A Guide On Roaming as a Support
Thu 10th Aug 2017 - 10:20am
Roaming is one of the more difficult skills to learn as a Support. It takes time, patience, and game knowledge to pull off consistently and successfully. Here are some things to consider when roaming.
Will my ADC be safe if I leave?
As the game goes on, get a sense of how your current ADC plays, as well as the enemy Bot lane. If you think you have a Vayne that will try to 1v2 when not ahead in lane without you, it might not be the best idea to leave the lane to go Mid. Is your ADC immobile and easier to catch out then others, like Jhin? Maybe you should not roam as much as you would if you were laning with a Lucian or Tristana, who can dash or jump away if in trouble. You will also want to communicate to your ADC where you are going. Pinging or typing roaming to let your ADC know to play more passive will help let your ADC know they will be alone. If the enemy team has hard engage or is playing very aggressive, it also might be best to stay by your ADC.
Another thing to keep in mind before deciding to roam is summoner spells. This means not only looking at what spells your ADC has up, but what spells the enemy ADC and Support have left. You do not want to leave your lane only to have the enemy team Flash into, CC, and kill your ADC.
Will I be safe to leave?
Have you kept up with vision throughout the game? Do you have the jungle entrances/exits warding along the river? Do you know how well the enemy team has been warding? Do you know where the enemy team Jungler is? These are all important questions that you need to ask yourself before roaming.
When in lane, try to take into account any time you see an enemy leave their lane, as they most likely dropped a ward or two. Try to track enemy wards as closely as you can. Running into a ward and being seen will waste time or even worse, potentially get you caught out. Getting caught out does not help anyone but the enemy team. Further, you should keep these questions in mind for when you are returning from a roam.
Here is an article on warding if you need help. To be a successful roamer, you first need to be a successful warder!
What will my team gain from me roaming?
Roaming takes time and you will lose experience from not being in lane. It can also lead to your ADC losing CS from having to play safe in a 1v2. Therefore, you want to make sure your team gains something from your roam. This does not necessarily mean getting a kill! It could mean applying pressure to be able to take an objective like a tower or being able to peel from lane after causing a back to then take Drake or Rift Herald.
If you "failed" at a roam, you can still gain something from it. On the way back, make sure you clear wards and take control on the vision in that area. This could become huge later on if your team wants to make a play on a Drake.
When should I roam?
There are some ideal lane situations that allow for roaming. The most obvious being the enemy team Bot lane is dead, as it removes any pressure the enemy team has in the Bot lane. Other roaming situations follow from when your team has the pressure in the Bot lane. They include when the enemy team backs, when you've pushed a minion wave into the Bot tower, or when your ADC is ahead of the enemy ADC.
Another good time to roam is after you recall. This can be a good time to roam top, where a Support roam is least expected, and it can catch the enemy Top laner off-guard.
You need to communicate what you are doing, and when you are doing it. Tell your ADC you are leaving lane. Let your Top laner know you are coming Top, and they should freeze the wave. Run into a ward? Ping it so your Jungler knows where it is and does not go over it later. You may have picked the right time to roam, had vision control, and had the enemy Mid laner not paying attention, but if your team was not aware of the roam or your location, it can quickly turn sideways.
Not all Supports can roam the same. It will be far easier for a Bard or a hard-engage Champion like Thresh to roam and be successful than a Janna or Soraka (not that they cannot roam). Make sure you know the limitations/skills of your Champion and put this knowledge to good use in-game. Build your roam around your Champion.
Playing Support does not mean getting carried by your team. You are not stuck babysitting your ADC. Make an impact! Roam, shot-call, control the jungle via vision and you will see just how valuable a Support can be!
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