How to Play Against Soraka
Soraka, AKA the Banana Lady, is one of the most challenging Supports to play against thanks to the sustain she provides in lane, as well as the damage she can dish out at any given time.
In this Mobalytics guide, we’re going to touch on a few things you can do to make playing against her easier.
Let’s start off with some more general information for all laners on how to play against Soraka. We will focus on the Support role later on.
1. Don’t pick Assassins into her
If the enemy picks up Soraka before you get to choose your champion, do not pick an Assassin like Zed, Leblanc, or Talon into her. It is much easier to pick someone who doesn’t have to get up close and dirty to kill the enemy as it is very difficult to kill or assassinate someone when she has her Ultimate up or when she is directly protecting them.
Many Assassins, especially Zed tend to leave the enemy to die from Ignite (or in this case his Ultimate) which is directly countered by Soraka.
In addition to this, Assassins need all of their abilities to kill the enemy, but Soraka’s silence on her E makes this very difficult as she can just stop you mid combo.
Look at the chart. She counters the likes of Zed and Katarina, but also champions who need to get right on top of the enemy to kill them like Wukong or Yasuo. Don’t pick these champions if Soraka is shown!
2. Invest in Grievous Wounds
The easiest way to counter Soraka is by purchasing items that inflict Grievous Wounds. Items like Morellonomicon, Executioner’s Calling, Thornmail, or Mortal Reminder all provide healing reduction.
It’s wise to purchase items like this when necessary as it reduces and debuffs all healing received by the champion you deal damage to. This means the champion being healed by Soraka will not gain as much health which subsequentially makes killing them easier.
Some champions also inflict Grievous Wounds like Katarina with her Ultimate, Kled with his Q and Varus with his E.
It is key that you buy an item to reduce her healing as left unchecked she will keep her allies topped up with health and it will be very difficult for your team to kill the enemy. A good time to get it is in the mid-game when team fights start happening more frequently.
If you’re laning against Soraka and someone with a lot of sustain, you might decide to pick it up really early like on your first or second back. Take note that this can sometimes be a good option, but it’s not always worth getting it first. After you’ve completed your first item is a good time to get it for ADC’s.
3. Set up ambushes to kill her in the late game
As a Support main myself, I know the struggles of having to go ward alone. All Supports tend to roam Summoners Rift alone in the later stages of the mid-game and enemies can easily capitalize on that. Depending on how good the Support is or if they’re focusing, they may not realize they’re walking into a trap.
Supports need to provide vision in and around objectives such as the Baron or Dragon, so if you can set up an ambush and camp inside a bush, you can easily kill her when she walks nearby to ward. The best bushes to do these in are near or inside the river itself.
After killing the Soraka, you could look to take the objective or look for another fight as long as your team has no major cooldowns. Do not blow everything on her as it will leave nothing for your team in the next fight.
4. Try to have a lot of CC
Crowd control is difficult to deal with at the best of times, but for Soraka it’s a living nightmare. Crowd control and locking her down makes fighting against her really easy as she is squishy and immobile. If you can lock her down and combo the CC, it is going to be impossible for her to escape or use her heals to help her allies.
If you do not pick anyone with CC, it is going to be incredibly difficult for your team to shut her down and prevent her from healing her allies. We will go into more detail about CC shortly for Supports, but the point must be made, pick CC!
Now let’s move on to tips to help you during the laning phase against Soraka. Take note that we will be focusing more on a Support’s perspective over the ADC’s in this section.
5. Always take Ignite vs Soraka
Regardless of the Support you’re playing, you should always take Ignite when playing against Soraka. Ignite is a very important tool in this matchup for a number of reasons. The first reason being that Ignite, of course, provides a lot of extra damage which can help you secure kills in this matchup.
Exhaust doesn’t really provide anything in this matchup and doesn’t increase your kill pressure in lane. Everything you need to play against Soraka relies on having kill pressure and if you take Exhaust, you’re only going to make it harder to kill her.
As well as providing you with increased kill pressure in the lane, it also reduces the enemies healing ability. Igniting the Soraka will reduce her sustain, or Igniting the ADC will reduce their healing from Soraka’s abilities which makes it easier to kill them in a skirmish. As a bonus tip, Ignite at the very start of the fight to reduce the enemies healing from the beginning.
6. Watch your actions and positioning
When trading or after skirmishing, watch your positioning and do not walk directly in the way that Soraka will land her Q. As an example, if you’re retreating, Soraka will probably throw out her Q in the direction that you wish to escape. Or if you’re looking to trade and get in range of her, she might throw it in front of you so you walk into it.
Ask yourself this: “where would you throw Q right now?” If the answer is in the direction you wish to take right now, then you should try to walk in a different direction to dodge the Q. In some cases, this might be backward, it might be to the side, and depend on the scenario, it might even be towards her.
The most important thing to remember is not to put yourself in a position where she can trade back with you or heal herself. Dodging her Q is key to winning the lane, so try your hardest to take different movements whenever possible to make it harder for her to hit her abilities.
7. Ping once she hits level 6
Something that many players forget to do is ping when an enemy with a key Ultimate has it available. Champions like Shen, Twisted Fate, and Soraka all have global (or semi-global) Ultimates that can impact the map. As soon as she hits level 6, tell your teammates so they’re aware that she can use it to save her allies.
Take note at Soraka’s Ultimate cooldown. It’s long- really long and you can easily capitalize on it and get kills in lane if she uses it to save one of her teammates. When it’s on cooldown, make sure you play aggressive and try to get kills in lane.
8. Pick champions with hard CC
The one thing that Soraka hates is champions who can get on to her like Alistar, Leona or Nautilus. As she lacks hard CC and doesn’t have a dash, she only really has her Ultimate or Barrier to fall back on in a skirmish. This is why it’s very difficult for her to play against champions who have a ton of CC.
Leona can use her Ultimate from out of E range to stun her while Nautilus can use his Ultimate to knock her up from afar and Alistar can use Flash or Hex-Flash from over a wall. If she has been picked and you’re still to lock in, maybe give one of those 3 champions a go.
Playing against Soraka isn’t fun but it doesn’t mean you have to have a miserable game just because the enemy picked her. We hope this little guide will help you in overcoming the Banana Queen and help you shut down her obnoxious healing and laning.
If you have any questions or want to learn more, check out PicklePants stream.