The second role to be covered in our series about the best champs to play at the beginning of each season for each lane is Support. Yes, it’s not flashy, yes, you have to hold your nub AD Carry’s hand only for him to take all the glory more often than not, but think about it differently. Let’s say that everyone thinks like you, yet every team has to have a Support. Where do they come from? Autofill. What does it mean to play against an autofill Support? It’s not very good. What happens if it’s not very good and you ARE very good? You crush that lane more often than not. In solo queue, crush lane = win game is actually kind of true. So, what are the best Supports to play?
There is a reason why Janna has had a godly win rate over the years in solo queue. She has a shield, a slow, a knock-up, and a healing knock-back. Yes, you will not be bullying your lane opponents outta da lane like you could with the other three covered in this article, however, Janna is The Support to play if you want to kiddie-proof the lane. The amount of control you can have on fights when playing Janna is mind-staggering. Zac wants to jump onto someone? Nope. Not when Janna’s around. The best thing is that it’s not really that hard to play. At least mechanically. Knowing what to do with her is another matter, though. Just please, please, don’t spam your Q in lane needlessly against a Leona? Once she sees that you don’t have a way to stop her E anymore, she WILL go for your throats.
Next up with have the squishy plant lady. Zyra is one of those Supports that seem to be easy to play, but it’s really obvious when it’s being played badly. It’s important to position yourself correctly when playing Support, but it’s doubly so when Zyra is the champion you’re playing. She is an extremely squishy Support. This isn’t really helped any by items either, because you build offensively on this champ. A great Zyra can more or less 1v2 the enemy lane if she plays it right. Playing it just right is hard, however. When a good Zyra Support is on the team, people are no longer surprised when she tops the damage charts. Plants are OP. As a bonus, her Ultimate is also great against those pesky Assassins.
If you need to save your AD Carry’s ass but Janna is too PG-13 for you, you can play Karma. She can poke very well in the early game, while also providing you with shields and movement speed boosts and slows later. If you’ve watched the World Championship, you already know this. It was Karma and Zyra all day, every day. There’s a reason for that. Those two champs are simply broken, yo.
Do you want to kill people but are too afraid to walk up close on the squishy plant lady? Well, Burning Man (champion, not festival) was made specifically for you. He is not as squishy as Zyra, but has similar damage when he gets himself a Rylai’s Crystal Scepter and keeps building AP with Magic Penetration. In lane, you should aim to poke the hell out of your opponents with W, just don’t forget to get the Deathfire Touch keystone. It actually hurts a lot when Brand uses it. After Sighstone and your Support item of choice, get yourself a Rylai’s, then move to Liandry’s if the opponent have several high-health targets or something like Void Staff when they don’t. Use the Rylai’s slow, triggered by hitting Ws or E to land a Q and the team should follow up.
When everyone is low and clumped up… People say that it first happened in the fires of Mordor, when Frodo threw The One Ring into the fires to at long last defeat Sauron. Yes, you guessed right, it is The Pyroclasm. Brand’s ult does to people what the fires of Mount Doom does to… Mount Doom.
The Support role is a very situational role. Even though these four champions are said to be the strongest now, numerous other Supports can work just as well. Thresh, Alistar, Braum, Leona, Nautilus, Sona, Nami, Bard, Soraka, Taric… You can do your job with all of them. Hell, even Support Poppy or Ivern could conceivably work if you did it right. With the tools most Support-y champions have, matchups are often more about the skill of the two players and not about the exact matchup per-se. If you know more than your opponent, if you are better at your champion than he is at his, you can probably win the lane. Keep in mind, he could be an autofill donkey. Go get gud at Support and ruin him so badly that his mamma doesn’t want to have anything to do with him.