An simple guide on how to support your Marksman in lane and your team in fights!
Hey all. Welcome to the support guide. This guide is to help you get started out with learning how to support. Now, you’re probably wondering “Why should I learn to support?”. Well I’ll break it down for you:
- You will eventually have to play Support – In Draft pick, it doesn’t matter if you call a role. It doesn’t matter if you’re god-like as a middle laner. If you’re last pick, 70 to 80% of the time you will probably have to play Support.
- You’ll learn how to appreciate Support players – Supports in game are the most under-appreciated players in a team. This is mostly because they don’t get the kills and give all the minion farm to the AD Carry / Marksman. However, they provide the assistance to get those kills or to engage / disengage team fights. Once you’ve played Support for a fair bit you’ll come to learn how invaluable they are for teams.
Note that I am not a pro support, just giving some general guidelines that new players need. Now, let’s get into it!
Popular Support Oriented Items
I figure I’d start with listing some support items. From left to right, these items are:
- Sightstone & Ruby Sightstone – This is a standard item for supports. This item is used to reduce the gold sync in buying wards because it provides wards and refills when you go back to base.
- Ancient Coin – There are 3 good passive gold gold generating items that supports can choose from. This is one of them, it also supplies mana regen. It final upgrade allows your champion and other allies around you a temporary movement speed buff which is great for engagements or disengagements.
- Relic Shield – Another passive gold generating item. It provides health and last hits on minions when you have a charge will transfer the money you gained to the nearest ally champion. Ideally you want to last hit the melee and cannon minions because they supply more gold. It’s final upgrade has an active that allows you to shield an ally champion.
- Spellthief’s Edge – A passive gold generating item which also grants gold when you hit a champion or structure (basic attack or skill). Not really used a lot on Supports but if you’re really behind, it’s worth considering. This item is great for ranged supports that harass a lot like Karma. It’s final upgrade allows you to slow and damage an enemy champion.
- Aegis of the Legion & Locket of the Iron Solari – Useful for giving nearby ally champions magic resist and health regeneration. Locket is the upgrade of Aegs and it’s active allows you to shield nearby ally champions.
- Mikael’s Crucible – Another item supports generally take. It gives you mana regen and magic resist and it’s active heals and removes all CC on an ally champion.
- Morellonomicon – Sometimes you have to deal with teams that can heal a lot. This item is great for magic damage supports if you want to reduce the potency of healing enemies can do. It also gives you ability power, mana regeneration and cooldown.
- Twin Shadows – Gives you ability power and magic resist. If you activate it, it sends 2 ghosts out for a short duration that searches for the nearest 2 champions to latch onto. If a champion is found, that champion is slowed for a short duration.
Summoner Skills that I generally use are Flash to stay safe and either Heal to help a dying ally, Exhaust to slow an enemy or Ignite for damage if needed.
Runes And Masteries
So here are my runes and masteries that I generally use for supporting. Feel free to use this as a base in order to make your own support setup that you feel comfortable with. My runes focus on defenses, health and damage. Gold per five runes aren’t needed as much due to Season 4 changes to Support gold income. There are two types of support masteries I use. The first is a 0/9/21 which focuses on gold generation and utility. I usually use this on utility ranged supports. The second is a more tanky spec (0/15/15). If you want, you can build more into Defense for tankier stats or in the offense tree for damage if you have a caster support like Annie. If you go more damage, you might want to consider using more damage oriented runes as well (swap the quintessences out, possibly the glyphs too).
In the early stages of the game it is the Support’s job to protect the AD Carry / Marksman they’re laning with and the Dragon. It is also your job in lane is to harass the enemy lane if they get close, let the AD Carry / Marksman get all the minion farm and the kills if possible. This is done by:
- Warding brushes, gankable areas and Dragon
- Engaging fights with / for your AD Carry / Marksman
- Protecting / Buffing / Healing your AD Carry / Marksman
In later stages of the game, your priority should be protecting Baron and getting vision in the enemy jungle by using wards. Also ward Dragon if you can. You should ward the enemy jungle if your team has taken down most of their towers in order to invade safely. You should ward your jungle if the enemy team is roaming around in your jungle. Throughout the game, it’s kinda sucks to say but you are sacrificial if a fight goes south. If things get bad in a fight, you should do everything you can to make sure your teammates get away and sacrifice yourself if necessary to do so.
One of the Support’s main job is to ward the lane, objectives and other strategic locations. Note that it is not the Support’s job to ward other people’s lanes during the laning phase. Also, I always find this imperative to say all the time: the Support is NOT the only one who has to ward throughout the game.
Here’s an extra picture for Support lane wards that I think you’ll find useful.
Let’s break down this image a bit. First off, no, you don’t have to ward EVERY indicated area. Essentially those are the general spots where wards are placed. You can ward some of the areas indicated to keep you and your lane partner safe from ganks.
There are wards that you want down at pretty much at all times. For example. If you are on the blue team and your pushed up to the enemy tower all the time, then you would want a ward in your tri-bush (the X in the brush under the dragon pit) so that the enemy jungler will not gank you from behind. This goes for the purple team as well (the tri-brush for purple team would be the brush to the left of the purple turret). You would also want a ward in the river in order to prevent ganks from that angle and to see if the enemy is trying to get the Dragon. This will allow your team mates to react accordingly.
There are wards that you’ll need for an advantage in lane. For example, if the enemy team is using the lane brushes to keep you at bay so you AD Carry / Marksman can’t farm, you could place a ward in the lane brush in order to prevent any hostile action from the enemy laners.
Some of these areas you would want to use a Vision Ward on your side of the map in order to stop invisible ganks or initiations from champions like Twitch or Evelynn. You generally use these wards on your side of the jungle on in river brushes in order to either clear out the enemy wards in the area or to see invisible units that want to gank you like Evelynn. For example, you would always want to clear out wards near Dragon or clear out lane brush wards if they were preventing your lane from engaging.
For trinkets, usually everyone starts with the Warding Trinket (yellow one) but Supports should switch to a Sweeper Trinket once they have a Sightstone. Sometimes you’ll see some supports start with a Sweeper trinket.
In team fights, the Support can change the flow of a team fight or even the game. This is usually something like a Sona ultimate or a Thresh hook that lands well. In team fights your likely to get low. Learning how to engage in lane and in team fights as a Support will really improve your gameplay as a whole. Also, in team fights, you are likely to get low on health. This is when you start kiting. You kite in a way that baits the enemy team to try to kill you but allows your team mates to dish out damage.
So those are the general guidelines on how to Support. You can have variations of supporting so by all means you can use that if you find you’re good at it. Also, if you see your Support doing a good job, tell them. They get little credit most of the time and I feel they should get some credit when they’re doing well. As always, feel free to comment below if you have anything to say about the guide. Have fun on the Fields of Justice!