ultimates. Sona can stun an entire team if she lands a solid Crescendo, whereas Taric can make his entire team invulnerable for a fairly lengthy duration if he lands a good Cosmic Radiance.
What more could ask for?
There’s so much peeling and healing built into your kits that your teammates simply don’t get low enough (HP-wise) to ever be in danger. And the more you clump up as a five-man unit the less of a chance your opponents have at taking you down.
Not to mention the fact that both Taric and Sona can flash in and throw a CC ability, thus engaging at the most opportune time.
For a support bottom lane, they sure bring quite a lot to the table.
The Sona player simply has to go for Kleptomancy. That’s the best and most optimal choice and it plays an integral part in the Sona Taric bottom lane combo. The amount of gold it provides is spectacular and it will allow you to climb back into the game sooner rather than later. You should go for Magical Footwear next in order to get free boots at the twelve-minute mark, and Biscuit Delivery in order to get a free biscuit every three minutes — you need as much survivability in the early game as possible. Sure, both players have a built-in heal but seeing how they’re underleveled and without any items, they won’t heal for much. Finally, take Cosmic Insight to close out the Inspiration tree. Bonus Cooldown Reduction will go a long way, especially in the late game.
Take Sorcery as your secondary rune tree, with Manaflow Band (bonus permanent mana, up to 250) and Transcendence (bonus 10% Cooldown Reduction and adaptive AP) as the runes of choice. They synergize perfectly with what you want to do in-game, along with your build path.
Taric goes for Resolve as his primary rune tree (Guardian, Shield Bash, Bone Plating, Revitalize) and Precision (Presence of Mind, Legend: Tenacity) as his secondary. He’ll gain bonus shielding, empowered basic attacks, empowered healing, as well as tenacity.
Sona goes for Remnant of the Watchers (the final support item option), then Seraph’s Embrace, Lich Bane, Rabadon’s Deathcap, and Zhonya’s Hourglass. As for the boots of choice, you should buy Sorcerer’s Shoes for bonus magic penetration. This is a pretty disgusting build and it offers a ton of burst damage, especially if you’re focusing on squishier targets. It will also provide a bonus active shield (Seraphs) along with stasis from Zhonya’s. So you’ll be able to engage or enter the heat of battle and then survive for far longer than anyone would expect.
Taric goes for Abyssal Mask first, and then Knight’s Vow in order to provide even more protection for Sona. What you build later on is dependent on your playstyle, team comp as well as state of the game. You could go for Locket of the Iron Solari, Redemption, Ardent Censer, Zeke’s Convergence, and so on. Basically a full support kind of build.
Abyssal Mask, in particular, will provide him with bonus Cooldown Reduction, Health, Mana, and Magic Resistance. Perhaps most importantly, its aura will provide Sona (and any other AP champion on your team) with a 15% magic damage boost.
The runes and items that a Sona Taric bottom lane builds perfectly synergize with the way they want to play the game, as well as their biggest power and item spikes. There’s not a lot of experimentation, but if it isn’t broken, why fix it?
Finally, if Taric gets taken off the board, you can substitute him with a Tahm Kench. He doesn’t have as much crowd control, but he’s far more tanky and is still able to provide a ton of protection thanks to his W “Devour.”
Playing a Sona Taric bottom lane is refreshing, to say the least. It might not be your cup of tea, but it’s a valid way to play the game now, and it turns the laning phase on its head. You don’t have to play it, but if you’re looking to mix things up a bit, you should definitely give it a try — it’s far stronger than you might expect.