Sona has no memories of her true parents. As an infant, she was found abandoned on the doorstep of an Ionian adoption house, nestled atop an ancient instrument in an exquisite case of unknown origins. She was an unusually well-behaved child, always quiet and content. Her caretakers were sure she would find a home quickly, but it soon became apparent that what they mistook for uncommon geniality was actually an inability to speak or to produce any sound whatsoever. Sona remained at the adoption house until her teens, watching in hopeless silence as prospective adopters passed her by. During this time, the caretakers sold her unusual instrument to anxious collectors, hoping to build her a trust. For a myriad of bizarre and unexpected reasons, however, it would be returned, or simply appear again outside the house.
When a wealthy Demacian woman named Lestara Buvelle learned of the instrument, she immediately embarked to Ionia. When the caretakers showcased the instrument for her, she rose wordlessly and explored the house, stopping outside Sona’s room. Without hesitation, Lestara adopted her and left a generous donation for the instrument. With Lestara’s guidance, Sona discovered a deep connection with the instrument which Lestara called an "etwahl". In her hands, it played tones which stilled or quivered the hearts of those around her. Within months, she was headlining with the mysterious etwahl for sold-out audiences. She played as though plucking heartstrings, effortlessly manipulating the emotions of her listeners - all without a single written note. In secret, she discovered a potent and deadly use for her etwahl, using its vibrations to slice objects from a distance. She honed this discipline in private, mastering her gift. When she felt prepared, she went to the only place which could offer her a fitting recital: the League of Legends.
"Her melody moves the soul, her silence sunders the body."
Because Sona cannot speak, these responses are understood to be magical telepathy with her summoner. This is seen in the fact that her external interactions (taunt, joke) are musical cues rather than words, meaning that, as stated, only her summoner can hear her words.
"Only you can hear me, Summoner. What masterpiece shall we play today?"
DJ Sona is not intended to have comprehensible dialogue. Instead, her lines are designed to mesh well with her three different songs that play in place of the default map music whenever she is present in a game.
Sona glides forward on harmonious winds, her elegant robe billowing softly behind her as she enters the Great Hall. Her hair fans out on an invisible breeze, swaths of aqua dissolving into golden strands at the ends of her long ponytails. She could easily be a fair maiden of magic anywhere on Runeterra, if not for the strange instrument floating before her, appearing to simultaneously protect and guide her.
The building creaks ever so slightly, the foundations resettling themselves on the bonds of strong magic. She angles her ear towards the sound, holding still for a moment after the sound has long since faded. One can tell that the sound still resonates in her head, being analyzed for tonality, intent, and above all, danger. She doesn’t even bother to glance at her surroundings; the building’s own internal symphony tells her all that she needs to know about this place.
With the faintest movement, she expertly plucks a single string on her instrument and the double doors in front of her blast open. She enters without hesitation.
The darkness unfurled around her, as deep as the endless chasm of silence that afflicted her. She felt no fear so long as the etwahl was in her grasp. Her arms curled lovingly around the instrument, her fingers expertly trailing along the hammered brass and taut strings. Pressing it against her cheek, she closed her eyes and waited. It was at times like this that she could feel the instrument alive in her arms, taking slow and measured breaths as it guarded its master. She treasured these moments, when she could be alone in the world with her beloved instrument, wrapped in its protective cocoon.
Suddenly, the etwahl stiffened. She caressed the smooth curve of metal questioningly. Before she could cull an answer, a husky voice rang out.
Sona’s eyes flew open at the only sound she loved more than music itself. She found herself at the doorstep of a Demacian estate, staring into the open doorway with the same wonder on her face as on the day she was brought to her new home. Lestara Buvelle stood before her, adorned in a handsome velvet robe. Dripping in jewels and her usual heavy perfume, Lestara moved forward, her round face bright with happiness.
“My darling, look at you! You are a grown woman now, and you have made much of yourself.”
Lestara embraced Sona and leaned back to appraise her.
“Truly, you have made me proud. My heart sings when I look upon you. Come in and sit with me awhile.”
Lestara turned to walk down the long hallway, her footsteps clicking a staccato rhythm on the tile floor. Sona’s heart swelled with happiness, and she reached for her instrument’s reassuring steel.
Her hands clutched nothing but air.
Sona turned, looking for the etwahl. Had she mindlessly placed it aside just now?
Suddenly, a chord rang out, piercingly askew. Sona spun around to see the etwahl drifting swiftly down the hallway. Sona called the instrument back to her, but for the first time, it paid no heed. The single note played over and over as it drew closer to Lestara’s back.
It was out for blood.
Sona flew frantically into the hallway, but she was too far away to reach Lestara in time. Her only chance was to scream a warning. She strained her throat, but no sound would come forth, just as it never had in her entire life.
The etwahl’s strings strummed a terrible noise that would forever be embedded in her memory. A vibration trembled through the air, and a rush of razor-thin air scythes tore through Lestara’s body.
Sona reached Lestara’s side in time to catch her as the body fell to the ground in a pool of blood. Tears streamed down Sona’s face as she tried to scream, but no sound would come out.
The hallway dissolved into blackness, leaving Sona crumpled around Lestara’s body, with the etwahl lying innocently at her side. Lestara’s eyes rolled open, and she asked weakly, “Why do you want to join the League?”
Sona’s mind reeled, unable to comprehend what was happening. Suddenly, she felt the tingle of arcane magic in her throat, an overwhelming sensation that brought tears to her eyes. The breath passing in and out of her body tickled inside her, trying to draw sounds out with every exhale. Sona stared incredulously at Lestara, who nodded at her and bade her to speak.
Opening her mouth, she began to speak for the first time in her life. Her breath caught in her throat, short of uttering her first sound, when a booming voice from the recesses of her dim memory resounded in her mind.
This instrument will be the key to unlocking the world. It will speak for you more truly than a voice ever could. Nothing else – not us, them, or any magic in this world will ever own you again.
Almost of its own accord, her hand flung outwards and slammed down on the ethwahl next to her. Dissonance erupted, deafeningly loud, drowning out any sounds that might have spilled forth from her lips. As the tones faded away, so did the foreign tingling in her throat. The enchantment was gone, never to return.
Lestara’s voice grew loud, booming into the ether. “Why do you want to join the League, Sona?”
The ethwahl’s strings shivered and began to play on its own, but Sona pressed down with her palm to silence the instrument. It resisted for a tense moment and fell quiet. Slowly, her fingers began to trickle across the strings. Hesitantly at first, testing her instrument’s yield, she played a defiant progression in response to her question.
“How does it feel, exposing your mind?”
Her fingers danced across the strings, urging forth a melody of loneliness and isolation. It was the song of those who had lived their lives hidden in plain sight, always passed over despite trying desperately to be noticed. It began pensively, mournfully sad, and gradually grew to a crashing, raging crescendo. The last notes echoed with a tone of quiet acceptance, but above all, catharsis.
A smile raked across Lestara’s face. “Welcome to the League, Maven of the Strings.”
Lestara disappeared, and the darkness fell away to reveal Sona floating in front of ornate double doors. She knew they led to the League of Legends.
Her etwahl molded reassuringly to her hands, lying in wait for its master’s command. Sona moved through the doors without a second glance.
If you happen to be one of those people who is a sucker for musical types, you’ll be pleased to find out that we’ve got a musician waiting in the wings. Whether you’re longing for a melodious ballad or headed off to a headbanger’s ball, it’s likely that your heart will flutter as soon as you lay eyes on this little lady. Meet Sona, the Maven of the Strings. She’ll definitely tug at the old heart strings.
Essentially, we took Sona to the update board because we saw a unique opportunity to make her more rewarding and more fun. She wasn’t terribly strong or weak, but her kit clearly lacked high moments and overall satisfaction. We wanted to keep her theme as it was and retain her awesome Crescendo while giving her basic abilities a more visible and tangible impact. Oh, and if we could sneak in some fancy texture updates in the process (and we could!), then all the better.
So what’s changed? Well, Sona’s gameplay now revolves more around moments of power. Instead of hanging back and winning a war of attrition during laning, Sona’s now got the kit to power up her allies and save their lives when a fight turns against them. Auras are smaller and more visible now, so getting the most of them requires great positional awareness for Sona and coordination with her allies. This allows us to reward great play with much more impact for each of her songs. You’ll be able to make plays as Sona, earn your team kills and save lives with clutch ability casts and smart positioning. At the same time, the enemy team has larger windows to fight back in thanks to her longer cooldowns, adding in clarity and counterplay to Sona’s kit. We can't wait to see what players can do with her update.
That’s about it for this update! Give the new Sona a spin and let us know your thoughts below! We’ll be back with more news from the champion update team soon. It’ll be bananas."
DJ Sona Reveal
Drop the Beat
DJ Sona’s hijacking the airwaves! Sona transforms League’s music into high-energy Kinetic beats, hard-hitting Concussive rhythms and atmospheric Ethereal vibes.
"Dynamic musical styles
Throughout the game, DJ Sona can spin one of three evolving songs – Kinetic, Concussive and Ethereal. Each one has its own distinct style and transforms Sona entirely, from her outfit and turntable to the look and feel of her abilities. She kicks off every gig in Kinetic but typing /toggle in the in-game chat cues up the next tune. The tracks will always go in order of Kinetic → Concussive → Ethereal → Kinetic, no remixes allowed.
Warning: Switching tracks mid-teamfight threatens to ruin your team’s rhythm."
Music’s also made to be shared. If you’re on a team with DJ Sona, you can tune in to her beats by bringing up the in-game scoreboard. On the left side of the screen, next to her portrait, you’ll see a button. Click it and Sona takes over your in-game music, pumping her own songs through your speakers. Though you can’t pick what piece she performs, you can pull the plug on her show at any time by clicking the button again."
"Download all of DJ Sona's music for free now, after she goes live, her songs will also be available on a variety of platforms. Here is the link for the download.
The skin will also come with a set of three summoner icons and profile borders:
"Profile Border & Summoner Icons
Broadcast your musical style with unique icons and banners. Equip one of the DJ Sona summoner icons to add that custom border to your profile page."
These abilities were part of Sona's original kit, in use from her release in V188.8.131.52 until her rework in V4.13.
Sona's basic abilities use the stance mechanic. In addition to their activation effects, her basic abilities each grant a unique and persistent aura until she activates a different basic ability to change stance. The previous aura persists for 1 more second after Sona enters a different stance. Changing stances sets off a 0.5 second cooldown on Sona's basic abilities.
After 3 ability casts, Sona's next basic attack will deal
13 - 192 (based on level)(+ 20% AP) bonus magic damage, with an additional effect depending on the last basic ability cast.
Power Chord is a one-use on-hit effect that triggers periodically.
The triggering attack will apply other on-hit effects and can critically strike as normal.
Power Chord's bonus damage will go through dodge and parry, while the triggering attack will be mitigated.
The entire damage will be mitigated with the attack is blocked.
When Power Chord is ready, Sona gains a ring around her. This ring will have a different color depending on the last ability used (blue, green or purple). The effect does not change if abilities are used while the projectile is in motion.
If Power Chord reaches its third charge using Crescendo, its effect will be that of the active aura at that time, or that of whichever ability Sona uses thereafter.
If no song is playing when Power Chord is ready, it will have no effect and the buff is consumed after the next autoattack.
Sona's auras will only affect allied champions, not minions or pets.
Sona plays the Hymn of Valor, granting nearby allied champions bonus Damage and Ability Power. Additionally, casting this ability sends out bolts of sound, dealing magic damage to the nearest two enemy champions or monsters.
Sona plays the Aria of Perseverance, granting nearby allied champions bonus Armor and Magic Resist. Additionally, casting this ability sends out healing melodies, healing Sona and a nearby wounded ally.