Last week, Riot Games revealed Seraphine, the Starry-Eyed Songstress. As a support main, I freaked out considering the last support champion added into the game was Yuumi, released last May. Yet fans of the game cried fowl seeing a champion so similar to Sona, the Maven of the Strings. As a Sona player, I biasedly took offense to this, as Sona is one of the oldest champions in the game, and a fan classic at that. There’s always room for a new champion with a similar kit. So I figured let’s take these two champions and compare their similarities and see: do fans have a right to complain, or are there new tricks of the trade?
For this comparison, an ability is one of three categories:
- Similar – The two abilities do a similar job if applied in a similar way.
- Misleading – While they appear to do the same thing, the two abilities are not the same thing.
- Different – The two abilities show differences, making them completely unique.
Sona (Power Chord) – After 3 spell casts, Sona’s next attack will deal bonus magic damage in addition to an additional effect based on what song Sona last activated. Q (Staccato) – Power Chord does 40% magic damage. W (Diminuendo) – Power Chord reduces an enemy’s damage output by 25%. E (Tempo) – Power Chord slows an enemy by 40% for two seconds.
Seraphine (Stage Presence) – Every third basic ability Seraphine casts will echo, automatically casting a second time. Additionally, whenever she casts an ability nearby an ally, she will create a Note. Each Note gives her basic attacks more attack range and deal additional magic damage, consuming the Note.
Immediately, there’s a subtle difference. One is action based and can be changed, the other cannot. Sona’s Passive affects her Basic Attacks with an ability meter above her head determining which spell she will use for her basic attack. Seraphine can control which ability can get double casted but cannot alter her basic attack meter.
Furthermore, Seraphine has an additional passive that provides a counter similar to Bard’s Meep mechanic that is consumed all at once. Sona does not have that extra ability of damage output.
Sona (Hymn of Valor) – Sona plays the Hymn of Valor, sends out bolts of sound, dealing magic damage to two nearby enemies, prioritizing champions and monsters. Sona gains a temporary aura that grants allies tagged by the zone bonus damage on their next attack against enemies.
Seraphine (High Note) – Seraphine projects a pure note, dealing magic damage that’s increased by the target’s missing health percentage.
One of the mechanics extremely unique to Sona is her aura system. Whenever she casts a spell, she has an aura surrounding it. While both supports do damage with their q abilities, Sona’s unique ability to provide her allies with a damage buff is unique compared to her counterpart.
Seraphine also has some added damage that scales with her opponent’s missing health percentage while Sona can attack multiple enemies with her ability. While both Qs’ projectile damages are impressive, the way they attack is different.
This is not to discount the abilities of Seraphine combined with her passive as mentioned above which can activate the ability twice in a turn. So with this, it is fair to say the damage output is similar but not quite the same.
Sona (Aria of Perseverance) – Sona plays the Aria of Perseverance, sending out protective melodies, healing Sona and a nearby wounded ally. Sona gains a temporary aura that grants allies tagged by the zone a temporary shield.
Seraphine (Surround Sound) – Seraphine surrounds her nearby allies in a song, granting herself and her allies movement speed and a shield. If Seraphine is already shielded, she can heal her nearby allies, restoring health based on how many allies are near her.
This ability is perhaps the most controversial of the bunch. Both W’s have healing built into their kits. However, one provides immediate healing and the other relies upon the passive ability. Sona provides healing on activation while Seraphine heals as long as she or her allies have a shield.
As alluded to, there is a shield ability also associated with each ability. For Sona, a player has to be in the same area as her W radius. For Seraphine the shield is provided immediately and the healing effect applies if her and her allies have already been shielded. Again, this is very misleading. There are differences but both abilities are nearly identical in concept.
Sona (Song of Celerity) – Sona plays the Song of Celerity, granting nearby allies bonus Movement Speed. Sona gains a temporary aura that grants allied champions tagged by the zone bonus Movement Speed.
Seraphine (Beat Drop) – Seraphine unleashes a heavy soundwave, dealing magic damage to enemies in a line and slowing them. Enemies that are already slowed are rooted, and already rooted enemies are stunned.
The easiest to decipher: both abilities are completely unique to the champions. Sona has a movement speed increase for allies. Seraphine slows enemies and roots them slowed (also stunning if the enemy is rooted which provides CC for days).
It is not to say however that Sona does not provide a slow. Her Passive’s E effect slows an enemy by forty percent. However, this is not the main aspect of the ability affecting her passive.
Verdict – Different
Sona (Crescendo) – Sona plays her ultimate chord, stunning enemy champions and forcing them to dance and dealing magic damage to them. Each rank reduces the base cooldown of Sona’s basic abilities.
Seraphine (Encore) – Seraphine takes the stage, projecting a captivating force that charms enemies and deals magic damage. Any champions struck (allies included) become part of the performance, extending the range of the ability and granting allies maximum Notes.
Finally, we have the ultimates of the two songstresses. And while on paper, these abilities appear similarly, in game they are completely different. Sona’s famous ability, Crescendo, has caused highlights among pro players (and some fails while at it). Its long-range skillshot stuns the enemies in a line setting up for power plays if a team is on the same page.
Seraphine’s ability is similar to Ahri’s Charm which charms the enemy and deals magic damage, extending its range depending on how many allies and enemies are struck. In theory, it could be an infinite chain of Encore (and yes, popular record-breaking League of Legends YouTuber Vandiril has already covered this). It has damage like Sona’s ult but the two abilities are in fact different.
Sona and Seraphine are two of the most unique champions that Riot has introduced to the game. And while the two show some similarities, the two are unique in their own ways that make them their own. But leave it to the fans to prove me wrong.
Final Verdict: Sona and Seraphine have slight similarities but are ultimately: Different.