Feb 6 2015 - 12:57 am

If you can dodge a minion, you can dodge a ball: Support Sion

Since his rework near the end of Season 4, Sion has risen to popularity in competitive play, seeing five starts in the first two weeks of the NA LCS.
Dot Esports

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Since his rework near the end of Season 4, Sion has risen to popularity in competitive play, seeing five starts in the first two weeks of the NA LCS.  While he hasn’t had the best record thus far, currently sitting at 1-4 with the lone win coming at the hands of Counter Logic Gaming and their new top-laner Darshan “ZionSpartan” Upadhyaha, he is a far cry from the Sion of old who would receive the ironic hover in champion select at best. 

Sion’s updated kit provides many of the essentials for any team looking to initiate aggression on their opponents.  Unstoppable Onslaught turns the hulking hero into a full-on wrecking ball, able to initiate a fight from range or point-blank.  When pulled off correctly this ability offers massive area-of-effect crowd control and can give his team the chance to follow up on his assault.  When combined with his Decimating Smash, Sion offers tremendous zoning potential and even further CC.  Enemies are left with the option of either staying within the cast range and risk being knocked-up, or are left to scatter in order to avoid it.  Either way he can single handedly both initiate a team-fight and cause chaos and disorganization amongst the enemy team.

Damage wise, the Undead Juggernaut generally does not bring much to the table.  While the scaling of a fully-channeled Decimating Smash is tremendous, most Sions opt for full tank stats, particularly in competitive play. 

As mentioned, the new Sion is a terrific initiator.  He works best in team compositions that are able to follow him into battle.  Team Coast picked him in their match against Gravity alongside Sivir, Janna, Rengar, and Ahri; champions who all offer something in terms of high-speed initiation: Sivir with On the Hunt, Rengar with Thrill of the Hunt, Janna with her AoE movement speed passive, and Ahri who when combined can position to the flank and use Spirit Rush to assassinate the back line. 

This makes Sion a more supportive top-laner.  His main job is to start the fight, follow up with zoning and crowd control, and to potentially give his life as he’ll continue to dish out blows even in death thanks to his passive.  Because his ability to be effective lies strictly in the nuts and bolts of his kit, it stands to reason that he could potentially bring the same attributes to a team without gathering solo-lane experience and farm. 

Enter Support Sion.  Seeing as how Sion is most effectively built as a full tank, he can reach mid-game effectiveness on a budget.  A completed Face of the Mountain and a Sightstone make him one of the beefier Supports you’ll ever meet. 

What’s better is that his laning phase is deceptively strong.  The real moneymaker here is his ‘E’ ability, Roar of the Slayer.  It is what makes his duo-laning not only possible, but a downright menace to the opposition.  The slow provided from this ability lasts for 2.5 seconds, as well as reducing the targets armor by 20%.[1]  If Sion uses the ability on a minion, that creep will be knocked back 1,500 units, dealing 50% increased damage to champions hit by said minion.  Basically, he is able to spew out deceptively strong poke that is difficult to avoid, at almost no cost to his mana bar.  Not to mention the unorthodox form this harass takes.  Most AD carries are so used to using their own minion wave as a shield against Blitz pulls, Thresh hooks, and Morgana bindings that they find themselves at a loss when their own minions are being hurled at their faces. 

In terms of full on engages, he is not the strongest option for most 2v2’s, but he’s no slouch either.  The cast range indicator on his ‘Q’ ability takes up nearly half the lane.  If used from an un-warded bush the indicator is invisible to the enemy, an edge that can be used to get off a fully-channeled knock-up.  His ultimate offers for some pretty mean in-lane engage, while Glory in Death can very often be the deciding factor in a trade that would otherwise end on a sour note for you and your lane mate, similar to Kog’Maw’s Icathian Surprise.

Cloud9’s Daerek “LemonNation” Hart has been experimenting with Sion in the bot-lane recently in Solo-Queue.  He generally runs Cooldown Reduction Glyphs, Armor Seals & Quints, and Hybrid Penetration Marks.  As for masteries, he takes 5 points in Offense for even more CDR, 22 points in Defense ensuring that he’ll be the tank that his team needs even if they don’t deserve it, and 3 points in the Utility tree for just a wee bit more mana in lane.[2] As for build paths, Lemon’s Support Sion is your standard, beefy support/tank.  Face of the Mountain is a must as it is one of the most cost efficient items in the game, and will give him a ton of much needed HP.  Sightstone is standard on all supports, and this guy is no exception.  As for boots, he might be one of the few Supports who would be better off with a pair Ninja Tabis or Merc Treads as oppose to Boots of Mobility.  Frozen Heart and Locket of the Iron Solari are both great items on him after completing your core build of FotM, SS, and Boots.  Support Sion maxes ‘E’ first, and then either ‘Q’ or ‘W’ second.

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The Undead Juggernaut combines particularly well with Tristana, who enjoys hiding behind his hulking mass to farm up in the early game, while you dish out relentless harass with Roar of the Slayer.  If the two of you decide you need to push, knock a minion straight back through its own wave as they strut down lane which will take them all down to about half health.  Combined with her Explosive Shot, you’ll be rotating mid/dragon to help your team in no time. 

Sadly, I do not think we will be seeing Lemon or anyone else rock the Support Sion in the LCS anytime soon.  That being said if you want to add another champion to your support pool, give this guy a try.  Go to lane and play dodgeball with some minions.  That Vayne on the other team won’t like it, but you sure will. 

 

Pro-Tip: Go for a cheeky late invade on your own, steal a camp or even a buff with your passive and then return to lane Lvl 2!  #LCSstrats

 

[1] http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Sion for this statistics and all following detailed information about Sion.

[2] Recent build by C9 LemonNation found on ProBuilds.net (http://www.probuilds.net/guide/NA/1718524360/19302712)

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