I’ve seen Sona in every 5v5 game I’ve played since the patch dropped and I’ve had a chance to play her a few times myself. At the outset she looks like a pretty solid support toon, though she does seem to enforce the rule that you shouldn’t have more than one support. Her damage output is very low, but the buffs she offers her team are nice. Sona’s biggest drawback is her health pool and the fact that there isn’t a ton she can do to stay alive.
As I sort of expected, Sona plays a lot like Udyr. She’s very spammy, which is fine for a time, but in most games I felt like it didn’t matter when I pressed my buttons so long as I pressed them every time they were up. That’s not exactly an exciting way to play the game. Soraka isn’t particularly exciting, but it is nice to see that fat heal actually save someone, whereas with Sona, you get to watch your heal almost save a few people.
That said, the buffs Sona provides are actually pretty nice. The movement buff is great for running down enemy carries, or even getting in range to take them in a team fight. The constantly rotating damage and resistance buffs aren’t huge, but they’re enough to give your team that extra oomf when you need it. Think of Sona like a very tiny (but big-breasted) version of the Baron buff. Of course, you get that buff at the cost of another tank or dps toon, but in the right comp it seems okay.
The main thing that will keep me from regularly playing Sona, though, is that spammy playstyle. Because each aura persists for three seconds after a new aura is activated, it’s easy to get the cooldown reduction for 100 percent uptime, which means you can basically knuckle-roll your way up the lane. That’s not a fun playstyle, and it creates one of the most annoying mix of sounds in the game (seriously, I can’t handle the constant refresh of that harp – it’s awful).
I’m glad this has finally gone live because it explains quite a bit about the way that Sona plays. As it turns out, every cast produces a persistent aura that remains in place until 3 seconds after the next aura is cast. It’s a playstyle that closely mimics Udyr and will provide solid support in the right hands. As Phreak mentions in the video, though, Sona is very frail, so it’s likely we’ll see a LOT of Sona players that can’t manage to keep themselves alive.