Climbing the Ladder: Roaming Support OP!
Tue 24th Oct 2017 - 10:17am
You’ve turned on your computer eager to play League of Legends. Once the client loaded up, you enter solo queue making sure to assign your main roles (ie. Mid and Jungle). Suddenly, you realize you were a victim to the Autofill option! Now you’re suddenly assigned as Support by Riot! After asking nicely in the chat box to swap roles with anyone, you’re left with being ignored and having to lock in as a role you think is “useless”.
Most recent stats of my support main friend
What to Lock In
We all know that one guy who gets autofill support and locks in something like Pantheon, Ashe, or Yasuo because they think “traditional” picks are underwhelming. You might be that Ashe support who starts off with Ancient Coin and then builds completely utility trying to claim that "it works" or "YOLO!". What people don’t realize is that support is a role that has the most versatile champion pool because of what it offers: Support! Whether your team needs a healer/shields or tank/engage, you will have a wide variety of champions to fill that part.
As a diamond player myself, I always notice one extremely big difference between supports on a silver/gold smurf and on my main: lack of roaming. Let’s look at this scenario. Have you ever been in a game where you were suddenly ganked just by a Blitzcrank or Leona when you’re playing Top/Mid? Have you wasted your Flash or even DIED to the gank? This result was because of the support player making sure that their team benefited from proactively roaming the map successfully.
Example of my success climbing with Janna this season
Successful Versus Unsuccessful Roams
You want to make sure that you are succeeding in roaming at the appropriate time so that your ADC isn’t spamming the “?” ping when they die from being overextended without their support in lane. The two best times I find to roam are either when the bottom lane minions are pushed under the enemy’s tower and they think you’re going back to base or immediately after you go back to base.
My first buy as a support is typically Boots of Mobility because of my champion pool. Janna, Nami, and Rakan are all able to take the advantage for early roams. However, roaming isn’t as simple as it sounds because it requires two major skillsets: “Wave Management” and “Vision Control”.
Wave Management is the skill of knowing how your minions are moving and where they will be during the next spawn. Have you ever gone back to base and seen your enemy lane purposely and aggressively push their minions under your tower to die? This tactic helps them out because it denies you from being able to collect both farm AND experience points from those minions, thus setting you back in lane and making sure you remain under leveled. The best way to make sure you’re safe to roam is by having you and your ADC push the lane quickly under the enemy tower so that you can have the ability to quickly move out of your lane and help your mid laner fast. Vision control is necessary for this part.
Vision Control is the ability to know where the enemy’s wards are placed as well as knowing where to place yours to ensure that you are safe in both lane and roaming the river. One great tip that I always give players is to always buy a Control Ward when you return to your base and place it in a river bush near your lane to ensure that the enemy Jungler is both not ganking and hasn’t placed any wards down to let them know where your Jungler is. Since Control Wards are permanent until destroyed, they can be left up throughout an entire game if your enemy team isn’t able to scout and clear up any vision. You don’t want to risk any chance of running into a blind river that has the enemy jungler killing the Scuttle Crab and catching you! That would result in you either dying or wasting a summoner spell.
Why Do I Roam?
Your Jungler isn’t the only player that should be responsible for ganking your team. The photo at the beginning of this article of my friend Symbøl showcases his Support-only pool that he consistently travels around the map every game with. His motto is “just roam mid” because he makes sure he can be useful to both the lanes he has on his side of the map while playing mobile supports (notably Janna and Blitzcrank). If the enemy laner has no vision, you are in a surefire position to either waste their Flash, slay them, or make them return to base which transitions into a lead for your mid laner after they use their Wave Management skills to deny their opponent any minions to farm. See, it all ties together! You want to enable yourself to be as useful to the entire team and practice annoying your enemy team so that it increases your chances of getting closer to that Promotional Series!
What Can I Learn from This
Roaming can be done efficiently by buying early Boots of Mobility. Your chances of pulling off successful roams can be easily done by having the proper wave management and vision control. Just because you were given the support role doesn’t mean you’re rendered useless. Use that opportunity to be the most annoying Janna/Blitzcrank/Thresh that the enemy team has ever seen and consistently gank their mid laner. Super High Elo tip: You can master your craft by also putting pressure on the enemy team’s bottom side jungle with proper vision control by the enemy jungle camps.
The next time you’re given Autofill support or if you are a support main trying to improve upon your role, remember to ROAM!
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