Rank 1 Sonya Guide by WarpStatus

Rank 1 Sonya Guide

By: WarpStatus
Last Updated: May 12, 2015
6 Votes
Build 1 of 4


Build: General Sonya Build

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Threats to Sonya with this build

Show all
Threat Hero Notes
Nazeebo You can spin through his zombie wall, and use it for heals. Spear can interrupt his ult.
  No Threat
  No Threat
  No Threat
  No Threat
Raynor Raynor q can be annoying to stop ww. Oher than that hes not too bad. I don't recommend laning against him though. If you do try to bait qs and then use WW
  No Threat
E.T.C. He has lots of CC, but doesn't scare me as much as diablo. Spear can interrupt his ult
Brightwing Poly is scary, stops WW and makes you easy focus target. Sonya can drop quick to this so don't overextend.
Uther Sonya hates stuns or cc.
Diablo Lots of CC. Stopping you WW is annoying and catching you out with e q combo can be devastating


Build: Sonya Tank

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20


Build: Anti Melee/clump

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20


Build: Pure damage, team need cc

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20


The guide is outdated as of 5/12/2015. I will work on updating it as soon as I can. My initial thoughts on the patch:

The good:
I like the WW is shorter change with CD starting after it. Now WW will be up more often, and if we get stunned we aren't entirely screwed.
Talent follow-through I think is good because we auto attack between all of our abilities. Its kind of like a free boost to damage. There is a bug with it though which really bothered me so hopefully they fix soon.
Slam buff is good! more damage! ww change to 40 rage is good because before there was a few times at 0 rage I would spear and need to ww but couldn't. we can do that everytime now.
The Bad:
Really dislike losing the life leech part of WW on creeps. Healing up to full in between fights was huge! Removal of boon of the ancients. I felt like it was a huge power spike at level 4 I could create snowball off of. Our level 4 talents now are fairly weak in my eyes. There may be rage issues because of this and taking shot of fury may become more important.
Having to use ww more often may add a burden to rage issues

Overall I think there is currently more build diversity for Sonya than there was before. Definitely more to explore with some more auto attack builds, since we will be auto attacking more anyway because we can't rely on boon for rage. I certainly don't think we are worse off, but time will only tell if it was for the better.

Table of Contents Top

1. My Player Background
2. About threats
3. Vocabulary Key
4. Basic/Advanced Sonya tips
5. Info about the different talent builds
6. Talent overview and comments

My Background Top

I'm certainly not the best player in the world, but with all the Sonya hate going around I though I would write a solid guide about my experiences and climb with her to rank 1.

I used to be a league player. I quit quite a while ago, but I made platinum with mostly Gangplank in I think it was season 2. I tend to gravitate toward underused, under repressented characters that have potential and I find fun to play.

Recently I made rank 1 with Sonya as most played (in comparison to other heroes that is). I find the hate she gets to be undeserved, but I do admit she is difficult to play well and can be punished easy for mistakes. However, once you get used to her playstyle and can minimize mistakes I think she is a solid hero. Some small tweaks here and there and she will be in a great place. For references you can find me on hotslogs as WarpStatus.

I pretty much just made rank 1 so hopefully I stay solid at R1.

Unfortunately some info may be out of date soon after the upcoming patch (Kael'thas), but I will update as soon as I can. A lot of the info here is also general tips that should be helpful in any patch.

About the Threats Top

That section is still a work in progress. It is how dangerous the champions are to you in general. Not from a 1v1 standpoint because I think Sonya can actually 1v1 anyone lane wise.

Note: Just because a champion is a high threat does not mean you can't pick Sonya (otherwise we could never pick her XD). It just means you need to be REALLY aware of their CD's and pay extra attention to what they are doing.

Threats are across all builds and are still unfinished.

Vocabulary Key Top

Some basic vocab keys in case you are new.

Crowd control = CC = Some kind of stun or interrupt
ww = Whirlwind
autos = auto attack = aa = basic attack when you right click or attack move
merc = killing merc camps
ult = ultimate talent = level 10 talent

Basic/Advanced Sonya Tips Top

My thoughts on Sonya and tips that sound obvious but sometimes get overlooked. All these things are my opinion and please let me know if you agree or disagree. I think Sonya gets more hate than she derserves and can be a solid hero when you put the time into her. I will admit though she gets punished pretty hard for any mistakes, so do your absolute best to minimize them and the fallout will not be bad.

Number 1 rule to Sonya is HIT SPEARS. If you can't hit spears, or don't think you can hit spears... don't play Sonya. Its your chase, its your rage generation, it is you engage sometimes. She lives and dies by the spear and unfortunately we can't afford to miss. Try to throw spears such that if you miss your main target you hit something else, a wall, a tank, a minion.. whatever.

In no particular order some TIPS:

1. Don't take Sonya to mines. This might be a personal bias of me, but I don't think melee is a good pick on mines because if you need to defend from the golem you take too much damage from range harass and you might get stuck in a golem stun. You can't really get in any damage to the golem while its pushing compared to range. Every other map it is fine to take Sonya.

2. The Ideal compisition for Sonya to fit into is one that has 1 support healer (Rehgar, Brightwing, Malfurion, LiLi, Uther), 1 Main or half tank and 1 Ranged damage dealer. Think of Sonya more as a melee assassin than a warrior. You can deal plenty of damage. You can also soak some damage for your team too.

3. Be ready to all-in. As Sonya you want to do your best to weave in an out of battle in kind of a series of events. Get in spend rage get out, go back in with a spear to get more rage and repeat. This isn't always the case, but that is the general game plan. Especially important vs melee characters. Most of them if you fight in an auto war with your skills mixed in you will lose. You want to kite them and hit with your skills to deny as many of their autos as possible. If you are unable to weave back out if against ranged or someone you know that will just get free damage on you.. you have to all in. You will be suprised that a lot of the time you will either take someone with you or win outright. Sometimes you get people low to setup your team for follow-up. It sucks to make a mistake and die, but if you know there is no going out get in as much damage as possible.

4. Know when to engage. Have good map awareness. This goes for every hero, but especially for Sonya. There generally isn't a chance to go back so picking your engagements right is all the more important without a skill to save you if you make a mistake. Mistakes happen and that is fine if thats the case make sure to remember number 3.

5. ALWAYS pre build rage before any fights. Use spears on creeps, or end ww early so you can auto creeps and kill the last with spear. If you take Boon Of The Ancients the cooldown feels so much shorter and don't be afraid to spear creeps just for rage. That way you can start fights with slam instead of spear. Which means you can use spear to interrupt or use it to chase which is very valuable.

6. Ideal engagements. I'll use valla as an example here for a vs ranged damage dealer fight. This is just a 1v1 situation in a vacuum which you may say is not very useful, but what needs to happen is understand how the fights should go as the first step and just keep building onto that as more heroes get involved. If you don't have the basics down for doing damage to even a single hero how can you expect to know what to do when there are more heroes around to make things more complicated.
6a. Start with full rage and ambush valla either on a mount running up to her or from a bush. Slam auto slam until she tumbles, spear. If you missed the spear then disengage otherwise slam ww IF you have the rage. If not then just ww. Then cancel into auto slam before she passes through a gate or a teammate comes to help to finish her off. If you still need more and its safe to chase, spear should be up again. This is the best engagement possible.

7. It is possible to play Sonya like a tank, though I don't recommend. I go into it a bit more in the talent section about Ferocious Healing. The main idea is to maximise self healing and change your mindset to be more protect than dive. Stay with the team, blow up anyone that overextends and use Ferocious Healing on cooldown to keep your tankabiliy intact. The main focus should be getting a good ww when enemy cc is down to also extend your life.

General info about the Builds Top

Note: I don't recommend setting any of the builds in stone. You should change talents based on team comp and what other talents are chosen by teammates/enemies.

General Sonya Build: Mindset should be to deal damage. This is what I made as a usual build. This I feel can work in any composition and is extremely versatile. Its especially good at dueling. If you have any doubt as to what build you might want to go I would just start getting used to this one. It has chase, damage, and versatility. The only time I would consider not doing it is if you are the only tank. Then you should look to the Sonya tank build as a basis for your talent selection.

Sonya Tank: If you end up being the only tank on your team don't lose hope. It is perfectly winnable despite what people think of Sonya. With this build your mindset should change from doing damage, to reducing damage caused to your damage dealers on your team. There are many ways to reduce their damage.
1. Block incoming damage from hitting them
2. Soak damage during a time they can deal damage to the enemy freely
3. Peel by doing lots of damage to someone diving, use spear/leap to stun them and slam to kill them quickly so they can't do further damage.
You really want furious healing here. This allows you to grow the amount of damage you can soak for your teammates. Whether to take Leap or not is often where I am often at a crossroads. Leap is good if you can combo ults with someone else, or if your team can react properly (sylvannas ult, jaina ult, falstad ult) it can be really powerful. By itself its kind of lackluster. If you have faith in your team or know that locking them down a lot will help, go Leap. Otherwise sometimes its better to go Wrath of the Berserker. If the enemy team is squishy the extra burst can help you take someone out quickly, which can be very strong.

Anti Melee/Clump: This build focuses on taking advantage of clumped enemies to do lots of damage to them via slam. Use Boon Of The Ancients for rage generation and Seismic Slam away. Try to aim so it splashes multiple people. Good against lost vikings, groups of melee.

When your team has CC but needs damage: Go full on Seismic Slam build. I don't like the build too much personally, but it can put out a lot of damage and fast. I always seem to have rage issues without Boon Of The Ancients, but maybe that because you can convert rage into damage really fast. WHich is a good thing.

Tier 1 Top

Tier 1: Not many options here. Its between Block or Shot of Fury generally. If you are going slam you have to take Shot of Fury.

Block: When in doubt go Block, but get this if you plan on using Boon Of The Ancients. If you know you want Furious Blow then just go Shot of Fury.

War Paint: Still trying to determine when you might want to take this. Sonya is rarely using auto attacks. May have some use when laning against someone tanky not ranged and has cc to interrupt your ww. If you can't ww in lane at least you can get health back from autos and Block slightly less useful against melee in the sense you can just try to avoid them hitting you.

Endless Fury: Generally considered the trash talent of this tier. I feel like it may have some untapped potential for prebuilding your fury and unleashing at the start of a fight. Problem is to burn through fury fast you need Furious Blow, and if you have that you should take shot of fury anyway. If I have time I actually want to try exploring this talent a bit. Haven't had the time.

Shot of Fury: Take if you don't need Block. Always take if you are going to get Furious Blow. Sometimes I find myself with too much rage when taking Boon Of The Ancients. There will always be a time when you miss spears though which makes Shot of Fury a great backup.

Tier 2 Top

Tier 2: Boon Of The Ancients or Furious Blow generally. Everything else just doesn't seem right.

Superiority: I guess if you want to merc hard you can take this? I personally think its bad. Sonya can merc without taking too much damage, and can just heal it back in lane. Might make it easier to heal in lane.. i guess..

Focused Attack: I would never take it. Sonya rarely auto attacks, she has no attack speed steroid. Blizzard should rework Sonya entirely to keep this talent, or just make a better one.

Boon Of The Ancients: IMO Sonya bread and butter. So many people love Furious Blow, but the mobility you sacrifice is too much sometimes. This move keeps your fury up and secures your kills, period. I admit if you miss you get in bit of a bad position, but if you are confident in your shots take this 100%.

Furious Blow: Good talent if your team has mad CC. If you are confident your team can keep the enemy slowed or in place take it. Mandatory to opt Shot of Fury with this or you will have serious rage issues.

Tier 3 Top

Tier 3: I feel like there are options here, but personally I need to explore them more. If you went Boon Of The Ancients, I feel you can get anything. If you went Furious Blow you have to go Shattered Ground IMO.

Poisoned Spear: Seems like this wouldn't do that much, but it actually helps a lot for dueling and 1v1 laning. You hit this on squishies and it chunks. Only get if you go Boon Of The Ancients, not good otherwise.

Shattered Ground: Take 100% if you went Furious Blow. If you do lots of teamfighting and less dueling, I think it can be good to take even if you got boon. Anytime you think the opponent will get group up and you can hit multiple people with it, go this talen.

Ferocious Healing: You may need shot of fury to take this. Haven't used it much myself, but I can see it being good for a lot of mercing or if you lack heals.

Edit: Been playing with it more recently and I like it a lot. You don't have to take Shot of Fury as long as you are hitting your spears and do your best to gather some rage before the fight. I like to take this when your heals lack burst healing, if you feel its needed. (malfurion, brightwing)

Also good if you are the only tank on your team (unfortunate, but it does happen). If this is the case focus on using this skill on cooldown for the full healing amount. Your team will have the damage if you are the only tank, they just lack the healthpool to survive. Try to soak and peel/body block for your team and get uninterruptible WWs to survive longer.

If laning goes long and you have someone constantly interrupting your WW's this helps a lot.

Tier 4 Top

Tier 4: I think either ult is viable. When in doubt I would go with Wrath of the Berserker.

Wrath of the Berserker: This skill is just amazing. With this new increase in damage it gives you the burst to be a huge threat. Your ww will also heal you more. Its super awesome if you find yourself in need of split push or just destroying buildings quickly. With boon you can keep the buff up 100% if you hit every spear, which buildings don't move so how can you miss? When hitting buildings do hit hit slam to keep up Wrath of the Berserker and burn rage at a sufficient rate.

Leap: Not my favorite ult to be honest. I'm finding it harder and harder for me to find a situation I like to take this move. That is only my opinion and I really encourage everyone to try and find good uses themselves. I think this ult is good when you have a lot of damage on your team (not including you) and all you guys need to put yourself in a great position is a good lockdown. That is when this ult shines. Just make sure your team is in range to follow up because the stun always feels short to me. It really does lower your damage output though so keep that in mind.

Tier 5 Top

Tier 5: I find myself in general taking Composite Spear and Aftershock the most.

Composite Spear: I really like this talent. I recommend for the basic sonya build, unless they don't have many ranged. It makes landing spears a lot easier. A lot of times you just fake like you are running away and once they are chasing in a straight line turn around and spear them. The range will suprise most people. It can also help you get a good flanking position in a team fight. Which is generally what Sonya wants to do.

Life Funnel: I don't take this talent too often. In theory I think it might be good against someone like jaina because she often uses all her slows really quickly so just removing it once can be big. You would be suprised how little you need to connect your spin on her to be in a good spot. This will help you block one slow and possible delay the next slow until you are on top of her which makes it too late for her. Without it you tend to just spin doing no damage while she runs away.
However, Composite Spear can catach her from far away or while sprinting away. I generally don't have trouble with snares, moreso with stuns.

Dust Devils: I don't take it much, but I do see this in some of the top hotslogs builds. If you find yourself doing a lot of damage with your WW I would recommend picking this up. Be confident in hitting short spears though.

Aftershock: I would take this if the opponent has a good amount of melee or if you invested in any of the slam talents earlier. This really boosts consistent damage output and I would get it especially against Illidan so when he dives your team you can just slam auto slam auto and it really burns him down. Remember slam hits through evasion(also remember he can reduce by 50% with talents). If he dashes away just spear and your team will finish him off.

Spell Shield: TBH I never take this because I don't find myself dying often to ability damage and find all the other talents very useful. But if you find youself on a team against heavy ability damage and can't stay alive in fights. By all means take it.

Tier 6 Top

Tier 6: Generally take Nerves of Steel. I think the other talents are fine if you have a playstyle preference with them except I don't like Mystical Spear. Unless you specifically use it for split push, which I would only recommend if you are seriously behind and need to make risky moves for a comeback.

No Escape: Good if you're ahead I hear. I don't take it much because I feel the shield is always useful. If you are struggeling to chase properly then take it.

Enduring Whirlwind: I've never taken it. It seems other team always has enough CC to deny this talent. But if you are good at knowing your opponents cooldowns and they don't have many stuns this can make you really annoying for the opponent. Remember you can always cancel whirlwind if needed by pressing e again.

Mystical Spear: I used to love this a lot with the super spear build. Then I realized a lot of the time if you miss your spear you do not actually want to go in. I rarely take it now. However, I think it does have some applications with splitpush for sonyas only escape.

Imposing Presence: Take this if there are a lot of auto attack people who happen to attack you. Can be good against Illidan, but he usually doesn't focus me. If he does I would take it.

Nerves of Steel: I take this 90% of the time. Just too good for extra survivability. It is the safe pick here.

Tier 7 Top

Tier 7: Generally Ignore Pain. It is just too good. Also lets Sonya actually be pretty tanky for once.

Arreat Crater: With all the dashes around and Bolt of the Storms available I don't see why you would want to take this. If you notice a high priority target does not have a dash or a few of them don't then consider taking it. It's rare I take Leap anyway, but seems like this talent can be fun. Remember you can release the rocks by casting R again. Don't trap your teammates.

Anger Management: Makes ult easier to keep up and increases the stun/root resistance to 75%. I think its easy enough to keep up and the extra reduction to stun-root isn't that big. If it gave more damage I would consider it, but I think Ignore Pain will suit you better everytime.

Nexus Blades: I would never take it. Sonya rarely autoattacks. Let me know if anyone finds a good use for it, but I'm highly skeptical.

Ignore Pain: Really good talent. Can't go wrong picking this one.

Quick Comment (3) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

6 Votes

Quick Comment (3) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

HeroesFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite HotS hero’s build and strategy.

Copyright © 2019 HeroesFire | All Rights Reserved