Season 3 and Supports; Yes, People play Supports!
The pre-season patch is coming soon, with a massive amount of changes to every role. Stonewall will cover the jungle, Hashshinshin will cover top lane and bruisers, but who covers supports? Elementz doesn't post blogs and covers tier lists for all champs, plus he is a busy guy. Which is why I am here. I am no pro player, but during season 2, I played a lot of support. It isn't my favorite role, nor is it the one I strive to get every game. But when someone claims they cannot (or will not) play support, I do it. I have done this for two main reasons. First, few people actually understand what a support does or does it well. Bad supports will lose lanes and games, I have seen it happen all the time and I will not let my AD suffer the horrible fate of a straight up incompetent support. Second, I have been told by much higher level players than me that I do it well, so I practice it. While I am not Elementz, I have played enough support to have some kind of thoughts on them.
Note: I had originally planned to discuss the future of season 3 with what we know, then the patch on the PBE hit. I am not going to go too deep in specifics, as those can rapidly change. But I will look over the general changes to masteries, ambient gold gain and some of the new items that have me most excited.
Supports being the only adults in the room and babysitting the rest of the crew? Normal
Vast change to League of Legends is upon us. And one of the most affected will be supports, but that is a good thing! I am going to give certain items their own section for the ones that I look forward too.
1. Ambient Gold Generation
Riot has stated that one change they have made is to increase natural gold generation across the board. Lane minions do not give as much gold, but lanes are planned to get as much gold as they used too from killing creeps. Since Supports do not get any gold from creeps, this is a net gain on gold for supports. How much is likely to be tweaked, but we are going to have more gold just because the map gives us more.
2. Movement Speed Boost
Riot has given every champion in the game an additional 25 movement speed to offset the boot reduction. This is huge, if you did not have boots before, everyone would catch you. I felt like I absolutely MUST get boots as soon as possible or I would get run down all day. Now, it is not quite so bad. You could postpone boots some if you choose and that will save you money. Boots in general will not be quite so mandatory. Still a must-have, but not as much.
Pickpocket will give supports a small amount of extra gold. Every AA gives a small amount of gold to the support. That is rather fun and makes AA harass for supports that much more important. Not that I needed a reason to attack the enemy team, but knowing I get some gold for it is great! Then there is a free potion in Bisketeer, a free ward in explorer and free movement in the final mastery. Utility looks a lot more promising now and that is a direct buff to supports. While other champions can surely enjoy the tree too, I imagine that supports will find it the most useful.
When they removed Heart of Gold, the biggest sadness for me was not the loss of a GP/10. It was the loss of a good item to give me health. Supports are very common targets and building a Philo Stone before HoG could very often be a death sentence. Now, we have an item that Supports really want and gives us health. That is all on top of the fact it gives us wards! I always had to plan to spend at least 150 on wards when I went back to buy. Now, I do not have to plan to get at least two wards. That is almost 150 gold a trip saved unless I really want more wards. The number of savings so far looks to be pretty high, but what to spend this new gold on?
5. Kage's Last Breath
One of the biggest issues I see in random games is initiation. The question I always ask myself about our team is "Who and how do we start teamfights?" Now, I have the ability to basically make anyone an initiator. This can help with weak team comps and that makes me very happy. Especially since it keeps the GP/10 component.
6. Wraith Collar
Another fun new item for our team vision granting mission. Having a way to scout around a dark map when the enemy team is not there is going to be really, really useful. How often have you or a teammate gone to ward and die? Now I can explore safely for my team.
7. Mikeal's Crucible
This item scares me a little with how good it is. Essentially, you can give someone three (!) cleanses with this, QSS and Cleanse. That is a lot of CC removal for any champion. Imagine a Support Morgana with this item and suddenly melee AD can do some serious work without fear of being CC'd as much. It requires teamwork, but it is a strong option. Did I mention it gives a quick heal based on missing health? That is nice too.
Supports are everyone's best friends!
There is a lot to be excited for in Season 3. If you are a Support player, then you probably already have high hopes for season 3. If you do not play Supports, then you can see now why they would be excited. I honestly think this will help change some of the perception of Supports in games. If for some reason I get ahead as a support (like getting a miraculous 3 kills for example) then I can really impact the game quickly. Imagine having the ability to come back to lane with a very early Zeke's herald and still have the mandatory role of supports filled with a sightstone. In that case, I get ahead, my team gets ahead and I can have a more visual impact on the game while being more fun to play.