Soraka
The Starchild
Two years after brushing up her visuals, we’re taking a second look at the goatiest of champions, Soraka! This time the Champion Update team’s focusing on her gameplay, so while her bananas stay the same, we’re updating and tweaking a few of her abilities. Here’s the rundown!

Abilities

  • Passive: Salvation

    Soraka gains significant movement speed when she moves towards heavily wounded allies.

  • Q: Starcall

    Soraka calls down a meteor at a target location, damaging all enemies caught by the explosion and dealing extra damage and a slow to enemies directly under the impact.

  • W: Astral Infusion

    Passive: Soraka heals herself whenever she hits an enemy champion with Starcall.

    Active: Soraka sacrifices her own health to heal a nearby ally.

  • E: Equinox

    Soraka briefly conjures a celestial zone at a target location. Enemies standing above the zone are silenced until they leave, while if they’re standing above Equinox when it collapses, they’re briefly rooted.

  • R: Wish

    Soraka summons a global heal for all allied champions. Heavily wounded allies gain extra health.

Laning

Soraka’s a support who works best in the immediate proximity of her marksman. Here she can keep her lane partner healthy with Astral Infusion before turning to Starcall to damage the enemy bot lane champions and restore some of her own health. Equinox has serious potential to win trades, too – casting it beneath an enemy AD caster (Graves and Varus, for example) greatly reduces their damage output, while using it beneath the enemy support cuts off their ability to use their array of abilities and summoner spells.

Equinox can be a lifesaver when the enemy jungler comes in to gank, too. Whenever Soraka casts the portal along the jungler’s attack route, she effectively forces them to choose between a longer gank path and the ability’s silence/snare gauntlet. Additionally, if her marksman’s already close to death but closer to the relative safety of their tower, then the speed boost from Salvation helps Soraka motor away from her enemies. Of course, if all else fails, Soraka can break the emergency glass and hit the big red Wish button to buy her allies a few extra seconds of life.

Teamfights

Soraka’s teamfight presence relies on sharp decision-making and making the most of Astral Infusion’s extremely low cooldown. Though she’s generally better off sticking close to – and healing up – her team’s backline, Salvation gives her enough movement speed to fly to the frontline and heal her suffering tanks. This presents risks, though: without the extra movement speed, she returns to her team’s backline – and safety – relatively slowly, giving the enemy team plenty of opportunities to wade in and cut her down. Soraka can diminish this threat by casting Equinox on the battle’s frontline, hopefully dissuading all but the most determined assassins from bursting through to kill her.

Finally, Wish has enough raw power to turn around seemingly lost fights. Timing is critical: using it early on tops off health and keeps the momentum of a fight in your team’s hands, but saving it until the last moment grants significantly more health and can fully dispirit a confident enemy team.

Champion Insights

Soraka, designed by Vesh

Healers. Healers healers healers.

We’ve talked a bunch previously about healing being an (ironically) unhealthy mechanic in League. If hurting your enemies is fun – and it totally is – then presumably seeing them get unhurt is... unfun? Our more recent champion kits revolve around temporarily blocking damage and shields rather than straight up undoing pain. But what about Soraka, League’s principal healer? Topping up health is an integral part of her kit, so we set about exploring numerous kit and mechanical ideas to see where we could take her. Ultimately, we concluded that a heal-centric kit could work just fine in League – we just need to implement it correctly and add in elements of risk to what has traditionally been a very safe, non-interactive action.

So how did we do that with Soraka? First off, we hit her primary heal’s range. Now she needs to get into the thick of a fight to heal her allies, meaning enemies can easily switch targets and start attacking her instead. Secondly, we changed Astral Infusion so it now costs mana and health. While this is pretty cool thematically, it also means that Soraka isn’t just a health battery. She has to be careful with her casts - heal too much and she becomes an easy kill for the enemy team. We balanced this out with Starcall, which is no longer a “spam Q and deal a bunch of damage and MR shred” ability. Instead, it takes skill to land, and she’ll deal decent damage while restoring her own health, making her key combat loop genuinely interactive. Soraka now has to heal at the appropriate time with Astral Infusion before successfully landing Starcall to return some of her lost health.

That’s it for Soraka, who’s taking on a more active role during all stages of the game, and who’ll have to think carefully about the timing and target of her heals. Check out the Viktor Update article for more news from the Champion Update team! If that doesn’t scratch your itch, then hang tight – we have some pretty... big... news coming.