How To Support with Trixtank
Wed 14th Nov 2018 - 6:52pm
One of the most overlooked roles in Smite is the support role. They are there to be a frontline menace and set up the team. It is one of the most complex roles in the game. You must be constantly aware of everything on the map and what is happening to your team. This makes the support role a hugely impactful role in the team, despite being the one that usually has the least amount of farm.
We spoke to our support player, Jeppe “Trixtank” Gylling about how you can improve your support play and how you can help your team get the edge from the support role.
XP Sharing and Farming
The one thing support players will notice is that you won’t get as much farm as other roles because of the role mostly. It is as important for a support to get farm as well as any other role on the map.
Trixtank says the best way to keep up in farm is to, “Make sure you are splitting as much farm as possible. Especially now with the new XP changes. Ask people to hold waves or jungle camps for you if needed.” So, make sure that the other players on your team are holding waves and camps for you so you can get as much farm as possible, especially as they will benefit off XP sharing with you because of how it works now in Smite. The way XP sharing now works is that the lowest level player on your team gets an additional 25% on shared XP (not counting them if they dc’ed), allowing you to stay relevant and able to farm while still helping your team out. Trixtank says these changes have helped supports, “It has been a massive change. Being able to keep up from behind for a support a little better now is a massive improvement. Also, from ahead, the XP gain allows you to snowball harder, become tankier earlier, and have even more control as a support over the game.”
Two-way splitting is the best way to efficiently use the XP sharing boost supports get
Knowing when to rotate is key as a support and it will affect how much farm you get. It’s more down to what camps are up and what is available on the map. If mid camps are up and you can get there to help your mid secure them because your jungler is off somewhere, go help him. You will be looking at hanging around the duo to mid side of the jungle early, unless you can influence the solo side of the map without hindering yourself on the farm side.
We asked Trixtank when you should look to rotate as a support and he advises, “Usually you want to rotate to where there is farm or to where your best fight or gank potential is. Also, early once your ADC is out of the initial laning phase, you want to let them solo farm as much as possible.”
So, looking at your map is as important early on as it is in the mid to late game as a support. Knowing where the farm is and if you can make it over to split the farm is a key way to get as much farm as possible as the support and even though you should let your ADC get as much solo farm as possible to get them to the late game, that doesn’t mean you have to never be in the lane. Not rotating can be as vital as rotating. If they are struggling in lane and need to a bit of help to farm up, you can easily stay around the lane and help them but don’t hinder your own farm at the same time.
Builds and Relics
This season has seen many roles become really open with what you can build on different roles and support is the same. You can still build Sovereignty and Heartward Amulet as core items on supports, but there are lots of items that you can build on supports.
Trixtank advises that, “Supports should try to be smart and counter their opponents with their builds. Items like Magi's Blessing, Spirit Robe, Pestilence, Midgardian Mail, or other counter items should be picked up when they are appropriate. Support is in a fun state right now where you don't necessarily have to build any specific item.”
With the role having a lot of flexibility, there is no “one size fits all” build for supports. Most of the time you will be looking at what the enemy team has and what will work best at shutting them down. Is there a healer? Pestilence is a great pick up for it. Are there a lot of auto-attack based gods? Midgardian Mail would be the way to go. Even Spectral Armor can be a good pick up if the team is building heavily into crit items. There is a lot of flexibility into your builds now and there’s a lot of potential for different builds, which can make each game different for a support. Pen boots are an item that supports do tend to gloss over, favouring cooldown boots or tank boots but what supports can benefit from it and when could you look for that extra damage in your build as a support?
Always look at how your build can counter the enemy team and absorb as much as possible
We asked Trixtank when you can include them in your build and he said, “Definitely, if you think you can get away with it. Guardians with high damage output like Ares or Bacchus thrive with pen boots.”
So, he advises you can do it on high damage supports like Ares or Bacchus, but others can be included in that bracket. Kumbha can benefit from it as his damage can be obnoxious. Cabrakan can as well as Cerberus if you play either of them in the support role. If you like the idea of pen boots and think you can justify the pick up, then do it. Supports that can put out damage will benefit from it, some more then others. We do advise that if you are a support that has a lot of CC, then cooldown boots are better as the more times you can put out that CC the better. Athena, Geb and Sylvanus are gods that stick out the most for that.
Pen boots can be fun but knowing what is right for your team is key
Relics are important for a support. It can be do or die for your team, depending what relic you build and what the enemy team has. Your carries will be focusing into Beads and Aegis, so you’ll have to look at other relics to keep them alive. Sprint and Shell are both items that are great pick ups for the support role because they offer a lot of survivability for you and the rest of your team. A well-timed shell in a teamfight could be the bit that swings the fight in your favour, whereas Sprint is great for engaging or disengaging in teamfights or in rough spots, so it can be a huge pick up for your team. Other than those two, what other relics are good pick-ups?
We asked Trixtank what other relics you could look at getting as a support. He says, “It depends on the meta. Horrific Emblem is quite strong right now. Blink is probably the other most popular relic outside of the other 3, and you should look to pick it up when you want to play immobile initiators such as Geb or Sylvanus. You also want to consider Phantom against the likes of Odin or Ymir.”
Like with what he mentioned in the builds you can tell that there is more flexibility in relics this time around for a support as well. Phantom is still a situational item to counter an Odin or Ymir so if there is one of them on the enemy team it is pretty much a pick up. We recommend you pick up Phantom as your first relic only if an Odin is what you are against in the duo lane, as once the cage comes down, if your ADC can’t get out, it’s an easy double kill for the enemy team. If Odin is in the solo lane then you can wait to get it second, mostly because your solo laner will hit 12 before you and can get it as their second relic.
Horrific is great in this meta, like Trixtank said, and can really help in teamfights and even in early game in the duo lane. Sprint can counter this, however, as it removes all slows, so you will have to work around that but Horrific can be as impactful in a teamfight as other relics.
Horrific and Blink are great pick ups for supports and can change team fights
Who Should We Pick?
Like other roles in Smite currently, there isn’t one stand out support that stands above the rest. Each god provides something different and pretty much any can be picked up currently and played well in the role. For support, you need to look more at what your team has and what they need. The top picks for support currently are there because they provide a lot for the team and can fit into nearly any team comp.
We asked Trixtank what picks you should look at if you're solo queuing ranked. He says, “In solo queue, you probably want to play an aggressive support that has a high potential to win the laning phase and then take control of the game. Warriors and Assassins can be perfect for that, as well as high clear and strong teamfight Guardians like Sylvanus.”
Gods with high pressure and strong teamfight presence are what he recommends. He also speaks about how Warriors and Assassins can be good for that, but just because they’re high pressure doesn’t mean they’ll be strong all game. You will need to look for gods in those roles that provide CC on top of the pressure.
Using Warriors or Assassins as supports allow you to put plenty of pressure on the enemy team
For warriors, Ama, Odin, and even Guan can be good for this, Ama is better suited to support as she struggles in the solo lane but is a good pick up for the support role. We mentioned Odin in the relics section but, as a support, he can bully in lane and give you an advantage over the enemy duo lane by pressing them out. You also pressure the support into getting Phantom early to save his ADC, if they have no way to escape the cage. Guan isn’t one that is usually mentioned but he has the ability to pressure in the duo, with his 3 shredding protections and his 1 being able to heal (not as strong as others but a heal is a heal). His ult has plenty of control in the mid to late-game as well which can make him a pain for the enemy team, or he just gets their beads which can set you up for other heavy CC abilities.
Assassins are another that Trixtank mentioned. These have a lot less health than Warriors and Guardians but provides the damage to pressure the enemy out early. The best Assassin supports are ones that do provide plenty of control as well. Fenrir and Ne Zha are gods that do this exceptionally well compared to the other Assassins. Both provide good CC and good damage early game and their ults have huge teamfight presences. Another god that was seen in the support role early in the season that can work is Serqet. She works best in the jungle, but you can bring her into the support role. The control and disruption she provides can be huge in teamfights.
Back on the Guardian selections, Trixtank mentioned that Geb and Sylvanus are great picks for their teamfight presence and the control they provide for the team. With their ults, they can really change the way teamfights work and alter how they go for your team. Geb can save teammate with his shield and provide plenty of disruption with his 2 that can help keep the enemy in place for your team's abilities. Sylvanus has the heal potential and the AoE on his basics that help with wave clear on top of the CC he can provide with his 1 and 3, so he can be a huge pick up, as despite his lack of mobility, he can be influential for a team. Other picks that you can look for in the role is Athena with her CC and global presence and Terra (even though she is better in solo) with the amount of control in her kit that can lock down targets for your team.
Warding and The Little Things
One huge part that supports do is ward. They are the ones (other than the jungler) that are moving around the map to help other lanes, which is why they are usually the ones that are carrying wards on them. But how often should a support back for wards?
Trixtank says, “Backing specifically JUST for wards usually only happens when you are contesting ward vision over the major objectives on the map or if you have zero wards on the map yourself. Outside of that, you typically want to buy two wards every time you back for whatever reason.”
So, unless your competing for vision on or around Fire Giant or Gold Fury, you should just be carrying wards each time you back. Just because you are warding doesn’t mean you’ll have full vision, but at least you’ve been doing your warding. The support is the one that will usually be placing the most wards over the course of a match, you’ll be the one placing the sentries on Fire Giant and Gold Fury or at choke points, giving the ADC vision, or even just warding common pathing routes to prevent ganks in mid and duo. It’s an important job and one that usually gets overlooked (well by the other roles).
Wards can provide so much information so it's vital you get them every back
There are many ways to improve as a support and sometimes playing from behind can feel like a mountain as a support. This is mostly because if the team is behind, you’re going to look massively behind because you haven’t been able to get farm and get those items online.
We asked Trixtank what you can do when your behind as a support, “Try to be initiating and absorbing as much damage as possible early in fights. Don't be scared to die for your carries.”
Look to peel and give your carries as much of a chance to get picks. You may be behind, but you’ll still have plenty of health to absorb damage. At least then, your carries have the best opportunity to pick up the pieces that you have laid out. The old saying is look for the little victories and when behind as a support, this is important. Getting a pick on an overextending jungler or an out of position ADC can really help your team and if you are setting it up for them, even though you’re dying, then you’re doing as much as you can to keep your team in it.
Another bit of advice Trixtank gave for improving as a support player is, “Some pure basics would be to pay attention to your farming and warding. Also work on when you use your crowd control and practice correct relic usage.”
Which has tied together everything we have mentioned as these bits can really see you going above and beyond as a support.
Timing your CC correctly can help secure kills or save your team
Paying attention to your farming and warding is the best way to give your team plenty of control on the map and take the lead because you’re farming more efficiently against your opposition. Paying attention to your warding will keep control of the map and give your team as much vision as possible so they can keep track of the enemy team as much as possible, preventing ganks and giving your team the best chance possible to get ahead. Trixtank also mentions about using your CC and relics at the right time this can really swing teamfights in your favour if you can use this as efficiently as possible and really help your team in key fights, especially in the mid to late game where you’ll be fighting over the objectives more then anything else.
Hopefully this guide will help you improve as a support player and get more success in your games while in the support role.