How Can You Tell if a Champion Can Support?


A common complaint about the support role is that the champion pool for it isn't very diverse. While that is true (at least compared with anything that isn't ad carry), it isn't quite as narrow as you'd think. Curse's Elementz plays Fiddlesticks a lot as support but we don't see many people playing him. He is not considered part of the support cast even though Elementz has used him consistently and in varying matchups. 

Part of the problem that causes this is that people don't understand at a deeper level what makes a champion capable of supporting. On the surface, Fiddlesticks does not seem remotely close to Janna, Taric, Soraka, Lulu, Leona, or other typical supports, whereas typical supports commonly seem to provide armor, heal, stun, etc. 

I'm going to review what a support does, attributes and abilities you want your support to have (no one has all of them), then review some of the unorthodox possibilities I've considered and explain why or why not they don't work out.

What Every Carry Wants

There's one caveat I have, and that is the kill lane caveat. You can take literally any champ in the game, have them not take the cs, and then have them try to kill lane opponents to get the ad fed. The problem is, this is a huge gamble because if you don't win the lane so hard that the other carry becomes completely irrelevant, you will automatically become irrelevant yourself late game. You might get ahead by 30 cs and 2 kills, but late game the enemy team's support will still be useful, and you won't be, and the tradeoff for just that 1,000 gold advantage on your carry is not enough to justify it.

I'll make some obvious statements to drive the point home, but they'll be prove useful later when evaluating less obvious candidates for the support position.

Defensive: Protect and Disengage

The first and most obvious set of attributes a support needs is the ability to defend and protect. Abilities that target teammates, like heals or shields, are the most obvious, but there are also knockbacks and knockups, speed buffs, or even temporarily making someone invincible (Kayle). Slows and stuns can also serve this purpose. The more a champion can keep an opponent off an ally, or stall them, or get in their way, the better.

A support always needs to have some ability to save an ally's life without necessarily having to kill the opponent. Even more aggressive supports like Leona or Blitz have the ability to do this. Doing this is what separates a support from simply a mage or fighter who happens to have a slow or stun. Sion, for example, is not a good support, though Taric is, when they have similar stuns.

Engage, Initiate, Pursue, Harrass

A support is also capable of fighting. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. If opponents are scared of someone because they'll gradually take 1/3 or 1/2 their health in the next minute with minimal consequences, or because that person will cc them so hard that their carry will win a fight for free, or because you'll prevent them from getting out of tower range after they start a tower dive, then that is another form of protection.

Later in teamfights, it's great when a support can start a teamfight at the front line by separating/isolating an enemy or by tanking so that the other 4 teammates, all of which will deal more damage, will have more time to deal damage themselves.

In group or team fights, it's also helpful when a support helps teammates pick off stragglers. This is done using many, though not all, of the protective abilities.

Harrassing is the ability to deal damage in lane. The purpose is to make enemies miss creep score, flee upon engagement due to being behind in health, or even force a recall or get an ally a kill.


During the lane and postlane phase, buffs are casted and passive abilities that give extra stats or abilities to allied champions. Soraka gives everyone free Magic Resistance with her passive, for instance. These abilities make it so it's more likely for teammates to get the kill and not the support. If you give ap or damage to an ally, that champion is more likely to get it. This is why Aegis of the Legion, one of the best and most cost-efficient items in the game, is best on a support or jungler.

Scaling and Money

Supports can do all these things while giving the majority of the kills to teammates, without taking many creep kills either. A support can succeed while having at least 12 points in the utility tree for the gold mastery, greed, Gold per 10 seconds runes, and gold per 10 seconds items like Philosopher's Stone, Heart of Gold, and then Shurelya's Reverie. Supports need to buy wards because it's their job and you want other teammates to have more money. Using these items, masteries, and runes helps you do that. If a champion can't do well or be relevant without using these items, runes, and masteries, then they fail a basic criterion.

AND they still need to be able to help win teamfights, and not feed/melt while doing so. Janna's abilities are all useful even if she had absolutely no items whatsoever, because of what they do. Even with no AP or damage to scale them, they still do what they do nicely. Having high base values is also helpful for this reason.

Different Supports--Why Can Fiddlesticks, Yorick, or other unusual choices work?

Now to explore some unorthodox possibilities. Remember. the more of the 5 abilities that do this, the better a champ can support.

Fiddlesticks and Yorick are what we'll start with, because they have actually been used at high level play, but people still don't understand why. Fiddlesticks 5 abilities are a -10 MR to enemy champs within 1000 range (debuff), a fear, (protect / disengage / engage / harrass), drain (damage, but self-sustaining), a bouncing silence (debuff / protect / harrass), and an ultimate that deals 125/225/325 magic damage per second (and there's at least -10 MR on anyone hit), without any ap added. Drain and his ultimate are not typical support spells, but they give him something to do in teamfights and help them win, and help him survive. It also puts enemies in check--even though this guy might have no items, he'll still have that -10 MR debuff and a lot of damage. If you have to focus the support, what will happen to you in the meantime, before you even hit the tanks and bruisers? At level 5, he has a 2-second cc, and he has a silence that can hit multiple targets. Fidd's cc can have a carry down by half before the fight even starts, and then he starts draining, forcing the choice of "hit the damaging/healing support" vs. "hit the carry while this support drains me". It's range is long too, making disengagement difficult.

Now Fiddlesticks isn't the best support, but he can actually do it, and if the other team isn't expecting it or doesn't have answers, he can be a great help.

Yorick's ultimate means that even if a person gets burst down early, they can be revived for ten seconds. Or he can cast early, dealing another 55/65/75% damage of a carry's auto-attacks. If you're sieging a tower, you can literally spend 5 minutes Yorick-ulting 3-times with the ghost upfront and the mage and live carry in back, slowly chipping it down. He has an AOE slow, and his Q and E are offensive, but they make him tanky enough to go toe-to-toe with junglers and bruisers. Ghouls block skill shots and are super annoying. If you think this is easily ignored, you haven't played against it. The harrass is crazy.

Here are some other champions I've considered as supports, putting them in three categories, can, can't, and meh/maybe.

Can't Support

Ziggs: I tried this one for ages. In lane and even mid game he's great in jungle fights and stealing buffs and dragons. His mines take up an entire corridor in the jungle. There is no pathway they don't completely block off. And his passive is awesome harrass in lane, leaving auto-attack trades in his favor (assuming you got enough armor to start). The problem is hi Q, R, and passive are just damage, and late game they don't do enough to matter, and the mines and satchel aren't enough cc to protect. He is stuck with mid, unfortunately, which is too bad, because in lane he's really fun and he's great at preventing and initiating ganks and chasing down junglers or carries that got in too deep.

Amumu, Mao: sometimes I actually see this in ranked games and I cringe if it's on my team, because I always lose. They do have cc, but they need scaled items to be tanky in late game. Their aoe also leads to lots of creep stealing. They dive hard to get kills for their team, but they need have the extra money from jungling to be able to afford to do this. Squishy tanks end up being useless. If you think you should have them be a kill-lane, remember the kill lane caveat.

Shaco: boxes are an interesting idea, as is using clones to scout. He is also slow. Unfortunately, eh can't peel too well and doesn't scale. His mana costs are too high also. Hilarious when attempted, even funnier when it works.

Warwick: the attack speed buff is grossly inferior to Janna's shield, Lulu's shield, or Nunu's bloodboil. His skillset for durability just can't be done without some scaling. E is great for chasing, but it only helps for Warwick, not for teammates. Ultimate is nice in lane, but you just get obliterated later in the game.

Sejuani: She is actually better than the tanks I've reviewed so far as her passive doesn't cost anything, but again, she doesn't scale. Her ultimate can be done from range and is great, but her passive, Q, and E all require her to tank what she can't afford to.

Singed: passive, q, and R are nice harrass and tank stuff, but not enough to do much. It's hard to initiate with Singed's w and e when you're decently farmed. Using R to just try to get one fling is very weak initiating indeed. The E is nice for peeling, but there are champs that can do everything Singed can and more. He needs to be top where he can farm and push like crazy.

Swain, Syndra: similar to Ziggs, but worse. The mana costs and cooldowns and utility of their abilities make them weak. Half their abilities are simply damage or are irrelevant.

Rammus: the kill lane caveat doesn't apply as heavily to Rammus. His W makes up for lack of items and if you can get an early aegis and/or Shurelya's, you can be great at ganking mid by using Q from dragon. He is too vulnerable to harrass though, and doesn't have the sustain. He is a burst all/in champ that can't get in the Blitz or Leona can. If you actually make it late game he scales a lot better than some of these other poor supports, but he just has too hard a time in the early and mid games.

Teemo: this one is curious. Mushrooms are indeed annoying, and help provide vision on the map. Blind is nice, but that is the only supporty move he brings to the fight. He has no sustain, and in team-fights all he can do is blind and try to do damage, all while being squishy. Teemo needs to sting like a bee to be effective, be it AP or AD, and without the items, he can't do that. Once again, lane phase is where he can do something, and then afterwards he becomes too squishy.

Volibear: nice in lane. Completely irrelevant late. He'll get poked or burst down trying to initiate. You don't want a support that dies or loses half his health just to do one flip. His slow is dangerous and not ranged, his w and R are damage moves that require him to be close. Passive is not good at end-game. He's weak at top and jungle. He's horrible at supporting. I hate when I see this guy at bottom lane. 

Sivir: I accidentally ended up doing this once. We won heavily. You shouldn't pick it, though she's actually in the top 3 for AD carry supports. Her ultimate helps the team a lot, including in late game. Her Q, passive, and W make for great poking and passive, even in later mid-game. Her spell-shield means she'll be even less likely to be targeted. Still, she can't protect whatsoever except from her ult. It would be fun to use her with a jungler and bruiser that benefit greatly from movespeed and auto-attack speed (Warwick, Xin, Jayce, etc) and watch the fur fly, but this isn't competitive.

Orianna: This one is really too bad, because she's almost but no cigar. Her Q lets her check bushes safely, her W can slow down or speed up, and she provides a shield with both armor and MR (it provides 30 of each at level 5, a very high amount at level 9; at level 7, it's 25). Her R will disrupt an entire team. Her passive is nice for trades/harrass in lane. Unfortunately, her mana costs are too high and she doesn't have mobility or ability to use abilities at multiple times. That ball can only be doing one thing at a time. To even reattach it for the passive costs 60 mana. Taric and Soraka provide armor and mr for free, no costs, no turning off or on.

Can Support

Ashe: Niche to be sure, but she can actually scale late game, stay useful, and not die for free. Her passive is great for harrass and is a nice first hit in every fight, her bird helps with map control, which supports do, and her W and Q are crazy poke and permaslow. Her ultimate allows her to pick off and set up kills for her team over and over again. Remember how I said Janna's abilities would be useful, even if she had no items. So would Ashe's, especially her ult.

Jayce: Jayce has 8 moves, 4 of which he has access to any time. If he uses one of the free ones, he gets a small burst of speed. The free ones are extra magic damage on hit, reduced armor and magic resist on hit. His melee moves are a knockback, a slow, and an aoe damage; his ranged moves are a couple of pokes, and a shurelya's proc that is easier for teammates to make use of. He can run and chase like Nidalee, then extend that power to his team. You could seriously make a team comp based on poke and movespeed with a Jayce support, running in and out together. He can handle being next to someone with his free armor and MR in melee mode, or he can sit back and harrass from range. He's not top-tier but if the enemy team doesn't have enough engage or initiation, you can hit away their only initiator over and over again while you and your team poke like crazy until your initiator starts, and with a lead to boot.

Lux: she's not the best but I've seen her at high-elo play. Lux is hard to play, but if you land her shots she is very difficult for your opponents to deal with. Her R is great for sniping or using early in fights to help burst, and she has a slow which reveals brush, a double-snare, and a shield. Her abilities remain relevant all game.

Zyra: Free mini-wards. Can seedcheck to use real wards, seedcheck baron and dragon, burn dragon with two seeds. Her plants scale themselves with your level. Her E provides snare and slow and works really well when you're in the back (which you will be, as support). The bait potential with seeds is great--you can stick one in lane bush when you are maxed, wait 15 and put 3 more for tons of harrass. Her ult can knock up a whole team. End game, she will still be cc'ing the team and providing plenty of damage and cc. She is especially good vs. Taric in lane, when Ali and Blitz are banned, which is all the time. Put seeds in bush. If he gets even remotely close, snare/slow him or the carry. He won't get the stun off, or if he does, it won't last as long as the carry is snared.

Can Kinda Support...Maybe

Anivia: I played against this once due to some player confusion. She's got a wall, a slow, a stun, high base values, and her passive means she can all-in and die against a lane while her teammate cleans up. She's too slow for this, so it's probably not a good idea, but this is one of the better mage supports I've seen.

Lee Sin: Phil Stone is not an option for him unfortunately, but he has no mana costs and he can harrass and defend and peel like a boss. I wouldn't recommend this, but if you do moderately well with him he can stick to carries like glue, shielding, ulting with his knockback, and 

Heim: again, worse mages you could have. His passive provides health regen, something that is easily forgotten. Turrets are inferior to Zyra seeds though, as they attack anything on site. On the other hand, they're permanent and you can stick one in tribush or the gank bush. Late game, you can plop two down and have them start slowing. Missiles are kind of irrelevant, but he has a blind/stun on his E. 

Jarvan IV: he has a slow, a nice harrass on his passive, a knockup, and he provides attack speed in a buff. He also reduces enemy armor. He also gets free armor from one of his abilities. It's possible, but he's very iffy because he does not have the ability to escape. He can knockup or ult, but then he can't get out of it overcommits. For this reason, I hesitate to recommend him, but you might be able to do it with enough coordination and if the team comps are right.

Nidalee: Traps are nice for vision, and she does heal and provide attack speed, but she can't really protect. I know she's supposed to be considered a support, but unlike these other unconventional choices, she cannot actually slow, knockback, knockup, speedup, or stun, so she can't actually stop anyone from charging or diving. She can only heal and deal damage. This is why she's not really picked very often.

Galio: provides magic and armor but only as a buff, and it heals him, not the carry. He can protect with his slow and his speed buff, and his ult is great. Problem is that at late game he's often too squishy to ult well, and that's the most important thing Galio does. Has problems harassing too as his spells are expensive. His passive means free AP from aegis, merc's, and base stats, but it's not enough to do enough damage. Hence, he's "meh."

Nautilus: This is no secret. He has a snare, hook, slow, and knockup, and they are all easy to hit. The problem with Naut is that he needs W for his shield, which scales with health, which he needs jungle money to do. Blitz's shield is free, Leona's shield is better and she is better able to be aggressive as her Q goes through minions. Take Leona or Blitz over him. If you can't get either of those, he's not bad, it's just that Blitzcrank and Leona are better at doing Naut's job in every way in bottom lane.

Gangplank: great harrass, you can't stun him because he'll just orange (and he's the support anyway), and he can provide a movespeed/damage buff and can globally provide an aoe slow, as well as permaslow anyone he auto-attacks. He also has the highest base health level in the game at level 1, at 576. GP support is mediocre because his passive, E and R are weak protection (though great for chasing) and because he can't handle armor and heals, which is provided by common supports like Soraka and Taric, and shields can block his harrass. If they have weak shields or don't have heals at bott lane, you can consider taking him. Make sure to build him as tanky and not damage.

Protect with Honor

Before you pick some non-obvious support, remember that your job is still the same and your pick still needs to be qualified. Hopefully these points will help you to better know why most champions can't support, and what to do if somehow you get a failed trade or a doubled-pick and get stuck at bottom. Good luck carrying your carry to victory!

Old Man Eyebrows

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  • #26 UselessKungFu

    Surprised not to see LeBlanc on the list. She's seeing more use in the support role lately.

  • #25 exacerberus

    I made a long post that seem to have been instantly deleted (probably because it contained a link to a solomid guide). Well, if that's what happened, shame on you RoG admins... I didn't save a draft and for sure I 'm not gonna write it again.

    I mostly agree with all those guys saying that Jarvan is actually a better support than you credited him; same for GP. You should add Morg too (even if she's better in mid lane); LB is a good (yet unorthodox) support as well... but really I'm not gonna write it all again to prove my points.

    Anyway very enjoyable article, good job

  • #27 RisingChaos

    I've always maintained the position that Gangplank is a better Nunu. I hate support Nunu. He's complete garbage in lane. No gapcloser and Ice Ball's range is too short to harass with, so he doesn't do anything but somewhat curb enemy aggression (i.e. can't dive too hard). All the traditional supports have a way to interrupt his ult too, the same reason support Fiddle can't just automatically win lane by walking up and Draining all day. But GP's Parrrley actually has enough range to poke with. Raise Morale may be weaker than Blood Boil on the carry but applies to the entire team post-laning. Cannon Barrage is still one of the best ults in the game.

  • #28 OuterRaven

    Nunu may not be the best support right now, but his skill set synergizes very well with a particular ad carry - Kog' Maw. Nunu's Blood Boil increases atk speed and movement speed, both which are very good for Kog' Maw because atk speed allows him to harass more with Bio Arcane Barrage and the movement speed helps him kite and position himself better due to the lack of escapes.

    Don't underestimate support Nunu, being able to buff your AD carry's atk speed and mov speed, debuff the enemy ad carry's same stats and having a ult that deals an obscene amount of damage is not something to be taken lightly.

  • #24 D48

    I was wondering if anyone has ever tried support Malzahar before?  He has fantastic early harass which should give your AD carry a solid advantage by the time the laning phase is over, and his W will do a tremendous amount of damage late game even without AP.  He also has a heavy silence on his Q, and the enemy is going to be more reluctant to buy QSS because he is just the support.  He also scales well of AP so even the little bit from the gold/10 and Will of the Ancients (either you or the AP carry should probably get this) will add a fair bit of damage to his already high base numbers.

  • #29 Tomaj

    Why would you support Malzahar? The only reliable harass he has is his E; his Q and W both push lane, even if they can be decent zoning tools. At best, using his Q for vision is really the only "support" thing about Malzahar, especially once he ends up with voidlings. Also, people will get a QSS anyway depending on the rest of your team (especially if you have a jungle, mid- or top-lane that has any sort of hard cc).

  • #30 D48

    Honestly, between the stupidly high base damage on the E, normal attacks, and new Voidling AI you have much more harass than most bot lane options even if you do not try to use the Q, and it is heavy on magic damage which bypasses the flat armor runes most bot champs run.  Also, as support you will not be building much AP so the ult will not do that much damage which means forcing the enemy to buy QSS is very much a win, especially because you will still have an AP carry to do damage and exhaust to keep the person who just used the QSS from doing anything useful anyways.

    As for support skills, Malzahar has a 3 second AoE silence on his Q which is a force to be reckoned with in its own right against opponents who rely heavily on spamming skills like Ryze or Riven, his W is a powerful damage zoning skill in team fights even with no AP, and even if the enemy does manage to break out early the ult is still a potent disable which can easily last longer than the stuns on other support champs.

  • #31 Tomaj

    I know what Malzahar does. :) My point being, why would you use him as a support, when there are many much better options who can do similar? Need a suppress? Use Urgot instead of an AD carry, or get Skarner/Warwick to jungle/top. Need a silence? Cho'Gath does this much more reliably, and is more able to survive to boot, thanks to Feast. The only thing that a support Malzahar really has going for him is Null Zone, and even then, you'd be better off with AP Malzahar. Like I said, though, QSS won't be used just for Malzahar's ult, and its range puts you as the support in a dangerous position as it is. What if their support is any traditional support other than Morgana or Lux? You're screwed even if you do manage to ult. There are just too many cons to using a support Malzahar, especially in lane when your E doesn't last as long as a Voidling does, costs a billion mana, and you end up pushing lane because of it. For Malzahar to work as a support, you either need blue buff (fat chance of that), or a Chalice (delays your support item build).

  • #33 D48

    Ok, first there are very good reasons not to take the other heavy suppression champions.  Using Urgot costs you your AD carry late game, and you may not want Skarner/Warwick due to lane matchups, the need for other functionality out of your top/jungle, or player preference.

    Second is the silence, and while you are right that Cho'Gath can silence more reliably, he also has to get much closer to the enemy to do this

    Third, AP Malzahar is not particularly viable outside the laning phase due to the mechanics behind his ult which make it essentially impossible to use offensively in team fights, and putting Malzahar in the support slot means you still have room for an AP carry to make up for the slightly reduced damage on Null Zone because its AP ratio is garbage.

    Fourth is QSS which is a significant investment for the other team, and may not be useful for much besides Malzahar's ult depending on team composition, and even then it really does not do them much good because as a support Malzahar should be packing Exhaust which he can use to shut them down as soon as they break the ult and there will be nothing they can do about it.  The other thing you are forgetting is that a Support Malzahar will be using his ult as more of a defensive screening tool than an offensive weapon due to his limited damage, so he should never be in danger while using it because he will be hanging back to protect one or both of the carries rather than trying to lock down an enemy carry.

    In lane things are very easy because your Voidling is unlikely to survive until your E ends, and if it does you can direct it back at the enemy champions with normal attacks.  You will also not have serious mana problems so long as you stick to your E because you will have mana regeneration in your mastries as well as Faerie Charm, and it should never touch the minions if things are going well unless an enemy champion dies near them so pushing the lane is not going to be a problem.  The other thing that helps a lot is its insane damage output so it will burn through their health a lot faster than it eats your mana.  Really, the entire laning phase can be summarized as "apply E directly to the enemy and win the lane".

  • #34 Tomaj

    1. In the same regard there's little reason to take Malzahar just for his ult - which is literally your entire point.

    2. But Cho'Gath is also able to take the hits because of his Q and R. Even without any items whatsoever, thanks to Feast, Cho'Gath is much tankier than Malzahar, and his silence is more reliable. Malzahar's Q is stupid easy to avoid.

    3. He absolutely is viable outside the laning phase. If you're trying to ult the carries when it's team fight time, you're doing it wrong.

    4. Okay, so say you have a Riven top or Veigar mid or Amumu jungle. They probably still want a QSS to get out of other crowd control. QSS can be used for things other than Malzahar's ult, you know. And in solo queue, the odds of being able to chain cc is pretty slim because of sheer lack of ability to communicate as effectively. It amazes me that you don't understand this. I buy a QSS all the time when there is no suppression champion because it gets me out of other crowd control, too. Plus, ulting still puts you in a vulnerable position. Even as support, you are worth gold to the enemy team, and there are more than just a QSS to break your ult (Alistar and Nautilus are my nemeses with Malzahar in general).

    5. You'd be surprised how long a Voidling can last in early laning. And the problem is that only using your E also negates everything else support wise (zoning from W, silence/vision from Q) that you mentioned earlier. Even with a Faerie Charm/Philosopher's Stone, Malzahar has really bad mana issues if you do not allow his E to jump. Eventually you will run out of mana.

    6. Malzahar is a bad choice for support. There are still too many cons to make him a viable support champion. Yes, you CAN make it work. That doesn't make it even remotely a good choice.

    Last edited by Tomaj: 9/27/2012 10:24:22 PM
  • #35 D48

    1. The big advantage of Malzahar is his early game damage.  He can more or less win bot on his own against most opponents, and can even make pre-6 ganks mid to shake things up some there solo or get a kill in conjunction with the jungler.  Later on he has the most powerful single target disable in the entire game and a powerful damage zoning tool which no other support can match even without his Q.

    2. Yes Cho'Gath is tankier, but he also has to put himself at much greater risk because of his lack of range.  Malzahar on the other hand has plenty of standoff range to work with so he can protect himself with positioning.

    3. Debatable, but ultimately irrelevant for a discussion of Malzahar as a support.  You are never required to pick him, so this comparison is irrelevant unless you build into an AP carry from the support slot.

    4. I do not see how this is relevant.  I was never discussing cc chaining off allies, I was always talking about chaining my own Exhaust after the ult which requires absolutely no cooperation from my team.

    5. My experience bot was that the Voidlings got killed off quickly by fire from the enemy champions and possibly the turret, and that I did not have mana problems unless I got really aggressive with the Q (W is really not particularly useful early because of how it scales of enemy HP).

  • #36 Tomaj

    1. Taric, Alistar, Blitzcrank, even Leona can do ganks mid way better than Malz can. At level 2. He also has one of the most easily countered ultimates in the game - and that's not even counting QSS.

    2. That doesn't change that Cho'Gath can afford to get into melee range to use the more reliable silence. Malzahar's silence will never be considered reliable except maybe during a team fight on the tanks/bruisers or in a jungle fight.

    3. You're the one that brought it up, not me.

    4. Because, AGAIN. QSS won't be just for Malzahar. There are OTHER THINGS GOING ON IN THE GAME that warrant a QSS. And since there is lack of communication, there is a REALLY GOOD CHANCE that Malz ult will overlap with some other cc, and be broken with a QSS at the same time.

    5. Which completely negates a large part of your harass and zoning potential....

    At the end of the day, Malzahar is still a bad choice for a support.

    Last edited by Tomaj: 9/28/2012 3:50:26 AM
  • #23 Michealmas

    I think there is much to be said for support Jarvan IV, despite my subjective feelings on the matter (yes i love him) let'd take a look at the objective benefits he brings to the role:

    • His E is incredibly versatile as a support skill, it allows him to zone the lane in conjunction with his Q, offers a decent attack speed buff (10-22% or a free Dagger at level 4) and an armor buff (10-22 or free Cloth Armor at rank 4-5) against what is going to be against a predominantly AD lane all for a low mana cost and damage level. The cooldown is of course fixed at 13 seconds (without CDR) but the buff lasts for 8 of those meaning you can keep it up for the majority of the laning phase.
    • His Q shred's armor by a significant amount. Not penetrates, shred's (10-26%). There is no item currently available in the game that is able to replicate this effect. This is a huge benefit to your AD and is really what i feel makes Jarvan IV viable. Whilst itself dealing high damage it also allows your AD to burn through your opponents health at a significantly faster rate than normal. Again for a low mana cost (45-65) and cooldown (10-6s). Especially effective with AS focussed carry's.
    • GP5's fit his natural scaling ideally, he is only really dependent on having a Brutalizer as an offensive item (some would even argue this isn't needed) which is in itself quite cheap. The rest of his standard kit either builds from GP5's (Randuin's) or all have good midgame items that he can build up later. With most standard support items fitting his kit quite comfortably (Shurelya's, Zeke's, Aegis).
    • His E also gives dragon/bush control and can serve as a free temporary ward to maintain map awareness.
    • His R although risky, can be used to set up some truly godlike plays. At often at very least, causing opponents to burn their escapes facilitating a gank later on. As well as having high scaling damage it can also be used defensively to protect a teamate by activating it on an aggressive opponent and imediately flashing out without cancelling to keep them trapped in a mini prison whilst you flee to safety.
    • His W has a powerful yet short AOE slow (15-35% - 2s) that can be used to both engage and disengage a fight. Whilst still best levelled last it can also be used to facilitate aggressive plays; has a slightly higher cost but it can often be that tiny buffer that you need to save a life.
    • His passive allows him to push very aggressively and assert dominance over a lane which most supports may not be able to do. It also allows him to trade with a large proportion of champions without fear even when lacking in items.
    • His late game transitioning is fantastic if played well, this allows him to fill a role in teamfights most supports cannot without fear of being too rapidly burst into oblivion the moment he steps in range.
    • Has great synergy with most ganking junglers due to his high levels of CC and positioning tools as well as high damage output.

    Like all aggressive supports he is dependant on a laning partner that knows his capabilities however with a competent team he seems (based on the evidence at hand) to be grossly under-utilised. To say he has no escapes is illogical, as his success in both jungle and top lane largely comes from his mobility and the variety of utilities to both present and escape from trouble in lanes.

    TL;DR - His kit is versatile, provides Armor Shred/AS/Armor/CC/Zoning/Damage and synergises well with AD and Jungler. High dragon/bush control.

    Last edited by Michealmas: 9/26/2012 11:42:36 AM
  • #21 DonYagamoth

    Shaco is actually the best counter-kill-lane support. His Boxes deal fairly high base damage, and as long as you have at least 3 stacked up in the brush, the enemy can't get you without high risk of death. Imagine the enemy has a Leona - what can she do here? Pink Ward the boxes, but that's about - and a clever Shaco will always take a counter-pink.

    I like the idea of Cho'Gath support, but not so much Malphite or Shen. Zilean has the simple problem of - pushing and stealing CS. A clever enemy will use your Bombs to let the creeps push - making you susceptible for ganks.

    Lee Sin is actually incredibly strong at protecting in lategame with his move and attack speed slow and knockback. I don't think an Irelia could dive the AD carry against a Lee Sin support. He is also very mobile and should make a fairly safe Oracles. In lane he is incredibly irritating if played correctly... 

    Also, I agree on Morgana support being overlooked. At some point I've though about Morgana support already, but the general consensus was always, that if you actually get her, she is too strong to not use midlane. I guess this changed a bit by now. You simply can't pick her into any team. Your team has to benefit from the Black Shield (while it's not automatically bursted down by the enemy). 

  • #19 RisingChaos

    Just those who haven't yet been mentioned...

    Support Cho'Gath: AoE knockup, AoE silence with a huge duration, big true damage nuke that his most common build doesn't generally itemize for to increase the damage on anyway. :P Does suffer from high mana costs in lane, though, and his passive is fairly useless in that vein.

    Support Malphite: Free shield lets him win pokes in lane, still has one of the best initiates in the game. But also suffers from high mana costs and unlike Cho, has to actually stay in the middle of a fight to be useful most of the time.

    And I know it sounds pretty trollish (no pun intended) but I really think there's something to support Trundle. Sadly, there's no way to get to try it without taking a lot of **** from teammates for it but hear me out. He's basically a melee carry with support spells anyway, no? He bears similarities to support Ashe in that vein. Pillar is a powerful support spell, it peels extremely well (without the risk if misaimed like Anivia's wall) and can cut short escapes offensively. He's straight-up the best tankbuster in the game with his ult, even giving the shredded Armor/MR to himself so he can be tanky enough to sit there and hit people (not doing much damage but still). Bite steals AD from diving bruisers, maybe even the carry if you can get in there with Agony's defensive boost. The biggest problem is no gap-closer and no ranged harass to initiate trades seems like it'd make for a tough laning phase.

    Support Gragas could maybe work too: AS slow (ranged!), movespeed slow, dat ult. LeBlanc is also more than a kill lane support, after all she does have a 2s silence + 2s snare plus the ability to double up on one of those. She can actually lock a target down for a hella long time. She's no Fiddlesticks, though she is much scarier in lane and also fairly safe with a built-in blink.

  • #18 mattiejj

    What about Zilean support? I like him against a supp without a heal.(blitzcrank / Leona)

  • #32 BuddyBoombox

    I think zill would work best with good harassing AD carries(Caitlyn or ezreal for example) because using the bombs to force the lane to push is a common counter to zilean.  If you punish them for attempting this strat then he could be useful.

  • #17 Canvasofgrey

    As almost a pure support player in both ranked and normal games, I take offense to the fact that you think that Orianna is a terrible support. I've put a ton of hours into playing her as support, and honestly, she does a better job than most of the claimed "supports" that you named here.

  • #16 Stinger55555

    I think you underestimated the idea of Anivia support. She has an AoE skillshot stun, and her wall takes almost the whole lane when maxed, isolating an opponent easily. I've tried it out a few times, and found that just halfway through the build, you already have about 120 armor and mr, and 2.3k hp. Mixed with the egg, that's 4.6k hp, plus the armor/mr bonuses from the passive makes you an extremely distracting force.

  • #15 tacobff

    Where is the  shen support (Free harass, ult, taunt) and my favorite xinzhao manmode bodyguard kill lane support. 

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