General Guide by Trickztr
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
In this guide, I'll go deep into a decisive role in the game: The Support.
IMO, the support and the tank are the most important roles in the game, NOT the carrys. Why? you may be asking..
Well, count how many times you have been trolled by someone playing a carry... I'm sure that 80% of trolls out there are idiots playing ranged carrys just for the numbers, people who don't understand the game and don't know how things work, they just go straight forward and end up feeding.
Furthermore, other than Ashe, carrys often have little to no utility for the team, are REALLY susceptible to CC, get focused on, and late game, where everyone is fed and is champ stats and skill what counts, carrys become a soft spot on the team, being eaten apart by tankier champs.
Sure, they knock down towers in a second, but never by themselves, and thats when CC becomes crucial, CC that Tanks and Supports provide. I've rarely seen decisive plays from a Vayne or a Cait in Championship finals, but I've seen a lot of these from Amumus, Lee Sins, Jarvans, Cho's, Jannas, and so on..
Why do you think people say that Ashe is the best carry in the game despite the fact that she is the least powerful one? let me answer in one word: UTILITY. This is a team game, and the most useful you are to the team, more likely is your team to emerge victorious. An Ashe ulti can resolve a game, last hitting champs won't get you anywhere in most cases, that's a job anyone can do, but additionaly to Frost Shot she has excellent abilities such as a slow, and Hawkshot that wan win you teamfights without even engaging.
Champs are like real estate, you know, location location location? Well in this case is UTILITY UTILITY UTILITY.
But let's look beyond game mechanics...
I have always recommended people that are just starting playing LOL that they learn how to play Supports and Tanks first, and why you may be asking again.. and the answer resides in those experiences you had and will keep on having about people playing carrys stupidly, trolling your games. Those people do no know the details that great players need to keep always present, those details that win Championships. Details like Map Awareness, also reading the game effectively, you know, when to push, when to fall back, where to go in any given moment, what items to buy, how to approach a team fight, when to engage, when to go Baron. Those are the details that matter, not how much AD or AP you have, numbers are meaningless, actions are not.
Playing supports will make all of these details come to your attention, and will make you a more eficient player, and this will translate into winning odds for your team increasing.
Let's take a look at CLG, and its star HotshotGG, arguably the best player in the world right now. Take a second here and ask yourself, which are his mains? Cho, Galio and Nid. All of them are somewhat deffensive characters, but he knows the game so well, how everything works and has his principles so clear, that he ends up leading his team despite not having a toon with massive firepower.
You won't become a World-Class Player until you have all of these principles stuck to your brain, and that won't happen unless you lear how to defend, and that won't happen if you only play carrys, it's a chain of events.
If you play tanks and supports you'll have a base of knowledge about the game that will let you play carrys at any given time effectively, but have you seen a player that always plays carrys play a tank or a support? It's a mess, a troll, a sure loss.
Relate what i'm saying here to your own experiences of being trolled, and i'm sure you will understand what i'm talking about.
Carrys win fights, Tanks and Supports win Championships
Carrying and Leading
People often think that having the most kills on your team, or 'Carrying' as Riot very wrongly named it, necesarily makes you the Leader of your team, and this is just **** loads worth of wrong.
Carrying is just that, just numbers. Leading is something more deep, more meaningful to a team, since every team has a carry, or often 5 as you'll see idiots autolocking without caring for their team's needs often leading to getting massively raped, but not every team has a Leader.
The Leader is that who commands the attacks, is who coordinates all of the resources of the team, and decides how, when and where to use them, when to push, when to go dragon, when to go baron, when to engage, where to ward, and when to fall back. He virtually does everything, and this is a job best suited for a Tank or a Support, since they are the ones with the best map awareness, the best principles on Attack-Defense, and the largest survivability, which helps them coordinate an attack from beggining to end.
Tanking and Supporting just got a lot more interesting now, has it?
What is Supporting & How To Do It?
What is Supporting?
Supporting is nothing more than babysitting your carrys, and buffing up your team to give them the edge on teamfights, helping them win. As you can imagine, this is a decisive role on a team since you decide the longevity AND strenght that your teammates will have on a lane or in a teamfight.
How to Support EFFECTIVELY
Healing your teammates, babysitting them and warding the map is supporting, but if you want to support eficiently and effectively it is key to know how, and when to do it.
Babysitting: This means LETTING YOUR CARRY FARM AND DON'T KS HIM!. As a Support, your score will be measured by your assists, not your kills, so hogging up all the kills will get your team dead in most cases, since most supports lack firepower to crush structures, which is the point of the game. Remember, you are a support, you are supposed to Lead, not Carrying.
This may raise the question, How am i supposed to get money? the answer is simple. Your main source of gold has to come from Assists, Avarice Runes if you have them, and Cash Flow Items such as Heart of Gold, Philosophes's stone, and Kage's Lucky Pick. Riot lately fixed the assists system, so you'll be gretting a pretty decent amount of gold from them, in addition, your items aren't as pricy as those of the carrys, so don't worry about that so much.
An important part of babysitting is to poke the lane enemies so they leave your carry alone, IT'S POKE NOT KILL, leave the kills for your carry; just poke them enough so that when your carry has the right amount of firepower to finish the job, and live to tell the story. THEN you throw your CC and whatch the bloodbath. Remember, when the time comes to kill the enemies you have to worry about YOUR health first, not theirs, trading kills won't get you anywhere. I always push when i have 20% more health than the enemy, or something that will assure me in some way that, in theory, both me and my partner will survive the battle, but in a battle there are lots of different variables, that it will pretty much be impossible to predict it. In this part i leave when to push to your consideration.
Healing and Buffing: Heal BEFORE a fight, so that you keep the elemnt of surprise, and AFTER the fight to avoid opportunists from getting free kills. Throw buffs IN battle to give your team the edge, or at least, this is what i like to do, to keep the element of surprise and turn the tables around in a teamfight that the other team thought had won from the start. Now, this isn't as easy as it seems, since every battle is different and you have to wait for the right time, but keep this present and you'll do well.
Keep always your cooldowns present, and plan battles according to them, if you have to wait a second or two to engage, then WAIT, a well-timed buff, CC or heal can win you games.
WARDING: WARD, WARD, WARD. IT'S A HUGE ADVANTAGE TO HAVE FOR A VERY LITTLE PRICE. But a little thing about wards...
The whole team benefits from wards, so keeping the map vision available at all times should be a shared responsibility, if you're a bottom laner, you cant go around the map every 5 minutes by yourself warding the whole thing, plus, having the economical burden of buying wards can and WILL mess up your build, even more considering you're not supposed to farm. In bottom lane, you should keep your ward currency in 10 for each phase of the game, as should all of your teammates. IMOO contrarily to what most people think, wards shouldn't be your responsibility, since you are providing CV constantly and you are the toon with the less gold income in the team. This is a precept that people have, and it is WRONG AS HELL. Remember: WARDS ARE A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY.
WHERE TO WARD:
Early Game: Ward the bushes behind your tower, the river, dragon, and both bushes in your lane. Be kinda selfish in this phase since this phase is all about farming.
Mid Game: Keep dragon and BOTH rivers lit up completely. Also your jungle, both their buffs and the roads that lead to your active turrets. Remember to always ward their jungle AFTER a won teamfight. Keep an eye on backdoorers.
Late Game: Ward Baron, Dragon and ALL of their jungle, and your buffs and the roads that lead to your active turrets. In this phase you'll want to MAKE them go into their base, but keep an eye on for backdoorers.
CV: Save CV for planning Team Fights, or to clear the path for an escaping ally. When they're all mia, it's always smart to CV Baron, Dragon or nearby bushes if you're alone. A SUPPORT ALWAYS HAS TO HAVE CV.
The gear in this game is very situational, since every game is different you should build your toon according to what the game and specific situations need. This goes for all classes, not just supports.
But indeed there are some items that are must-have's for any given class, in the case of the support, many of these are the ones that offer Cooldown Reduction. YOU HAVE TO HAVE CD RECUDTION. Why? because it's in the best interest of your team that your abilities are as spamable as possible, since they all benefit greatly from them.
Another thing a Support should always have is an Aura. YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN AURA. YES, IT WORKS. YES, IT IS IMPORTANT. But then again, every game is different and there are many different Aura Items out there, so buying the correct one for a specific situation is Key.
Some of the greatest items for a support are the following:
IONIAN BOOTS: CD REDUCTION. NUFF SAID
SHURELYA'S REVERIE: Arguably the most underrated item in the game. It gives you everything you need and the active helps you and/or your teammates chase to secure an ace, or to secure an escape without additional cassualities. GET IT ALWAYS.
ZHONYA'S HOURGLASS: This is a pretty underrated item, It's and anti doofus-let's-focus-on-the-support teams. If you see you're getting focused, then do the active, allowing you to survive, and giving your team a window of time to throw the CC and wipe out the DPS's and bruisers. After going out of stasis, Heal, CC and Buff as planned.
FROZEN HEART: CDR is always appreciated, and the Mana will give you a pretty good sustainability in fights, combined with your runes and Shurelyas, sounds like you don't have to worry about mana for the rest of the game, plus, the armor is always welcomed, but it's a bonus.
DEATHFIRE GRASP: ACTIVE ACTIVE ACTIVE. A well-thrown active on a Tank could give you the perfect edge on a team fight. It takes a huge chunk of HP, and that combined with your CC and Buff makes you decisive at late game team fights, plus the AP and CDREDUCT's is always sexy. Remember to always use the active on the tanks, never on the squishies.
MORELLO'S EVIL TOME: Great item, AP and CDR is very welcome at a very reasonable price. I find it a great item to get in mid-game and helps a lot to unclog stuck games with very low numbers and start getting assists for your teammates.
BANSHEE'S: Again, a great item, but i find it more useful for squishier champs. The passive is really great, but since you have pretty decent defense and can always use the Zhonyas and your stun to escape or gain extra seconds in team fights, i don't use it that much, but it's all taste.
GUARDIAN ANGEL: I'm going to use my swear card here just to say GREAT ****ING ITEM. In games in which you are meant to die, reviving will give your team an edge somewhat similar to the Zhonya's active. While the enemy team idiotly waits for your revival, your team could throw a second round of CC to kill some of them. Funny thing is, this is bound to happen everytime since they can't leave you there to revive, cause if they let you, you could throw CC and ulti to help win a team fight, and they certainly don't want that, plus Armor and Magic Resist is always welcome. Get it late game.
AURA ITEMS: Like i said, all Auras are useful, just read what the game needs and choose one accordingly.
Who are Supports?
Champs that have CC, and Healing capabilities. There are tanky supports, such as Ali or Taric; and squishier supports, like Janna, Sona and Zilean. There are Supports with more firepower, like Lux and Kayle, and supports with less firepower, like Taric again.
A support's always good, i don't think there's a 'Best support in the game'. It's all taste and who you feel comfortable supporting with.
The following goes for all champs and all players out there:
You can go on about OP champs and this or that, but what counts the most is the player behind the champ, and i go to HotshotGG again for clarifying this point. He's not the best because he plays the most OP champs or anything, he just knows what champs are better suited for his playstile and he exploits that compatibility. If you feel comfortable with a champ, just go for it, skill speaks louder than numbers, I've seen people rape with Sivir, and get crushed with a Lee Sin or a Gangplank, so in the end, it's skill what matters the most, not the champ.
You won't be able to play massively well with a support after reading this guide, this guide was made to point you in the right direction towards effective playing, that being with a Support or with any role.
If you think about all of these principles that I've given you here, you think about them and you put the little recommendations into practice, you'll be able to support effectively in no time, and when that happens you'll be aware of so many things and will know how the game works so well that you will be able to play any role effectively.
If you play supports, you can play anything.
Carrys win fights, Tanks and Supports win Championships.