LoL Support Guide for Smart & Safe Decisions
It takes a certain kind of individual to be willing to play support in League of Legends. The support player on every team can’t be selfish. Nor can they seek the glory that other positions obtain with flashy kills and outplay maneuvers. With that said, the support is one of, if not the most, integral member of the team. A good support player will make smart, safe decisions and be able to influence the vision of the map in a positive way. If that appeals to a newcomer deciding on a position, or someone looking to change roles, then this LoL Support Guide will be useful in this endeavor. In many ways, they are the unsung heroes of League of Legends.
What is the Support Role?
In order to understand how support should be played, an overview of the position is necessary. The bottom lane in League of Legends is the only lane that features more than one player. Whereas top lane is an island, and mid lane is constantly under threat from the enemy jungler, the bottom lane is a constant battle between two separate teams of two.
The support developed as a result of the necessity of an ADC. The Attack Damage Carry is often responsible for the majority of the damage for any team. In professional play, team compositions are sometimes drafted solely around the ADC so as to keep that player alive.
In order to do the majority of the damage, a lot of gold must be funneled into the ADC. The support position not only helps his or her lane partner succeed, said person also doesn’t kill creeps (with the exception of one gold income item). Support players typically obtain gold from the beginning items they purchase, but will almost always have the least amount of gold by the game’s end. Typically, a good support will both keep the ADC alive in lane and almost always be an effective way to instigate fights and deal poke damage to the enemy team during laning phase. The role might be thankless, but without it the role of the ADC, would be significantly diminished.
Warding in League of Legends is often a sore spot for supports. They are often burdened by being the sole source of vision for a team. While competitively this couldn’t be further from the truth in solo queue this apt stereotype causes teams to lose. A team without vision is not aware of the danger it is faced with at any point in the game.
Warding has changed significantly over the years. When League was still looking for momentum on a global scale, it was possible for any player to purchase wards. While everyone has access to warding trinkets now, the standard type of ward most long time players are familiar with is now tied to support more than it ever was before.
At the beginning of this most recent season, the Sight Stone item was removed from the game. This item gave any player that purchased it access to wards. To replace it, a support’s normal gold generation item would now grant wards when fully upgraded. While the argument behind this change involved giving support players more gold to work with, it shoehorned them into being vision scapegoats.
However, while this puts added pressure on these players, vision is arguably at an all-time high in terms of value. While there may be added pressure, the support player is valuable because that extra ward may very well act as the tipping point between unsuccessful and successful team fights.
The Importance of the Early Game
More so than any other lane, the early game plays the biggest role in the bot lane. Now while some of this is dependent on the champions being played, the early game in bot lane will often affect the tempo of the entire laning phase. It is very important for an ADC and support to hit level two before their opponents do.
A good support will threaten or attack the enemy ADC and support beginning at level one, and as a result, force them to miss valuable EXP. Simply put, the first players to level two will have extra abilities and increased stats due to the level up. It is a matter of having four total abilities available versus two plus the additional stats.
This is a huge advantage in the early game because a champion is most weak at level one. If you have more abilities than your opponent, it becomes that much easier to exert pressure and lane control. Controlling the lane is incredibly important for two key reasons: first turret gold and dragon.
The First Turret Killed is King
In its current state, League of Legends provides a huge bonus to a player and team if a player destroys the first turret in a game. League of Legends has always and will always be dictated by gold. This comes into play in bot lane because if a support and ADC reach level two first and pressure their opponents, the minion waves will push towards their opponent’s turret. If you can shove minions under the turret, not only will they do damage to it, it gives both players the ability to chip away at it. If the ADC is able to get first turret gold, he or she will have an advantage in terms of items and can begin to pressure other areas of the map.
Of the three big objectives in League of Legends that are not structures, only one of them is near bot lane, that being dragon. Dragon has changed quite a bit over the years, and while its value in its current iteration is based on random chance, it is still quite valuable and can turn the tide of many games. The bot lane that has control of the lane also has control of dragon.
The support role is particularly important when it comes to objectives because the support player is the person most likely to not only set up vision around the objective but is also in a position to contest and deny vision as well. If a support player has vision set up around the dragon, they will be able to see solo attempts by the enemy jungler and roaming mid laners looking to pick up kills on an unsuspecting bot lane. Shoving minion waves can be a crucial tactic by a support and ADC because by doing so, they are able to rotate to dragon before their counterparts. There are so many nuances to the support role and dragon is one that should never be overlooked.
Overlooked, but Valuable
Understanding the support position on a fundamental level is important for players in any role in League of Legends. If you understand how other roles work, you will understand how your primary role fits into its interactions elsewhere on the map. The support player will always be primarily responsible for vision, but getting a level advantage and taking control of objectives are equally important responsibilities. Even though a support may not have a lot of gold or flashy kills, he or she is a valuable member of the team.
For more LoL, check this out: Climbing the Ladder with League of Legends Tips and Tricks