Support is considered the easiest role since a lot of players believe that the role is less proactive than most roles. Even though the role isn’t as flashy as the others, playing support is still an important part of any team. Good support players can even carry the game by providing the team with a lot of opportunities to take the kill and propel your team’s advantage forward. It’s time to expand your understanding of playing League of Legends once again by taking on this support guide to help you play the most thankless role.
About The Support Role
Supports are a facilitative role, meaning that they don’t aim to take kills nor objectives on their own but instead create an environment where their teammates can succeed. The most difficult part of playing support is that you are entirely dependent on the performance of the team. Even the greatest support players won’t be able to carry a game if their teammates aren’t able to take advantage of the opportunities given to them.
The support is usually picked alongside the AD Carry. As you know, AD Carries requires the support to help them survive the early game where they are at their weakest. Because of this, supports are advised not to take minions or kills for themselves since they don’t need the gold as badly as the ADC does. Luckily, there are multiple other ways for supports to earn gold outside of minions and kills. This support guide will tackle the different ways you can survive the lane.
Types of Support Champions
Just like there are different ways to support your team, there are also different support champion types that have varying playstyles. The best support players can play any type of support champ but a good way to start learning the role is to master these types one at a time. Mastering each support type gives you a greater understanding of the different skill sets that a support player should have. Take a look at some of the classifications regarding support champions and how they function for the role in this support guide.
Enchanters are the most common type of support champions. These support champs are usually from the mage family, assisting their team by providing heals, shields, or buffs to an allied champion to protect them or increase their combat capabilities. Enchanters have weak offensive and defensive capabilities so they often stay on the backline, ideally, right next to their AD Carry.
Enchanters Supports: Janna, Karma, Lulu, Nami, Morgana, Seraphine, Sona, Soraka, Yuumi, Senna
The strength of the enchanter is that they’re able to build powerful items like Ardent Censer for the sake of their teammates. This increases the deadliness of your carries and also makes them extremely difficult to kill. The biggest problem that enchanters have is that they aren’t exactly playmakers. This means that they need the AD Carry to have a decent level of skill to make the most out of their ability give them advantages.
Engagers are not official subcategories of the LoL class system but classify a specific set of champs nonetheless. These support champs, as the name suggests, specialize in catching champions through mechanics like hooks, traps, or other skills that immobilize the enemy. Engagers are playmaking support and are usually aggressive in trying to open opportunities for a kill. Since most of them are tanks, these champs can usually survive a bit of oppression from the enemy team but are ready to give up their lives for the sake of giving their team the advantage.
Engage Supports: Alistar, Leona, Blitzcrank, Bard, Thresh, Nautilus, Rakan, Zyra, Rell, Pyke
Engagers aren’t the easiest support champs to learn since they require a lot of mechanical skill and champion knowledge to learn. For example, Blitzcrank’s hook and kill mechanic may seem like a brainless way to gain a kill but it can prove to be a double-edged blade. Pulling an enemy engager or assassin towards your team can have devastating consequences if not executed properly. It can also feel pretty tempting to try and catch an enemy all the time even when your teammates aren’t ready.
The Warden subclass has the smallest pool of champions but is a favorite among pro-players and support mains. This type of support champion specializes in protecting an allied champion at all costs. They have multiple peeling mechanics and are able to efficiently help their allies survive against heavy aggression. Great warden players are able to make their carries almost untouchable, increasing the chances of them carrying the game and preventing the enemy team from getting important kills.
Warden Supports: Tahm Kench, Taric, Braum, Shen, Alistar
Unfortunately, the Warden has extremely limited capabilities and are usually just stuck trying to protect the main carry. Their main goal is to make sure that the enemy team doesn’t get to your team, which is an important role but isn’t as flashy as the others. Giving additional chances for your carries to get kills can prove to be a must-have asset. Wardens are just usually counterpicks so there aren’t a lot of opportunities for them to shine otherwise.
The Artillery champion is a unique variation of the support class. Artillery champs are champions that aren’t focused on providing any other advantage to the AD Carry except for the fact that they’re able to deal a high amount of damage in lane. Artilleries aim on trying to push the enemies out of the lane and build towards damage later in the game. The Artillery support is still banned from taking minion kills but can also benefit from taking kills for the team.
Artillery Supports: Lux, Miss Fortune, Xerath, Vel’koz, Brand
The Artillery support pick is only useful in two situations: when your allied AD Carry doesn’t need protection or can create opportunities for themselves (Caitlyn, Jhin) or when your team composition is severely lacking in damage. The most difficult part about playing artillery supports is that either you or the AD Carry will fall behind in itemization because of constantly fighting for kill credit. Successfully pulling off artillery picks means that you’ll be able to finish the game faster since the enemy team has no way of answering the damage output.
Support Guide: Duties & Responsibility
When people think of support, they think that there are only two things to keep in mind: Don’t CS & Don’t Take Kills. This oversimplification of the support role has caused a large misunderstanding of what support players are supposed to do in the game. This role has a lot more potential than what most players associate it with. Players who aim to play this role as their main whether it’s in the lower or higher ranks, need to understand all of the duties and responsibilities they will be in charge of in this support guide.
1. Vision Control
The support role doesn’t have costly items, so they have the budget for other stuff like buying wards. Vision control is an important part of a game, especially if you want to Reach the Level of a Pro Player. Vision Control in itself can be written in an independent article so we won’t delve too deep into it in this support guide. The support is in charge of making sure that the team has vision of important points on the map and clearing out dangerous wards that the enemy team has placed down.
2. Spell Checks
Spell checking is an advanced tactic to master. Much like Vision Control, everybody should be able to perform spell checking but the support should be able to compile the cooldowns of summoner spell used by enemy champions and relaying it to the team. You can usually find players in the higher Diamond divisions and above doing spell checks. Learning how to utilize this even in lower ELOS is a requirement for improving teamfighting capabilities. This support guide will provide you with information on how to execute it.
Cooldown Tracker (Ability Haste not Applied)
- Flash – 5 minutes
- Teleport – 7 minutes / 4 minutes (late game)
- Heal – 4 minutes
- Cleanse – 4 minutes
- Ignite – 3 minutes
Spell Check Format:
(Time of Availability) + (Laner) + (Summoner Spell Used)
Example: Let’s assume that the enemy mid lane used Flash at 6:37 and the enemy Top Laner used Teleport at 7:08.
You will type this on the chat: 1137 mid f 1308 top tp
TIP: Enable Time Stamps on your Ingame Chat Settings to make it easier. You can also spam this by pressing CTRL + A and copy paste in on the chat bar.
Roaming is a special strategy that mid laners are often associated with because of the accessibility of their lane. However, supports should be able to roam around the map too. This is often the reason why they buy Mobility Boots since they also need to provide support to other lanes (yes, even all the way up the Top Lane) and the Jungler. Roaming allows your ADC to get an Experience Lead. But first, you need to understand when you’re allowed to roam so that you don’t leave your AD Carry in a dangerous 2v1 or even potential 3v1 situation.
Basics of Roaming
Roaming should be done if at least 3 of these conditions are met:
- The minion wave is pushing towards you
- The enemy Jungler is not on the Bottom Side of the Map
- The AD Carry is at least at 80% HP
- One or more lanes have kill pressure
- The Elemental Drake is not available
The most important thing about roaming is that you have a destination and that you have a plan. You should also keep in mind that if the enemy laners are aware of your plan, you should go back to your AD Carry as soon as possible. Never leave your ADC alone for an extended period of time.
4. Team Fighting
In a team fight, the support is always found near the important members of the team unless you’re playing an Engager. The supports role in the teamfight is to facilitate the direction of the fight, aiming CCs on important members for your teammates to follow up while keeping your teammates alive. When a teamfight goes bad, it’s your goal to make sure that your surviving teammates are able to escape, even if it means sacrificing your life by running into the enemy team to distract them.
Support Guide: Tips and Tricks
Practicing how to play support isn’t difficult but the advanced tactics can take a bit of getting used to. The support is doing a million different things at the same time so don’t ever think that playing a support is only for less mechanically skilled players. This role is as important as the other four roles, if not more important. The best tip that you can receive from a support main is to keep playing games as a support to keep improving yourself and eventually climb up the ladder.
Here are some additional tips and tricks that you might find useful in our Support Guide:
- Find a Duo Partner
- Watch Professional Esports Games
- Observe Your Laning Partner
- Track Your Vision Score
- Use the Practice Tool
- Familiarize Yourself With All Support Types
General Overview on Supports
Supports are unappreciated and often misunderstood. Before reading about this article, you probably didn’t know that there are a lot of things supports do outside of what most people tell you what the role is about. Support players are often regarded as the masterminds of a game who direct the game towards success. After all, master support players can make even the least skilled League of Legends player seem like a decent player if they understand the fundamentals behind their gameplay.
Is support easy to learn?
The fundamentals of playing support which is necessary to become a good support player are extremely easy to master. The difficulty of playing support lies in the advanced tactics that professional support players should be able to pull off which is one of the hardest things to learn in the game.