"I haven't got a brain, and soon you will" -Lance "Supportlesticks" Hotchkiss
Hello guys and girls, I'm back with chapter 2 of my support guide. I was very excited by the responses I received from chapter 1 of my support guide, and am back with chapter 2 of my ongoing guide. Chapter 1 was the outline of supporting, chapter 2 will be getting into the structure of support and lays down the foundation to the thought process of champ select and in-game decisions while playing as support.
This chapter will be the “brains” of my support guide. We will be going over rune and mastery pages, as well as a support summoner spell overview. Later on we will be able to flesh out more of what you can do for your team and yourself, and really breathe life into our games playing as support.
My hope and intention with these guides is to be able to help everyone absorb my 3.5+ years of experience in playing League of Legends.
Let's have a look at some general runes, mastery pages, and summoner spells I like to run on supports. These pictures should give you a good idea of some of the play styles supports can embody. I will be doing a small explanation for each of these pages and summoners.
Chapter 2 Section 1: Runes, Masteries, and Summoner Spells for Supports
Reds: Hybrid armor penetration/magic penetration, attack speed, attack damage, magic penetration, or flat armor
Yellows: Armor or GP10. Avoid using mana regeneration if possible,maximize armor for laning
Blues: Flat AP, magic penetration, magic resist flat or per level, mana regeneration flat or per level
Quints: Flat HP, move speed, AP, AD, GP10, magic penetration, hybrid magic penetration/armor penetration, flat armor
If you want to try a new rune page the above list will help you to stay as efficient as possible.
Full GP10 Rune Page
Ability Power HP Page
3 GP10 Flat MR Page
This rune page is for the rare situations where the enemy team has a lot of AP champions or a AP heavy bottom lane such as Sona and Corki. The 3 GP10 Quints with the 2 GP10 masteries offer a free GP10 at level 1.
3 GP10 Flat Armor Page
One of more standard rune pages, it gives a great deal of armor early game for a lane expect auto attacks. The GP10 Quints allow you to play safely and still be rewarded. However, the 21 armor does let you be aggressive with taking minion damage and champion auto attacks. This is the rune page I use on most supports.
Spam Hybrid Damage Support Page
This page is for supports who will be auto attacking and casting spells to deal damage to the enemy lane. The Health Quint, Flat Mana Regeneration Quint and Mana Regeneration per Level Quint help with trading and with sustaining your mana early and later on. Sona and Lulu would be two examples of supports to use this rune page.
Move Speed/Magic Penetration
This page sacrifices 3 magic resist blues for magic penetration, giving 9.7 magic penetration at level 1. The bonus move speed helps to start fights and poking as well as with disenging. I use this page with Fiddlesticks or Taric.
15 Bonus AD Page
This page forgoes GP10/HP Quints altogether, as well as armor or magic penentration reds for 15 bonus damage at level 1. This page is good for supports who want aggressive early trades such as Blitzcrank, Leona, Alistar, Thresh, or Taric. An interesting note, if you use this page with Taric, the armor penetration from his Shatter (W) becomes more powerful.
This page is one of the most commonly used support pages. The reduced armor/magic penetration from the mastery point in offense can be exchanged for a point in pickpocket. I personally do not take pickpocket because I feel like it encourages poor play.
This page is for supports who both want late game magic penetration from offense as well as 21 points into utility. Not my favorite mastery page as it forgoes any points in the defense tree leaving your champion squishier.
This page I would use with Blitzcrank, Leona, or Taric. These masteries offer maximum tank stats and the magic penetration in offense. It is worth noting that versus several strong slows/CCs, it is definitely worth it to remove some points from armor, MR, or the regeneration masteries and put them to points for 15% slow effectiveness reduction or 15% tenacity.
These masteries offer a mix of utility and decent health gain per level. The 1 point in offense be replaced with Veterans Scars in defense, which grants slightly more HP than a Health Quint.
Ignite: Very useful summoner spell when playing an offensive support, this spell will continue ticking damage on an enemy champion even if they get out of reach and deals a surprising amount of damage. Helpful to secure kills in lane and to cut down a target's lifesteal or spell vamp during a team fight.
Flash: Almost considered a must-have on all champions, flash provides a free repositioning of your champion to either initiate, escape, chase, or dodge skills. It can also let you travel over almost any wall in the game, provided you can position properly. The one drawback is the long cooldown, be aware you will be weaker when it is on cooldown.
Exhaust: Probably the most common support spell taken on supports exhaust serves multiple purposes. If you take the mastery point, it reduces the armor and magic resist of the target, reduces the target's movement speed and damage by 30% for 2.5 seconds and reduces the target's attack speed by 50%. This is useful for saving allies by lowering an enemy ADC's damage/attack speed, neutralizing the deadliest target in a teamfight for 2.5 seconds, and slowing a target to help chase him down in a gank or level 1 skirmish.
Clairvoyance: This summoner spell has fallen out of favor out since Season 1 after numerous nerfs, it is possibly helpful for playing a support like Lux. If you take this spell you are essentially down a summoner spell in lane.
Cleanse: Better picked by ADC's, cleanse may be a possibility against a team of 5 champions with a lot of CC, but exhaust is almost always still better.
Heal: This spell is useful for supports who want to counter a strong enemy AoE team composition by sustaining their allies in a team fight. In lane it is not particularly bad, just remember to use heal before an enemy uses ignite or its effectiveness is halved.
Barrier: Similar to heal heal, stronger, lasts for 2 seconds but is only cast on your champion. Barrier can take a very strong beating of damage in a short period of time, but is a selfish choice.
Smite: Not very useful on a support, the extra gold mastery is interesting tinkering around with, but ultimately you will be pushing the lane with this. Semi-useful to land surprise hooks with Blitzcrank or Thresh and to secure level 1 jungle buffs for your jungler.
Teleport: This spell is not very useful for supports, though it does get you around the map or objective quickly. On aggressive supports, teleport is outclassed by exhaust. May be useful if you are able to escape a fight, go heal and teleport back in. Also useful as a ganking tool around the map. Beware, an ADC left to 1v2 by a teleport support will usually start falling behind in his lane!
For my recommendation, the most viable support summoner spells are, in order: Flash, Exhaust/Ignite, Heal, other summoner spells.
Section 2: The “Don'ts” of Better Team Communication when Playing as Support
Supports can always sit back and watch. They do not need to be attacking minions and can sometimes afford the chance to sneak a peek at other lanes. This allows them the chance to make their team aware of clashes between lanes occurring in a game. As support, you can look at other lanes and see how much damage people are taking, and who is ahead (more cs, more damage/kill pressure). This allows supports the potential to be in shot-calling positions on a team.
Before I get into talking about how you can play as support and make these calls, or just establish friendly communication with your team, you will first need to be in the right mindset.
Come with me for a moment, and I'll introduce you to Annie. We can use her to talk about how to get into a good mindset and why it is important that you meet her.
Riot's Gameplay Producer's girlfriend is named Annie. She owns a teddy bear named Tibbers. But Riot also had more educational intentions behind putting her into the game. Because I have met with RiotOpti and heard him speak of tales of great wonder, I know what those intentions are. Now that you and Annie have met, I wanted to show you how simple it can be to make a subtle transition into talking about dying.
Dying is a part of playing LoL. If you die, remember that it is just a game. Part of playing many kinds of games is just to move on with the fact that mistakes get made. Shit happens, whether a teammate who messed up or turning some of the blame unto yourself, it is always a good idea to remember, it's just a game. Don't become upset. This ruins your lines of communication by getting yourself ignored and baiting your allies into converting the team chat into a blame and rage fest.
If you use the respawn timer as a time to talk to your allies about why you just died or why it is their fault, just know that in general, some people have a short boiling point. Sometimes constructive criticism can be taken badly. If the first thing that you do when you die is type, you might be surprised how fast your respawn timer can turn into a countdown ending with one of your allies making attempts to join the enemy team by trolling you, feeding, afking, etc
When you DO communicate with your teammates, keep it as simple as possible. Riot has given you a nice four option ping system. Do not be afraid to double up on pings for a little bit of emphasis, or combine pings to convey a broader message. For example, pinging "On my way" onto an objective and then marking your ally with the "Assist me" ping to imply to your ally "Please assist me, I am on my way to this objective". Something that works well in solo queue is when an enemy is missing in lane and you you think they might be headed to gank an ally, it helps to slowly - but accurately - ping either 'missing' or 'danger' on the spot you think they would be if you could see them. This way, whether or not there is a ward the enemy might be crossing, allies will still be alerted. If they notice the pings, it is probably the best early warning system that can be created for solo queue.
Remember to keep this mature attitude when going into your games and be ready to help others play their best in a game. Most of the time, players are just doing what they thought was appropriate, and if you operate with that mindset you become not just a better skilled player in a more stable environment for yourself, but also promote quicker learning and adaptation to any in-game specific situation you are in. Teamwork and being better member of your team will gain you many friends and LP.
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