The first two rounds of the norn tourney are super easy, take anything you want and at least 1 self heal. Quit if Xandra isn't your second opponent.
You don't upgrade your armor performance wise except for adding runes/insignias. You can upgrade to elite armor to make it look nice (Vabbian armor is quite sexy).
To cap SoS, make your secondary /Rt and go to the forest, kill the boss and use a signet of capture, bought from a skill trainer.