Feed Your Carry Like A Boss – Supporting in League of Legends Isn’t Totally Terrible

Playing support may not be glamorous, but it's a necessary role you should get familiar with if you want to claw your way out of the scrub pit.
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Now, I’m not a pro League of Legends player and I will be the first to admit I am very rusty. After coming back to the game after a beautiful stress-free 8 month hiatus and having adjusted to the changes from Season 2 to Season 3 rather late, one thing in particular is getting tiring: Other players’ aversion to playing support. Honestly I’m surprised it’s even still an issue. Maybe I’m naïve.

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Before I quit in Season 2 I was a 1900 ELO player. Not the best, sure, but not bad by any means. My point being, I primarily played supports and AD carries. If some particularly brave soul chose support before me, I would choose an ADC. If both were taken and I was lucky, I would pick jungle Nunu. That’s how it was, and coming back to the game today that’s how it is. Life is suffering.

In case you were curious, I am currently in Gold and am about to make my way into Platinum sometime over the next few weeks. I have over 3500 played matches to my name. I will not reveal my username here nor in the comments section. Sorry, but I would rather be left alone.

Back to business!

The fact is, everyone wants to be the guy who carries the team to victory. Everyone wants a bazillion kills, no deaths, and for the map to be warded by someone else. Unfortunately not everyone is a great player and every team needs a support, whether they like it or not.

If you get last pick and are stuck as a support, I have one thing to tell you:

Suck it up and do your damnedest to serve your team.

Don’t whine, don’t troll pick, just choose a support that fits the opposing lane composition/team composition (if you can see it) and feed your carry like a boss.

All that glitters is Blitzcrank; aka supporting isn’t that bad

Rolling through ranked matches as a support is one of the least stressful jobs and is the best position suited for those who are not confident in their abilities or who want to climb the ladder without breaking their keyboard.

With the above said, playing as a support takes a certain mindset. Instead of thinking about your own well-being and kill/death ratio, you must worry about keeping your carry safe during the laning phase and using your abilities to their fullest come late game. All the while, it is your responsibility to place wards and give your team vision. Map control is king in competitive League of Legends matches, and without vision you have no map control.

Thanks to the addition of Sightstones with Season 3, warding is less money-consuming than it was in previous seasons. I remember back in Season 2 where a support would go back and buy 4 or 5 wards at a time along with an Oracle’s Elixir. That’s at least 700 gold! Is it any surprise supports pre-Season 3 could often only afford one or two full items even at the end of a 45 minute game?

These days supporting is less of a chore, and if you are looking to climb through the oceans of other dreamers grinding away in ranked it is a good idea to get yourself accustomed to playing the support role. Every team needs a good support, and due to gold being easier to get and the current range of active items being available there is no excuse not to bite the bullet and strap on your warding, uh, Sightstone.

Keep this stuff in mind!

I can’t give you advice on runes and masteries because those are bound more to personal preference than anything else. Some set ups are obviously more efficient for certain champions, but I’m not going to say that any way is the right way. If you want that type of information, you can mosey on over to SoloMid.net and find it out or use common sense.

In the early levels, a carry is only as good as his/her support. Being on bot with a total stranger is very different from two buddies being duo queue heroes, and it is entirely possible the person you are supporting will have a different playstyle from you. Play it cool and play it smart.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you go into bot lane:

  1. Poke the enemy team when you can with your auto attacks (if ranged). Use your abilities sparingly (unless you’re using Soraka’s silence or actively fighting your lane opponents) in order to conserve mana and stay in lane as long as your ADC.
  2. If your carry is being aggressive, it is often in your best interest to do so as well unless your carry is taking more damage than the enemy carry in the process. Do not stand around in a bush or in the back. Your carry may be getting all the glory, but they need you!
  3. Pay close attention to your opponents’ cooldowns and health as well as those of your carry. A well-used summoner spell, CC ability, or escape maneuver can mean life or death.
  4. Don’t be afraid to play more aggressively during the period you have a level over your opponents, especially if you hit level 2 or level 6 before they do. If you and your carry reach level 2 first, that means you both have two abilities while your opponents only have one each. If you reach level 6 first, you have a (generally very) short window to pop your best abilities before the enemy can even come back with their own.
  5. Do not initiate if you have no wards and have not seen the enemy jungler or mid laner elsewhere. A good mid is going to try to make your life hell, don’t give them the chance! Similarly, if the enemy jungler hasn’t tried to gank the other lanes recently there is a good chance they are coming to gank you.
  6. Try to adjust to your carry’s playstyle! This is one of the more troublesome parts of being a support, because some people are either too aggressive or too passive. You can’t change how your teammate plays, but you can try to pay attention to their habits and respond to them appropriately. At the same time, it’s really important that you don’t overstep your boundaries and initiate when your carry is too far behind. Even if you have an Ezreal who can Arcane Shift to get to the fight quickly, you want him to use that to get away. Forcing your carry to use a mobility skill to get to the action is the last thing you want to do and often leads to death.
  7. Last but not least is to ward. Ward anywhere you’re weary of and keep them on hand at all times. There are plenty of warding guides floating around out there if you’re having difficulty.

Playing a support isn’t as easy as it seems and it is often a thankless job; even so it is rewarding to see your carry well-fed and truly carrying your team. If you have any questions, please let me know and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability (and time).

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