If you’ve clicked on this article, chances are you’re in the same place I was back in season 5 when I was hardstuck Silver support, wondering how to carry games as a support in League of Legends.
And even though the game changed a lot since then, the truth about support is still the same – we’re the unsung heroes of Summoner’s Rift.
A common misconception non-support players have about this role is that supports just place wards and cast shields. This influences the opinions of many support players as well, making them think that their role is “useless” and “not powerful” for carrying games in solo queue.
And this is as far from the truth as you can possibly get.
As a veteran support main who’s been through the ups and downs of the bot lane metas and changes, I can tell you that support is the easiest role to climb with in League of Legends. Even Tyler1 hit Challenger as support in fewer games than any other role.
So don’t sweat a bit – you can climb easily as a support if you understand the pillars I’ll be laying down in this guide. Let’s go over them one by one and make it clear how you can take advantage of this role to literally print LP all day long.
Understanding the Support Role
The Laning Phase
During the laning phase, supports are the playmakers. A single good hook, stun, or slow can completely shift the dynamics of the lane.
For instance, catching the enemy ADC off-guard on level 2 with Thresh opens up a kill opportunity for your bot partner which can den lead to an advantage for the rest of the laning phase.
You can do the same with any other support champion, especially mages like Morgana, Lux, and even Vel’Koz.
Even if you’re on Soraka or Lulu, make sure to poke the enemy team and keep your ADC alive. Be proactive, not passive.
Mid and Late Game
As the game transitions into the mid and late phases, your impact as a support grows significantly. Your job becomes less about the ADC and more about the entire team and objective control.
For example, there was a game where my early roams as Leona helped our mid laner snowball. He used the advantage to destroy the Tier 1 turret, roam all over with our jungler, and simply took over the game. So all I did was gank a few times early on and got a free victory.
In late game team fights, your priorities change quite often so you’ll need to stay adaptable. Sometimes you’ll need to protect your team members and peel, but sometimes you’ll need to be an engager. This will often depend on what champion you’re playing.
One of the beauties of the support role is its flexibility. As each match of League of Legends is inherently different, your approach to impacting the game and carrying as a support also changes.
So as a support, you must be flexible and ready to adapt. For instance, in one game your team might lack engager so you’ll have to be the one organizing the fights. And in the next you’ll be needed in the backline, protecting your carries.
Being able to shift between these playstyles is crucial for all support players.
Playing the Right Champion
Types of Supports
Riot Games may tell you there are more, but I like to group support champions in these 3 categories: Tanks, Enchanters, and Mages. Picking the right champion that benefits your team comp or suits your playstyle is crucial for success.
Tanks like Leona and Thresh excel at initiating fights and soaking up damage.
Enchanters like Yuumi and Soraka provide sustain to keep their teammates alive.
And mages like Zyra or Morgana specialize in crowd control and dealing damage.
So here’s my table of the current support champions and their category.
There are also champions like Senna or Pyke who are unique. He’s an assassin and she’s a marksman.
Choosing the Right Support Champion for YOU
Always consider your team composition before locking in your champion. Are you lacking a front line? Then maybe pick a tank. Is your team full of squishy assassins? An enchanter might be more beneficial.
However, it’s even more important to choose your champion based on your skill and knowledge, as well as playstyle. The truth is – you aren’t going to perform well on champions you don’t have fun with.
For example, I don’t like playing melee tanks too much. I’m much more efficient on mages and enchanters. So when I have to play a tank like Braum for instance, I’m overall less impactful. So keep that in mind as well.
Staying Up to Date With the Meta
You can also stay with the meta if you want to and abuse supports that are OP on a specific patch. But keep in mind that League changes so quickly that you’ll constantly need to readapt to certain champions if you choose to be a meta slave.
A couple of seasons ago, when tank supports were all the rage, switching from Janna to Leona made all the difference for me. And even though I’m not the greatest tank player, I took advantage of the meta and climbed easily.
The Importance of Warding
Vision is key in League of Legends. A well-placed ward can prevent an enemy gank, secure objectives, or even catch out an overconfident enemy. Vision single-handedly helps you carry games as a support.
Yesterday my mid laner was constantly getting ganked and he didn’t bother securing vision for himself. I invested in a few control wards and deep-warded the enemy jungle. And the ganks stopped, turning stopping the losing lane pretty early on. That mid laner then bounced back and we won the game.
Best Spots to Ward
Knowing where to ward as a support is just as important as warding itself. You want to provide the maximum amount of information to your team at any given time.
Key spots to know include the Dragon pit, jungle entrances, and the river to guard early game ganks. Later you’ll want to keep the Baron pit and the lanes warded as well.
But remember to ward according to the game’s state. If you’re ahead, ward deep in the enemy jungle to track their movement and punish them if you can. If you’re behind, defensive wards in your jungle can help you catch out over-aggressive enemies.
Denying Enemy Vision
Removing enemy vision is as crucial as providing vision for your team.
I’m sure you know that you need to have Oracle’s Lens as your trinket in 100% of the games. But buying Control Wards each time you’re in the base should also be among your top habits as a support League of Legends player.
Catching out an enemy who face-checks a bush because they lack vision is still one of the easiest ways to take advantage even if you’re on the losing side.
When you clear vision around objectives like Baron, your mid Annie or Zed can easily assassinate enemies when they walk in.
I still remember this one game where our Zed managed to assassinate their fed Vayne because we denied vision around Baron.
Protecting and Empowering Your ADC
Protecting Your ADC
During the laning phase, it’s essential to keep an eye on your ADC and protect them from the enemy duo or potential ganks. That’s your primary job until the 10th-minute mark or so and it’s often how you carry as a support early on.
This could be as simple as blocking a Blitzcrank hook with Braum’s Unbreakable (E) or a well-timed Thresh Flay (E) to interrupt Leona’s Zenith Blade (E). These split-second decisions can mean life or death for your ADC.
Of course, these are extreme and “skilled” things you’ll need to master in time. But having a proper positioning and doing everything you can to help your bot partner early on should be on your list of tasks every match.
Engaging the Enemy
Picking the right moment to engage can often lead to a successful kill or at least pressure the enemy bot lane enough to provide your ADC with free farm. It takes experience to know when exactly to try for a kill, but it’s something you must actively practice for.
For example, next game as Thresh try to Flash and Flay the enemy ADC so that you can instantly Q them afterward. This surprise engage can give you an easy kill on level 2 and win you the early game.
Don’t be afraid to play aggressively when you know you need to do so.
Read Also: Top 15 Best Off-Meta Support Picks in LoL
Coordinating with Your ADC
Clear communication with your ADC is also critical. I know that random solo queue ADCs can be one of the most toxic people on the planet but still – establishing good communication with them is in your best interest.
Whether you’re going in for a trade, recalling, or about to land a crucial CC, giving your ADC a heads-up or at least pings ensures they’ll follow up properly.
We’ve all had those games where the support goes in while the ADC is farming, leading to a complete failure. So ping or use the chat to avoid such mishaps.
Winning Objectives and Team Fights
Utilizing Your Abilities
Knowing when and how to use your abilities can swing the momentum of a team fight in your favor. I always say to limit your champion pool to a few champions and master them.
My advice is to have a support pick from each category. For example, Leona can be your tank/engage support, Lulu your enchanter, and Lux your mage support pick.
Playing only these 3 champions will allow you to master them much quicker so you’ll know when and how to use their abilities the best way, especially around objectives.
Yesterday I played Zyra, one of my mains. I used the ultimate just as the enemy team grouped up in the jungle. The knock-up hit 3 enemy champions but it was enough to let us win the team fight and secure Dragon.
Keeping Track of Objectives & Summoner Spells
Keeping track of Dragon and Baron spawn times, as well as enemy Summoner Spells is one of your primary jobs as a support. Doing this successfully can give you an edge over your opponents throughout the game and help you carry as a support.
One minute before an objective spawns, simply spam-ping it on the chat. And you can also copy-paste the enemy Flash timer and spam it in the chat so everyone in the team remembers that Aphelios, for instance, won’t have Flash for another 5 minutes.
All support champions have CC in one form or another. Landing your crowd control on key enemy members often determines the outcome of a fight.
If you time Leona’s ult on multiple enemy champions in the late game, you can give your team more than enough time to engage and destroy the opponents. So be mindful of how you’re using your CC abilities.
Communication and Shot-Calling
The Importance of Communication
Good communication can win games. It’s as simple as that. And as tempting as it is to simply /muteall and play the game in silence, support players must be communicative and active throughout the match.
As a support, you also need to play mind games with your team. I know it’s not your job to be their personal psychiatrist and listen to their problems. BUT… if you continue to motivate your carries and not thrash-talk them, you’ll win far more games than you think so.
You’d be surprised how much difference a single positive comment can have on a stranger’s behavior.
As a support, you can often become the shot-caller during teamfights, especially when you play tanks/engage supports. And if you want to carry more games as a support, you must become good at shot-calling and take a more active role.
But even early on, you can make informed calls to engage, disengage, or take objectives since you’re less focused on farming and more on observing the map.
For example, if I see that the enemy jungler is on bot lane and we’re all around mid and top, I can ping my team to rush Baron. Without Smite the enemy team can’t secure it, so it’s me who guided the team to a bonus Baron.
Pings are the most important communication tool in League of Legends. People in Bronze and Silver underestimate the power pinging can have on the game.
But if you want to engage, for example, and you spam-ping your intention, your ADC will most likely follow, whether they like that decision or not.
You can ping almost anything in LoL – enemy movements, objectives, and even put signs of danger. An MIA ping when the enemy bot lane disappears can sometimes save your mid laner or jungler from an unexpected gank.
Constant Improvement and Adaptation
The road to becoming a Master elo support involves constantly improving your gameplay. And I mean that actively and consciously, in every game you play. If there’s one enemy to progress in League it’s playing the game on auto-pilot.
To combat that, I want you to look at your replays, identify mistakes, and work on them in your following matches. It sounds boring (and it sometimes is) but it’s what boosts your progress significantly.
Once while reviewing replays, I figured that I often got caught warding too deep without backup. I stopped going solo in the enemy jungle without information and my KDA improved instantly.
As I mentioned above, metas change all the time. Also, new champions come, old champions get reworked, and the item changes are just beyond anyone’s control at this point. However, you must keep adapting if you want to compete in high elo like Master or Grandmaster.
I remember when Ardent Censer was the must-have item. Switching my champion pool to enchanter supports like Janna and Lulu skyrocketed my win rate instantly. There was no point playing Lux in Master when her damage was nowhere near enough.
Learning from the Best
As a last piece of advice, I just want to tell you to take some time and watch professional or high-ranked support players or Twitch streamers. Look for the best of the best and mimic the way they play the laning phase, mid game, and late game.
Notice when and where they ward, how they position themselves in fights, and how they communicate with their team. All of those things are indicators of success.
Some of the best support players in my opinion are Keria, CoreJJ, and Mikyx.
To sum everything up, the support role in League of Legends is versatile, impactful, and powerful to climb with if you do the right thing. Here it’s not about racking up kills; it’s about enabling your team to perform their best.
From playmaking in the laning phase to vision control and shot-calling, a good support can always carry games.
If you don’t believe me, go to OPGG and select any server you like, then open the top 200 players’ leaderboards. You’ll see supports right at the top, most likely at rank 1. That’s how powerful the support role is for climbing in League of Legends!
And if you need extra help, I suggest you check my Bot Synergy category page where you can find the best support and ADC combos to get the biggest advantage possible in your ranked games.