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Feb 27, 2015

FOTM Report: Sion Top Lane For God Tier


As one of the more popular picks in LCS at the moment, Sion is also a highly valuable solo queue pick. With his strong initiation and excellent waveclear, Sion's established himself as a powerhouse with a low skill cap


Closing out the first week of SSJSuntastic's Hyperaggressive Posting Schedule, which will be abbreviated to "SHUPS" from now on (the U stands for "uhhidkwhattoputhere") is a highly requested explanation on Sion's god tier placement on the solo queue tier list as a top laner.

Let's Talk Sion

So let's talk about Sion Top. Sion top is a champion that...
  • Can build pure tank, and still dish out enough damage to be a threat; 
  • Has amazing initiation and team-fighting potential as a crowd control oriented tank;
  • Scales well via his permanent health passive, 20% armor reduction ability. and 10% max health on-hit passive on death;
  • Deals both physical and magic damage, making him difficult to itemize against in lane;
  • Easily clears a camp for an early level 2 using his passive;
  • Has strong waveclear with low mana costs; and
  • Has the 14th highest win rate in the game as of this post (had to throw this in here).
However, the thing I really want to emphasize on are his game-changing ultimate and his 20% armor REDUCTION ability.

Game-Changing Ultimate

Anti Split-Push
Defensively, in a meta-game that focuses strongly on top laners split-pushing while the rest of their team groups mid, Sion has the ability to take advantage of this with his superior map control abilities and flexible strategy. With his powerful waveclear abilities, he can stop pretty much any champion from successfully split pushing. Even if they TP to another lane to avoid him, he can follow up rapidly with his ultimate.

Split-Push Power
Offensively, that same extra "quick movement" ability allows him to go on the offensive by getting to any lane he wants, quickly pushing that lane, teleporting to push another lane, and still use his ultimate to get to a team-fight just in time.

Initiation Power
Again offensively, his ultimate is perfect against teams that like grouping mid (and who doesn't?). As the lane makes navigating his ult very easy and the is shorter that the other two, catching opponents is a breeze. His CC lock also gives him the ability to quickly take down squishies before a split pushing top laner can complete their TP.

Armor Reduction

His 20% armor reduction may not look like much at first, but the fact that it's an armor REDUCTION skill is extremely important, as it means it also works for his allies around him as well. This is really what gives him his late-game killing power, despite building tanky.

It's not quite as good late game as Jarvan's Q since it's single target, but definitely better mid game as it gives a far stronger slow (for chasing/kiting) compared to Jarvan's W.

Possible Nerfs

Despite being incredibly strong utility-wise at the moment, be on the lookout for any of the following possible example future nerfs that could quickly drop him out of FOTM and into obscurity:
  • Slight nerfs to his waveclear ability;
  • Speed reduction on his ultimate; and
  • Any cooldown or mana cost changes.


As of the latest patch, Sion is definitely incredibly strong in the current meta, and although his skills seem "easy to dodge" on paper, in actuality the hit boxes as he is now actually create a situation where he's very reliable for the damage and crowd control he provides. With recent nerfs in Patch 5.4 on Jarvan, I think he'll continue rising in strength as a front liner.

What do you think about Sion? Comment below!

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  1. They are planning on making the e have 5 mana scaling each time you level it up, but reducing each basic spell by 5 mana each level

  2. Yup.... Sion is great

  3. Aaron K SmithFebruary 27, 2015

    Yeah i see a nerf to his e coming up, deals too much damage in a fairly reliable manner. Literally 1/5 of their hp every few seconds.

  4. lmao its skillshot :/ not so reliable..... Except if the player is pro. but yeah..... might be a nerf inc

  5. Jim PaponettiFebruary 27, 2015

    that skill shot is so easy to hit. And the range is absurd.

  6. SHIPS : SSJSuntastic's Hyperaggressive Intensity Posting Schedule

  7. Moddy Taster: Yeast IncarnateFebruary 27, 2015

    They increased the mana costs on his E.

  8. calico jonesFebruary 27, 2015

    So glad you decided to place him in God Tier, and thanks for the explanation! After his rework I remember posting, saying that he would eventually climb to high Tier 1/God Tier. (Yes, I am bragging)

  9. Yeah I just played sion top again... oh damn, the dominance is STRONG!!! ROARHH! =D! What a great champion, daym. I finally found an answer for Irelia also? i faced irelia in top and i shrekt her completely but she might've just sucked and let me farm W early but yeah...

    So much good poke.... I build tank except Ravenous Hydra, and also kinda mix dmg/tank item i like to build is maw of malmorth.

  10. Aaron K SmithFebruary 27, 2015

    Very nice, I personally favor the Iceborn gauntlet for my dmg item, then I go full tank. The ap helps my w and e do more dmg, and gives me more slows to land my q with. Plus the extra mana/cdr helps with the e w combo spam. You hit a point where their mage will run out of mana before they can take out a tenth of your hp and their carry is just a fly to you. Fun times.
    Hardest matchups for sion would either be hyper sustain tops, or players who are smart enough to avoid minions like the plague.

  11. what are you guys building on him? also, what runes? I've seen ppl using hybrid marks

  12. Yep, true.

    That's a good suggestion, mate... IceBorn Gauntlet would be nyce, it's AOE thing also offers some splitpushing cababilities like the Hydra offers crazy splitpushing ability to sion...

    Minion Waves just RIP when you have ravenous hydra's passive and active, W, Q.... within seconds whole wave is gone.

  13. Yeah Dyrus said to build hybrid marks I think in his guide.

    I recommend something along the lines of Ravenous Hydra, SunFire Cape, Maw of Malmorthius, Mercury Treads, Warmog's Armor. stuff like that. mostly tank should be built imho for srs play

  14. Aaron K SmithFebruary 28, 2015

    Have to agree with Matti, hybrid marks are pretty good on him. I personally do MS quints, armor yellows, and scaling MR blues unless it's a hard matchup. As for item builds i do an Iceborn gauntlet, Warmogs, Spirit visage, Thornmail, Mercs, and the last item is up to you. BoTRK is pretty nifty but you can totally do a Maw or Frozen Heart or GA if you need more tank stats.

  15. the guides i had found so far build him pure tank sion, which i find useful if you do have a team, because you can do cc, reduce armor, be a tanky mofo and such, but you alone cant do nothing.

  16. DazedandDeadMarch 01, 2015

    SHUPS. The U should be Unrelenting.

  17. Felipe Masayuki ForteMarch 02, 2015

    Hybrid marks or Attack damage marks, scaling MR blues, Armor quints against Strong early Ad Bruisers or Health Quints against AP mages, health per level or armor yellows. Against AD bruisers that rely on attack spd such as Gnar or Irelia, rush Frozen Heart, if they rely on close combat like Riven or Renekton, rush Sunfire Cape, next item should be built accordingly to their team comp, if they have more than 2 AD based damage dealers or if their ADC is fed, rush a full armor build(Sunfire,Frozen Heart, Thornmail, Randuin). Against mages rush Spirit Visage and MR itens, build Solari Locket if teamfights are gonna be happening soon. Do not build damage on him at all, he has 2 AD scaling spells, but they are not reliable to make damage as they are easy to avoid, you will be dealing magic damage with your E and W, the E spell has a good base damage and should be maxed first, W is your second ability to be maxed as it's damage scales very well building health and farming. To fight against your laner, start only poking with your E on lvl 1, lvl 3 you can start to make a combo using E poke, W+Q while the enemy is slowed, if the enemy tries to trade, just back up and let he tank the minion damage, do not, I repeat DO NOT keep fighting with him on melee range until you have a good advantage later on

  18. You're over hyping him. On paper he is really good, but he is not really good late game. He just gets raped late game.

  19. Please don't call a champion OP. Riot can smell amateur rants from miles away and nerf a champion to the ground.

  20. fucking good hes way too god damn strong

  21. Eduardo KuronoMarch 07, 2015

    He is very very strong. Sion can buly his lane opponent early an get some lane dominace and the at level 6 he can recall and just walk down a lane so he can gank using his ultimate. I do that all the time and most of the time the gank is successful. Sometimes i get my adc fed early by doing this which helps our team win the game later. This is one of his biggest strengths.

    My rune page is Hpen marks, armor seals, Mpen gliphs and 1 Hpen quint...the other 2 i was using MS quints, but i'm using 2 Spell vamp quints and i like them. Sion E procs spell vamp as a single target even when it hits a whole wave of minions so it heals nicely. If you are being harassed a Hextech Revolver can be a legitimate buy as it heals for more than 300 heal for just one E. Late game with a SV it can heal for something like 600 if you hit the whole wave., It' a pity it doesn't build into anything very useful for Sion so you'll be selling it late game.

    Sorc shoes helps a lot his damage with all the penetration from runes and the sorc shoes, you can do a a lot of magic damage.

  22. The best is hybrid penetration for quint/marks but full AD is viable too. You can also mix both and/or add one Armor quint in it.

    For the build: Flask, shield or blade as a starter.
    Rush Hexdrinker followed by a Tiamat against a AP laner that may all-in you, either way go for a Tiamat. If you face a AP-poke rush cowl then tiamat. If you face a AD auto-attack reliant rush a warden mail then tiamat. Then finish your boots (mercury or tabi) and your first def item (Randuin or Visage).
    Then you have the choice to build the other def item (Randuin<->Visage) or finish your Hydra.
    At this point you can now finish you Malmortius if you rushed hexdrinker or go for a last Frozen Heart or Banshee depending on the threat.
    Elixir: Iron or Ruin.
    You are full build, gg wp!

    GL in your games ;)

  23. Tonight, we Hunt!March 08, 2015

    The answer to Irelia is Swain. Trust me, easiest lane I have ever played. I was up against a few decent ones too.

  24. Minh HuynhApril 09, 2015

    Too bad the recent Patch 5.6 update has severely nerfed Sion. His E now only does 30% bonus damage and his Q's 90% to monsters is down to 80%

  25. MarbleWolf GamingApril 18, 2015

    Shouldn't be in god tier. I've played in soloq several times using sion and each time I've done terrible. I usually win lane well, but then my bot laners feed just slightly (opponent ADC 4-0) and bam I'm dead AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN! With a good team comp (one who wards so i can ward tp to ult gank behind a bot lane duo) and an organized 5 ppl skype call team, sion is overpowered, because I can tell my teammates to set up opportunites for me to gank and they will actually do it right A.K.A. i get fed. But in soloq with ppl who don't know my gameplay style make it so I have to try to get fed off of my laners and sion is so slow if ur ult is down ur screwed - such a high ult cooldown means a kill every 7 minutes or so - not fed

  26. Jesse CristoforoApril 18, 2015

    It sounds like you have an issue with blaming other people for your own failures. Sometimes you just have to admit, "okay, maybe I did something wrong" or that perhaps that the other team is pretty good instead of blaming it on your team's "lack of communication" or "team keeps feeding gg".

  27. MarbleWolf GamingMay 04, 2015

    I know that I'm not very good, but sion still doesn't have the best carry capabilities in soloQ. I have a much better time with the other top lane gods. For example, even if my mid laner starts feeding, as Hecarim, I can start roaming to shut the opponent's mid laner down and help my teammates win lane. Sion doesn't have those same capabilities, given that his best mobility skill is his ultimate. However, he has already been removed from god tier; not much to say about it now.

  28. Juan Rangel IIIJune 26, 2015

    If you're not very good, why do you think you know about what's god tier and not? Iv'e made it to gold with top sion.


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