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A Post about Supporting: The Second Most Overlooked Role

V3hemenc3 February 8, 2012 User blog:V3hemenc3

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The current meta on Summoner's rift usually consists of one champion on mid lane and top lane, a roaming jungler, and a carry champion with a support on bottom lane. Most Summoners would prefer to pick the champions with mad skills that will net them mad kills, and would rather shy away from the overlooked and underestimated role of the support. this happens most often in the lower ranked solo queue games, where the person with the worst elo would be forced to play support. in most cases, this would cause them to lose the game because the player cannot properly play support and cost them the game. needless to say, the support player would be blamed. this guide will help those who cannot play support understand the things required to literally be the pillar that holds the team together.


Reasons to play support:

1. The AD carry needs babysitting. whether in form of lane sustain or early kills, the AD carry cannot do that on his/her own. you are there to provide the means for said carry to win the game for you. think of it this way: they NEED you to do it. they can't function without you.

2. Epic Maneuvers. You think an AD carry killing someone or a mage nuking down an entire team is impressive? have you ever seen a clutch heal that saved your team from a Karthus ult or a Sona ultimate followed by the whole team raining down death and destruction? you're playing support, but those epic maneuvers can and will carry your team to victory.

3. Creates a Mark. if a team needs to be formed and should choose between a good AD carry or a good support, most of the time they will go after the support first. make your mark as a good support and people WILL remember you.


List of Support Champions:

1. Sona often seen as the best support out there even after her nerfs, Sona will always be either picked or banned in ranked matches. early game harass, beneficial auras, a plethora of debuffs and a game-changing ultimate makes her the most sought after support champion. downside is, she's squishy and mana could be a problem early game, but other than that she's golden.

2. Soraka the mother of all heals, be it health or mana, she can restore it. Soraka gives your AD carry almost unlimited sustain and the ability to turn a potentially losing fight into one that is winnable. the only problem she has is her cooldowns are long, so most of the time you only get one shot of heal to make or break the fight. choose wisely, and your team will be rewarded.

3. Taric He heals, He gives armor, He stuns. but frankly, he's underwhelming on those areas. he's one of the few supports that needs you to choose what to do with. attempting to maximize his healing potential will render him unable to use his shatter and radiance properly, and building him tanky would cause the enemy team to ignore you while focusing down your team's squishies.

4. Janna what differs her from the other supports is while other support heals damage done to your team, Janna's skill set allows her to make that damage unable to be dealt in the first place. one hard CC, one soft CC, a shield and an area knockback will make or break engages. she's a bit tricky to get used to and her healing capabilities are limited to her ultimate, but in the right hands she is absolutely devastating.

5. Alistar with two hard CC and a cleanse, this is the guy you should call if you want to get your carry kill gold instead of farm gold. sure, he has a heal but if you stand back and do nothing but heal your carry you're wasting his potential. having an Alistar on a lane would mean that lane will be bloody, regardless of any interference from the jungler. he's even more tricky than Janna, but once you master your headbutt-pulverize combo until the point where it makes Malphite's ult obsolete, he will feed your team kills until they're full.

6. Leona recently gaining popularity, She's like a vanilla mode of Alistar. two stuns, one gap-closer and a temporary shield makes the enemy carry wary of going across the river without sufficient warding or support. she's easier to play than Alistar and can be as good, but she lacks Alistar's ability to disengage fights and give the carry any form of sustain. nevertheless, she can also give her carry kills at lv 2 and initiate well.

7. Blitzcrank another agressive support, his hook-uppercut-silence combo will always give you kills, not to mention early game initiates are surprisingly easy. however, he is even more tricky to use properly and one bad grab can kill you AND your carry. like Leona, he needs to constantly grabbing enemies to be effective since he lacks any form of sustain beside his passive. learn to time his grabs properly and the rest writes itself

8. Karma She was intended as a support champion, but her skill set has ratios that could put AP carries to shame and her sustainability matches solo top champions. nevertheless, supporting with her is still viable. the only difference is to use your skills on your Carry instead of yourself. However, this will make your passive almost useless, and she can't initiate as well as the other aggressive supports.


Tricks to play Support:

1. Learn your support champions. I have given some champions that are most used above, feel free to read it. Learn one support type (sustain, mitigation, aggressive) at a time, but don't stick to one champion. once you've mastered that type, move on to other types.

2. Observe the map. through ward placements and the clairvoyance summoner spell, you will have an excellent view of the map, spotting ganks and MIAs before anything bad happens to your teammates. Since they would be too busy farming or trying to kill their lane opponent to take a glance at the minimap, you will have to be the one to spot the ganks.

3. Give Commands. sometimes your teammates will get overzealous on farming or getting a kill, they will overextend and be in danger. if you are with them in their lanes, you can support them. but if they're not, Don't be afraid to tell them to stop engaging or go back so they won't die. If they ignore you and dies anyway, at least you have proof that you tried to warn them.

4. Use your spells with caution. A well-timed heal will benefit your team better that prematurely using said heal on an AD carry whose HP is slightly dented. this rule applies double to aggresive supports. your spells are made to initiate and give your carry kills, so don't waste them.

5. Be there for your team. A support is useless if he/she/it's not with your team. you should be the last to enter a teamfight and the last one to leave a losing battle. Don't be afraid to sacrifice yourself for your team, the needs of the many outweighs the need of the few or the one. You want your team to win, be prepared to take every risk imaginable.

That's pretty much the essentials needed to be in the supporting role. In the future, I will add other stuff like a ward map, spawn timers, and general builds but for now, follow these tricks and be the MVP that hold your team together and win the game for your team.

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