An simple guide on how to support your Marksman in lane and your team in fights!
Hey all, back again 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 have to learn every role – It doesn’t matter how good you are in one role, you need to learn how to play fairly decently in every lane. You don’t have to be amazing at every role, your team in most cases should help make up for that.
- 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, 80 to 90% of the time you will, I repeat, 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 because I might throw item names in later. From left to right, these items are:
- Sightstone / Ruby Sightstone – Ward generating items. Each item recharges it with 5 wards when you go to your base but only 2 wards from Sightstone can be placed, 3 from Ruby Sightstone. This item is nice but not enough for sufficient warding. You’ll need to buy sight and vision wards as well.
- Philosopher’s Stone – A passive gold generating item, it gives the champion health and mana regeneration
- Kage’s Luck Pick – A passive gold generating item, it gives the champion ability power as well.
- Avarice Blade – A passive gold generating item, it gives the champion 10% critical strike and extra gold per last hit. Not really used a lot on Supports but if you’re really behind, it’s worth considering.
- Aegis of the Legion – Gives the champion health, armor magic resist and helath regen. Gives nearby ally champions magic resist and health regeneration
- Locket of the Iron Solari – Gives the champion health, armor magic resist, cooldown reduction and health regeneration. Gives nearby ally champions magic resist and health regeneration. If you activate it, it gives nearby allies a shield.
- Shurelya’s Reverie – Gives the champion health, cooldown reduction and health and mana regeneration. If you activate it, it gives nearby allies a speed boost for a short duration.
- Shard of True Ice – Gives the champion ability power, mana regeneration. Gives nearby ally champions mana regeneration. If you activate it on an ally champion, it gives that champion a blizzard aura that slows enemy champions near the aura
- Twin Shadows – Gives the champion 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 and Exhaust to stay safe and to slow a fleeing enemy. Sometimes I’ll use Heal if appropriate.
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. The masteries are 0/9/21 focusing on some health, armor and the utility. In utility I focus more on the left side because the extra initial gold helps with buying an extra ward. For my masteries I use Flat Armor Seals and some Health Quintessences to mitigate the lane damage. Scaling Magic Resist Glyphs to mitigate damage later in the game. Physical Damage Marks for auto-attacking harass and an Ability Power Quintessence for a bit of magic damage. Not really sure why that quintessence is there to be honest, Maybe replace that with another Health Quintessence. The Gold per 5 Quintessences are the standard quintessences for support but the quintessences I use suit my gameplay.
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 by using wards and ward Dragon if you can. You should also 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 roam around in your jungle. Throughout the game, it’s kinda sucks to say but you are the sacrifice 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 wards throughout the game.
In Part 3 of this guide, there’s a a section on warding in Summoner’s Rift but 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 in order to stop invisible ganks or initiations from champions like Twitch or Evelynn. You generally use these wards in order to clear out the enemy wards to reduce their vision on the map. 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.
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 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 or hit me up on twitter if you have anything to say about the guide. Have fun on the Fields of Justice!