Humor Guide by Bulbadoof
Not Updated For Current Season
Stuff to Always Get
Not Updated For Current Season
WORK IN PROGRESS
questions, comments, and suggestions appreciated
Sona, Lux, Soraka, Nami, and Janna builds filled out so far. Working on the others!
You guys are always asking me questions about supporting and I know a lot of you just want to learn more about the role in general, so I decided I'd make this guide in the hopes it would help. I'm going to try less to tell you what to do in x situation and more to teach you how to think so that you can make smart plays under pressure.
Defensive supports are supports whose priority is to protect their team. They are more than capable of setting up kills, but that is not their first job in a teamfight.
Offensive supports are supports whose priority is to set up their team to get kills. They are more than capable of protecting their team, but that is not their first job in a teamfight.
Flash/Exhaust are not present in any of the Summoner Spell slots because they are good choices nearly 100% of the time. Summoner spells selected are simply other decent options.
Picking a Support
Picking the optimal support for the situation revolves around three things.
Stuns, knockbacks, slows, silences, exhausts, snares. CC wins games. If your team needs it badly, don't leave them hanging.
Lane synergy is good, but try to think teamfights when you select a support. Maybe you can add a lot of initiating power to your tank, or perhaps you'll need to protect a fragile hyper-carry. Figure out what your job within the team composition is, and pick the best champion to do it.
Special attention also has to be paid to who the enemy team chooses. Try to identify their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to yours - who has the better poke? Who is more likely to win in a straight fight? Who will be punished harder for making a mistake? Pick whoever you think will make your lane the strongest against the enemy lane.
Here's a quick counterpicking cheat sheet.
Warding is one of many things a team can do to assume control of key areas on the map, or prevent enemy control of the same areas. A lot of people don't understand that it's only the first step in establishing your control of the zone - a ward at dragon won't stop them from taking it if nobody is there to contest, a jungler will gank you if you don't back up in time whether you saw him coming or not, and Taric doesn't care if you know he's in that bush unless you use the vision to poke at him. Place wards with the intention to act on them.
Click the pic for a big, readable version.
DON'T WARD THE RIVER BUSHES RIGHT NEXT TO THE LANE
THAT DOESN'T EVEN HELP
STOP DOING IT, IT BUGS ME
Support means I buy wards and don't CS right?
That's not all! No matter which support you choose, there are a few tricks to the role itself. First off, support champions are played for their utility. Their job can be done without expensive items unlike the solo lanes. This means that you do not need any farm at all. This is what, to me, makes the support job fun. Since you're not stuck with 20 minutes of farming early, you are free to pay more attention to your opponents than any other role in the game. Don't waste that advantage sitting in a bush bored - do whatever you can to help your team succeed.
Freezing the lane. Freezing the lane is when you keep the minions fighting where you want them to, generally just outside of your tower's range. While the minions are pushed up to your tower, it's easier for your jungler to gank, and harder for their lane to play too aggressively. You can help force the lane into this position by tanking the enemy minions yourself until the creep wave arrives at the spot you want to freeze the lane. Be very careful when doing this until you master it - it can put you in a dangerous position.
Zoning. Don't sit in the bushes and lob heals. Be the boss of the lane. Make the enemy afraid to go near the farm. Harass them whenever you see an opportunity, punish them for missing important skillshots. Even if you don't think you can get the kills, you are winning the lane if your carry is happily farming away and they are tower-hugging at half HP. Be scary! Just watch out for that pesky jungler.
Meat-shielding. You know how you'd block a Caitlyn shot coming at a teammate or try to get between your carry and their Irelia? Many of the tankier or more sustainable supports are capable of body-blocking a great deal of damage from harass even in the laning phase. It seems simple, but I don't see a lot of people do it. So, there's that. If you're tanky enough to shrug off a few hits, position yourself to take the ones meant for your carry. Tanky supports can also be very helpful in freezing the lane, which will let your carry farm easily and safely.
Baiting. This is when you purposely put your life at risk so that your team can capitalize. Examples of this can be kiting enemies to your team while at low HP, allowing yourself to get Blitzcrank grabbed while your jungler is running down the river, or "facechecking" a warded bush to get the enemy team to blow cooldowns on you. A successful bait is a team effort, so make sure your team is in a good position to commit to a fight before you go and try to start one.
Sacrifice. One of the things unique to a support is the fact that since they ideally never get kills, they never become worth a substantial amount of gold. If your death can save a teammate or create an opportunity for your team, don't be afraid to do it. Just remember that this is a last resort, not a license to feed.