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Support Support 101 - A Comprehensive Guide

Support Support 101 - A Comprehensive Guide

Updated on September 21, 2012
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Laggermeister Build Guide By Laggermeister 111 80 87,196 Views 87 Comments
111 80 87,196 Views 87 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Laggermeister Build Guide By Laggermeister Updated on September 21, 2012
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Playing on bottom lane is like playing a game of doubles - tennis, table tennis, or badminton. Not only must both players be competent with their own champions, they must also work well together in order to score points (get kills) against the opposing duo. So you can get your partner killed if you make a mistake, and likewise, your partner can get you killed if he makes a mistake. Or worse, double kill.

There are typically two players on bottom lane: the carry and the support. No prizes for guessing which of the two this guide is about.
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The Support

Yeaaaaaaah. The support.

The one no one wants to play. The butt of jokes and the recipient of the blame all the time. The one with no kills, no farm, and no money. Sounds like a thankless job, doesn't it?

So what does the support do?

At its most simplistic, the support does two things:

1) help the carry win the lane by getting more farm and kills than his opponent;

2) help the team win the game.
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Picking A Support

Always pick your support based on two things - your carry's choice of champion, and your opponents' choice of champions (if you're playing draft that is).

Yes, You Can Counterpick A Support

I remember watching a tournament game in which the caster remarked, noting that competitive first picks tended to be supports, that 'you can't really counterpick a support'. Boy, how wrong he was. To his credit, support counterpicks probably have less impact on the entire game than mid or top lane counterpicks, but you totally can counterpick your opponent's support and win your lane by doing so.

How? Read on for an interesting little theorycraft on the types of supports.
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The Triumvirate of Supports

Generally speaking, the support has a greater bearing on the dynamic of the lane than the carry. The same carry, for example Graves or Ezreal, plays differently when paired with a Sona, a Leona, or a Soraka.

There are three types of supports: poke supports, kill lane supports, and sustain supports. Each type has an innate advantage and disadvantage over the other types, like a game of rock-paper-scissors.

Poke supports win against kill lane supports
(but can lose if they get initiated on or trade disadvantageously)

Kill lane supports win against sustain supports
(but can lose if they can't deal enough damage)

Sustain supports win against poke supports
(but can lose if they play too carelessly and get outdamaged)

Note that these archetypes are not absolute - a support can easily be more than one type, e.g. Taric, who is primarily a kill lane support but also has sustain[/b].

Also, the strengths and weaknesses are not set in stone but differ from champion to champion - two notable examples are that Soraka, a sustain support, is a strong counter to Taric, a kill lane support, and that Sona, a poke support, is generally weak against kill lanes.
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i. Poke

Poke supports secure the lane advantage for their carry by poking the enemy down, i.e. dealing damage without taking it in return. They are characterized usually by spammable burst and the ability to disengage or avoid getting engaged on. They have a natural advantage against kill lane supports, but can be countered by sustain supports.

Poke supports must be ranged - the longer range, the better!

Examples of poke supports: Lulu, Sona, Janna, Nidalee, Zilean

Poke supports synergize well with carries who can farm safely and trade well, such as Caitlyn, Varus, Ezreal
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ii. Kill

Kill lane supports (also known as aggressive supports) secure the lane advantage for their carry by trying to kill the enemy laners, especially the opposing carry, by dealing a very large amout of damage in a short time. They are characterized by having hard CC and burst damage, and are usually tanky. They usually do well against sustain supports because of their high damage, but struggle against poke supports.

Examples of kill lane supports: Blitzcrank, Leona, Taric, Alistar

Kill lane supports go well with carries who deal large burst damage and have strong early games, such as Graves, Sivir, Corki
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iii. Sustain

Sustain supports are the most iconic of LoL supports - you either have the ability to heal, or you do not. Supports who have this ability usually have the 'recommended' tag. Some supports do not have a heal, but have steroids for their carry in order to help them farm better. They secure the lane advantage for their carry by protecting them and enabling them to outfarm the opposing carry and eventually win the game through an item advantage.

Note: I do not consider shields as good sustain.

Sustain supports fare the best against poke supports, and the worst against kill lane supports.

Examples of sustain supports: Soraka, Sona, Taric, Alistar, Nunu & Willump, Janna

The best carries for sustain supports are those who love farm and have strong late games: Vayne, Ashe, Kog'Maw
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Gameplay I: Win The Lane

I. Buy Wards

This is the single most important thing to do as a support. You need to start the game with sight wards. Most support players start with a single Faerie Charm, and some sight wards and Health Potions.

sight wardsight wardsight ward

Above is the standard start for support players.

sight ward

This is possible too but risky

II. Ward The River

You'll need one ward in the river, either in the brush, or further up near to dragon. That is to spot for ganks.

III. Track Your Opponents

Maintain vision of both your opposing laners at all times. This is where your remaining wards come in - ward the lane brush if you have to. If your lane gets pushed to your tower and they move from the further brush to the nearer brush, ward the nearer brush as well.

If they leave the lane, call MIA. If you see them leave the lane to fight your jungler or other laners, make sure to follow them!

IV. Watch The Map

Specifically, watch for ganks coming down the river.

Oftentimes, your carry will be too focused on the things he has to do, which is last hitting minions, fighting the enemy and not getting killed, so it is your job to alert him to an incoming gank.

V. Don't Take The Minions (From Your Carry)

Some people might know this as 'you should not be farming'. Let me streamline it a bit: You should not be farming the minions at the expense of your carry. If your carry goes back to base, feel free to farm up the minions for cash and experience (so long as you don't put yourself in needless danger, such as in a 1v2 situation where both enemy laners are still around).

VI. Help Your Carry Win

Different support/carry combinations will do this in different ways, but the bottom line is, help your carry get more farm and kills than the enemy carry!

Advanced I: Watch Other Lanes

Particularly pertinent if you are playing a champion with a global ultimate like Soraka or Shen, but you can help your other laners out by calling MIA for them.

Advanced II: Note Enemy Wards

Pay attention to where your opposing support places his/her wards. This is to facilitate the success of your jungler ganking bot lane for you (which is most likely to be warded to hell). When he comes to gank, inform him of any known locations of wards so he can go around them.

Advanced III: Counterward

The term counterwarding means using Vision Wards to take out your opponent's wards, denying them vision. This is particularly helpful when playing as a kill lane support, or playing against one.
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Gameplay II: Win The Game

I. Help Other Lanes

Pay attention to the map. Mid game is where people start to roam around and teamfights happen. If the enemy bot laners are not in the lane pressuring your carry, it can be okay to leave him to farm alone in peace. This is called free farming, and he gets more experience that way.

If the enemy champions are pressuring other lanes, be sure to go and help.

II. Buy Wards

Déjà vu, eh? Post laning phase, you'll need to ward not just your lane, but the rest of the map as well. In particular, make sure Dragon and Baron are warded.

A very excellent guide on warding is Panglot's Warding Helper: More than your eyes can see. I'll just quote it here so as not to make my guide hopelessly long. It has very great screenshots showing the best places to ward.

III. Protect Your Teammates

Specifically during teamfights. Don't chase a fleeing enemy while your teammates get slaughtered by the rest of the team. You will lose the teamfight that way. Stick with your team and use whatever you have - heals, CC, damage, tankiness - to keep them alive so they can kill the enemy team.

If you have to, sacrifice yourself to keep them alive (don't die needlessly though). They are the ones who bring the damage, and they are the ones who win the game, and you are the one who is going to cement their victory.

Advanced I: Buy Oracles

Yes, buy Oracle's Elixir. It's nice, pink and tasty. It gives you vision. Then go around picking off enemy wards. Try not to die. If you die, you lose it. Sometimes your jungler will get this. If he doesn't, you should.

Sometimes you get unlucky...

... it happens.

*pat pat*

Advanced II: Counterward Dragon And Baron

In the instance that you died and lost your Oracle's Elixir or are struggling to scrape up the cash for it, buy Vision Wards instead. Counterward Baron Nashor, and then the Dragon. It is useful to deny the enemy vision of these objectives, so they don't know when your team is doing it.
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Meta Supports

A concise run-through of each meta support follows. Note that I'm not going in-depth, else this guide would be much too long, and that's also what champion guides are for!
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i. Alistar

Primary type: Kill Lane
Secondary type: Sustain
Pros / Cons


+ Huge burst with combo
+ Double knock/stun
+ Great base stats, including AD
+ Great transition
+ Has sustain
+ Tower dives like a boss

- Huge reliance on combo
- Vulnerable to poke and kiting
- Vulnerable to mana problems
- Frequently banned

Alistar is good with:

Alistar is bad with:

Good lane partners for Alistar are those who pack early damage, either as a trading burst or just huge damage output in general. Tristana is one of the Cow's most effective lane partners as she wants to be extremely aggressive early game.

Ashe and Kog'Maw don't bring a lot of early damage to complement Alistar, and they would much rather be left alone to farm. Caitlyn on the other hand likes a support who has a hard CC which is not a reposition, hence Alistar is not the best lane partner for her as he can sometimes make it difficult for her to line up her shot.

Alistar is good against:

Alistar is bad against:

The lane matchups for the Cow are fairly atypical from what I have described above. He is extremely tanky and has a heal from Triumphant Roar, so he generally doesn't do too badly against poke supports such as Lulu. He outmuscles other kill lane supports such as Blitzcrank, but does badly against champions with a knockback.

Playing against Alistar

Positioning, positioning, positioning. Stay away from walls. Try to poke his carry down while not putting yourself in danger of being initiated on. Counterwarding against him is particularly effective because Headbutt is targeted.
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ii. Blitzcrank

Primary type: Kill Lane
Secondary type: None
Pros / Cons


+ Most overpowered support
+ Very strong lane matchups
+ Rocket Grab!!
+ AoE silence with Static Field

- Most banned support
- Grab wrong target = GG
- steals CS
- No sustain

Blitzcrank is good with:

Blitzcrank is bad with:

The Robot's preferred lane partners are similar to the Cow's. Blitzcrank is best with carries with burst damage, such as Graves and Corki. Vayne can be effective with him as she brings additional CC with her Condemn. Tristana and Miss Fortune, while not the most effective lane partners, can be a great counterpick against sustain supports such as Soraka.

Again, Blitzcrank is not great with Ashe and Kog'Maw, who mostly don't want to involve themselves in early trades. Varus would rather abuse his great range than have Blitzcrank pull enemies in under his nose.

Blitzcrank is good against:

Blitzcrank is bad against:

Nobody likes to face Blitzcrank in lane. A successful Rocket Grab is an almost guaranteed Flash from the target, and if Flash is down, an almost guaranteed kill. Blitzcrank is very strong against sustain supports and carries without mobility skills. Sona has trouble with him despite being a poke support because his Rocket Grab outranges her Hymn of Valor. Conversely, Lulu can defeat him without much trouble, and he also generally does badly against other tanky supports.

Contrary to what some people say, Soraka is not a counter to Blitzcrank. The converse is true. When fighting a Soraka lane as Blitzcrank, you should grab the support, instead of the AD carry like one normally would, then immediately Static Field to silence her, preventing her from using her heal or Flash. A good Soraka will position herself further back to avoid getting grabbed, so as to be able to heal her carry if he/she gets grabbed. In this matchup, the advantage is clearly with the robot.

Playing against Blitzcrank

Rocket Grab has a long cooldown. Bait it out or make him waste it, then punish him mercilessly when it's on cooldown - he's weak without it. Try to put friendly minions between you and him and then harass him, especially if you have a piercing poke skill like Glitterlance, Piltover Peacemaker, Buckshot, or Piercing Arrow.

If you are playing a sustain support like Sona or Soraka, play paranoid and do not be grabbed at all cost. His ultimate will prevent you from healing or using Flash.
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iii. Janna

Primary type: Poke
Secondary type: Sustain

Note: Janna has no sustain outside of her shield and clutch heal from Monsoon, but she is a strong babysitter, hence the secondary classification of sustain.

Pros / Cons


+ Very strong babysitter
+ Extreme range poke
+ Lots of free movespeed with
+ AD steroid for carry

- Mediocre CC without
- No sustain without
- Very squishy

Janna is good with:

Janna is bad with:

One of Janna's defining characteristics as a support is a strong AD steroid for her carry, from her Eye Of The Storm. Janna's best lane partners have damage skills which have good AD ratios. Janna is also great with late-game carries such as Kog'Maw.

Carries with mobility problems, such as Varus, can be a risky pick for Janna, and Tristana has overall terrible synergy with her. Janna doesn't have enough damage to complement Tristana's early aggressiveness, and Tristana does not have AD ratios on any of her skills.

Janna is good against:

Janna is bad against:

Janna is a very strong babysitter with great counterinitiation, and is at her best when playing against a kill lane support (barring Blitzcrank). On the flip side, she tends to do badly against other poke supports such as Lulu and Sona because her Howling Gale poke is slow and has a long cooldown.

Janna has one of the lowest base health in the game and hence is vulnerable against carries with high early damage such as Graves.

Playing against Janna

Don't engage when her shield is up - whoever she's shielding is much stronger with the shield because of the AD bonus. Engage when the shield disappears. Be wary of tower diving her, as she can easily bait you with Monsoon.
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iv. Leona

Primary type: Kill Lane
Secondary type: None
Pros / Cons


+ Very tanky
+ Triple stun
+ High damage

- No sustain
- No escapes (all-in champion)
- Relies on teammates for damage

Leona is good with:

Leona is bad with:

There is really no subtlety to playing Leona. As Team Legion's iNoobish explained,

"The only problem I see with Leona is that she is a champion you have to all-in with. If you Zenith Blade in, you are basically fighting. (...) Leona is more risky than some other supports."

As such, Leona's best lane partners are simply the ones who can be the most aggressive early game. Of these, Corki deserves special mention as the most renowned partner of Leona because his Gatling Gun has a special synergy with her Sunlight passive, proccing it rapidly for huge damage over a very short time.

Conversely, with no sustain or peeling power, Leona does not prefer carries who are strongest late game.

Leona is good against:

Leona is bad against:

Leona is strong against Soraka and Sona. Her Zenith Blade outranges Soraka's Infuse and Sona's Hymn of Valor respectively. She can also outmuscle Taric and Blitzcrank. Taric can go toe to toe with her by getting early ranks in Imbue, but his Dazzle has a range disadvantage over her Zenith Blade.

Leona gets outmuscled by Alistar, and her biggest nightmare in the lane is Lulu - Glitterlance outranges Zenith Blade, and once Lulu hits level 6, an initiate with Zenith Blade can turn the other way quickly due to Wild Growth.

Playing against Leona

Harass. Harass. Harass. Harass. Don't get initiated on. Back off when her shield is up - she's much tankier when it is, and it is pretty much a signal that she's getting ready to jump you. Try to get her to waste her shield, then harass again.
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v. Lulu

Primary type: Poke
Secondary type: None
Pros / Cons


+ Very strong harass
+ Great utility
+ Great peeling power
+ Fun to play

- No sustain
- Mediocre damage
- Cooldown reliant

Lulu is good with:

Lulu is bad with:

Lulu's best lane partners are ones with strong poke, and ideally can farm relatively safely. Varus is a great carry with Lulu because his Piercing Arrow complements her Glitterlance, and her utility mitigates his lack of mobility.

Kog'Maw and Graves generally don't fit Lulu's playstyle nicely. Kog'Maw likes a babysitting support, and while Lulu can babysit, there are better picks than her, especially because she has no sustain or steroids. I've had very successful lanes with Graves, but one problem I noticed is that Graves players tend to force fights too early.

Lulu is good against:

Lulu is bad against:

Lulu is the bane of kill lane supports. She completely destroys Leona and can fight Blitzcrank without much trouble. She is easily countered by sustain, i.e. Soraka and Sona, who can heal off her damage. Taric and Alistar can also give her similar problems. Caitlyn causes her trouble in the lane with Yordle Snap Trap to deny her brush, and Piltover Peacemaker outranges Glitterlance.

Playing against Lulu

Lulu has no sustain, so she can be countered in one of two ways - you can outdamage her or outsustain her, though the former is more difficult because she is good at dishing out damage without taking it in return. Whimsy has a long cooldown, so she's slightly more vulnerable just after using it. Whatever you do, NEVER tower dive her - unless you know for sure her Wild Growth is down. And don't take Ignite against Lulu - she not only has a shield, her Wild Growth health bonus is not reduced by Ignite.
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vi. Nunu

Primary type: Sustain
Secondary type: Poke

Note: Similar to Janna, Nunu has no sustain at all (only for himself), but he is usually played as a babysitter because of his powerful Blood Boil buff.

Pros / Cons


+ Powerful buff from
+ Good harass and peeling
+ Huge damage from
+ Anti-carry capability

- No sustain (for carry)
- Zero hard CC
- Mediocre damage
- can be CC-screwed

Nunu & Willump is good with:

Nunu & Willump is bad with:

I find Nunu & Willump to be a very situational support. His defining skill is his Blood Boil buff, but he doesn't bring much to the table outside of it. His best lane partners are those who can abuse the attack speed buff, most notably Caitlyn with her immense range and Headshot passive. Nunu & Willump is also a great support for Kog'Maw, as his peeling power and Blood Boil buff mitigates Kog'Maw's mobility problem.

Carries who don't work well with Nunu & Willump, conversely, are those who have little use for his attack speed buff - i.e. skill reliant carries such as Ezreal and Urgot.

Nunu & Willump is good against: , every carry in the game

Nunu & Willump is bad against:

Wooooow. Yep. Nunu is the support with THE worst lane matchups in the game. This is mostly due to his lack of sustain for his carry. His Ice Blast is outranged by every single support in the game, and while he may not be clearly outmuscled by them, he can't do much if they successfully jump on his carry, especially if they have sustain. Or if they poke his carry down. Or if they CC-screw his Absolute Zero.

Nunu usually plays for late game, avoiding straight out fights, due to him being a strong anti-carry, with Ice Blast shredding attack speed, coupled with Blood Boil for his own carry.

Playing against Nunu & Willump

Totally bully his carry. Ice Blast is targeted so he can be counterwarded. It also has an extremely short range. Watch out after level 6 - you won't be able to see his ultimate if he ults while in a brush and you have no vision of him.
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vii. Sona

Primary type: Poke
Secondary type: Sustain
Pros / Cons


+ Strong all-round
+ Safe pick
+ Great sustain
+ Ultimate makes enemies dance

- Mana hungry
- Squishy
- Poor CC without

Sona is good with:

Sona is bad with:

Sona is basically a good, safe, all-round pick, especially if you don't know who your opponent is picking. With her combination of harass and sustain, she can really drive the early game advantage for champions who trade well - Caitlyn, Graves, Sivir etc.

Kog'Maw, as always, is picky about supports - he doesn't complement Sona's harassing playstyle well, and he would like a support with more buffs for him, such as Soraka or Janna. Sona has almost no CC without Crescendo, and has poor synergy with Vayne, who likes a support with a hard CC.

Sona is good against:

Sona is bad against:

Sona is strongest against other poke supports such as Lulu and Janna. She has a slight edge over Soraka due to her bringing more offensive power to her lane, especially if she can whittle down both Soraka and her carry with Hymn of Valor, as Astral Blessing is single-target.

Unfortunately for Sona, she is the weakest of all the poke supports when dealing with kill lane supports, mostly because she doesn't have a lot of range, and has very poor CC.

Playing against Sona

Sona is strongest at level 1, and weakest at level 3, when kill lane supports have their full combo up. She lacks CC and is very weak against hard initiates when her lane pushes up. Avoid short low-damaging skirmishes, which will be in her favor as she can heal up. Avoid fighting her until you are sure you can kill her or her carry with a short, huge burst. Her heal is multi-target, so focus one person.
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viii. Soraka

Primary type: Sustain
Secondary type: Poke
Pros / Cons


+ Strongest sustain
+ Mana sustain
+ Global heal



- Very poor CC
- Heavily reliant on cooldowns
- Not very fun to play

Soraka is good with:

Soraka is bad with:

Well-known as the ultimate defensive support. Two kinds of carries work well with Soraka: farm-heavy carries who are strong late game, and carries who trade a lot. Soraka defines herself in multiple ways such as a global heal with Wish, but her most striking feature is her mana sustain with Infuse, which makes her a great support with skill-reliant carries such as Ezreal and Urgot. Soraka is a great babysitter for Kog'Maw, but she has poor CC, so the lane is in a lot of danger if it pushes up.

Miss Fortune usually plays aggressive early game, but her skill damage isn't great enough to win the lane without additional support damage. Tristana has overall terrible synergy with Soraka - like Miss Fortune, she isn't particularly mana hungry, doesn't even have a poke skill, and again, Soraka doesn't bring enough damage or CC to complement her aggressive playstyle.

Soraka is good against:

Soraka is bad against:

Soraka is strongest against poke. She can just heal off whatever damage her carry takes. She is weak against kill lanes, because of her notorious lack of peeling power. Tristana and Miss Fortune also counter her with their healing reduction. However, she counters Taric well because her Infuse outranges his Dazzle.

Lastly, she's a well known counter to Karthus.

Playing against Soraka

Playing against Soraka is similar to playing against Sona. She lacks CC and is vulnerable to hard initiates when her lane pushes up. Unlike Sona, her heal is single-target, and on a very long cooldown, so you can gain the upper hand if you harass both, or if you time your engages in between her heals. Astral Blessing has a temporary armor buff (watch for the aura effect) on its target, so engage when the buff is down. Be wary of Wish baits.

Soraka is extremely vulnerable against silence, which prevents her from healing. An AP mid or jungler like Malzahar or Fiddlesticks can help you win the lane with a gank.
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ix. Taric

Primary type: Kill Lane
Secondary type: Sustain
Pros / Cons


+ Huge armor and armor aura
+ Ranged stun
+ Has sustain
+ Great teamfighting ultimate

- Weak against poke
- Can go OOM easily
- Cooldown reliant

Taric is good with:

Taric is bad with:

The Gem Knight is good with early game carries, but displays a particular affinity with carries such as Sivir and Caitlyn, because his Dazzle helps them set up their skill shots for huge damage.

Urgot just has no synergy with Taric in general, and while he can babysit Ashe and Kog'Maw, his sustain is not the strongest and can run him out of mana easily.

Taric is good against:

Taric is bad against:

In terms of matchups, Taric is somewhere in the lower middle amongst tanky kill lane supports. He beats Blitzcrank but struggles against Leona and Alistar who are tankier. Taric is strong against Sona because she lacks CC, but surprisingly, is weak against Soraka, whose Infuse has a range advantage over his Dazzle.

Playing against Taric

Taric has very short range on his Dazzle, and can be run out of mana easily, especially if you harass his carry successfully without being initiated on. After landing his stun, he has to walk up and Shatter, so he can be screwed over with a snare or knockback. He will get harder to harass as he gains levels in Shatter, but he generally remains weak against magic damage. Be wary when trading, he deals a deceptively large amount of damage, especially after level 6.
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Non-Meta / Fringe Supports

WORK IN PROGRESS. This chapter contains a list of the non-meta or fringe supports. The commonness and viability of these characters varies widely.

lol Shen
kill lane; borderline unviable

Good with: Graves
Good against: Janna, Soraka

Shen as a support is still common at lower summoner levels, where people are still learning the game, junglers don't exist and tank is actually a role. However he drops off sharply after summoner level 20, when people realize he's not only pretty meh as a support, he's also really strong as a solo top or jungler. His biggest strength is that he can taunt not one but both enemy laners with Shadow Dash, but he is not as tanky as the other kill lane supports, as well as very weak at levels 1-2. Situationally good against squishy laners such as (and especially) Janna.

lol Lux
poke; situationally viable

Good with: Caitlyn
Good against: Taric, Nunu & Willump, Leona

What makes Lux viable as a support is a somewhat recent change in her skills, enabling them to give vision. That mitigates her weakness late game without AP. She has extremely long range on all her skills, and can counterpick kill lane supports by making it impossible for them to initiate. A successful Light Binding can set up Caitlyn to land her Piltover Peacemaker.

lol Nautilus
kill lane; semi-viable

Good against: Sona, Soraka, Janna

Also known as sort-of Blitzcrank. Nautilus can be a decent pick if you really want Blitzcrank and he's banned. He is, however, not as tanky and very weak at level 1 due to his reliance on Titan's Wrath for both his damage and tankiness.

lol Karma
poke/sustain; semi-viable

Good with: Tristana, Graves, possibly Vayne

I'm going to have to go there sooner or later. Karma is not a meta support (when did you last see her in a game?) and the question of her viability is really up there, mainly because managing Mantra stacks is trickier in a 2v2 situation compared to 1v1. In this sense, she's kinda like Yorick: stronger in a solo lane. One recurring problem I've seen with Karma lanes is that her carry tends to get underfarmed late game due to Mantra-boosted Soul Shield and Heavenly Wave's minion steals. She is best with carries who can fight up close, to maximize the benefit of a boosted Soul Shield.

lol Fiddlesticks
poke; situationally viable

Good against: Soraka, Ezreal, Nunu & Willump

Fiddlesticks is a situational pick. And by that, I mean he's a counterpick. To pick Fiddlesticks, you'll need a reason to want to play him. A situation where his skillset comes in useful on bot lane. He isn't a champion you just pick normally - don't be like TSM, they picked him first during one SoloMid invitational and got counterpicked by an enemy support Blitzcrank like a noobz. His matchups aren't exactly stellar, and he has little synergy with any carry, except perhaps those who can deal magic damage such as Corki, Miss Fortune and (possibly) Teemo because of his A Harmless Scarecrow passive.

With a fear and a silence, support Fiddlesticks pretty much screams the role of anti-caster. He's a disruptor. He is great against laners who need to combo skills, and brutal against sustain supports. Keep in mind that his range is on the short side though.
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Champions You Shouldn't Play As Support

WORK IN PROGRESS. This chapter contains a list of champions who seem like they may be viable in the support role, but are not. Some people might think 'oh, so-and-so champion is not unviable as a support because I've won games with him' - that's not an argument. It just means that the enemy bot lane was bad. Or your jungler won you the lane. Or you lost the lane and still won the game.

Amumu - Completely useless before level 6. Once he hits level 6, he can actually do something in the lane - if he hasn't thrown it by then. He doesn't have enough burst damage nor CC from Bandage Toss to be a kill lane support, and his not one, but two AoE damaging skills means he will push the lane (and steal farm).

Rammus - Same problems as Amumu. He is useless before level 3, and, in the lane, his Powerball is even harder to land than Amumu's Bandage Toss. Might be situationally decent against bot lanes with both characters with no peeling power (eg. Varus/ Sona), but otherwise is just an overall bad pick.

Galio - Not good enough as a poke support. His main damaging skill, Resolute Smite, is unreliable, he pushes the lane with two AoE skills, goes OOM easily, and doesn't have a good late game transition without farm. Far stronger in a solo lane as an AP counterpick.

Jayce - The Renaissance Man of League of Legends, who can do anything... except support. As a poke support, his Shock Blast is fairly unreliable, eats up his mana when combined with Acceleration Gate, and falls off hard if he doesn't build AD. As a kill lane support, he isn't tanky enough, and his To The Skies!/Thundering Blow combo is even more unreliable. And the biggest problem is that he needs items, and will be relegated to being a Acceleration Gate bot if not farmed.

Yeah... The coding for Jayce's skills doesn't work properly.

Cho'Gath - Has awesome CC, so he could be a support, right? Think again: his Impale is unreliable and is a slow, not a stun. This means he's in the no man's land between failed poke support and failed kill laner. Add the problem of him pushing the lane with not one, not two, but three AoE skills, and needing to steal minions (or kills) for his Feast stacks and it's clear he's better off in a solo lane or the jungle, where he's pretty much king.

Sejuani - Even though she's a support-type jungler like Nunu & Willump, Sejuani suffers from the same problems as Amumu when played as a support - she has neither the damage nor CC to make it worthwhile. She may deal some decent damage, especially if she starts Arctic Assault, but is vulnerable to harass and kiting. And she can't outmuscle other tanky supports such as Leona and Taric, due to her puny pre-6 damage.

Maokai - Maokai is one of the rare champions who can overlap all three support archetypes. Problem is, he isn't particularly good at any of them. His poke from Sapling Toss is fairly unreliable, and his sustain is only for himself, like Nunu & Willump. Sure you might win the lane if the enemy support doesn't ward and allows you to jump their carry (happened to me once - I lost the lane as Caitlyn against a Maokai support because my support didn't ward), but I don't think he's an even decent pick or counterpick.

Evelynn - No I'm not trolling. I'm looking at her objectively. I've spectated a ranked support Evelynn before. She actually went positive, and her team won. That was before the remake though. Post-remake Evelynn can't lane at all. She can't even jump on people anymore. You'd be better off playing support Rengar - he's tankier and can actually jump on people.

Speaking of which... Can anyone help me test the viability of Rengar (especially with Ferocity-boosted Bola Strike?
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Ending Words

Wow this guide. It's long. Yet it could have been a lot worse. Please leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you - what your opinions are on certain pairings, etc. Also, I might have gotten some of my facts wrong, I don't know. I hope not.
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People who have my gratitude for helping to make this guide possible!

- jhoijhoi, for the guide Making A Guide, pretty much the bible of guide writing on MOBAFire. You'll recognize the coding of the pros/cons of the meta support section as stolen from her guide. Ahuehuehuehuehue.

- Panglot, for the guide Warding helper - More than your eyes can see, quoted in the section Gameplay II: Win The Game.

- You, the reader, for reading this, for comments, upvotes, downvotes, feedback, discussions, arguments. Thanks in advance.
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For those who care:

20/9/12 - Added Cho'Gath, Sejuani, Maokai, and Evelynn to unviable supports
20/9/12 - Received my first three upvotes. Yay!
20/9/12 - It's live!
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