How To Play Sion In League Of Legends
Last Updated: April 3, 2022
Sion is a very oppressive Tank in League of Legends. He’s way more than the typical tanks who are built to just be walking meat shields. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get you started playing the Undead Juggernaut.
Most tanks in League of Legends have rather simplistic kits and don’t have much in the way of mechanical complexity. Sion is different. It’s because of this difference that makes Sion quite a versatile champion. You see, you can build him either as a tank or a full on AD assassin with tons of crowd control. However, since this is a guide for beginners, we’ll mostly be focusing on Sion’s playstyle as a tank so that newbies can get acclimated to what this champion is all about. Sion has great crowd control, team fight presence, and good dueling potential. He can keep up with the tankiest of tanks and can even win 1v1s against the strongest of duelists. Let’s take a look at his kit to see what exactly makes Sion a great champion.
Sion’s whole kit is that of a tank. He has the usual health buffs, shields, and crowd control but with a mix of strong duelist traits that make him a very versatile champion.
Passive – Glory in Death
After being killed, Sion will reanimate with rapidly decaying Health. His attacks become very rapid, gaining 100% Lifesteal and deals bonus damage equal to [+10% target’s max] All his abilities are replaced with Death Surge, which grants a burst of Movement Speed.
This passive is insanely fun. Glory in Death works best when playing as full AD Sion but doesn’t really have much use when you’re a tank. This passive also gave birth to the controversial Inting Sion strategy where a player playing as Sion would intentionally die just so they can push towers faster thanks to the buffs from this passive.
Q – Decimating Smash
Sion charges up a heavy blow for up to 2 seconds. When released, he deals physical damage to enemies hit (150% damage to monsters, 60% damage to minions) based on how long Sion charges and briefly slows them. If Sion charges for at least 1 second, enemies are knocked up and stunned for 1.25 to 2.25 seconds.
Decimating Smash is a powerful crowd control ability that also deals a good amount of burst. It is a very difficult ability to land especially when you try to charge it up to its full capacity. Since it deals good damage, you can also use this ability to clear minion waves so that you can push lanes more efficiently. Try to lead with Decimating Smash whenever you’re going to trade with an opponent.
W – Soul Furnace
Passive: Sion gains 4 maximum Health whenever he kills a unit (15 for champion kills, assists, large minions and large monsters).
Active: Sion shields himself for 6 seconds. After 3 seconds, while the shield holds, Sion can reactivate to deal magic damage to nearby enemies. Max 400 bonus damage against minions and monsters.
Soul Furnace is an ability with a Passive and Active part; both of which are key factors why he is good at dueling. The Active part of Soul Furnace gives Sion a shield that can explode dealing damage to enemy units around him. This is useful as it gives Sion a bit of sustain when trading while also dealing damage. The Passive part is more important in our opinion. Soul Furnace’s Passive lets Sion gain more Health whenever he kills a unit. This means that if you’re confident enough in your last hitting skills or if you’re fed, you wouldn’t need to buy tank items to be tanky. This is a huge reason why AD assassin Sion is a viable play style.
E – Roar of the Slayer
Sion fires a shockwave, dealing magic damage to the first enemy hit and knocking it back if it is not a champion (significantly increasing its range). Targets hit by the shockwave or the knocked back unit take the same damage and are slowed for 2.5 seconds and have their Armor reduced by 20% for 4 seconds.
This is a great poking ability for Sion in the Top Lane. Whenever your lane opponent hides behind minions, you can just use this to poke them when they try to last hit. It’s a good slow ability with a variety of uses. The Armor reduction is pretty nice as well, giving Sion more opportunity to dish out damage.
R – Unstoppable Onslaught
Sion charges in a direction for 8 seconds and can steer slowly towards the mouse cursor. While charging, Sion is immune to all Crowd Control. Reactivating will cancel Sion’s charge early. When Sion collides with an enemy champion or wall, he deals physical damage and knocks up enemies in a small area for 0.75 seconds. Enemies in a larger area take the same damage and are slowed for 3 seconds. The damage increases and the stun duration increases to 1.75 seconds as Sion charges further.
Unstoppable Onslaught has got to be one of the hardest abilities to land perfectly in League of Legends. This is a big reason why a lot of newer players tend to avoid playing Sion. It is true that this has a rather steep learning curve that anyone unaware of what they’re doing with this ability can easily mess it up. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find the amazing utility, crowd control, and damage that this ability can provide.
Runes and Item Builds
Since this is a guide for beginners, we’ll be focusing more on building Sion as a tank. This is his strong suit so we’ll prioritize increasing his durability as much as we can without sacrificing his dueling potential.
For starting items, you have two options. The most popular choice would be to go with Corrupting Potion as your first item. This gives Sion sustain and a bit of damage when he trades in the early laning phase. If you’d rather have health and damage reduction or are against a ranged opponent, then go with Doran’s Shield instead.
All tank Mythic Items are great on SIon. But these two are the best options when it comes to also increasing his dueling potential. The best overall choice is Sunfire Aegis since it gives him everything he needs to succeed in all facets of his game. If you’d like to be more aggressive with dueling then Frostfire Gauntlet may be the better choice for you. This allows him to stick to his target better thanks to the bonus slow he gets from Frostfire Gauntlet’s passive.
Sion is a champion that doesn’t necessarily need to rush his Mythic item. In fact, the first item you should be rushing on him is Hullbreaker. This massively increases his 1v1 potential in lane while also letting him do insane damage to towers. After Hullbreaker, finish your tier 2 boots. The go to option is Plated Steelcaps. However, if there are plenty of magic damage dealers or crowd control dealers on the enemy team, go with Mercury’s Treads instead. Then, go with your desired Mythic item. Afterwards, go for a Thornmail for the armor, health, and return damage. Next up is Titanic Hydra to make you even tankier while also increasing your damage output. Finish off your build with a Gargoyle’s Stoneplate for the bonus armor, magic resist, and the active shield which essentially acts like a second lifebar.
Other Viable Items
There are plenty of other viable items that you can build on Sion when playing as a tank. There are even more options when you play as an assassin. For now, try to see what these items pictured above do and see if you can incorporate them into your build path and play style.
For your runes go with the Resolve tree and take Grasp of the Undying as your key stone. This increases your sustain in lane while also increasing your overall tankiness. Next, take Demolish to increase your pushing power, Conditioning to make you tanky in the mid game, and Overgrowth to increase your overall health. For secondaries, take Biscuit Delivery and Approach Velocity from the Inspiration tree. Biscuit Delivery gives you more sustain while Approach Velocity gives you bonus movement speed when you move towards enemy units that have impaired movement. For rune shards, take Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor.
- You don’t have to fully charge Decimating Smash every time you use it. It still deals decent crowd control and damage even if you don’t fully charge it. A good way to maximize its effectiveness would be to hide in a brush and try to fully charge the ability since opponent’s wouldn’t be able to see Decimating Smash’s radius.
- Sion is a strong duelist with very little losing matchups. However, there are certain champions that just counter his play style at every stage of the game. These champions are Aatrox, Illaoi, Renekton, Darius, and Irelia.
- For your summoner spells, always take Flash and Teleport. Teleport allows you to have a more global presence and lets you participate in team fights while also split pushing across the map.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Sion in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!