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[11.23] eiensiei's guide to Support

[11.23] eiensiei's guide to Support

[11.23] eiensiei's guide to Support

Updated on November 22, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author eiensiei Build Guide By eiensiei 59 0 13,643 Views 14 Comments
59 0 13,643 Views 14 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author eiensiei Build Guide By eiensiei Updated on November 22, 2021
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[11.23] eiensiei's guide to Support

By eiensiei
Hi
I'm Anca, 22 y/o League streamer (kind of, I haven't streamed in forever due to internet issues but ANYWAY), I reached Master as a Lux mid otp, then swapped to support, one-tricked Janna to Challenger early in S10 and now I'm kind of just enjoying most of the champs the support role has to offer, which brought me here writing a guide for it.
Types of supports - their goals and when to pick them
I'm going to start by saying that comfort is usually more important than counterpicking and most of the time your teammates will be happier to see you lock in your 1k games Thresh into Morgana, rather than have you first timing a champion you think is better. If you want to learn and get better at other champions too then that's amazing, but please get a smurf and practice in lower MMR as to not ruin your teammates' experience on main. If, however, you're comfortable on all these champions, this section is for you to help you figure out what to choose depending on your team comp and the enemies'.

With that out of the way, let's go over support types and which champions fit in them. I've separated them into 3 categories (enchanters, damage dealers and engagers) and although some champions fit into multiple ones, I tried to group them in a way that lets me explain what they're supposed to do, but I'll do my best to also explain the exceptions (but remember the list of champions mentioned is non-exhaustive, you can also go for off-meta picks that you're comfortable on that look good in the situation - e.g.: Poppy into Rakan).
Enchanters
  • good scaling
  • good with hypercarries ( Jinx, Twitch, Vayne, etc.)
  • they're not necessarily "bad" with anything, but there are certain ADCs that prefer other supports (for example your Draven might not be happy if you lock in Yuumi, because he's looking to stomp lane)
  • good against champions they outrange/that can't get on top of them (ex: tanks)/assassins that they can deny (for example with Howling Gale or Whimsy)/any champions they can disengage from
  • bad against champions that can abuse them early (but they can usually circumvent both damage dealers and engagers by going Relic Shield instead of Spellthief's Edge to avoid trades/putting themselves in risky situations) or champions that can lock them down with CC, as most of these are fairly immobile
  • summoner spells: an advantage enchanters have is they can run almost any summoner spell, they can get Ignite if they want to be aggressive, Exhaust into all-in champions, but they can also pick Heal and allow their ADCs to go with Barrier or Cleanse (for example into lanes like Ashe+ Leona)
  • lane role: survive (can still be played very aggressively and win lane, they just need to bait out enemy abilities first)
  • teamfights role: peel, disengage, empower
Damage dealers
  • good scaling if they get to their items, but also strong early
  • good with other champions that are strong early (ex: Miss Fortune, Caitlyn) or self-reliant champions that don't need them to peel (ex: Ezreal, Xayah)
  • not necessarily "bad" with hypercarries, but most hypercarries do prefer enchanters
  • good against squishy champions (as supports they have less gold, so if they're playing into tanks with a lot of resists they might prove ineffective)
  • bad against champions that can lock them down, as they're squishy and immobile and die instantly when caught
  • summoner spells: either Ignite for champions with shorter range (like Brand or Twitch) or Barrier for champions with higher range (like Senna or Vel'Koz)
  • lane role: get kills, get turret plates, zone the enemy ADC, get their ADC ahead (exception: Twitch, he will usually use Ambush a lot both in mid and bot to surprise the enemy team and get ahead)
  • teamfights role: deal damage, zone control
Engagers
  • strong early, but get outscaled by enchanters
  • good with ADCs who need to stomp early (ex: Draven, Caitlyn, Samira, Kalista) or with champions that love heavy dive comps/CC (ex: Kai'Sa)
  • champions with a strong defensive tool (ex: Dark Passage, Devour, Black Shield) are also good with hypercarries (ex: Ashe, Jinx) because they can peel for them
  • bad with immobile carries that can't follow up on their engages and especially if the enemies have heavy dive (ex: Nocturne, Camille+ Galio, etc)
  • good against immobile champions they can lock down
  • bad against champions that can poke them down heavily before they have a window of opportunity to go in
  • summoner spells: because their goal is to win lane, their spell of choice besides Flash is usually Ignite (you might also see them sometimes running Exhaust)
  • lane role: stomp, have strong lane presence, use bushes to their advantage to zone the enemy ADC, use their priority to help their jungler for crab and roam mid (exceptions: Bard, it's not that he can't win lane, but what he does best usually is roam)
  • teamfights role: finding picks before/during fights, zone control, getting a good engage (however sometimes they might feel like they're tankier than they actually are and because gold income is not great as a support they will not last very long front-lining, which means they need to be sure they want to go in as they won't have a way to get out)
  • BONUS: for champions with hooks/skillshots, remember that sometimes you create more pressure by not using an ability - if you do want to use your ability though, know that most people's first instinct will be to dodge backwards (towards you). Try to keep track of the way people dodge to predict which way to throw your next skillshot in
  • 2nd BONUS: if you're playing against Draven, you can throw skillshots towards his axe, he'll be forced to either drop it or walk into your CC
Notes:
  • pink dots represent Control Wards
  • green dots represent Stealth Wards
  • by "fake mid priority" I mean those times when your team is losing and you're unable to get mid priority, in which case dropping a ward will help with vision in that area
  • think about the enemy champions, what they want to do and ward accordingly (for example, if they have a Rek'Sai, remember he often cheese ganks level 2 with a tunnel from behind you into flash+knock-up, or if they have a Fiddlesticks and you're sieging mid tower, he can R from the Raptors camp, etc)
Blue Team
Level 1
The game starts at 00:00, not when minions spawn. That said, it's important to get as much early information as possible or at the very least make sure the enemies don't. So what you're going to do is place one of these wards (A, B, C, D) and then go back and swap your trinket to Oracle Lens. How to choose which ward to place?
  • A - if your jungler starts bot side, he usually goes and places this one himself. If he doesn't, you can go there, start your recall at 00:38 and drop the ward at 00:45
  • B, C - if the enemy team has good invade champions (ex: Pyke, Thresh), drop one of these two wards as fast as possible
  • D - if you don't need to drop a ward in either A, B or C, dropping it in lane is good to avoid a potential lvl 1 cheese
Early game (winning)/Early game (losing)
Objectives
Dragon (winning)/Dragon (losing)
Baron (winning)/Baron (losing)
Sieging
I won't provide a map with wards for every single turret you may want to siege in game, but I will share the idea behind it. When you siege you basically want to force the enemies out of an area so that you can stay and easily knock down the objective (inhibitor/turret). How do you do this?
  • using a Control Ward to deny vision in an area that makes the enemies scared of long range engage tools (ex: Death Sentence, Light Binding, Elastic Slingshot), making them choose between giving up the objective or risking potentially losing a fight and getting themselves even further behind in gold
  • using stealth wards to prevent your team from getting surprised by a flank or just any general long range engage
Getting sieged
Again, I won't go over all the possible scenarios in which you might get sieged, but the general idea is that you can:
  • use a Control Ward to deny vision in an area and create a "safe" zone for you to play in that also makes the enemies afraid of stepping forward because they might get hit by an engage tool (ex: Rocket Grab, Bone Skewer)
  • use stealth wards to prevent your team from getting surprised by long range engage. Also keep in mind the one advantage you have when getting sieged is that you're closer to your base than the enemies are to theirs, which generally means you have an easier time getting more wards, while they can't say the same
Red Team
Level 1
You're going to place one of these wards (A, B, C, D) and then go back and swap your trinket to Oracle Lens. The reason for this is that you'll have better pressure in lane by giving yourself the ability to abuse bushes. How to choose which ward to place?
  • A - if your jungler starts bot side, he usually goes and places this one himself. If he doesn't, you can do it for him (drop the ward at 00:45)
  • B - if the enemy team has good invade champions (ex: Pyke, Thresh), drop this ward as fast as possible
  • C - if the enemy has an early jungler that can cheese gank level 2 after red (ex: Nunu & Willump, Twitch, Shaco)
  • D - if you don't need to drop a ward in either A, B or C, dropping it in lane is good to avoid a potential lvl 1 cheese
Early game (winning)/Early game (losing)
Objectives
Dragon (winning)/Dragon (losing)
Baron (winning)/Baron (losing)
When sieging/Getting sieged
Early Jungle Tracking
Knowing where the enemy jungler is means you know when you're allowed to be aggressive in lane/take plates/leave deep wards without getting punished. It also doesn't hurt if you can ping your other teammates to back off when you think the enemy jungler is about to gank them.

The most basic jungle tracking "technique" you can apply is knowing that in 9/10 cases the enemy jungler starts on one side of the map and he'll be on the opposite side of the map (where they'll usually also try to get a gank off so ping your top laner if that's him or back off if it's you) at 3:15 when Rift Scuttler spawns.

So pay attention and try to figure out who leashed on the enemy team. If top showed and bot didn't, their jungler probably started bot side. Similarly, if top didn't show and bot did, their jungler probably started top side. If no one is showing, you can check mana bars on enemies and try to tell if anyone used any abilities. However, keep in mind these things can be faked, some junglers don't need a leash (ex: Kayn starting with Raptors ) and others just won't ask for one.

Other than that, you can try to identify which side of the map the enemy jungler is in/wants to go in based on:
  • which side of the lane the enemy mid is playing to (when players don't have a lot of information, they tend to play to the side in which they feel "safer" so if the enemy jungler is top side, the enemy mid might be favouring the top side of mid)
  • compare which side of the map your jungler started in and which side he's in now to which side of the map the enemy jungler started in (most of the junglers you meet in SoloQ have very similar pathing, so if your jungler started bot side and is bot side now, and you also know the enemy jungler started top side, there's a good chance they're top side again) - even if one of the champions has a better clear than the other, junglers will sometimes skip camps just to keep up in tempo with the enemy jungler
  • CS tracking, if you press tab whenever you see them on the minimap, you'll be able to tell how many more camps he's done since you've last seen them and possibly deduce where they want to go next

None of the above help you determine where the enemy jungler is with 100% accuracy, but if you think about it often enough that it becomes a habit, your game sense will develop and you'll eventually start taking "educated guesses".
Pulling the wave level 1
When you know the enemy bot is leashing and you don't have to leash, you can step in front of the enemy minion wave at level 1 and drag it to the side as it passes in front of the first bush. Doing that changes minion aggro and one of your ally melee minions will die before the enemies reach lane, so they won't gain XP.

It can be done on both blue and red side, so hop into the practice tool and.. well, practice!
Level 2 Power Spike
Both bot laners get level 2 after being in XP range of the first wave dying + the 3 melee minions in the second wave. Level 2 champions have a slight HP advantage and a huge ability advantage over level 1 champions, which is why you need to help your ally by attacking the melee minions in the second wave, so that you get level 2 before your opponents.
Let's go over the possible scenarios:
You get level 2 first
Once you're really close to level 2 and know you will get it before your opponents, start walking up to them so that you may take full advantage of it when it hits.
You get level 2 at the same time
This is all very anticlimactic, since you're probably not going to do much. Just stick to your plan of poking whenever possible/trying to find a good engage.
Your enemies get level 2 first
Recognize when the enemies are about to get it and if they start walking up to you, run back towards your tower. Especially if it's something like a Draven + Thresh.
 
Trades / All-in
Recognize key cooldowns from your opponents and play around them. Has Blitzcrank missed his Rocket Grab or has Morgana missed her Dark Binding? Play aggressively for the next 10-20s since they have no real way of punishing you for it.

If, however, your enemies are holding back from using their abilities, you will need to bait them out first. Play on the edge of their skillshot range, switching your positioning slightly to be in range for their engage/poke, and they will eventually cave in and try to catch you.

If you're playing an engage champion (ex: Leona, Thresh), you might be wondering what a good engage opportunity looks like. There are 4 things to watch out for:
  • minions - the number of allied minions is equal to or greater than the number of enemy minions (the last thing you want is to lose a trade because you or your ADC are tanking 500 damage from creeps)
  • HP values - it's okay if you have slightly less HP than the enemies, but too much of an HP difference might mean you'll lose the all-in even if you hit everything and play it perfectly
  • enemy positioning - do you know where the enemy jungler and mid are? Does the enemy top laner have a deep ward he can Teleport to and turn the 2v2? You almost always have to make decisions with incomplete information, but at the very least pay attention to the way the enemies are playing the lane (for example if they were losing but they're suddenly walking up and you haven't seen their Elise in a while, it might mean you're about to get ganked)
  • the actual engage - look for the enemy ADC going to last hit something and try to land your skillshot while they're locked in the autoattack animation for better odds of hitting
Lane Positioning
As a support, your job is to always play in front of, or parallel to your bot laner and notice how when the enemy support does not adhere to this, it makes your job of pressuring the enemy carry that much easier.
Pay attention to your minions getting low on HP (especially cannon minions), because the enemy carry will try to last hit them and that's your opportunity to walk up and poke or engage without getting damaged back (they will have to choose between farming and dealing damage to you).

If the enemy carry is alone in lane, you can walk up and harass, you can try to keep him out of XP range for his minions, or even attempt forcing an all-in. If you do decide to go for that last one, it's usually a good idea to go into fog of war and lull the enemy carry into a false sense of security that you have left the lane, and go all the way around if it allows you to position yourself behind him.
Wave Control
This is not a guide to gain extensive knowledge about wave control, this is just the bare minimum you need as a support to give your carry a lead, or at least to not put him behind.

If you two desperately need to back, try doing so on a cannon wave, so that the enemies can't completely push it in, or that even if they do, the cannon minion tanks 6-7 tower hits, allowing you and your carry to get back to lane in time for XP.

If you have just gotten a kill and want to back, push in the wave first.

If you have just gotten a double kill early and want to back but don't have time to push in the wave because the death timers are so short and you have no wave clear, leave more enemy minions than allied minions, depending on where the wave is (if it's closer to your tower, you will need to leave 3 caster minions, if it's closer to the middle of the lane, 1-2 casters are enough).

If your carry is not in lane and the wave is going to crash into your tower, tank it so your ADC doesn't miss the minions or so he even sets up a freeze (but only if it's safe to do so, don't die trying to hold their wave though).

Note: before your carry gets items, help them farm caster minions under tower; do so by attacking them once.
Roams
Buy boots and roam mid whenever possible. The time it takes you to go from base to mid and then from mid to bot is roughly the same time it takes your carry to walk from base to bot, so you are not losing out on anything and you're not risking getting your carry killed either.

If you've just backed, if your carry backed but you have no reason to back yourself (either you have no gold or haven't gotten your support quest yet so you can't replenish any wards either), if your carry is freezing the wave just outside your tower and is in no immediate danger, if you see your jungler wants to go mid and you think you can make it there in time as well, these are all good opportunities to roam mid, or even to leave some deep wards in the enemy jungle.

Getting used to these scenarios means you will also get used to the enemy support's roam timers and be able to ping appropriately when you think they might be roaming mid/top.
Jungle Help
When your jungler is on your side of the map and you have the ability to help him without getting your adc killed, help him:
  • if he wants to get crab, try to get lane priority and then hover around him
  • if he's getting invaded in his jungle, go help him
  • if he's invading and you have lane priority, go help him
If you were the team to get the first bot tower
These are the next steps you would ideally take to snowball the game:
  • Kill the current Dragon
  • If turret plates haven't fallen yet, go top with your carry and take the top tower (+place vision in the top side of the map), otherwise go mid and let your mid laner go clear waves bot
  • Kill Rift Herald
  • Use Rift Herald mid and take the mid tower
 
If you were the team to lose the first bot tower
These are the next steps you would ideally take to stop the gold bleeding:
  • Place vision around the current Dragon
  • Try to match wherever the enemy bot is going
  • Place vision around the Rift Herald and in the top side of the map
 
General mid-game guidelines
[read: Every game is different, so what do you do if it doesn't all work out according to the "ideal" steps?]
  • Constantly change the line of vision you provide for your team depending on which objective you need to focus on next
  • Walk with your jungler to help him secure camps/kills in the enemy jungle
  • Leave behind deep wards for bonus information on the enemies
  • Look at the state of the map and decide which teammate is the most overextended in his lane, you can protect him by leaving vision in his side of the map or being there should the enemies collapse on him
  • Reset for more Control Wards + stealth wards on your support item and do it all over again until you manage to get picks, which will allow you to go for objectives.
  • Do not get an Inhibitor before 20 mins (when Baron spawns), because you will have given the enemies free gold+XP without having the ability to further pressure them and end the game
 
  • Recognize win conditions and play around them. For example if you have a 1-3-1 comp with your strongest member split-pushing bot because they have Teleport for Baron, you can leave wards in the enemy bot side jungle. What that does is:
    • It will let your Fiora know the enemy team is coming for her and she can back off. Also if 2+ enemies are on the bot side of the map, it means you can start Baron or take a tower mid/top
    • If nobody shows because the enemies are too scared you will start Baron if they go bot, your split-pusher can get free towers or even an Inhibitor
    Or if you have a teamfight comp, you can walk with your teammates to constantly deny vision from the enemies and place your own, forcing them to walk into unfavourable fights which allows your team to translate that into objectives
  • A basic idea on which objectives to focus after you get a pick/win a teamfight:
    Elder Dragon > Inhibitor > Baron Nashor > Turret (if you don't know how to get your teammates to come to an objective, just ping "Assistance" 4-5 times on top of it)
    Why?
    • Elder is first because once you have Elder, you can translate it into more objectives since the enemies will want to avoid fighting you for its duration.
    • Inhibitor over Baron is always an interesting one, but in my experience getting the Inhib creates a point of pressure on the map, which makes it easier to then force the enemies into a lose-lose situation and granting you Baron, resulting into pushing more lanes and getting more Inhibitors or getting map pressure for an upcoming objective like Dragon Soul or Elder (whereas if you first get Baron, you're not guaranteed to be able to use it to kill Inhibitors, and even if you do, you most likely won't get more than 1 or 2, which is manageable and in the end only gives the enemies more gold+XP)

      However if this is about trading Baron for Inhibitor, I'd take the Baron 10/10 times because even with super minions the enemies won't be able to push (since you have Baron) and you get bonus gold+XP

      Conclusion: Inhibitor > Baron is personal preference for me, but different situations call for different things, so decide for yourself (don't be afraid to make the wrong decision, a wrong decision is better than no decision at all because even if it causes you to lose the game, you'll learn from it and do better next time - sure your teammates might flame you for it, but the one game you cost them isn't the reason they're stuck with 49% in 1k games. Your goal here is to improve)

      This comparison is only for cases in which you have to choose. If your only option is to get Inhibitor, you probably get the Inhibitor, and if your only option is to get Baron, you get Baron (and if you can get both, you get both)
  • Constantly reassess each champion's strengths and weaknesses. Did Xerath finish Rabadon's Deathcap? Did Jhin use his Heal last fight? Keep track of everything. Telling yourself "I didn't know Vladimir had Flash" after he wipes your entire team is not going to save your LP, but knowing his summoner spell CD just might
  • Timings for Flash:
  • With supports being the only champions carrying Control Wards in their inventories in the later stages of the game, the whole map is going to be a whole lot darker, and you need to play safer. If you need to clear or establish vision, walk with your teammates, not alone
  • Stick to the teammates that do the most damage in fights and do your best to keep them alive. Don't let them facecheck and be sure to stay nearby if they need to farm in a side lane, especially if the enemies have an assassin such as Rengar.
  • Buy an Elixir of Iron when you know there's going to be a fight
  • If you know an ability can end up killing you if it hits, Flash it
  • Don't overextend without vision
  • Don't overextend for vision
  • Keep track of the objective timers because you need to reset and be back out on the map at least 30s before they spawn, but preferably you start setting out vision a full 60s before they spawn, giving yourself time to recall and replenish your wards (the enemies will most likely remove the initial ones, but that won't be a problem if you have new ones).
That's about all the general information I thought of to gather in this guide, I hope it's helpful and if you want specificities for certain champions I also have guides for Lulu and Janna! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to either:
  • leave a reply in the comment section
  • catch me on my stream (where you'll also get to see me putting all these things into practice)
and I'll do my best to answer as fast and as in-depth as I can!
Thanks for reading, have a good one!
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[11.23] eiensiei's guide to Support

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