League of Legends: What makes top lane Soraka so OP?
The Week 2 games of G2 weren’t the first time in pro play that the Starchild, who was meant to be a support, was flexed and dominated within the solo lanes.
Some years ago, right after her rework, Soraka saw a significant rise in her popularity not as a support, but as a mid and top laner in League of Legends.
Her self heal buffs from Q, and the silence on her E made it incredibly hard for other champions to go toe to toe with her. But she got nerfed right after and fell off the meta rather hard.
So what allowed her to make a resurgence in Season 10 at the hands of G2’s Martin “Wunder” Hansen? Let’s take a look.
The Idea behind top lane Soraka
Though Soraka herself didn’t receive any particular changes, nerfs or buffs, the other top lane bruisers did. May it be directly to their kit, or indirectly through item and keystone nerfs, the top lane went through a ton of meta shifts in the last few patches.
The current meta favors a lot of tanky bruiser type top lane picks like Orn, Sett, Camille, and Rumble, who love to play the side lanes and dive the opponent when they’re low. Soraka acts as an incredible counter to them, and though she may not be able to kill them outright, she can, however, harass and chip at their health
This will make them base more frequently and lose out on a lot of farm and experience. Moreover, during team fights, as she is building AP, Soraka will be able to keep the mid and bot carries alive for much longer
Her global ultimate Wish will also help to keep her teammates healthy and topped up if they get dove under the tower. And as the 10.2 meta is all about aggressive jungling and diving the squishies, her abilities can come up clutch and turn an unfavorable fight on its head.
Standard Runes and Masteries
Much like the support Soraka build, the top lane Soraka, too, has the same keystones and runes. It’s always best to go for the Sorcery tree on her and here you can either flex between Summon Aery or Arcane Comet.
Mana Flow band is a must, though. Soraka in the early levels is very mana hungry, and before you get your mana regen items up, this rune will come in handy and help you to further harass your opponent out of lane.
CDR is always a good thing on harass heavy champions, so get transcendence and pair it with gathering Storm, so that Soraka’s AP can start to grow exponentially, the longer the game goes.
The secondary Resolve tree will make her surprisingly tanky and harder to kill during the laning phase and even during team fights. Second wind combines rather well with her Q Starcall and helps to keep her health topped up, making her impossible to kill in any one on one scenario.
1. Starting Items: Doran’s ring and two health pots.
Doran’s Ring is the standard starting item for Soraka Top, irrespective of the type of opponent that she is up against.
2. Core: Athene’s Unholy Grail, Ardent Censer and Redemption.
The additional healing that Soraka gets from Athene’s is quite helpful during teamfights. And that paired with an Ardent and Redemption will make her and her teammates unkillable in late game fights where kiting and survivability is a must.
It will even provide the ADC with additional attack speed, which is always a very welcome buff to have in any situation.
3. Situational Items: Choice of Boots, Spirit Visage and Shurelya’s
The situational items like the type of boots and the resistances will depend on the type of team composition that Soraka is up against.
For AP heavy teams, it’s better to get Mercury treads and Spirit Visage, as it will prevent her from getting bursted down by an opposing mage.
Against poke comps, Shurelya's can be a good choice, and Soraka will be able to help the team engage on the opponents before giving them the proper time to react.
The Soraka gameplan
In the laning phase, your main game plan with Soraka would be to harass the opponent and make it very difficult for them to farm and gain XP. Instead of aiming to outright win the lane, poke the opponent and just play it safe, letting the minion wave push into you if you have no vision of the enemy jungler.
Like a top lane Gangplank, work around getting to level 6 and have a bigger impact over the map with her R WIsh.
In team fights she will be the ambulance that keeps her team alive and runs the opponent down with insane amounts of burst damage.Published 03 Feb 2020, 12:23 IST