Sonya, SLAM! [Johanna Patch] by Colonel Crumpet

Sonya, SLAM! [Johanna Patch]

By: Colonel Crumpet
Last Updated: Jun 25, 2015
1 Votes
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Build 1 of 1


Build: All In

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

Introduction Top

Mornin' all, I'm Colonel Crumpet. This is my first guide and it's for my most played hero, Sonya.

Now, before trying Sonya myself, I was put off by the very low win rate statistic on hotslogs, as well as the general opinion of her being low tier. However since I got her in the starter pack I figured I'd give her a go and I was certainly surprised but what I ended up with!

First and foremost, although classed as a warrior, Sonya is not a front line tank. Her kit has none of the disruptive power of Diablo or Anub'arak, and none of the survivability aids of Muradin or Johanna. Basically, she can't be played like an immovable object, so you'll have to play her like an unstoppable force!

Play with the mindset of a melee assassin/siege tank and you'll get along very well Sonya.

The Kit Top



Use Fury instead of Mana, which is gained by taking or dealing damage. Using an Ability grants 10% Movement Speed for 4 seconds.

Not a fantastic trait in all honesty, you trade mana management for fury management, fury is easy to generate but you don't spawn with it (especially annoying if you're spawning for a base defense)! We also don't have a way to reliably generate significant amounts without talenting for it (spear doesn't give the fury if you miss). You can go in to a fight at 0 but if you miss your spear then you're very sub par for the first 5-10 seconds of the fight which is not satisfying or useful.

The 10% move speed is nice but wont keep you stuck to your target half as much as you'd like. As such we need to be on top of managing this if we are to be truly effective, which luckily isn't too difficult if we're not spawning into a base defense.

Basic Abilities

Ancient Spear

Fury: 0
Cooldown: 13 seconds

Throw out a spear that pulls you to the first enemy hit, dealing 100 (+14 per level) damage and briefly stunning them. If this hits, generate 40 Fury.

This is our bread (and a lot of other stuff!), it's surprisingly good damage, it's our gap closer (and escape with Mystical Spear) and our main fury generator so learn to make it count as it is often the skill that determines if we're going to win a fight or not!

In an ideal world, we'll make it into a fight without this so it'll be off cooldown to counter an enemy escape ability or to interrupt a key channel like a Lili/Valla/Nazeebo ult. However more often than not we'll have to use it to initiate (as we don't pick up leap).

Seismic Slam

Fury: 25
Cooldown: 1 second

Deals 90 (+13 per level) damage to the target enemy, and 22.5 (+3.25 per level) to enemies behind the target.

This is our butter, apply liberally! Reasonable damage and spammable if we've gone into the fight full fury(which we definitely should if possible). Devastates squishy backliners ans structures alike once we get Furious Blow. With our ult up a single spear>slam combo can easily chunk half the health of that puny Kael'Thas! Follow up with a couple more slams then spear to our next victim.

This ability does cleave in a straight line behind the main target but as this isn't a skill shot :( it's quite difficult to get much mileage out of that portion. It's still nice to see when a few enemies kindly line up for you though!


Fury: 40
Cooldown: 4 seconds

Deals 225 (+45 per level) damage to nearby enemies over 4 seconds, and heals for 25% of damage dealt.

This allows us to easily clear minion waves and merc camps, and provides us with plenty of sustain in lane (if we can make it into the wave). We can use it in team fights to heal up but it's easily interrupted and only a low skill enemy team is going to stay clumped for us to get any significant heal from it, plus the damage is mediocre as it's split over 4! seconds, you'd be much better off spamming slam to focus down a key target. That said, the animation is intimidating enough that the enemy quite often will refuse to engage/chase into it so it has its uses.

As a little pocket strat, team with a Ring of Frost Jaina, spear into a group of enemies and spin and have Jaina centre the ring on you. The enemies will delta split from you and walk straight into her ult!

Heroic Abilities (Ults)


Fury: 0
Cooldown: 70 seconds

Leap into the air, dealing 50 (+11 per level) damage to nearby enemies, and stunning them for 1.5 seconds.

Good initiating ult, allows us to get to our target without blowing spear (though sadly doesn't generate fury) and do a bit of damage and a decent stun to boot! You can also use this to escape over walls etc to dodge otherwise certain death. Overall good ability, can't really knock it I just find our other option more useful throughout the course of a match.

Wrath of the Berserker

Fury: 0
Cooldown: 45 seconds

Gain 40% Bonus Damage on all Basic Attacks and Abilities. Stuns, slows, silences, polymorphs and roots against you have 50% reduced duration. Lasts 15 seconds, and extends by 1 second for every 10 Fury gained while active.

This is the ability that makes this build work. It helps remedy our biggest issue as a melee fighter by reducing the duration of crowd control effects, allowing us to better stick to our target and provides a tasty increase to all our damage. As long as we're hitting something we can keep this up PERMANENTLY! Yes, we lose our best initiate (leap) by taking this but as long as we're hot on our spears and position properly this isn't an issue most of the time. Our spear and slam hit like a truck with this up and you can melt all but the tankiest of heroes with a slam spam spree!

This ability also allows you to solo the boss merc camp at lvl 10, with ease. It'll cost us around 50-60% of our hp to do so (make sure to dodge the aoe stun!) but can catch many enemy teams off guard and set our team up for a great push, or distract the enemy while we secure other map objectives. It's a huge boon for our team so we need to be capping all the merc camps when safe to do so to keep map pressure up! (You'll learn over time when best to cap them, but early levels you can just cap whenever and be effective)

Talents Top

Level 1

War Paint - Ususal Pick - Early game sustain for the lane, helps you trade hits a bit better, stay in exp range and take early merc camps, useful throughout the entire game. (The heal procs off all auto attacks, including hits on structures so you can beat a wall down to regen)Level 1

War Paint - Ususal Pick - Early game sustain for the lane, helps you trade hits a bit better, stay in exp range and take early merc camps, useful throughout the entire game. (The heal procs off all auto attacks, including hits on structures so you can beat a wall down to regen)

Block - Not Picked - Good against ability bursters like Nova, provides some extra survivability but is not as versatile in its usefulness as War Paint.

Endless Fury - Not Picked - Probably your least useful talent here, it's nice to go into a fight with 200 fury as it'll likely last you the majority of the engagement, but you dont always get a chance to fill up before a fight and if you ever reach 200 during a fight you're doing something wrong, so it's a mostly wasted slot. 100 is plenty along with the regen you'll get from fighting/spearing

Shot of Fury - Situational Pick - Occasionally useful if you're against a team that's got a lot of attack slows (hindering your fury generation). Ensures you'll be able to go into a fight and start slamming straight away. But again War Paint tends to be more useful throughout the game.

Level 4

Focused Attack - Not Picked - We only auto attack between slams because it has a 1sec CD and we need to keep rage up, this provides a little damage boost for those but as we're not auto attacking quickly, this doesn't proc enough to be very noticeable.

Shattered Ground - Not Picked - Sounds good on paper but as slam isn't a skill shot, it's very difficult to get much use out of this, so it's wasted most of the time. Fun if the enemy is polite enough to line up for you, or to get that clutch cleave through an enemy wall, but otherwise too unreliable to be worth a pick.

Hurricane - Not Picked - Good in whirlwind builds i guess, and I have been saved by it a few times, I'd possibly pick this up to help chase a slow heavy enemy composition if I landed in haunted mines where there aren't many mercs to cap, but that's the only time I can see it being favourable.

Superiority - Usual Pick - Often undervalued talent which provides a great amount of benefits for us at all stages of the game. Early game it allows you to solo all merc camps except the boss as soon as you get it (though I'd generally wait til 6 or 7 for a bit of extra damage or you won't be that efficient). Then at level 10 with WotB you can solo the boss, takes around 40 seconds and 50-60% of your hp if you dodge all the stuns and just spam slam and spear when off CD. This is a huge boon for your team as you can often sneak it without the enemy realising. If that wasn't enough, it also allows you to dive past towers much more aggressively and tank them for your team to finish off.

Level 7

Poisoned Spear - Usual Pick - 75% extra damage for your hardest hitting ability, what's not to like!? Unfortunately that damage is spread over 4 seconds but still a very nice boost that'll help bring your target down quicker and make your initiation that much more nasty. Also shaves a few seconds off your boss kill time.

Composite Spear - Situational Pick - To be honest I pick this up almost as much as poisoned. The extra range is very noticeable and works very well against heroes with escapes like Valla, combines well with Mystical Spear later on as helps you chase down your targets more effectively. This is more of a quality of life pick though and you won't really need the extra range except against a heavy slow/CC.

Follow Through - Possible Pick - Now I've not really played around with this talent so I can't comment too much on it's effectiveness, but the more I think about it, the more tempted I am to give it a go, over times when I would pick Poisoned Spear. As we auto attack only once or twice between abilities, you'll be hitting for the extra damage on almost every swing, plus this is reliable damage (as you can miss a spear) and adds a little extra sustain through War Paint. Someone may have already done the maths on this but I'll look to update once I've tried it out a bit more.

Ferocious Healing - Not Picked - Ok heal but at the cost of fury for damage, as such, it doesn't fit into this build, could be nice if you find your self being focused down all the time though.

Level 10

Discussed in ability section, take Wrath.

Level 13

Life Funnel - Not Picked - The way it's written sounds like it makes the tier 4 talent Hurricane obsolete, but I don't play hurricane builds so can't confirm that. I still think the most useful part of this talent is the snare removal as 10% extra healing doesn't sound worthy of a level 13 talent. Now if this made you immune to CC then I could see this being very good, until then I wouldn't pick it.

Aftershock - Situational Pick - Allows you to happily go on you slam spam spree without having to worry about fury much at all. Very handy talent if you find yourself struggling with fury management and helps offset the cost increase of picking up my recommended level 16 talent. I used to take this but now find I have more success with the ability to gap close more often with the next option. If we pre fill our fury bar before a fight and land our spears it's not too much of an issue.

Mystical Spear - Usual Pick - The reduced cooldown allows you to gap close more often and generate fury more frequently which equals more damage and more kills. It also give you the option of using your spear to escape which can and will save your life. Downside is if you miss an aggressive spear attempt, then you get taken into the fight anyway, which if you don't have fury (and now probably not the positioning) you don't really want. It's still useful with chasing though combined with the move speed increase from our trait. Might be worth only picking this up after you get the hang of landing your spears as you really are betting a lot on landing them if you take this.

Spell Shield - Not Picked - Again, good against ability damage bursters but I can't warrant the loss of damage/utility that the other talents in this tier provide for this build.

Level 16

Furious Blow - Always Picked - Huge damage buff to our main damage dealer, a must pick! Cost increase can be offset by one of the 2 talents recommended in the previous tier, or by a level 20 talent. It also helps to start a fight with a pre filled fury bar. However you chose to manage it, it's 100% worth it, you wreck faces once you get this and have WotB up. Pick your target (preferably one of their man damage dealers) spear them and drop a couple of slams on them and they won't know what hit them! You can focus down targets extremely quickly with this and then just spear to the next poor soul that foolishly stuck around and continue to clean house. You could also spear out after the first kill instead but you'll be feeling far too (wo)manly at this point to do that!

No Escape - Not Picked - Nice, as it makes your trait speed boost actually noticeable, but still not comparable to the pure devastation wrought by Furious Blow.

Imposing Presence - Not Picked - Good defensive talent against quick right clickers like Illidan...still not as effective as slamming him in the face though.

Nerves of Steel - Not Picked - Good defensive talent against everything else but again...not as effective as slamming people in the face.

Level 20

Arreat Crater - Not Picked - Now I don't build leap so I can't say if this is completely useless or not, but it doesn't look good!

Anger Management - Usual Pick - This is what brings you to that "Unstoppable" mark. 75% reduction means you brush off CC's like they were nothing and continue your slam spam spree without being rudely interrupted. The extra fury generation makes this even easier. Whilst you can live without both these extra buffs, if you're not being focus fired in fights there's really no reason not to get it.

Nexus Blades - Not Picked - We're not auto attack focused so we don't get too much benefit from this, although the slow is nice to help stick to your target. If you pick up Follow Through though, this may syngergise will with it and end up producing more reliable damage than anger management. Possibly worth a try if you're stomping anyway.

Ignore Pain - Situational Pick - If you find yourself being a main target in team fights, then pick this up and pop it a second after you spear in, it'll allow you to soak up a lot of damage for your team and still be able to slam some faces in.

Outro Top

So, I hope that helped convince you to give Sonya a try and hopefully you have some success with this build. At some point I hope to add some general/map specific gameplay tips for this build, as well as the threat list if people would find that helpful.

Thanks for reading, any feedback on content or formatting etc is always welcome.

Other than that, happy slamming!


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