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I AM SUPPORT!-S4 Support Rune and Masteries (tl;dr coming)
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Hi! I'm Teemoshy, a low elo player (very little time to actually play League; 2 jobs = exhausted after said 2 jobs) who is actually putting more time into ranked 3's. However, I spend a lot of time watching videos, reading guides and articles, and keeping track of the pro scene on my lunch breaks and the short breaks and such. I have a lot of game knowledge rattling around my noggin so I hope that you give me some credit and overlook my rank.
I've been supporting since shortly after the pre-season 3 patch and the release of Nami and the role quickly consumed me. Now it is my main role on Summoner's Rift and best position I play, usually. Please don't LoLking me. lolz
I'm writing this guide as a way to help new support players understand just how much they can do pre-game and also help veteran supports expand their pre-game game plans. Runes and masteries can have a huge effect on your performance and with the Season 4 changes to masteries and gold flow the support role has become the most versatile role in this respect. My own experience, guides and articles I've read, and many a time I've gone lurking on LoLKing looking at pro support games and profiles were all factored into this guide. If I leave something out that you use and feel is viable and works for you, feel free to leave a comment or pm and I'll gladly review it and give credit if/when I put it in :)
I'll start with masteries, where no one has to spend days of IP and everything is free! In Season 3 there were really only 2 pages that were viable with a few small deviations here or there. Season 4 has made that very much a thing of the past giving us a wealth of options. Gold masteries are no longer a must (though they are still nice to have) due to the gold flow changes opening up heavy defensive mastery pages for tank supports like Leona and other awesome possibilities. So let's "GET ON WITH IT!"
This is a great page to use when you're starting out because it gives you all the core support stats (CDR, movement speed, mana regen and gold generation) in Utility and then gives you 9 points to throw around between the Offense and Defense trees. You can roam really well with Inspiration and Wanderer as well as have good laning presence through constant poke/heals/etc backed by Meditation and Intelligence .
These sorts of pages are normally used on caster type supports like Nami, Karma, or Soraka.
Here are a few other minor variations:
The main thing to think of here is what you need out of those 9 extra points. Ask yourself a few questions like:
- Does the support I'm using have the AP scaling to utilize 9 points in Offense (i.e. its name is Annie). If you do this you have to remember that the only defensive boost you'll get is from your runes.
- Would I rather get defensive stats? 9 points in Defense can be quite helpful to bolster yourself in lane, letting you stay longer, thus contributing more to your carry.
- Can I get away with splashing in both trees? If you are playing a champ like Nami and feel like you don't need the full 9 in Defense, a mix of the two trees will be nice for the extra CDR.
- What items do I normally buy? Will I exceed the CDR cap? Putting points in Offense with this setup means you start the game with 10% CDR. This can be rather helpful but you need to plan accordingly.
This kind of setup was the other Season 3 support page. These sorts of pages are a great mix of all the gold generation, summoner's CDR, movespeed, etc. from Utility and the health, regen, and resistances from Defense. Great on that Leona who wants the benefits of Greed and Scavenger or that fragile Sona who just wants a better time against harassment. This setup is versatile in that you can run heavier in one tree or the other for various mid tree benefits such as the Inspiration mastery that I covered earlier.
The tank/initiator support page is pretty much just a heavy Defense page. I take this if I'm the teams only tank or if I'm needed to be the main initiator for my team (kno rly?). The best part about this page is Legendary Guardian . This mastery is amazing and well worth 4 points. In the early game you get 8-12 free armor and 4-6 free MR (depending on if the enemy jungler is there) just for being in lane. Then, in the teamfight phase, this bumps up to 20 and 10 respectively. That's 600 gold worth of stats. And after all the wealth of defensive stats you still get summoner spell CDR.
Best used on champs such as Leona, Thresh, Taric, etc.
This is a page I found on the profile of Cloud9's support, LemonNation, and is used for one of the core champs he's played this in the early Spring LCS split, Thresh. Heavy in the Defense tree to make you tanky for initiations and grabbing some AD for his heavy autoattack harass and Flay passive.
This section is to hopefully help you guys get some of the thinking behind certain mastery choices. I'm not going to go over easy ones like Hardiness that should be a no-brainer. I owe some of this info to Eph289 with his awesome articles on Cloth5. Here's one if you're interested.
The masteries above are the ones I felt some people might not think are good / misunderstood / not just "get 36 more health". If I missed something you want here, throw it in the comments.
Go ahead and tinker around with these the next time you go support. Remember to tailor your masteries in champ select to what your team needs and, if you're playing ranked/draft, what the enemy team is running to get the most out of them.
Runes can be great compliments to your masteries, boosting defenses and adding combat potential. Also, again due to gold flow changes, gold generation runes are not necessary (they're actually a waste tbh) opening up a vast range of pages to run. If you plan on supporting as your main role it'd be a good idea to invest in extra rune pages if you haven't already. Also, here's a list of good runes to pick up:
- Greater Seal of Health : These are the new seals to pick up on bulky supports. They are complimented normally with Greater Quintessence of Armor to receive the same stats (in health and armor) as pre-4.5.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist : Also pretty obvious. Enemy supports want you to die and generally deal magic damage. Some ADCs like Ezreal or Corki deal magic damage as well. These help mitigate all that.
- Greater Quintessence of Armor : Compliment health seals very well to block out the dangerous physical damage of bot lane.
- Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration : Amazing runes for aggressive supports/players who can easily harass opponents. I take these on Lulu, Leona, Nami, etc.
Now that you've nabbed the core runes for supports, let's take a look at some pages. I'm only really going to display very simple versions of the pages for now and elaborate further where needed.
This is just a full defense page, mainly for very passive play or for being super bulky if your AD has tons of damage. Remember, you can make your pages your own. Health Quints, a splash of scaling MR glyphs, whatever. Also, champs like Leona and Taric get defensive buffs in their kits making this not as needed in most situations. Just remember to take all factors into account.
Offensive rune pages are nice to use when you already have the advantage over your opponent in champ select or can take it through aggressive play and can give up some defense, most commonly in your Marks, to try to get more damage off in trades.
A great thing to get for aggressive play is a set of Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration. They work really well if you plan on autoattacking often in between spells. They are plenty expensive, though, so only get them if you plan on using them a lot or have days of IP to fling around. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration can work as well as a cheap placeholder or to use on champs who either don't or can't abuse their opponent with AAs.
Here are a few different offensive support pages to give you an idea.
This page is the one I use for Annie, Zyra, and Karma and other aggressive casters when I can get away with being a bit squishier. She has great AP scalings so she can utilize it much better than most supports.
Health and armor are usually the best things to have in your Quint and Seal slots because you won't be as squishy, therefore making you have a higher chance of not dying in all-ins or being able to withstand enemy poke better. I use this page for Leona when I can and a different version with mana regen for Lulu.
This last page is used chiefly for good ol' Thresh. I got the idea from both my go-to pro support profiles, C9 LemonNation and Xpecial. The AD is to make his AA harass more potent , both just from it's damage and that given by Flay's passive.
A quick little blip should be said about mana regeneration runes. They're a great thing to throw into pages for champions like Lulu and Sona who go through mana like crazy or just for really spammy playstyles. I actually use 2 or so Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration in some of my pages as you may have seen. However, you must realize that you're giving up combat stats for more poke and make sure it's what the particular match you're in calls for.
Movement speed quints are decent to have in situations where you want speedy initiations, heavy roaming, the ability to quickly get in and out of range for harass, etc. Two or three can be subbed into your quint slots on both offensive or defensive setups.
Again, you'll be giving up combat stats so only get MS Quints for heavy roaming strategies and the like.
Xpecial's Thresh page. Just an example of MS quints in the real world. Be careful though. Just because a pro does it doesn't necessarily mean you can.
Runes and masteries have evolved immensely in Season 4. Be sure to get your pre-game up to snuff. I really hope this guide has been helpful. Please leave any feedback you have, including any rune or mastery pages you use but didn't see here.
I'd also like to thank Vynertje for his review. It has helped a lot in getting this guide as correct as possible.
- 2/28/14 : PUBLISHED GUIDE!!
- 3/2/14 : Thanks to astrolia's quick guide I now have a pretty-ish table of contents.
- 3/4/14 : Prettied up the new Table of Contents (need to figure out how to clean up ToC moving below banners)
- 3/8/14 : Pretty extensive update changing things I found out were wrong, cutting things, etc.
- 4/19/14 : Finally updated guide for the rune balance changes in Patch 4.5.
- 7/3/14 : Added "pinpoint mastery analysis" section
- 7/9/14 : Redid a few mastery pages and added banner for new mastery analysis section