League 101 – How to play Support
Riot has publicly said they wanted supports to do more than just being ward bots. They have succeeded in a way but have made the role so diverse that many things are playable these days.
So, the real question now becomes: how do you support? We will tackle that question in today’s piece where we will look at which champions you can play, how you should play to your champion’s strengths and how to position around objectives. Without further ado, let us jump right into it!
We joke a bit about the depth of the support champion pool, but you can get highly creative here. Almost every champion can have a role as a support if it fits the bigger picture. There are three main categories where we can put champions in that all three have different playstyles.
The first category is enchanter supports. The most played enchanter supports are, but not limited to, Lulu, Janna, Karma and Seraphine. Their main objective is to buff up your allies, most of the times your marksman, to perform better in teamfights. This can be in the form of a shield to keep them safe, movement speed to allow them to reposition or by directly buffing them with attack speed and/or damage. Lulu can give people attack speed just like Janna can give someone attack damage. Combined with Ardent Censer and numerous other support items like Moonstone Renewer, Staff of Flowing Waters and Shurelya’s Battlesong your marksman will be awfully hard to kill while putting out huge amounts of damage.
The second category is engaging supports. These are mostly favored in competitive and highly ranked play. They can have huge impacts on the game depending on their engages. Leona, Nautilus and Thresh are some of the most played engaging supports, but also serve a role in peeling their carries. They are a bit more tanky, and build that way too, to engage fights. A good engage can win a game.
The third category is the creative category. Here you play a support champion for multiple possible reasons. One of the styles you can play is the poke support, where you pick a support champion that can poke the enemy laners. Things like Brand, Zyra and Lux are known for doing a particularly good job at that whilst Lux also provides a shield and thus can be played as an enchanter support.
Whenever there is a Senna on the botlane, it can get very crazy. You can see bruisers paired up with her that farm and become a menace and you will have an extra threat in the mid-game. However, you can also play things like Blitzcrank or Tahm Kench that serve a sole purpose revolving around a specific ability. For Blitzcrank it is his hook, grabbing carries from afar. On the other hand, we had Tahm Kench that can eat his carry to keep him safe from incoming skillshots.
Laning: waves and roams
While some supports prefer to stay in line and help out the botlaner to farm the lane, poke the enemy botlane or siege the enemy turret, others prefer to roam to other lanes or the enemy jungle. Most of the time you will see the enchanter supports stay with his carries, because that is where he or she is the strongest. It is evident that these champions will not roam that often. Engaging supports are more known for roaming by pairing up with the jungler to find skirmishes and win them due to numbers advantage.
Before you do this, you should make sure your wave in the botlane is in a good state to leave your botlaner behind with. You do not want him to fall behind due to poor wave management. Try to set up a freeze for your botlaner or push it out all the way and let them reset when you are on the hunt, roaming to the midlane or jungle. If you roam, it would be immensely helpful to buy some extra movement speed. You are amazingly fast in your roams, but also in your return to the botlane.
The main objective for a support is to place down vision, most of the time around objectives after the laningphase. This is not a one-man job and requires a team to coordinate and communicate to place down vision and defend it. Pair up with your jungler again and ask him to defend you whilst placing down vision. Around objectives it is inevitable that teamfights will occur and depending on your champion you have a different job in the fight.
As an enchanter or poke support, you are supposed to stay safe and well in the backline of a teamfight. Buff up your carries or poke the enemy frontline depending on the champion you are playing. As an engaging support, you can look for a flank or set up a game-winning engage while also front-lining and protecting your backline.
Like aphromoo famously said “support is so easy dude”. You now know more about the role and your role in a game and place in a teamfight. As with other roles, the support role is constantly evolving and changing, so keep in mind that you should read patch notes to keep track on what is new and good.
- League of Legends Patch Notes 11.11 – Senna and Master Yi adjustments, Morgana jungle nerfed
- League of Legends 101 – How to play Toplane
What role should we look at next? Join the discussion on social media or our Discord!
You can also help improve our website by submitting direct feedback!