Complete Sion guide – Tips & Tricks to play and counter
Why is Sion so strong?
Ever since Riot changed the meta to favour tanks, bruisers have been picked less often. In the past, these champions were tasked with keeping tank champions down prior to season 7, but they now lack scaling and are being shut down much easier with the ever present threat of enemy junglers. Through this, it has given rise to champion who have extraordinary amounts of crowd control, high base damage, and are naturally tanky / sticky, such as Sion.
Sion has an amazing kit with decent damage throughout the whole game. In addition, he has 3 forms of CC, one slow and two knock ups which aren’t even considered skill shots. His kit allows enemies to be kept down, not only through being immobilised, but being forced out due to his high initial burst damage. Sion’s passive further increases his damage ever after he dies, as he gains max health damage and attack speed after ‘Glory in Death’ triggers.
All in all, Sion is not only able to engage when he desires, but the enemy is forced with two unfavourable outcomes, kill Sion and risk further damage, or ignore him and risk being heavily CC’d.
Sion abilities – Skill breakdown
Passive: Glory in Death
Once Sion’s health has been full depleted, he will reborn into another form granting him max health damage every auto attack. However, all his existing abilities will be replaced with one movement skill giving 50% decaying ms. Once he transforms, Sion will regain his max health, however, the health will deteriorate automatically at an exponential rate. However, his life can be extended through 100% life steal from his auto attacks. (Items can be used while passive triggers).
Q: Decimating Smash – Flat 45 mana cost
Cost: 45 mana
Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 s
Holding Q / first cast will charge up an attack in front of Sion. The longer the cast time, the higher the damage. In addition, if it is held for at least one second, enemies hit by the ability will be knocked up (between 1.25s – 2.25s based on charge time). Since the mana cost for this ability is extremely low and has a decent range, Sion is able to constantly zone enemy champion from cs with ease.
W: Soul Furnace
Cost: 60 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 mana
Cooldown: 11 s
Sion shields himself that scales based on maximum health and AP. This shield lasts for six seconds, however, after half of its duration has passed, Sion can activate the ability again to detonate the shield, dealing damage to nearby enemies (damage also scales on max HP and AP). In addition, placing a skill point in W activates a passive, where every minion / monster killed grants a permanent 3hp increase and champion / large enemies kills grant 10hp. The longer the game goes on, the tankier / more hp sion can get, this ability can stack infinitely similarly to Nasus and Veigar Q.
E: Roar of the Slayer
Cost: 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 mana
Cooldown: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 s
Sion deals damage in a medium ranged line towards the targeted direction. The first enemy minion or non-epic monster hit will be shot towards the cursor, extending the range of the damage area. All enemies hit will be slowed significantly, whereas the first target whether it be a minion, jungle monster or enemy champion will have their armor reduced by 20%.
R: Unstoppable Onslaught
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 140 / 100 / 60 s
Sion becomes unstoppable and gains increasing movement speed towards a target direction. His charge / path can be slightly swayed towards the current cursor while charging. The ultimate can be stopped voluntarily by reactivating the ability, however, colliding with terrain / enemy champion will forcefully stop the charge. However, enemy champion hit will be dealt scaling damage based on the distance of the charge, knocked up for 0.75s to 1.75 and slowed.
How to play Sion – Tips and tricks
Engage: Sion’s kit perfectly allows him to engage almost every team fight. There are multiple ways to start a fight with Sion. Out in the open (pushing through lane) activate ‘Unstoppable Onslaught’ and aim towards the carries, reactivate if you accidently go past them to stop the charge. If ult is down, you can also engage by bush camping and charging ‘Decimating Smash’ to its full duration, knocking up multiple enemies if they dare face check.
Farm it up: While it is possible to abuse a handful of champions in the early game, Sion is very vulnerable to ganks prior to level six and is innately a scaling champion. Try to farm safely, preferably on your side of the lane. The more farm you get, the more health you gain through your W passive making him an absolutely monster in the late game.
Reactivate your ult: If you accidently miss your ult and don’t hit the enemy champion, you can still activate your ult to stop the charge. Not only does it avoid you ending up on the other side of the map in important fights, it does damage to nearby enemies, so don’t fear if you miss your target by a bit.
Sion counters – How to counter Sion
Darius: While Sion is strongest against melee champion, he often gets countered by Darrius. This is because Darius tends to build similar items as Sion, making him fairly tanky and un-killable since Sion only has some burst. On the other hand, Darius has constant damage and fairly good sustain through his Q. To counter Sion as Darius, rush a ninja tabi and black cleaver.
Gnar: Sion gets destroyed by Gnar, not only is he a range champion which can poke Sion, Gnar has good mobility, max health damage and is also tanky. It is extremely hard for Sion to stay in lane against a Gnar as he lacks sustain and is unable to all in Gnar, since Gnar can easily kite Sion who is extremely immobile.
Sion Build / Items
It is best to build semi tank with a hint of damage. This ensures Sion is not only able to stay alive in fights, but remain threat to the enemy teams. If you build Sion as full tank, they’ll likely just ignore you.
- Starting buy: Corrupting potion – Gives much needed sustain and allows you to harass lane opponents early and establish lane dominance.
- First back: Against AD top laners, get a Ruby Crystal and Cloth Armor or Chain Vest. Against AP laners, you MUST get a spectres cowl. Finish with tier one boots
- Second back: Build towards or finish Sunfire cape / Spirit Visage and upgrade boots to either a Ninja Tabi or Mercury Treads
- Mid game: At this point, you’ll want to have completed the previous items you had just built towards along with a black cleaver. If you are ahead, Frozen Mallet is a good choice.
- Late game: There are many item choices depending on the enemy comp (composition/line-up). The most common buys include, Warmog’s Armor, Thornmail, Sterak’s Gage, Abyssal Mask, Sunfire Cape and Guardian Angel.
- Arcane Comet
- Ultimate Hat – Allows you to engage more often, and if anything, get to lane faster.
- Transcendence – Higher cd means more harass. Pushing your enemy laner down in the early/mid game assures first turret gold
- Scorch – Increases early game damage to compensate for his early weakness.
- Overgrowth – Increases permanent / bonus health further, syncs well with W passive
- Conditioning – The tankier the better, especially as the mid game approaches, and you start to engage with ult.
- Aftershock – By far the best rune on sion as he can easily trigger it with either Q or R.
- Bone plating – You’ll always engage as a support, this rune reduces damage by a fair amount
- Iron skin – Since Sion is melee, Iron skin minimised auto harass.
- Unflinching – As a support, you will be playing in a duo lane, likely against two or three CC abilities. Tenacity is the best solution since it prevents potential damage loss.
- Future’s market – Sure it’s not the most cost-efficient rune, but getting items to move and reach the mid game is first priority as Sion
- Cosmic Insight – Can’t pass this up, cooldown in all forms is just pure value.
Does Sion ult damage towers / turrets?
Yes, slamming into enemy towers or turrets will deal damage on them. This allows Sion to take turrets fairly easily not only in the early game, but gives him some quality back door potential.
What items can Sion use in passive?
As mentioned before, Sion can use active items while in his passive form. He can use ANY items, the most common items being built and used are Randiun’s Omen, Blade of the Ruined King and Youmuu’s Ghostblade.
Why is Sion support good?
Sions provides a lot of utility in the form of CC. The knock up from his Q and R are also AoE meaning Sion is able to easily turn fights and especially ganks. Even if Sion dies, his passive triggers, commonly leading into a double kill for his ADC.
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