How Supports Carry Games; Read it you "I Don't Play Support" Guy!


How Supports Carry Games; Read it you "I Don't Play Support" Guy!

     Season 3 is upon us and I almost want to call it "League of Legends: Rise of the Supports!"  These guys have been dramatically improved with the new additions to the game and are by far more fun to play.  But, there continues to be people who claim "I don't have runes for support" or claim that they don't own any.  To which I say, "Bullshit."  Season 3 has brought with it a large number of great changes for supports that make them so much more fun, interesting and engaging.  I admit that supports were not as interesting in season 2, but that does not mean they are in season 3.  

If Sona and Cho can have Tea together, you can play support!

Supports in Season 2

     Before we talk about season 3, lets talk about season 2.  In season 2, supports were lucky to get something more than an aegis during a game.  By being the biggest source (only in some cases) of wards, drained support gold to such an extent that a typical support build would be boots 1, philo stone, Heart of gold and wards times infinity.  Supports were responsible for map control and it was the job of your teammates to really be able to use that to their advantage.  If they do not, it goes unused and that is very common in solo que for your teammates to not utilize it.  As such, supports were considered ineffective in many games, as their job would go unused in many cases.  One common cry was that if you had a fed support (rare case) it would do nothing for your team.  Well, it would lead to map control though earlier GP10's, more pink wards and a tankier support due to to earlier items.  But that doesn't mean much if your teammates must have a MIA to avoid someone coming to their lane.

     When team fights come around, supports were often the first to die or be targeted.  In Solo que, people often target the first thing they can see or what they know they can kill, and anyone could kill supports.  Due to lack of items from buying a bijillion wards, supports were squishy compared to any other role apart from maybe AD.  Normally this was not the biggest issue, as you generally could use your ult and abilities, essentially doing your job before you died.  But, you did die if anyone wanted to kill you, especially if you found a wild Xin as you were warding.  This no doubt frustrated many people and made them dislike support more.

     Basically, you had to support someone else, you had a job to do that people didn't always take advantage of, you were squishy as heck and never got to play with cool items.  Which leads us to...

Supports in Season 3

     Riot has done a lot to help out supports and addressed almost everything I mentioned as an issue in season 2.  

1.  Enhanced gold makes you almost a tank so you can stay alive and do more.

     Gold savings have been dramatic for me and for those supports I have seen in tournaments.  Math and numbers are one thing, but stories work very well when talking to others. 

     I have had multiple games where I had an Aegis, Zeke's, Ruby Sight stone and Shuryelia's in my inventory.  As a result, I ended up being one of the tankiest members of my team.  So much so, that I actually flashed into the middle of an enemy team, ulted myself as Lulu, slowed everyone and manged to WALK AWAY from the enemy team.  Reckless? Silly? Foolish?  Probably all of the above, but I did it and got away with it.  In season 2 that would have never worked.  And those who thought I was fragile and would be an easy kill in season 2, cried as my team murdered them in season 3.  Supports are not an easy target anymore.  In fact.... 

     At the TSM invitational on 12/8/2012, Lemonnation was playing lulu against Curse.NA.  Lulu was the last one left alive and 4 members of curse dived him under his turret.  In season 2, this would have been an easy kill, but that little yordle lived for a very long time under their attack.  He had multiple health and defensive items making him a borderline tank.  All while being a very useful member of his team.  

     Math and numbers will tell you that supports get more gold, but now you see what that new gold actually does for you.

2. Sightstone is amazing and makes bad supports actually work on warding the map.

     This is your best friend and will give you most of the map control you need for your lane and upgrading it will give you enough wards for general use till you need to blanket baron in wards.  I would say it would be enough if everyone on your team always had a couple wards but lets be realistic here.

     As I said, the support usually had the job of map vision, this item does that and gives health.  The hallmark of a bad support was someone who never had a ward in their inventory.  Now, they always should have a ward in their inventory.  No more do they have to make a choice for going for items but not doing their vision job.  Even if you never buy another ward past sightstone, you will have wards to use for your team and save your teams rear.  Playing support got a lot easier for everyone.  

3. Cool, New effective items to buy

    In season 2, even if I had gold to buy items, it would probably be the same set of items every time.  Aegis, Zeke's, Reverie.  Now I have Twin shadows, Shard of true ice, Runic Bulwark, Sightstone, Mikeals Crucible and if a team comp wants it, I could get a WOTA.  Suddenly the idea of a fed support is actually scary to the enemy team in more ways than just map vision.  I could get an early Zeke's herald, giving me everything I want and putting my team ahead with my other role filled by sightstone.

     Now I can carry in a more traditional sense of the word by having a more visceral impact on the game.  No one thanks for me placing a team fight starting ward, but I do get thanks when I cleanse something off my carry or take pressure off my teammates.  Now that I do not die to a stiff breeze, I can get in closer and actually take risks.   

     Further, I have more decisions I can make to impact my team.  If someone is getting CC'd, I have an item for that.  If my AD is behind and needs help, I have an item for that.  If we have problems with the enemy doing magic damage, I have an item for that.  These are decisions I can make independent of my teammates allowing me more direct impact. 


     I am sure there will always be "that guy" who refuses to play something other than carry.  But the arguments for supports not being able to carry games was not true in season 2 and almost impossible to argue in season 3.  Being tougher alone made my impact in team fights so much more, well, impactful.  But with so many other positive changes for supports, I truly believe supports are vastly more powerful and fun this season.  There is no longer any real argument about just accepting what happens when you play support because you have no impact.  You do, learn support and get ready to really show you can carry games.    





  • #49 Sunny2Lax

    I really love my clan. They were searching for a supporter for a long time, and a while ago they found me. And how much i hear "omg, nice, that's why i want you to play support!" - i can't count it. it's so nice.
    almost nothing is more satisfying than ablitzcrank grab of a 12-0 midlaner right into the dragon pit and a followed shutdown.

    But i still hate playing Support in Solo Queue. I was almost 1400 ELO. (Obv, i am not a pro player, but if u watch me, you'll se, i am not a total retard, know when i make a mistake and understand the game)
    then i played support 90% in rankeds, because 90% i am lastpick and 100% i am so friendly that i play, where others want me to go. that leads to a (!) 400 (!) ELO down streak to 1003 elo.
    how was this possible? RETARD AD CARRYS ALL THE WAY LONG. i get afkers, people who ALLHIT instead of lasthitting, engaging 1v3 WHEN THEY HAVE VISION. they do not look on the map, when there is a ward at dragon - the whole team comes and they go to push the tower.

    just tell me, how the fuck can i carry these guys? it's IMPOSSIBLE. i don't expect everyone to be a pro, but i expect them to use their brain. and in chat, it's always my fault then, because MIDLANE is not warded and BARON is not warded and TOPLANE is not warded and riven is 12-0. people keep saying right into my face they don't need wards, because it's my task and not theirs.

    i simply can't stand that. supporters can only sometimes carry the AD - if you land a blitzcrank grab, EVERY dumbest ad carry will damage them. but i saw it so often, that a taric is amazing, puts in a stun on my carry... and nothing happens. because the enemy ad is a retard too. but he always farms better than mine. but if that 1v3 engager corki is 0-7, i can't do anything but walk away and let him die the 8th time and then the BOTLANE is reported for feeding, not the corki.

    the only issue to actually solve that problem is to duo-queue. i have like 20 good supporters on my fl but only 2 ad carrys... amazing. so i am playing ad mainly now. because i know i can carry and use my brain. and to find a nice and good support is much easier than to find a good and nice ad carry.

    however, support is much more fun to play now in the game, but it doesn't solve the problem, that noone actually wants to play it, as long as there are all the other retards. support players are often the most friendly players in the team and not seldom also the best ones. uncounted great tarics and leonas... (awful sonas and blitzcranks all the time though...)

    nvm, that's a thing, i always wanted to write. i am right back up at 1100 elo now carrying myself up with a bit of ad carry work - but people now just pick ad carry when we said as premates, that we want to go bot, just because i am lastpick and he writes in caps lock. if i don't pick the shit role, where i suck, i am a troll and get reported. if i do and already said it before i get reported for feeding.

    maybe someone can tell me, why i am ~85-95% the last pick of every damn solo queue game. i have enough... i really like playing support, but not with retard randoms, because you can't do a shit then. you can do exactly nothing but leave your lane and get reported for that. or let him die and get report for it, or try to save him, die too and get reported for feeding, or leave the game and get reported, or gank midlane and roam and get reported for stealing farm and exp.

    Last edited by Sunny2Lax: 12/11/2012 10:56:19 PM
  • #47 churahm

    The problem with supports is still apparent overall. To me, a support cannot carry his game, at least not build as a support, even with a full build. A support's job is making your teammate's game easier, increasing THEIR power level, while not really doing much for himself.

    In my opinion, a support doesn't add anything to the team, instead, it multiplies the effect of your team. A Janna tornado doesn't kill, it doesn't backdoor, it doesn't create a gold advantage, but instead it helps your teammates get that gold advantage, by disrupting the enemy team. The tornado, on it's own, doesn't do much.

    When I say it "multiplies" the effect of your team, that means that at some point, if the other team's skill level is that much higher than your team's, as a support, you will only multiply a number that's so low, it wont make your team as good anyway.

    Now the problem, especially for solo queue, is when the other team members aren't equally as skilled as the other team.
    A team with higher skill will be A LOT easier to support to victory. If your team is bad, uncoordinated, or just doing stupid moves, the only thing you can do as a support is make these mistakes less bad for your team, while the other support has it easy. 

    This whole "supports can carry games too" bullshit isn't true, a fed support wont do as much as anyone else who's fed. If everyone is under leveled, under fed and under farmed and as a support you're fed for some reason, all you will do, once again, is be more tanky. Still, that Janna tornado won't win you the game, the map vision, against better opponents, can only get you so far, since they will probably have map vision of their own.

    The same applies lane wise. If your AD carry cannot CS, and I mean is just way worse than the enemy AD, it wont matter much what you do to harass. If the enemy support is equally as good as you, and by that I mean if he can ward and harass correctly, the enemy carry will get more farm, and again, there is nothing you can do to prevent that. This is what I mean by multiplicative boost to your team. 

    Again, on the other hand, if you're mid lane, and dominating your opponent, you will be able to go in other lanes, sometimes instantly kill that person, and move on to other lanes until you're 12/0 and carry your game. That's what carrying means, being so far ahead that the other team has no way of stopping you. A support is, for the most part, a CC machine/healbot/whatever supports do. Whether you are 12/0 or 0/0, your job wont make much more of a difference, that is why you usually leave the kills and cs to your carry.

    I mostly agree with this post, just saying that, as far as I'm concerned, people don't hate playing support because it's boring, they hate it because the victory of your team is in their hands, for the most part. Sometimes people just don't trust anyone else, and that's understandable, so why would you play support if you think your team will do bad? The best way to play support, if you really like it, is duo queuing with a friend who you are confident with and plays ranged AD and HELP HIM CARRY to victory, because, once again, you cannot carry yourself, you make him better than he already is.

  • #48 Dj0z

    I don't know man, you are right in saying that support are like Deathcap: they multiply your team's power by X%, where X is how much said support is fed.

    They can still actually "add" something though, to stay in that algebra comparison thingy. Picture a support so fed, he has Captain boots + Aegis + Shurelya's + Bulwark + Zeke's + Wota. He directly adds to every ally nearby: +20AD +10%LS; +armor +60MR +10HPregen; +30AP +20%SV; active speed boost, and passive movement speed to allies going towards him. Whoever you are that means you now sustain like a beast just by being around said support. You also deal more damage if have any AD or AP ratios at all, and you're much more resistant to damage.

    I know that's not a standard support build, and it lacks wards which is unforgivable, but you know, top laner can just build Aegis and you go make Ruby Sightstone. If you're so fed you will have no problem helping top laner get the kills for it, and now you got a whole team on steroids. Sounds like legit power adding to me.

    More generally though, support can simply itemize for whatever is needed when getting fed. Problem with fed mage? Rush Bulwark. Enemies geeting away from your tank? Shard of True Ice. Fed twitch/eve/rengar? Oracle. Hell you could even boost your damage and heals/shields, aswell as drawing enemy focus on you instead of carries, by running a Mejais. (or just DCap if you don't want the "focus" part lol).

    Given your definition of carrying (which i don't entirely agree with but that's another issue), the fed person should basically roam the map, kill everyone and push every tower. It's a very agressive approach that works nicely if you don't get shutdown. A fed support just carries differently: can still assist in pushing every lane, but will also be able to boost everyone else in his team with auras, counterward all day, while spamming wards all over every tiny objective.

    That's not less efficient, if anything it's even safer, because contrarily to a fed carry who can get chain stunned and shutdown on a bad move, the fed support still doesn't draw much focus whatsoever, and if he did, every ally nearby would have extra power to defend him anyways.

    Last edited by Dj0z: 12/11/2012 10:34:24 PM
  • #50 churahm

    I agree mostly. A fed support IS better than a non-fed support. It is true what you said about a fed carry that can get chain stunned. Unfortunately in solo queue, this is rarely the case.

    I think this article was oriented more towards solo queue than competitive, where a support is always picked anyway. This is what I meant by being able to carry your game. Yes a support will be more efficient if completely fed, but I feel like, if you're the only one who's fed on the team, it wont matter as much as say a fed Irelia for example, or a fed AD carry in general.

    Yes they can make a mistake, yes they can be focused and killed by your team, but the other team also has that option. As a support, even if you're fed or not, your job will mostly be the same. Sure you will shield more, but giving a better shield/heal to someone that barely does any damage results in him dying anyway, with no kills.

    "Picture a support so fed, he has Captain boots + Aegis + Shurelya's + Bulwark + Zeke's + Wota. He directly adds to every ally nearby: +20AD +10%LS; +armor +60MR +10HPregen; +30AP +20%SV; active speed boost, and passive movement speed to allies going towards him."
    I agree, but isn't this just boosting your team all over again? These stats are good, and almost unthinkable to obtain on a support, but even then, I feel like a fed carry with IE/PD/etc. will still tear apart any team with a support that has 6 items, given the same skill level of the players.

    In my opinion  Fed ranged AD + non fed support  >  non fed ranged AD + fed support. I might be wrong, but I feel like that's what people fear in playing support. They feel like you just can do as good as your team is doing, and give them a slight boost.

    Of course, my post doesn't apply in EVERY case imaginable, but I feel like the original thread doesn't apply to every case either. I understand where you're going at with your post, I agree that supports have MORE options to be useful, I just think that in the long run, it might not make as much of a difference as the original post claims in terms of people wanting to play the role.

    By the way, just to be clear, I love playing support. I love what they did with the items, and I think it's a really nice addition to the versatility of support play. I'm just saying that, personally, I wont be playing support that much more if I'm playing by myself just because of everything mentioned above. With friends though, I will gladly play support when I know the team I am supporting is doing their job, and I know that good plays on my part can really make a difference in the end. Not so often with random people though, sadly.

    Last edited by churahm: 12/12/2012 1:36:05 AM
  • #51 Dj0z

    Quote from churahm»

    In my opinion  Fed ranged AD + non fed support  >  non fed ranged AD + fed support.

    Because AD carries get exponentially more powerful with stat multiplicativity, that's true. Especially if said carry is the kind that melts anyone like Vayne. That's why most supports try to let their carries get the kill, even though i've already seen people escape because of that but that's another issue again (some pro team clearly doesn't care about that and had great success still, can't remember who).

    So that leaves a fed support in the same place as a fed anything-except-ADC, linear scaling. Not overwhelming, but good still. The main difference being, as you said, that supports have more options to exploit their fed status. Wards live on even if they die, auras make every ally better, CDR means more heals and CC and initiations that will benefit the whole team, oracles and pink wards can be afforded, etc.

    I feel we've exhausted the topic, can't think of much else to say, other than yeah, beware of solo queue.

  • #45 Tarmean

    The gentleman Cho'gath and Sona picture made the article for me XD 

    More seriously though, I agree on the most part... I was always one of those who had neither support champions nor runes. Well, except Karma that is; but as much fun I had with Karma everybody thought i was going to troll so I didn't came to play her all that often. But hey, 100 percent winratio!

    In my first game on Pbe with the S3 changes I played support. And I had actually fun... First time i had any with support - as long as I ignore the times with Karma as semi ap carry that is.


    Never had any real support champion - not even Soraka or Taric - now I just bought Sona.




  • #41 scruftypufty

    after this post i hope i'll get some thank you's for me saving your ass or giving you a triple kill with a heal and a perfect ult....

  • #40 sim3on1

    So, nice guide. Easy to understand and you got straight to the point. But the reason why i don't often play support is because of the runes. I think support runes are kinda expensive. Your guide made me decide to get them because it will be worth it. Cheers

  • #44 randoxx

    GP10 are the cheapest runes in the game :D

  • #42 PalestineBeFree

    For a couple of months I only played support, Their release of Lulu was like FUCK YEAH!! Its was the best thing ever... and that was even without items

    I had support champs, heck I even used to run weird supports that no one thought viable (ex. Mundo, Shaco, fiddle, Rammus, nid, zil, lux you name it!) and dominated more standard supports

    Is it kind of annoying sometime when you got a bad AD? sure, but when you get a good AD its feels amazing when you dominate your lane and change team fights around with just a few spells

    Support has alot of complexity that Right clickers and the like will never know

  • #43 randoxx

    Honestly I dont see whats fun of last hitting a hero... Plus If u think that ur role as a support is to "die for your team" you got it all wrong. Many times support are the ones who set up for kills, and the carries only pick them up.

  • #37 JagGentlemann
    I don't play support becauses I hate being in the same lane with a random AD carry, most of the times are jerk that only care about their score. I love saving people with Jarvan, Warwick, Singed, any champion that is not just "I heal you and it was k". I love playing Leona but I don't play her often because of that.
  • #36 Krethak

    I pretty mich agree with this article, in fact i felt playing support since the patch was way more fun than it was in S2. In S2 I only played support when noone else wanted to do so, so pretty much all the time. It was quite fun playing Sona poking enemys and Leona chain cc them.

    Now i always pick support if noone else want to do so (already got 3 summoners wanted to play supp, never seen this before). The new items are really great and often i am pretty tanky in the end. Only thing i need to learn is so use these actives ...

  • #35 Dj0z


    I think supports are actually the true leaders of a team, and i'm seeing this more and more since S3 and Nami happened.

    They ward the next objective. You just don't go somewhere unwarded unless you have a deathwish or are fed, so you go where your support wards (even more true for tank supports including jungle but it's not the topic here). In other words, support decides where you go.

    They directly make nearby teammates more resistant/sustained/damaging, so whoever they decide to help at moment T, is subtely encouraged to fight, and those who aren't the support's focus are slightly encouraged to play more safely for now or recall.

    They have initiation tools that often decide where and when the next kill or teamfight happens, that was already true with Sona/Taric/Blitz/Ali/Leona etc, but now that there's Nami's R and items like Shard of True Ice and Twin Shadows, it's even more obvious.


    Spread the love <3

    Last edited by Dj0z: 12/10/2012 11:57:22 PM
  • #31 randoxx

    I love playing support, but honestly what I dont like about it is how retard is it to play support in LoL. In dota support is by far the hardest role, and is one of the most important ones. In LoL most support have 0 skill cap (Taric, Soraka, Sona, leona, NUNU,), generally u do no damage, all u do is buy wards, and late game you are usless as sh*t. I dont really think that support items has changed that.

    But thats just my opinion, no hate plz, just healthy discussion

  • #32 K0stra

    Acually supports CAN decide late game teamfights, good Sona ultimate for example, can turn the tide, Nunu, that is able to properly use his ult and keep carries under E and W has riddicullous impact on dmg output and i really fail to see, how is Earthshaker harder to play then Taric or what exatly make Windrunner more challenging than Lulu.

    Fact that you are doing no damage... well early burst from let´s say Leona may make her more scarry then carry, yeah later on carries will absolutely take over and bruisers will laught at you... pretty much in both games.

    DotA tends to be bit more complex (not as much as hard-core doter like to think thou - i play both to pretty much same extend atm), work on a bit different principle and yes new items really don´t do muhc mmore then adding few more buttons to press, on the other hand one could argue, that Mobas are generally just about pressing few buttons, and if you are playing class ntirelly based around spells, i really dunno what else you want.

    I always hated AG heroes ("umm yeah i can just go play bottle-shooter as well") but i don´t really have issue with ADCs so i understand, that overall feeling of a class can really differ just thanks to few miniscule distinctions.

    And if you don´t want hate, maybe improve your vocabulary and find alternatives for words like "retard", jsut saying :P .


  • #33 randoxx

    Well im sory but i actually couldnt find a better word to describe such an easy role. I MAIN support, but honestly, as taric i can just faceroll the keyboard and ill do the same as thinking what i am doing. You metioned a few easy heros, but take for example Invoker or wisp. Thats what im talkin about. Those two can carry hard even when supporting. And I love the fact that u depend mainly on your skills to do it, unlike taric or sona (lets face it, sona is an EXTREMELY easy champion, his ultimate is very easy to land well, and is far from being game-changing). As i said before, i love playin support on both games, but honestly lol seems a little bit to easy, and im not just saying it, is the way i feel every time I play (except maybe with Janna).

  • #39 Emeraldw

    You can't say a role is "easy" because a champion is.  There are easy champions for every single role. 

  • #28 Dub_Rio

    My past 4 games as support I am a combined 6/2/63... No joke. Climbin out of elo hell.

    Last edited by Dub_Rio: 12/10/2012 8:38:52 PM
  • #21 Cerbereth

    Unless the jungler gets fed off ganks he is now weaker than a support.

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