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General Guide by Yoshiking123

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Yoshiking123

(6.15) Supporting 101

Yoshiking123 Last updated on July 25, 2016
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Introductions

Hello

I'm Yoshiking123 :3 Currently a Plat 2 (Keep tilting around Plat 1/2 RIP) support main. Many question how it's possible to carry yourself to a higher elo when you main support and with this guide to supporting I hope you can do it too.

*Heads Up: I know next to nothing on Runes/Masteries. Expect nothing on Runes/Masteries.

I managed to figure out how to verify my account but here's my lolking if you have doubts.
link to my lolking profile

Disclaimer: I apologize, but this guide was made assuming that the readers already have basic league vocabulary knowledge and may NOT be the best guide to supporting for players that are brand new to League of Legends.

What Exactly Is A Support?


Support is a general term used to describe any champion that do 3 basic jobs. Obviously I'm simplifying things a little bit but this is a Level 100 class so let's keep things nice and easy to understand.

- Provide and deny vision.

- Help position/focus.

- Provide utility to make plays/counter-plays.


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Providing And Denying Vision

Vision

Vision is arguably the most important aspect of the game. It allows you to make the best decision based on what you know about the enemy's position. That means rushing a Sightstone. Always start the game off with the Warding Totem. This allows you to still have vision while staying safe. Whenever you get the chance, attempt to buy a Vision Ward and place it in a good spot so that it isn't easily taken but still gives your team vision of a good area. Here's an image of good places to ward during the early game.
This map is a little old but just remember that the Wraiths are now Raptors and the Wight is now Gromp and the Golems is now the Ancient Krug .

The yellow circles represents areas that are good for either the red (topside) or blue (bottomside) team to place wards. The blue circles represent good places for blue team to place wards. Purple circles represent good places for red team to place wards. Red circles represent good areas to place a Vision Ward. Disclaimer: these are just suggested areas, again depending on how far ahead, how pushed, how much counter-jungling your jungler or the enemy jungler may do, and how aggressive you and the enemy are. You may ward in certain areas more than others and some not at all. This is just a general area guide. Also, since we're playing support, most of your warding will be around the bottom lane areas but as the game progresses you can essentially ward in mirroring spots on the topside of the map as you see on this image for the bottomside of the map.

If you want to see how the pros ward here's a link

What Exactly To Buy For Vision And Where To Ward


As I said earlier, you always start with a Warding Totem and rush a Sightstone. This allows you to safely gauge when you should or should not pick a fight in bottom lane, when you may want to roam and gank other lanes/invade the enemy jungle, or when you may want to go and place deep wards to further your vision. Once you get Sightstone I always recommend switching to a Sweeping Lens, eventually upgrading it to an Oracle Alteration, to DENY vision. Denying vision is just as important as getting vision: it makes the other team less likely to make good calls as they are likely to not know where your team is and what to do. It also makes them slower to react when you do make calls. The only time you would stick with a Warding Totem or upgrade into a Farsight Alteration is when you are behind and the enemy is winning most lanes and has very good map control. That's when you may stick with a Warding Totem in case they get rid of any wards you may place.

ALWAYS REMEMBER to buy your trinket upgrade if you don't have the Warding Totem or switch to a different trinket if you no longer need the Warding Totem.

When you're behind there are two options of trinkets to use along with your Sightstone: a Warding Totem and a Farsight Alteration. You would use Warding Totem if you needed to turtle your base, say you were behind and then the enemy managed to get baron . Farsight Alteration would be when you are behind and there are objectives to contest like baron or dragon , it allows you to safely figure out where the enemy is without the risk of you facechecking a bush or your jungle and dying.

Disclaimer:

This does NOT mean that you should ignore a Sweeping Lens or Oracle Alteration when you're behind. Sometimes it may be better to have Sweeping Lens or Oracle Alteration to clear out enemy wards because typically when the enemy team is ahead they'll have more vision that furthers their lead. By denying that vision continually with a Sweeping Lens and more Vision Wards you are less likely to fall behind farther. It's best to gauge the situation and figure out which trinket would benefit you and your team the most. Sometimes you will not make the right trinket choice, but that's okay. It takes experience to figure out exactly what is best in different situations.

The Rift Scuttler , a creature that grants vision in the middle of the river of by the baron and dragon pit when killed, is a huge part of the vision game. I recommend to always kill them whenever you get the chance as they not only grant vision, but when you go to that area, it gives you bonus movement speed allowing for better re-positioning. Get the Scuttlebug whenever you're attempting dragon/baron or whenever you don't have an extra ward to cover that area.

Now as far as items are concerned, Sightstone is key along with your trinket. Now, you have the ability to incorporate your Sightstone into your support item which also gives you and extra ward. So now every time you leave base you have 4 extra wards to place instead of 3. I typically get the 4 extra ward support item because I usually don't lose lane and having more wards to place ensures I get more vision and further advance my team's lead. Most times though, the activated ability on the support items that don't incorporate Sightstone is more valuable than that extra ward. That movement speed from Talisman of Ascension can save your team or help you completely destroy the enemy team. The same goes for the other support items. Both buys, the activated ability support items and the Sightstone incorporated support items, are fine but just make sure you know how to play accordingly with what you decide to get. (I am biased towards that extra 4th ward except for when I use a champion that uses Frost Queen's Claim.

Where To Ward Early Playing As Blue Team (Bottomside)


Early, prior to you having a Sightstone, I recommend warding by the mouth of the dragon pit if you're pushing or if you're being pushed back. This gives you plenty of vision and time to react when you spot the enemy jungler is coming to gank or counter-gank bot. In some scenarios, you may want to ward the river bush. For example, if they have a Lee Sin who can hop the wall into that bush without being seen by the ward you place by the mouth of the dragon pit or a Shaco that can jump the wall and be invisible. I don't really like warding this bush as most of the times a Lee or Shaco will not hop the wall specifically into that bush to gank because it's better for them to save those abilities for the gank in case they need to get out or re-position to secure a kill. You're better off placing deep wards that will tell you if a jungler is coming and when he leaves.

Now the tri-bush closer to your blue-side turret is a key point of vision denial. Yes, sometimes an enemy jungler will gank from that bush and it's good to ward there, but typically you wouldn't place a regular ward there because most of the times you're wards by the mouth of dragon, and if you ward for your mid laner in that river bush, will be enough to tell you if the enemy jungler/mid laner will gank from that tri-bush. It's much better to put a Vision Ward there so that you can deny vision from the enemy team and make it easier for your jungler to gank bot lane. If you are losing lane though and being pushed, having a ward there is good as the enemy may attempt a tower dive and having a bit of advanced notice helps you figure out if it's better to stay to deny the turret and maybe get a few kills off the tower dive or to back off and give it up.

When you're thinking about pushing the turret down or doing a turret dive, it's always nice to have a ward by the mouth of the dragon pit along with a ward by the enemy's blue buff or tri-bush by Gromp . That way you can ensure that you aren't putting yourself at too much risk when pushing or going for the tower dive. It also helps if you sweep your lane bushes for wards in case they want to bait the tower dive and have their top laner or mid laner Teleport in behind you and sandwich you and your ADC in for a double kill.

Remember to have your ADC help you ward early too when you don't have Sightstone as you will be vulnerable since those wards from your Warding Totem don't last very long.

Keep in mind that warding your lane bushes also aren't a bad idea since if you are seen warding constantly by dragon and placing deep wards, they may try to sneak in through the lane bush and get a kill or two. It's harder early to get wards by the dragon pit and in lane but once you have Sightstone it becomes easier.

Where To Ward Early Playing As Red Team (Topside)


Early, prior to you having Sightstone, you typically will ward by the enemy's tri-bush and the mouth of the dragon pit. If you find that keeping vision in that tri-bush is hard as they continuously sweep it or have a Vision Ward there, try to clear it out when you can, and then place a ward by in the bush by the enemey's red buff. I find that that ward is really good and most people don't expect that deep of a ward to be placed. It's a bit risky to venture out that far but it's a very good spot if you're having trouble keeping vision in that tri-bush. If you're being pressured, you may want to ward your own tri-bush by Gromp if you see or feel that their jungler may help them from there to tower dive you and your ADC.

Also, remember to ward in lane when you get the chance. Typically after you get Sightstone.

If you're thinking about tower diving the enemy bot laners, I recommend having a ward by their tri-bush and try to sneak in a ward in the bush by their Ancient Krug to make sure you don't dive when their jungler can come help them. Don't forget to sweep your lane bushes for potential wards that the enemy can Teleport to!

Which Is Better? Deep Warding? Or Warding Close?


Typically I'll say deep warding is better because it gives you more time to react to enemies coming towards you, it especially helps when the enemy is playing something like Hecarim or Nocturne . Also, if your ally has Teleport, it can allow your team to sandwich the enemy into a position that's more favorable for your team. Sometimes you'll need to ward close though and it'll be beneficial. Obviously having wards closer to your objectives that you are trying to secure, like baron or dragon , is helpful as it makes you less likely to let the enemy steal whatever you are getting (or even allow you to make a steal). Having close wards also helps particularly when an ally has Teleport as it allows them to jump in closer to you and aid you more quickly than if you placed it deeper.

Always remember to assess the situation when deciding to place deep wards or wards closer to home/your allies.


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Positioning And Focus

Positioning

Positioning in League of Legends is a huge part of the game. With positioning you have to make sure you're in the right place at the right time and force the enemy team to be in the wrong place at the right time. There are 4 aspects of positioning that you should always be mindful of in order to pick out the best action to carry out next.

- Are you in a position to make a play? Or are you in a position to stop a play? Can you do both or is is this position more favorable for one or the other?

- What is your position relative to your team and objectives? Can you reliably move to help an ally in time should a fight break out? Are you able to move to defend an objective or secure one?

- What is your team's position? Where do they tend to position themselves? How can you influence your team to move into a position that you feel would be best?

- What is the enemy's position? How can you influence or disrupt their position?

Focus

Focus can be a huge factor in deciding if you win a game or lose a game. Not having a good focus can be bad as you won't ever get a job done, but having too much focus to the point where you are tunneled on one action or thing is bad too as you narrow your vision and may not see better options or mistakes with your choice. Making sure you have good focus that isn't too narrow can be hard. It happens to the best players and teams as well. As long as you keep these 3 aspects of Focus in mind you'll be fine.

- What would be best for you? For the team? What do you want? What does the team want?

- Do you know what you need to focus on? Does your team know? Can you influence them? Or should you consider what someone else wants to focus on?

- How are you going to get focus? Have you considered all options on how you're going to get what you and/or the team wants?

Important Objectives Around The Map To Consider



Work in progress. This section will detail what important objectives to look for and when they are the most beneficial for your team.


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Utility: What Is It And How/When To Provide It

Utility is anything that can be used to help your team besides damage. This can be CC, spell shields/shields, healing, and etc.

I typically favor supports that offer a wide range of CC or other Utility over damage oriented supports. It does NOT mean that Utility will always be better than damage but it's a safe pick.

What support should I pick then?

Well, this is where the different team compositions and play styles are a factor. I always recommend having a wide variety of champions available that you can play as support to best suit your team's needs.

Sometimes, you may want a tanky support who won't die in a team fight and can peel for your ADC. Other times, you may need more damage and a cheesy damaging support (like Brand ) is good. Sometimes, you may not be good at tank supports and prefer playing poke supports like Sona or Nami .

If you're planning on playing to fit around a team composition then you should know the different general types of team compositions.

Team Types

The Let's Wait For Late Game Where We Kick *** Type Of Team


This team composition typically focuses on surviving the early and mid game to get to the point where your carries will do ridiculous amounts of damage. For example: Nasus , Vayne ADC. Typically you want to just farm and make sure you don't die until you can start wrecking everybody. This doesn't mean you can't make early plays to get an advantage but usually you are more like life insurance for your ADC and other carries. Supports that do this job well include Janna and Soraka or any supports with enough crowd control to make sure their carries live.

The Holy **** They're Everywhere Type Of Team


This team composition typically deals with securing objectives like dragon and pushing down turrets or this team composition may focus on picking the enemy team off 1 by 1. Usually you'll have something like an Udyr jungle or Tryndamere top. Or maybe you'll have a Twisted Fate mid. This is especially prevalent if both your mid laner and top laner are running Teleport. Supports like Thresh and Blitzcrank are really good at picking people off. Otherwise supports with crowd control work well and make sure that enemy champions that are picked off don't escape. Other supports that can work well with being everywhere include Shen to help save an ally and give any team a 1 person advantage or Tahm Kench . It also helps to build items such as Talisman of Ascension or Righteous Glory to re-position even faster.

The EVERYBODY HURTS Type Of Team


This team composition is focused solely on winning early and snowballing everyone to the point where it seems impossible for the enemy to make a comeback. Typically you'll have something like a Leblanc , Fizz , or Zed mid who will burst/destroy lane and gank bot and top giving your team more kills or something like a Renekton top who completely shuts down lane. A great ADC who also does this currently is Graves (ridiculous damage). In this case, you can either pick a support like Sona or Lux and poke them out of lane (or kill them every time they come to lane) and rush the turret down to go help mid. You could also pick someone like Leona who has the crowd control to ensure a kill whenever an ally ganks your lane or ensure successful tower dives if you're far enough ahead.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work Type Of Team


This team composition has a bad reputation for often not working in solo que but trust me, when you find a solo que enemy team that makes the dream work, it's not fun. These teams will focus on fighting in groups and pressuring objectives to start a fight. You may have an Orianna mid or a Malphite top with a Yasuo mid. Essentially, whenever you fight as a team your main focus is to eliminate the entire enemy team swiftly. Good supports that do this well include Leona , Braum , or other supports with big crowd control. Items like Talisman of Ascension to re-position faster and Randuin's Omen to prevent the enemy team from re-positioning.

What If I'm Not Good At Picking Supports For My Team?

Sometimes, focusing on your play style in lane is better than fitting around your team comp. Yeah, you might have a Yasuo mid, and playing Alistar might be good, but you could play Lux support and prevent their Vayne from ever becoming relevant by poking her down every time she's in lane and forcing her to back.

This is your call. If you feel that you win more games when you focus on winning in lane then go for it. I know that playing against a Caitlyn and Sona bot lane is a nightmare. Just make sure you communicate with your ADC in champion select and in lane to make sure you guys are on the same page.

What About Counter-Picking?

Other times, you may want to focus on playing a support that disrupts the enemy team's playing style. I typically don't recommend it as most of the times you won't be as good at that support than if you played someone you play on a normal basis. But this can work particularly well in cases like where they have a Blitzcrank and then you pick a Morgana . Again, get a feel with the situation and decide if the counter is worth it or not.

The Let's Wait For Late Game Where We Kick *** Type Of Team


To counter this type of team, typically you'd want a support that makes early plays and secures objectives or pokes them out of lane. Leona is a brilliant support as she can play very aggressive and force the enemy to fight when they don't want to and are still weak.

The Holy **** They're Everywhere Type Of Team


Funnily enough, the same types of support that would make this team composition good also can counter this team composition. You'll want a team fighting support to constantly force the enemy team to show up to a fight and blow their Teleports or mobility. Keep vision and force them to group up to fight your team.

The EVERYBODY HURTS Type Of Team


Here, you'll want to play a support that is focused on sustain. For example, Soraka if the enemy bot lane wants to snowball. Otherwise, if it's the enemy mid laner or top laner that's trying to snowball their team, play a support that prevents your carry's death. For example, again Soraka (who makes your carries immortal) or Morgana (who renders crowd control from the enemy useless) or Tahm Kench (Want to kill my carry? NOM. DENIED).

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work Type Of Team


A support that makes your carries almost impossible to kill is preferred. Morgana and Soraka are examples of this. The spell-shield from Morgana makes all the crowd control they blow on killing your carries useless and Soraka pretty much makes your carries immortal. Otherwise, having a support that can help re-position your team to split push lanes helps forcing the enemy team to send someone to deal with the split pusher.


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Summoner Spells

Always take Flash. Mostly you'll take Exhaust but sometimes Ignite is better.

:
Flash is essential as it can help you re-position and also get you out of a tight spot if you position badly.

:
Exhaust is great as it can help you pick an enemy off or make one of the enemy carries irrelevant for a short amount of time. It's especially good when the enemy team has an assassin like Rengar or Zed to prevent your carries from dying. Exhaust also is really good against hyper carries if the game stretches out. It will always be a safe summoner spell to grab.

:
Ignite is an aggressive spell to grab for a support. If you're planning on playing aggressive, have a high damage bot lane, or have a support that thrives in being aggressive: then this is the spell for you. This spell also is good if you have a support like Leona that can go all in and lock down the enemy carry.

P.S. I am biased towards Exhaust. I like it better <3


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Items For Supports

Different supports build different items but these are some items that go well with most supports. Keep in mind that who you're playing as and against will affect what you get as a support. These are very general items.

Sightstone:
Do I need to explain this? ._.

Locket of the Iron Solari:
This item is magnificent. It provides magic resist for you and your team and the active gives you and your entire team a shield. Not only that, it gives you cool down reduction too.

Randuin's Omen:
Armor, Health, a slow? What else could you ask for (besides magic resist)? This items is great for making you tankier and giving you more crowd control to screw with the enemy's positioning and secure kills for your team.

Righteous Glory:
This item gives you health, your team a movement speed boost when chasing down opponents, and has a slow similar to that of Randuin's Omen :) It's really nice in most situations where you're ahead.

Mikael's Crucible:
I put this here because of it's active that can remove all taunts, roots, snares, fears, stuns, silences, and slows from an ally along with healing them. It also gives a bit of CDR along with magic resist and mana regeneration.

Zz'Rot Portal:
This is a pretty good item for most supports. It gives you both armor and magic resist along with increasing map pressure by pushing a lane. You can also use this item defensively if you're behind, making it harder for the enemy team to push a lane in. I personally like getting this item on my bulkier supports when my team is ahead to further snowball our lead. The only downside with this item is if you have Talisman of Ascension then you have already have the point-runner passive that gives you extra movement speed.


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Supports That Will Always Be Relevant

These champions I picked will almost certainly always be relevant to LoL. Their play styles can be adjusted very easily to suit the pace of the game, your play-style, playing aggressively, or playing defensively. They are flexible and are great champions to pick up if you want to support more.

Thresh:
He can safely play in any type of team. His hook allows him to be a threat to catch out enemies and his lantern will always be a valuable save for an ally. His utility is absolutely brilliant. He can play passively or aggressively. A great support to pick up if you plan on playing support more often. The only problem he has is that he doesn't have any long lasting hard CC (like a stun or big knock up).

Braum:
Not only does he have nice pecs, this tanky support will shield your team when the going gets tough. His passive, Winter's Bite, is fantastic and his shield can protect your carries from any devastating ability or damage. His AoE ultimate, Glacial Fissure, also packs a huge punch of crowd control. The only time where he may not see full potential is if you have a team composition that doesn't really use auto-attacks (which is pretty rare). He has no real downside other than the fact that his passive takes a bit of effort/time to proc.

Morgana:
Having a 7 year long snare and a spell-shield that renders crowd control useless is what makes this fallen angel deadly. You want to catch people out of position, prevent your carries from dying, or jump into a team fight? She can do it all. Her only downside is that she's a little squishy. Other than that she's a fantastic pick as support.

Alistar:
Moo-man can knock people up and wreck positioning for any enemy team or set up your allies for a wombo-combo. His ultimate, Unbreakable Will, makes him essentially an un-killable wall that will be in the enemy's face. Being un-killable is a huge plus. He can also sustain in lane with his heal. His only downside is if you miss-time your CC then it opens up a window for the enemy team to act.

Janna:
Janna brings the thunder (haha) to any team. She can provide a shield for allies that boosts their damage, summon a tornado to knock up enemies, and her ultimate, Monsoon, can knock back ALL enemies and heal your team for a huge amount of health. A good all around support to pick up. Her only downside is that she's squishy.

Nautilus:
Nautilus is an excellent CC Tank. He provides a lot of utility that allows you to catch someone out or peel for your ADC. His ultimate, Depth Charge, is excellent for hitting the back line and can potentially knock up their entire team. There aren't really any cons to using him except that he doesn't have a lot of hard CC apart from his snare and ultimate.


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Current Meta Supports

These supports are what currently is popular in LoL. Here I explain the pros and cons to these meta supports.

Blitzcrank:
- Pros: With the accelerated game time, having any lead (no matter how small), is huge. Blitzcrank can grab anyone out of position and with enough damage from his teammates, can take out one person. Can easily lead to a huge snowball. His kit also has relatively high base damage so he'll hurt in bot lane. A low cool down AoE silence only helps his standing in the meta. He's super scary when he's ahead. Even behind, he can quickly help his team get ahead or become relevant again.

- Cons: He can hook the wrong person and screw his team over. When he misses a hook that's a small window of vulnerability for him. He has a hard time disengaging/peeling and a hard time closing in on targets if he doesn't have his pull.

Soraka:
- Pros: Nobody will be able to out-sustain you. Your ADC and mid laner will be nigh impossible to kill. Should anyone be in trouble on the map just activate Wish, and you'll heal them. Should people try to run away after realizing, "Why am I trying to kill their ADC when they have a Soraka?", you can just slow them with Starcall or silence them with Equinox.

- Cons: She is somewhat squishy. She also doesn't have any reliable hard CC. She only really just heals your team so poking is out of the question along with initiating.

Janna:
- Pros: She's another support that makes her ADC immortal. She can shield her ADC while buffing their damage output along with knocking up multiple people with her Q, Howling Gale. Not only that, she can slow a target down and her ultimate, Monsoon, is an AoE heal that can heal her ENTIRE team.

- Cons: Her only cons are that she is squishy, her Q, Howling Gale, is a bit tricky to land, and if you can interrupt her ultimate, Monsoon, too, then that will be a big hit against her and her team. Even if she is squishy, she can still peel herself with her tornado and ultimate.

Braum:
- Pros: His passive, Concussive Blows, is huge. Early, and late, it's really good for stunning the enemy team/ADC. His Q, Winter's Bite, also slows and applies a stack for Concussive Blows. His ultimate is a HUGE AoE knock-up/slow and he can shield any incoming damage/spell with Unbreakable.

- Cons: His passive needs auto-attacks to proc which sometimes can be difficult. It becomes a bigger deal when CC is necessary against the other team (Ex: they have a Katarina) and your team doesn't use auto attacks to proc your passive. Other than that he's fantastic.

Thresh:
- Pros: Essentially Thresh is like combining Blitzcrank with Braum. His capacity to outplay the enemy team his astounding. He can hook people with Death Sentence, peel or engage with Flay, save allies or bring one with you on an engage with Dark Passage. He also has an ultimate, The Box, that is AoE and has a HUGE slow.

- Cons: Isn't really a full fledged tank. Hooks sometimes can be predictable. No long lasting hard CC besides his hook. He's also all skill based. He can either be a god or peasant.

Sona:
- Pros: She. Pokes. So. Much. AND SHE CAN SUSTAIN IN LANE WITH HER HEAL! The only support that can out-sustain her poke (along with her ADC's poke) is probably Soraka. Her poke/damage from Hymn of Valor (combined with her passive, Power Chord) is pretty high and consistent. Her heal and shield also if pretty powerful and consistent. She can also speed herself up along with her allies should they need to move somewhere quickly.

- Cons: She is squishy and relatively easy to kill. Her only hard CC is her ultimate, Crescendo. Her play style in lane is more focused on forcing them out of lane rather than killing them (before level 6 at least). Not to say Sona can't kill the enemy bot lane, but if the enemy is smart they'd just farm under turret and wait for ganks from their jungler.


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