How to Play Support in League of Legends

Updated on June 8, 2018

Although some people may disagree, support is a vital role if not one of the most important roles in the game. Support players control the flow of the game and a great deal of map control. Supporting may seem like sitting in a bottom brush daydreaming, but it is a lot more than that. In this article I will explain the viability of playing support, as well as tips and tricks to carry your team when playing support.

Why play support?

Supporting is an extremely fun role that allows you to obtain the mindset of aiding your team. If you struggle with being a team player, playing a few support games can really enlighten you on how important supporting your team is. Often people believe that supports can not make a difference in a game but this is far from the truth. Supports control ward coverage and can buy early oracles to clear wards. Also, supports control bot lane and vision on dragon. Dragon gives the team a global 190 gold that can sway the odds of the game in your favor.

Can I carry as support?

The answer to the question is absolutely. Most people that play supports get discouraged when their team feeds and they lose a game and they instantly think "Supports suck. I can't carry with support." I encourage you to step away from this ignorance and take a look at this logically. There is no way to get around feeders. It is just part of the game. Although you can't get around the feeders, playing a good support provides you an extremely good advantage that will cause you to win more games than lose. This, in turn, will raise elo. Pretty good deal right?

Tips and tricks in playing support

  • Always ward the river. As a support player, it is your job to always have the river warded when your lane is exposed. I say when your lane is exposed because if your lane is being pushed there is no threat of a river gank. This means dragon should be warded buy tri-bush can go without a ward. You will want to conserve your ward so you can use it latter in the game.
  • Counter dragon wards with pink wards. Pink wards allow vision and the ability to kill enemy wards. This will not only give your team control over dragon, but it will also blind them to ganks by your jungler. If the enemy goes back and buys a pink ward to kill yours, go back. Never lose control of dragon.
  • Ward the enemy wraith camp at the start of the game. This lets you know where the jungler is so you can either go aggressive or fall back and know when a gank is coming. This helps everyone on your team and can really be helpful in setting up and preventing kills.
  • Do not take free damage in lane. Keep an eye on your positioning and make sure you are never in a position to take damage. You always want to trade damage and never want to get hit without responding.
  • Buy an early oracles to counter enemy wards. An early oracles will give your team a huge advantage. Killing enemy wards basically is like breaking their legs. They will be crippled for the rest of the game.
  • Stack gold per 5 items. Since you won't be taking the minion kills in lane, you will need a source of income. This is why you need to buy gold per five items. Try to get these items as soon as possible. Also, set up your runes and masteries to get you gold per five as well. This will help you buy more wards an support items to help your team.
  • Run defensive runes and masteries to help your durability in lane. Even on the more squishy support champions like Janna and Soraka, you still want to run armor runes and masteries. This will prevent you from dying and feeding the enemy. Remember, good support players never die. We are the immortals!
  • Only trade with ranged carry. Try to avoid going commando on the enemies in bottom lane. Watch and protect your ad like a guardian. Engage when he does and make sure he does not die.
  • Don't last hit unless your ad is at base! This is elementary support, but just in case you do not know, never take minion kills. The meta is designed so that the ad carries can get as much gold as possible so they can do tons of damage late game. If you take cs from your carry bot lane you will surely lose.
  • Time abilities, wards, and neutral monsters. Timing the cool downs in League of Legends can give you a huge advantage and not many people do it. It really makes a difference and can really carry games.

Common mistakes of inexperienced supports

  • They die too much. For the most part, supports tend to be extremely squishy. This makes them targets and easy to die. Be better than noobs. Do not feed and win games. If you have trouble dying a lot as supports, play tank-like supports like Taric, Alistar, and Leona.
  • They rage at their team. I have covered this before in my other guides. Raging loses games. The guy who never plays support and always thinks he loses when he plays support is probably the same guy who is yelling at his ad carry every time he misses a last hit. Raging at his team every time they die. You are their to support your team not cut them down. Don't rage. Win games!
  • They do not ward enough. Many games can be lost because there wasn't good vision. Vision leads to map control and map control leads to wins. Never underestimate the importance of wards and always try to have a few in your inventory.

Protecting your carry or going after the enemy carry?

A common question with newer supports is if they should go after the enemy carries or the should stay back and protect their carry. The answer is almost always protect your carry. If you do not protect your carries then they will die rather easily and it will put your team at an extreme disadvantage. Supporting revolves more around making your carry strong then trying to shut their carry down.

  • Think of your ad carry as you would a baby. They are very delicate and you have to protect them from anything that could hurt them.
  • Use your exhaust on the champion going after your carry so he can stay alive.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Robat 4 days ago

        This post has some of the basics to being a good support. It says, "Updated June 8, 2018" right now. If this post was actually updated then the person who did it hasn't played since the new rune system... which was quite a while ago.

      • profile image

        ERROR 4 months ago

        what if u play suport and ur adc have a leona in stun range on and my adc have low hp shud i go for the adc and try to make him faill to kill my adc or try to stop leona from the adc and enemy team got full hp bot

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        ee 4 months ago

        Gonna be honest it's a good guide,but doesn't really account for aggro suports like singed and such

      • profile image

        Foob 19 months ago

        Nice Tips

      • profile image

        kimi17 3 years ago

        i can't fix rads error please help me i tried evrething from you tube and i can't play HELP

      • SimilarSam profile image

        Sam 3 years ago from Australia

        I like how bot lane plays so I generally find myself in either the support or AD carry role and I wish more supports used the tips you've got here. You've got some good records with my favourite supports also!

      • profile image

        Hooker 4 years ago

        A support I find very fun to use is thresh, because your enemies tend to not want to (don't know how) poke you considering your ability to drag them to their demise. It's also amazing how many people don't get that thresh is stronger when the enemy is out of position, because a hook will land on a minion if they're using them properly. Not only that, but I throw intentionally missed hooks out in the direction of the enemy ad, not to waste mana, but to give them a scare, because they always run back when I play, never forward knowing my main disable is gone for a bit. he's great for in your face supports at lower elo's considering the enemy is either out of position or really scared by his presence.

      • ilikegames profile image

        Sarah Forester 4 years ago from Australia

        Great Hub, I really like the support role and I needed to touch up on my strategy alittle, maybe it's time for me to make the jump into ranked play!

      • TwerkZerker profile image

        TwerkZerker 4 years ago

        I like your suggestion to get defence-heavy masteries. I'll have to give that a try. Right now I only do that with Leona (probs why she's about the only champ I can reliably support with...). I always shunned certain supports like Raka, Janna, and Sona because I couldn't stand being so squishy--even with heals. Great article!

      • profile image

        Richard Beane 4 years ago

        Great information - thanks for sharing. Now I want to play supports more often!

      • passthejelly profile image
        Author

        Mark Passarelli 4 years ago from Lakewood Colorado

        No problem :D

      • profile image

        Alon 4 years ago

        So Mach tips tnx (:

      • profile image

        Heasboy 5 years ago

        Very nice guild man! keep it up!

      • profile image

        Logan 5 years ago

        @meralic5000 why did you write in Greek lol

      • profile image

        Main support 5 years ago

        It's a great guide! But I'm not agree in one thing. A support should die for their team, like Lulu. She just flash in, ulti their team, and polymorph adc. Anyone agreed? Get flamed a lot for dying cause of that, i carry as her, so i think I'm rigth!

      • profile image

        msplinte 5 years ago

        eu nao gostei do lol br porque os caras sao muito nube

      • robes profile image

        robes 5 years ago

        Pretty good tips!

      • profile image

        SageBias 5 years ago

        I liked it. I also main support and can't fathom why people dislike it so much. I find support and jungle to be the easiest roles to carry solo queue in, because I can ensure that people get fed. As support, I can basically choose whether or not my AD carry is farmed enough to kill people late game. I think the most important thing to note is that bot lane has two equally important champions, not one champion and a heal bot. Too many people just sit in the bushes doing nothing while the AD carries passively last hit minions. The trick is to do things, as a support. Playing Alistar? Heal a minion just before it dies so that the enemy AD doesn't get the CS. Playing Soraka? Auto-attack the enemy team. So what if their AD hits you three times; maybe he missed CS because he stopped to attack you, and you'll get the health back with Wish, but that CS is gone forever. There are innumerable little things you can do to get ahead in bot lane; you just have to find them.

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