Know Your Basics: The Fundamentals for Support in League of Legends
Mon 25th Nov 2019 - 8:45pm
Playing support in League of Legends is a deceptively easy role. However, while there are easier parts to it compared to other laners, there is still a lot you need to know how to play it correctly, and today I will tell you the ins and outs of support.
Let's start wave management. When you’re support, you don’t have to do as much as the other laners but there are subtle and not so subtle mechanics you should do. The first thing you should do is knowing how to freeze. If your bot laner is in base and coming to your lane but the minion wave is going to be in the turret's range and your bot laner wants the whole wave, you should bring the wave to just outside of turret range and tank the incoming wave. You can do this easily as a tank support, but if you’re an enchanter, be sure to look at your health bar and shield/heal yourself if you can. You want to do this until your laner is back in lane or another minion wave is there to take aggro.
If your bot laner wants the wave to push in, usually to recall or be able to roam, you may need to help them push it in. You can do this by simply auto attacking and using abilities until they’re in kill range.
Pressuring the Lane
A huge thing is being able to pressure the lane. As a support you should always have a threatening presence in lane. You should pay attention to the enemy’s vital cooldowns and use that as an advantage. For example, if Blitzcrank misses his hook, his usefulness goes down by a huge amount, as it's his only basic damaging spell, his only long range spell, and his main point for CC. So, use this time to extend your presence in lane.
Another example is if Janna misses her Q, Howling Gale, levels 1-5 and you have your hard engage abilities up. You will be able to engage quite easily as her main method of peel is no longer there. Level 6 onward, you can force her to burn her ultimate, Monsoon.
Keep in mind this works on you, yet by keeping your abilities up until you can guarantee a hit will keep your scare factor up.
Get Your Vision Up
The most crucial thing about support is warding. You need to ward. Warding gives the most useful thing in every MOBA, vision. Always use your warding trinket, and when you finish your support item ward, then ward with that. You should always buy Control Wards with your spare change, as they’re more useful than any new player thinks. They reveal and disable other wards, traps (Teemo mushrooms and Shaco’s Jack in a Boxes), and camouflaged units (units that are invisible but able to be seen with said control wards and by being nearby). Also, once you get your warding item upgraded, you should always buy Oracle’s Lens. When used, it reveals all nearby wards, along with all invisible units and traps. This brings me to my next point.
Vision Denial is another mechanic that every support should use. By using Oracles Lens and Control Wards you can actively deny your enemy's vision, which helps allow you to get objectives, hide in bushes, and stops enemies from seeing future ganks/roams. Destroying wards, using wards, revealing enemies through any vision method, and denying vision. You should be always aiming towards about 1.5-2x the game time for your vision score.
If you want more information of warding and where to place wards you can find it here:
How to Roam
Roaming is another mechanic a support should do. You should be actively looking for roams whenever you can.
One of the biggest times you can roam is if your laner is able to safely farm and stay alive. This can be from under turret, or when the wave is frozen beneath your turret. You shouldn’t leave the lane if the lane state is pushing into the enemy, as it’s a long stretch from where they’d be at and where turret is to be safe. The enemy jungler could also gank at this moment quite easily. Even if you could possibly open up top or mid, you never want to put your bot laner is a poor spot. Another thing you need to consider is if you’re even good at roaming. Usually, tanky engage supports (like Leona and Nautilus) and some mage supports (Bard and Vel’Koz) excel at roaming. Finally, you need to always be sure that the lane you are roaming towards is in a good spot.
Usually roamers will buy mobility boots, to get to mid lane and top lane and back fast yet on champs such as Vel’Koz you don’t want mobility boots. If you don’t have mobility boots, I would not try to roam top. Yet, Mid lane is still a viable option. And If there is a scuttle crab in bot side river, you can get there faster. Another tip that has to be used with caution is that if your bot laner is behind by a lot but your mid laner is not. It could be wise to roam mid to get your and your mid laner's value up to ensure the game is not lost.
Peeling the Enemy
Last but not least, you need to peel for your team. But what is peeling? Peeling is the act of reactively removing the enemy from your allies. This can be done with a variety of abilities. The main methods of peel are buffing your allies, debuffing your enemies, or employing crowd control.
Some examples of peeling abilities include Senna's Curse of the Black Mist, which gives allies camouflage and movement speed, the summoner spell Exhaust, which slows and weakens enemies, and Sona's Power Chords for Aria of Perseverance and Song of Celerity, which weaken and slow enemies respectively. CC abilities, such as Morgana's Dark Binding (which roots enemies for roughly 3 minutes) can also be used. Peeling for your team is vital to keep everyone alive, as if you can disengage from an enemy-started fight, you can regroup, waste their cooldowns, and either fight back when you're ready or just escape.
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