Complete Support Rune + Masteries Breakdown and Team Communication

"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

 

Runes

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

This page is an example of a typical rune page for a support. When minions spawn, it is like having a free GP10 item. This would be a situational rune page for supports such as Soraka or Janna.

Ability Power HP Page

This rune page is for AP based supports like Zyra or Leona who anticipate for early game trades in lane. The health runes give you more health so making trades have a lesser impact.

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.



Mastery Pages

1/13/16 Page

 

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.

9/0/21 Page

 

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.

9/21/0

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.

1-8-21 Page

 

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.


 

Summoner Spells

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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72

Comments

  • #70 Yanj465

    What about 5-0-25 Masteries, taking the CDR and exhaust mastery at offense, and diving into the support tree for a whooping 10% CDR at level 1? Coupled with 3 MS Quints, armor seals, and ManaRegen reds+blues, makes any support (Spam-shield/heal supports like Janna/Sona are too good with this setup, and even the Leona/Alistar-ish supports use the MS to CC and position better, while having enough mana for spells AND CCing the enemy AD sooner)...

    On safe supports I even take a full mana-regen page (and rushing a Chalice after Sightstone) for an amazing ~+7 mana per second at just level 1 and ~+15 mana per second as soon as you get chalice... This works extremely good with per-level mana regen runes, because you'll have just one/two spells you'll use at the early game... and pick the page depending on the matchup (Farm lane? Take Regen/level. Kill-lane? take MS+manaregen+armor)...

     

    Just my 2 cents

  • #71 xxcoldsteelexx

    its not so bad, infact 5-0-25 would probably work fairly well on someone like soraka, sona, janna, or nami.  The mana regen would be very useful too when it comes to later on when nami soraka and sona can really spam their mana hungry spells and regen it up after.  

    The negative thing about this rune/mastery page you suggested is that you don't really get to play aggressively.  With reduced tankiness from runes and masteries being focused solely on mana regen, it kind of pigeonholes you into playing these supports in ways where you cannot fully utilize all of their offensive capabilities.  

    Instead you force yourself into playing the sustain game until you have a clear advantage, and even then it may be difficult securing kills, being as squishy as you will be with this.  I would DEFINITELY not take mana regen on leona.  Alistar maybe

  • #72 Yanj465

    The thing is that I get to press my advantages, their mistakes, more often and with less risk (I don't have to count my mana to the single digits anymore) and freely... I play this page on alistar with a cloth-2wards start (rushing frozen heart if twitch/trist/vayne since they almost always rush BoRK), and as you said on all the passive supports (who sit back instead of get in the action), and with any unconventional support pick (Zilean, Annie and anyone who benefits the Manaregen+CDR). Hell. I even take to mid sometimes (Just with FULL mana regen page, for my own reasons).

  • #73 PartyMagier

    u rush frozen heart? as a support?

    The thing cost around 3k, and you could get ward item and philo stone +boots instead giving you additional gold regeneration, hp, which ali scales better with than resiatances if i am correct and free wards, in addition to mobility. Also you get to start with good items, like a rejuvenation bead, or a faerie charm (+more wards and pots, POTS DUDE)

  • #64 Basinator

    Is Exhaust upgrade really that helpful?

    After all, the upgrade is only in effect when the spell is used, unlike ignite or heal upgrades.

    Even then, you don't always need -10 resists when using Exhaust (such as when you are running away). And -10 isn't super much either.

    I would rather get a 9th point in defense instead.

  • #67 Kiedisticelixer

    -10 is a lot at level 1 trades or invades

    Imagine those armor-less Luxs at lv1 being grabbed and receiving just two auto attacks.

  • #60 pneumoss

    I'm kind of confused as to why you would run attack speed reds.  Can you explain?

     

  • #63 xxcoldsteelexx

    i don't really run attack speed reds because I do not play Lulu support, but she would be the only support I would consider running them on, because of the increased procs of pix passive damage.  though going hybrid pen will also boost the damage through decreased resistances.  i do not include an attack speed runepage because I wouldn't want to reccomend something I haven't tried.  

  • #57 Cerbereth

    I wanted to hear more about Annie and why she was important to the game, but then you took the article in a different direction about accepting that you will die in lol.

  • #56 TreeBurrow

    Not a huge amount of new information in this Article, but none-the-less it is well written enough and a good source of information for newer players, good work, keep it up...

  • #47 Basinator

    I am careful for not running at least 9 points in defense.

    Even with mages and poke support.

    I mean, offense can work, but you need to be VERY familiar with the matchup or not playing blind. After all, you don't want to be an even MORE squishy Sona or Soraka vs a kill lane (Taric, Blitz, Leona, Thresh etc.).

    More poke damage is only worth it if you can poke dangerfree imho.

  • #52 xxcoldsteelexx

    exactly, it becomes a very risky lane, espescially if the jungler steps into the mix :P

    this is why i state on the 9-0-21 page that it is not my preferred page to run any longer, even with support champs that deal heavy ap damage

  • #66 DrMundoMundo

    I think the articles would be better if you show more clearly which options you prefer. Start with the basic run/mastery pages and have separate sections for niche ones. I have mained support for most of this season and my pages got condensed down to 2 rune pages and 3 mastery pages after some time. I have a really hard time to justify running something else to myself.

  • #68 xxcoldsteelexx

    i prefer 1/13/16 and the mpen + hp page or the 21 armor 3 gp10 page

  • #55 Winterclaw42

    As I see it, Sona and Soraka kinda want max CDR, so getting 10 from your masteries is a good place to start.  That means running 9/0/21.  I would guess 4/5/21 is another option.

  • #59 pneumoss

    Personally my default setup for ranged supports that aren't Thresh is 5/4/21 or 4/5/21 depending if im running exhaust/ignite or heal.

  • #46 Winterclaw42

    Your runes and masteries seem to pass the eyeball test as far as I'm concerned.

  • #44 Cholgar

    Hi just wanna to say that i think you are missguiding ppl about leona.


    In 2-3 points in your guide you recomend to run Magic Penetration with her and just wanna clarify that your passive does magic damage BUT use the Magic Penetration score of the one who proc it, and as you might now, leona's passive accounts for arround 50% of her potential damage.

    Nice work with the rest, keep going.

  • #45 PartyMagier

    Quote from Cholgar »

    Hi just wanna to say that i think you are missguiding ppl about leona.


    In 2-3 points in your guide you recomend to run Magic Penetration with her and just wanna clarify that your passive does magic damage BUT use the Magic Penetration score of the one who proc it, and as you might now, leona's passive accounts for arround 50% of her potential damage.

    Nice work with the rest, keep going.

    i suppose he wants the 10 mpen for the early game trade when her Q-W-E and ult damage isn't negligible.

  • #49 Violavoila

    Just saying, it's never high late game but it certainly isn't negligible. Bear in mind that the base damage on her W (the shield) is 260 when it pops... that's at level 9. The E and Q have similar base damages at max rank, making her base combo at level 18 around

    (q dmg) 160 + (base ad) 90 + (w dmg) 260 + (e dmg) 220 = 730 dmg. I'll assume that the extra 140 dmg per proc of sunlight cancels out the damage lost to resistances. It doesn't though, so the damage is higher than that. Her ult deals an additional 350 damage, and all but the q is aoe. That's a lot of damage from the support, enough to justify flat penetration in reds-- at least if you don't have anything else.

    Last edited by Violavoila: 8/25/2013 5:03:43 PM
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