The Jobs of Support
So, as before, we may as well establish a general understanding of what a Support is expected to do. While this may seem just as unnecessary, with the meta supports currently being able to solo champions, it’s something that I feel could serve as a reminder to everyone. To put it in a nutshell, imagine the Support as a generous and caring mother or father. As such, the Support’s job is to ensure that their energetic, rebellious child has a prosperous future, with as few encounters with death as possible, while also trying to help out the little cousins. Now you understand what your parents went through.
Warding, Vision, Counter-Warding, More Warding, “Pings Sightstone”
I don’t believe any singular human can stress how important it is for the Support to dominate vision across the map. Whether you are Full AD Karthus Support (please don’t do this), or Bard, a Sightstone is necessary and will go a long way in helping to assure victory, as well as keeping your rambunctious child safe. With the recent buffs, I would actually say that taking the items Eye of Oasis and etc. would actually be worth it, as it opens up a slot for another item and they give better stats now.
However, whether you pick up the more expensive warding item or sightstone, having a warding item is incredibly important to being a Support. Before picking up the Sightstone, remember to ward the tip of the bush in river, so as to extend your vision as much as possible. If the enemy jungler is a champion with a large or quick gap closer, I would also suggest keeping bullying the enemy away from and keeping close to the side of lane with the river. This way, it’s easier to peel and more efficient to peeling the jungler off your ADC. Once picking up your Sightstone, options become more diverse.
If the enemy jungler is aggressive or you are losing lane, keep the tri-bush, the bush in river, and the Drake Pit warded. If you are winning lane and pushing, then try to help out your jungle as well by keeping vision in case the enemy comes after clearing by warding the enemy jungle buff and further down river. During the early game, make sure to pick up at least one control ward to try to deny the enemy laners vision and make it easier for your jungler to gank lane. After picking up Sightstone, remember to upgrade your trinket to Red Trinket. It will be instrumental in denying the enemy vision.
When roaming, if you have wards left, make sure to drop wards in important locations such as such as Rift/Baron Pit, the bushes in river, different buffs, and tri-bushes. After successful roams/ganks, move with the jungler/laner to deep ward or attempt to take tower. Aggressive warding is important and a very good way to keep an eye on the enemy jungler movements; however it can also be dangerous if you get caught out. So try to only do so when another teammate is nearby. Remember to ward often, and to deny as much vision as possible, because with vision comes opportunity and though your efforts will rarely be recognized, in low elo, someone will probably ping your Sightstone if they die to lack of vision.
Peeling, Roaming, and Being a Good Parent
Despite the fact there are different types of supports, and, therefore, different playstyles, peeling is going to be one of your most important task. Your incredibly squishy, 2K17 meme of an ADC, requires intense upkeep unless fed, and the enemy team will leap into the backline to make sure that your ADC and his cousin from midlane never get to that point. Although playmaking is always a good thing to keep in mind, without your main damage dealers, no plays can be made.
It goes without saying, exactly how to peel/engage will be a little different with each champion. However, for the basics, if the Champions with a lot of damage are leaping onto your precious child with the ferocity of an angry grizzly bear, stop them. If you can multitask, help enable your jungler to dive into their backline as you do it. If you’re the type of support that engages, leap onto whoever is pushing out the most DPS, and utilize your CC to ensure they never move. Even if you manage to successfully dive into the backline, if your damage dealers are getting blown up, go and save them. Without damage, you can’t win the fight anyway.
Roaming is incredibly important to the support. It allows you to place wards in more optimal paths while also helping another lane kill or push a laner back so you can take tower. Keep track of every Summoner used, just like the Jungler. Because as a support, you typically have far more CC than the Jungler; so, roaming into midlane when the enemy laner doesn’t have flash can easily translate into a kill or an objective. However, be sure not to leave your ADC in bad condition. Remember, this is your precious child that will do great things in the future if you nourish them, but only if they survive. Even if your lane is pushing and your ADC has some kills under their belt, tides can quickly turn from one mistake in a 2v1 situation. In a meta where Malzahar can obliterate just about anyone on his own, you have to be sure that your ADC can competently avoid the CC and has enough vision around him/her to avoid ganks.
During the laning phase, remember to do what parents do best. Poke, prod and encourage until your kid makes that play. Your ADC is going to be farming for the late game, and while doing so, you need to make sure to poke and abuse the enemy laners to either force them back or set up for a kill. Early game, just like early in a young child’s life, you have to make plays or picks look appealing. They don’t want to risk everything just to lose and get further behind. So when opportunity arises, poke the enemy laners until they are at about half health. Then you may hard engage. If you are being pushed in, try to force the enemy laners into being less aggressive but punishing them when they step up to trade. This will allow your ADC to farm and potentially make a play if the enemy steps too far out of line.
Good Support Picks and Suggested Builds
Support picks are currently rather abusive and oppressive. Someone needed to snowball botlane; so I guess the meta became, “If they can’t carry then I will make them”. The pretty much God tier picks to go to right now for that exact reason would be Malzahar, Zyra and Karma.
As stated previously, Malzahar can quite often solo champions once he hits level six. Punishing him is a little more difficult than normal because he frequently acquires a spell shield that leaves him able to lay down damage without being at risk of taking much in return. His voidlings also do quite a lot of damage on their own, forcing you back unless you’re prepared to invest some cooldowns into trading off on him. He has wonderful synergy with Rylai’s and his silence, and his Ult is quite simply, “Here’s a free kill.” In a very pick based meta, getting caught out by Malzahar with or without his ADC nearby can be devastating, and being stuck in lane with him gives him quite few opportunities to catch you out. The build I usually see, and enjoy, on Malzahar is: Frost Queen’s Claim, Boots of Lucidity, Sightstone, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Liandry’s Torment, and Redemption.
Zyra is just as disgusting as Malzahar. She is a enormous lane bully that will root and punish you the second you dare to step too close to her plants. She can easily win her lane for her ADC, and spoon feed her ADC kills. On top of that, where as Malzahar can only really focus down one person, Zyra can easily affect an entire teamfight, peeling for her ADC while dishing out tremendous damage at the same time. Just like Malzahar, her abuse of Rylai’s is amazing and she is capable of pumping out large amounts of CC and damage at the same time. Zyra’s usual build is pretty much the same as Malzahar actually. Huh, how about that.
Karma is a different from the two above as in her kit is pretty much way too overloaded. She deals really heavy damage, which makes her slow. She provides a shield, a Sivir ult and massive shield on relatively low cooldown. She can self-sustain in emergencies as well as root enemies, and she can do all of that just about whenever she pleases. A good Karma will dictate when a fight starts and when it ends and you shall have no say in it. In lane, her synergy with Ardent Censer means that either she is gonna hurt you or the ADC will hurt you. Your choice really, but neither is all that fun. Step out of line and receive a Q to the face. Stay in line and the ADC will poke, but if you try to fight back she has enough sustain to make it not really worth it. She is just all around annoying. I actually enjoy playing a lot of Karma, and if it isn’t the usual build, I would suggest: Eye of the Watcher, Boots of Lucidity, Ardent Censer, Liandry’s Torment, Redemption and an Optional Tank Item.
Well Ladies and Gents, I hope these reminders and tips on how to better raise your ADC to become the best carry can help you out in your future games. Though you may not get the love you deserve, take pride in the fact that it is partially your work running amok and getting Quadra kills. Until another day, may they never grab the Lantern, and feed Caitlyn die while split pushing.
Are you a Support? Let us know what you think of our guide in the comments!