A detailed basics guide on how to support your AD Carry 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, you should play the role that’s needed to complete the team. 70 to 80% of the time that role is usually Support.
- You’ll learn how to appreciate Support players – Supports in game are the most under-appreciated players solo queue. This is mostly because they don’t get the kills and give all the minion farm to the AD Carry. 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. Ideal boots to get are Boots of Mobility or Ionian Boots of Lucidity. From left to right, the items shown above 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. IMPORTANT: Only upgrade to Ruby Sightstone when you’re at max items.
- 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. A great item fro melee supports.
- 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 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 first rune page focus on defenses (x9 Armor Marks, x4 Armor Seals, x5 MR Glyphs), health (x5 HP Seals) and damage (x4 AP Glyphs, x3 AP Quints). Usually I use it for an AP ranged Support. My second rune page focus on defenses (x9 Armor Marks, x2 Armor Seals, x9 MR Glyphs, x2 Armor Quints) & health (x5 HP Seals, x2 HP per Level Seals, x1 HP Quint) and I use this page usually when I’m a melee support.
There are two types of support masteries I generally 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 (0/16/14). If you want, you can build more into 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 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 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
- Protecting / Buffing / Healing your AD Carry
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. This is mostly because, in the general case, the other roles should be getting the kills and therefore are worth more money than you. 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. Check out my Summoner’s Rift guide for ward placement on the entire map.
Let’s break down this image a bit. First off, no, you don’t have to ward EVERY indicated area. You only get to place three wards at a time. 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) and the river so that the enemy jungler will not gank you from behind. This goes for the red team as well. The tri-brush for red team would be the brush to the left of the red turret. It’s less likely you’ll get ganked from there but if you’re shoved to your turret all the time, the enemy jungler might swing by that tri bush for a dive gank. 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 can’t farm, you could place a ward in the lane brush in order to prevent any hostile action from the enemy laners. If not, then it’s not imperative to place a ward in that brush.
Some of these warding 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. Speaking of Vision Wards, try to always have one vision ward in your inventory. For laning phase, try to place them in areas you can defend like the brush on your side of the lane or the tri-brush.
Outside laning phase, you’ll want to ward where your team will go towards next (objective-wise). Try not to ward past the river alone if you’re not sure where the enemy team is; you can slowly move your vision deeper into their jungle if need be. Also, always ward at max range.
For trinkets, usually everyone starts with the Warding Trinket (yellow one) but Supports should switch to a Sweeper Trinket once they have a Sightstone. You also don’t have to buy any more sight (green) wards since you have Sightstone for a free set of wards. When you run out, just go back to base for an auto refill on your Sightstone. Sometimes you’ll see some supports start with a Sweeper trinket.
Harassing your enemies in lane can lead to a great advantage. If you are a ranged support, you don’t need to use offensive spells every time, you can also auto attack once or twice and walk back. Keep repeating this if you don’t get punished at all. Slowly whittling away at an AD Carry or Support will force them to eventually go back to base or risk getting killed.
What I like to do is let my ADC sit back and farm while I zone out the enemy AD Carry and support and harass them with auto attacks as best as I can. This prevents the AD Carry from farming. You should watch your positioning when you do this because if you go too far up, the duo bot lane will try to hurt you and then you’ll be the one forced out of lane. If you’re new to harassing as a Support, try some easier ranged supports to harrass with like Janna, Thresh, Sona or Morgana.
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. 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 move around in a way that baits the enemy team to try to kill you but allows your team mates to dish out damage on the enemy team.
So those are the general guidelines on how to Support. There are variations of supporting so by all means you can use them if you find you’re good at it. Also, if you see your Support doing a good job, let them know. 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!