3 Unconventional Supports That You Should Play in League of Legends
As of right now, support champions in League of Legends are actually in a really great spot. The role offers a ton of diversity in champion selection, and build paths have really been flaring out with changes to each of the three core support items and others like Mikael's Crucible and Ardent Censer.
However, if you're like me and you've been supporting for years, then you'll still find a way to get bored. The last true Support was released March of last year. That'd be Bard. Tahm Kench seemed to be intended as a Support, but you never really see him in that role. So it's been a while since support players had someone new to play with.
Are you getting bored of playing Blitzcrank, Janna, Alistar, Thresh, and Braum? Let me point you towards three Support picks that you've probably never tried for yourself.
Syndra offers a lot in the Support role. She's also been getting buffed lately in both patches 6.9 and 6.12. Patch 6.13 even included some pesky bugfixes that allow her spheres to function a lot more smoothly when picking them up and tossing them around the lane.
- An AoE stun (1.5 seconds)
- A small AoE slow (up to 45% for 1.5 seconds)
- A ton of damage (including a point-and-click nuke)
You'll want to pick Syndra in a lane with a champion that can compliment your damage and crowd control. Syndra needs to be picked as a kill-lane Support alongside someone like Draven, Ezreal, or Lucian. Draven's massive damage works well with her own, Ezreal's R works well together with Syndra's stun, and Lucian's mobility and damage allows him to follow up on crowd control that Syndra lands.
As Syndra, you don't want to shy away from taking kills in lane. Yes, that's probably not going to put a smile on your Marksman lane partner's face, but they'll be a lot happier when you're dominating the lane together. Take and secure kills, build Eye of the Watchers, and then go straight into an AP build. The enemy team is not going to be happy when a Support is able to press R and delete their carries.
This pick wasn't even unconventional when Lee's W applied an attack speed debuff to enemies hit. He has to be played with a little more finesse now. Nonetheless, Lee has the ability to absolutely dominate a duo lane.
Lee Sin brings:
- A 40–280 HP scaling shield (for both him and an ally)
- A slow up to 60% (4 seconds)
- An extremely strong engage or disengage (his Ultimate)
- Insane mobility
- High damage
- A dual purpose for buying a Sightstone (ward-jumping and warding as a Support)
I know, Lee Sin is one of those champions that makes you flinch a little when you see it get locked in. It's like the Riven or Vayne pick. You see it and you assume there's a 20% chance that they're a legend and an 80% chance that they're a fluke. Be the Support Lee Sin legend!
Lee has the option to bring both Ignite and Exhaust into the duo lane, being that he should be getting a Sightstone ASAP and ward-hopping all over the place to escape in substitution for Flash. Lee has the strongest first three levels out of any champion in the game, so you need to take advantage of that in lane.
If the enemy Support is a tankier champion like Leona or Braum, you want nothing to do with that. If it's someone like Sona, Zilean, or Vel'Koz, good coordination with your Marksman should mean an easy First Blood. You have to be aggressive and dominate the lane with this pick, because Lee Sin is laughable in the late game. Just like the Syndra pick, level 6 for Support Lee Sin should mean a kill if you're playing it with the right sense of urgency.
If you get an early kill, I highly recommend building into an early damage item like a Phage. Continue to abuse the lane with that. Go straight into a Sightstone and then finish that Phage into The Black Cleaver. From there, you're going to want to build full tank. If your Top and Jungler are both tanks, you can afford to build into items like Titanic Hydra and Sterak's Gage.
Ziggs is a different type of Support. The conventional Support that he's most similar to would be Karma, but even that's a long shot. The entire purpose of Ziggs as a Support is to help shove the lane and poke the enemy laners under their tower.
- A 10-second, AoE zone that slows (up to 40%) and damages anyone passing through it
- An AoE displacement that can deflect enemy ganks or help set up ally ganks
- Insane poke and waveclear
- Insane sieging potential
Ziggs works best alongside poke-oriented Marksmen like Caitlyn, Ezreal, and Ashe. If your lane partner is in tune with the strategy, what you want to be doing is constantly pushing (and warding) your lane and getting free harass under the enemy's tower. They're either going to be put low on HP or they're going to miss a ton of CS.
In the event that you do get ganked, Ziggs isn't completely useless either. Both his W and E can help slow and displace enemies coming your way. Throwing down a Hexplosive Minefield is incredibly discouraging, and that alone is usually enough to stop aggression from the opponent when they're moving forward.
The place where Ziggs really shines as a Support is as an aggressive sieger. He has waveclear in his pre-Ultimate kit, but once you hit level 6 you can wipe out a huge wave of minions with the press of a single key. In patch 6.9, Ziggs' passive (extra basic attack damage, which is doubled against structures) was buffed in its AP ratio and cooldown. In that same patch, Ziggs' W was also given the ability to damage towers that are under a certain HP threshold. What's this all mean? Ziggs is an absolute beast when it comes to ripping down towers.
That's even better news when you consider the recent change to getting "First Blood" on enemy turrets. The first turret taken—as of a few days ago—now grants 400 bonus gold across the team. Is this Support Ziggs' time to shine? I think so, but you won't really know until you go out and try it!
Remember, not every Support was created equal. Being a Support doesn't mean you're a one-dimensional champion assigned to healing and buffing your ally laner. Support can come in the form of buffing, crowd control, and even damage.
So, what do you think? Do any of these three Supports have a chance at making it into your Dynamic Queue games? Do you have any other unconventional supports in mind that I should give a try? Let me know in the comments below!