Win Lane Win Game - Tips for an Aggressive Support
Tue 8th Oct 2019 - 10:05pm
Winning lane is one of the oldest and most used strategies for winning a game of League of Legends. Back in the early days of professional LCS, the main strategy revolved around picking for your individual lane, because well... win lane win game. And now, with the inclusion of turret plates and first turret gold, the incentives for getting ahead early in bot lane are more prevalent than ever. Here are some tips that will make the enemy team cry "support diff" when laning against you.
1. Pick Aggressive Champions
Unless you're the next MickyX, CoreJJ, or Mata, you're probably not going to get much of a lane lead playing Janna and Soraka. I've listed a few good champions below that are great if you want to go about getting ahead in lane.
Leona is one of the most notoriously aggressive support champions in the game and has been since her release in 2011. Her kit hasn't changed at all, so getting familiar with her is likely a long-term investment.
Leona spikes at levels 2, 3, and 6. Starting the game with her Q - Shield of Daybreak, then pushing the lane quickly to get level 2 before your opponent is extremely important. Getting level 2 allows you to stick to opponents with E - Zenith Blade, and always at least force a Heal or Flash due to the potent damage from her passive and CC from her Q and E. Be looking to go in on enemy laners at all points in lane, and use the side brushes as your main avenue to engage. Look to put a control ward in the bush nearest your tower early on, as this denies a lot of information from opponents, and allows you to successfully get a lead
Thresh, much like Leona, has been a staple support pick since his release, and is one of the most versatile supports in the game. His kit is more complex than most supports, however, so be ready to put some hours into practicing him if you want to carry your ranked games.
Thresh has the strongest level 2 powerspike in the game, bar none. Getting Q - Death Sentence, and E - Flay as your first two abilities (in either order, depending on your preference) turns Thresh into a CC and lane pressure monster. Definitely look to rush for a level 2 in the early lane phase, then don't hesitate to Flash + Flay into a Death Sentence to secure an easy first blood. For the rest of lane, look to punish an enemy ADC going for minions, or a support who is a little too far up, with a backwards Flay into Death Sentence. Encourage your jungler to visit your lane as well, as your W - Dark Passage can bring them into lane quickly and catch enemies off guard.
If you want a support with enough CC for an entire team, Nautilus should be your go to pick. He's bounced around from being picked jungle to top to mid but he's been a pretty solid support pick for years now. He's pretty simple and easy to pick up with only a few games of practice.
Nautilus, so long as you start Q - Dredge Line, is strong at all points in the game from a CC and damage perspective. He is an extremely strong invading champion because his Q is almost always too fast to react to, and being able to chain Q into an auto attack (which also snares by the way), should secure at least a flash every game. Nautilus should be looking to go in during lane phase, making use of Aftershock and his W - Titan's Wrath to get out unscathed. Try to fish for Qs from the brush, as it gives the enemy even less time to react, and almost guarantees a kill.
2. Pick Fights Carefully
Just because you are an aggressive support, does not mean that you should look to go in every 15 seconds when your stun comes off cooldown. You should always be paying attention to the state of the lane and the resources at everybody's disposal before deciding to all in enemy laners. Even if you have the potential to blow up an enemy ADC with your sheer damage output, if you are not 100% sure that will be a net positive play, given minion waves, summoner spell cooldowns, and jungle position, just wait for another opportunity with less risk. Playing aggressively does not mean playing recklessly, it means playing smart.
Arguably the most influential abilities within skirmishes are summoner spells; that Heal may just be enough to turn the tides of a teamfight, unless an Ignite shuts it down, or a Flash lets them escape. As an aggressive support, you should always be looking to take Ignite in your games, is it just lends you another damage tool in your kit that can easily shut down enemy heals and abilities like Soraka R - Wish, or Yuumi E - Zoomies. Tracking these cooldowns is important too, as an immobile ADC without Flash is basically a walking sack of gold if you track its cooldown. Here is a table that lists all the cooldowns at different level of CDR, courtesy of u/ebtherealg on Reddit:
You shouldn't need to know the exact cooldowns of most of these abilities, especially at higher levels of CDR, but being familiar with the general cooldowns puts you far ahead of most supports.
Minions do a surprising amount of damage, even to typically tanky champions like supports, during skirmishes and fights, which is why you should always be paying attention to the state of a lane prior to starting fights. If an opponent has a lot more minions than you do, due to a slow push of some kind, hold of on engaging until after the minions clear out one way or another. Minion damage, especially if the numbers are unbalanced, can be more than enough to turn the tide of a close skirmish. Conversely, look to engage if you have the advantage in minion numbers, even if it may not be the most optimal time; the minions will do more than enough to make up for it.
Pay attention to minion heal as well, as small of a thing it may be. Look to throw a hook or a stun at a low health minion that your ADC is about to kill, and the enemy laners will have no time to react before it hits. This may require some coordination with your ADC, but it can lead to some pretty cheesy kills when opposing laners thought they were safe. Also, look to punish ADCs going for low health cannon creeps, especially with champions like Leona who can engage through minions. Good supports look to punish at every opportunity, and people do some crazy things for cannon minions.
Item breakpoints are different for every champion, and some reach those breakpoints more quickly, and take advantage of them better, than others. A Vayne with Blade of the Ruined King spikes harder than a Jinx with Infinity Edge, because Jinx needs an attack speed item in order to be able to pump out damage effectively. Look to take advantage of these breakpoints or call your jungler over if their ADC spikes earlier or harder than yours. A jungler can be more than enough to turn the fights in your favor, so don't be afraid to ask for a gank once in a while if you feel like you can't 2v2 right now.
As an aggressive support, you should be looking to provide your CC and damage to other lanes or the jungle throughout the game. If, for whatever reason your ADC is intent on farming passively, but that Flashless Xerath is looking really juicy in mid lane, don't be afraid to let your ADC get solo XP and play safe under the tower. You should look to ward up potential jungle gank paths so your ADC can play safe without you, then ping 'on the way' and go upriver to smash that Xerath, look to make him feel so bad about existing in your game without Flash up.
If you do look to roam, be sure to rush Boots of Mobility after your mid tier support item, as these can minimize lane losses through the sheer speed they give when out of combat. These boots are every roamer's best friend, and it won't be hard to see why when you disappear from lane and 15 seconds later are Flash Flaying the enemy Veigar and securing first blood for your mid laner.
Roaming needs to be done with the state of your lane in mind first and foremost, and the game state secondarily. Don't look to give up 3 turret plates for a mid laner's life, because in most cases, that is a net negative play. Be sure to push in your lane first, ward up flanks, communicate with your jungler and mid laner as to where you're going to be, then roam up. If you look to roam, but your mid laner has 2,000 gold in the bank, wait for him to back before you head up there; if your jungler is wanting to punish an enemy Top lane gank by invading bot-side, help him do so, then go to mid as a duo to better secure the kill. Communication with teammates is important where roaming is concerned, so be sure not to blindly walk into mid lane then be confused when your own mid laner is caught off guard.
There is a fine line between "roaming" and "abandoning your lane," though, so don't forget to go help your ADC hold back the enemy minions and save your turret's plates from dropping like flies. You should still be spending a majority of your time in lane, even if you are a heavy roaming player; you did queue up for support after all, not jungle. Even highly self sufficient ADCs like Ezreal need help in lane at times, whether it me to stave off a jungle gank, secure some minions, or to simply have some semblance of pressure during laning phase. Don't forget, getting a lead usually starts with your lane, so do your best to get your ADC ahead whenever possible, then help out the rest of the map.
Playing aggressively as a support is one of the most helpful things you can learn to do if you plan on climbing the ranked ladder. Sure, you can play Lulu or Janna or Soraka and hope your ADC can carry effectively, but that might not always happen. It is much more effective for you to get ahead in lane, and feed your ADC some kills, if you want your ADC to carry. Scaling can only pull so much of the weight if your Jinx is 0/0/0, and they're much more likely to carry with a kill or two. Supports, as odd as it may sound, can seriously carry games if they play aggressively enough, and can guarantee some 15 minutes surrenders from you opponents if you follow the tips listed above. Good luck out there!
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