This is a companion article to the above video and is not intended as a standalone.
Hi everyone, this is impaKt and me and Cloth5 are back to bring you another Support Guide.
Last time I covered team fighting as a support, and this time I’ll be talking about the Laning Phase. However, there is a lot to cover about this topic so I’ll be sticking to some of the basics
First thing I’d like you to be aware of is that the bottom lane is all about resource management, not about kills. A common misconception is that if your bot lane gets more kills than the enemy Marksman, you pretty much win the lane. The laning phase will be about fighting for 3 main resources: Health, Mana and Gold, and the victor of the bottom lane will be the side that ends up with the most Gold. How do you win the fight over these resources? By having more “presence” than your enemies.
Having “presence” in lane pretty much means that you make your opponents fear you, and make them afraid to step into your turf. You want to make the lane yours, and you’ll want to control it. Each type of support can do this differently, and it will depend on the enemy lane as well.
Have one more thing in mind: Supports usually have high base stats. What this means is that you won’t have to build any items early on to be effective. Marksmen, or AD Carries however, do need their items. This is why Supports OWN the bottom lane until the AD Carry gets his first big item, which should be around minute 13 to 15.
There are 3 main types of bottom lanes: Sustain Lanes, Poke Lanes and Kill Lanes. And this doesn’t depend on just the Support’s skill set.;
Sustain Lanes are easy to distinguish since they have heals. However, Poke Lanes and Kill Lanes may be hard to tell apart sometimes. Basically a Poke Lane wants to poke the enemies to force them out of the lane or to zone them out, making it harder for the enemy AD Carry to get any farm while the Kill Lane is all about getting kills early on and thus earning more gold. They are sort of “high-risk , high-reward” lanes.
Also important to point out is that each of these types of lane has a strength and a weakness: Sustain Lanes usually win over Poke Lanes, Poke Lanes deal well with Kill Lanes and Kill Lanes usually have the advantage over Sustain Lanes.
We already talked about sustain lanes having heal. But what does this really mean?
- It means that you’ll be able to heal your lane partner, but not at once.
- A sustain lane is often about having patience and knowing when to strike back.
This is why this type of lane is strong against Poke and yet weak against Kill Lanes:
A Poke Lane will try to harass you from a distance (spending Mana, one of the resources we talked about) and your job will be to dodge (if possible) and to heal your AD Carry over time. You’ll have to be patient and know when to engage. Wait for the enemy to deplete their mana pools, and then strike back if possible.
A Kill Lane however will be all about engaging. They’ll try to catch you and burst you down every time they can. Most of the times, these lanes take ignite as well, reducing your heals for 50%. Since they’re all about bursting you down, you won’t have the time to heal up like you do against Poke Lanes.
Most sustain lanes don’t function only on the basis of having a heal. You have more skills at your disposal. Also, a few tips that should help you out when found in sticky situations:
- Don’t let yourself get pushed under the tower – Help your Marksman push the lane as often as possible, but be careful not to spend too much of your mana. If a Kill Lane gets you under your own turret, you will be most likely dived at level 5-6, depending on what lane it is.
- Use cooldowns wisely – That means heal baiting, waiting for the enemy support / ADC to have no mana and then counter attack or even save your cooldowns for when the jungler comes to help you out.
Remember that at level 6, the ultimates will enter the lane’s mechanics. So analyze your new ultimates, your opponents’ ultimates, and adapt accordingly. For instance, Sona and Nami will have an engaging/disengaging mechanism while Taric will have a lot of burst and a damage steroid at his disposal.
Poke Lanes are all about damaging your enemy over time, thus slowly depleting their HP resources. By doing this correctly, you’ll be acquiring presence in lane. Your opponents will start to fear coming near you, and you’ll be able to either send them back to the base or zone them out from getting any farm. Poke lanes aren’t very effective against sustain lanes because of the healing over time. However, since a poke lane often comes equipped with a disengage tool, you’ll be able to avoid engages from kill lanes, and keep poking them out of the lane.
Don’t worry if you don’t kill your enemies. Sometimes, constantly zoning out the enemy AD Carry proves to be even more beneficial than killing him at all, since the gap in farm between marksmen will keep increasing. Something that is really important when playing a Poke Support is knowing WHEN to poke. And you can do this several ways, but I’ll give you two simple ones:
1) Bush Control – Keep control of your lane’s bushes. You can do this by buying pink wards, even. By poking from a bush that isn’t warded, your projectiles and attacks will be a lot harder to dodge. Also, the chances of you getting harassed back decrease significantly.
2) Pay Attention To The Minion Flow – Say you have 5 creeps in lane and the enemy has 1. As soon as you last hit it, the 5 remaining minions will push against them. The enemy will fall back, and you will have an opportunity to poke, since they will either keep going back or try hitting you, thus also getting damaged by the minions.
Just like in every type of lane, at level 6 you should adapt your play style since ultimates will be available.
As the last type of lane, we have the Kill Lane. Like I stated earlier, the Kill Lane is all about getting kills. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to win the lane if you don’t get any, but it’ll make your life a lot harder if you don’t.
A Kill Lane will be composed of strong engaging mechanics and skill sets and also strong burst damage that makes it easy for the AD Carry to pick up kills. This type of Lane usually has long cooldowns though so if a key ingredient fails (say Leona’s Zenith Blade, Thresh’s Death Sentence or even Blitzcrank’s Rocket Grab), the enemy will have a window of opportunity to engage and get some damage done.
Also, some of the most used supports in kill lanes will have to go melee range in order to pick up kills successfully. If for some reason that fails, you’ll find yourself in trouble, hence the “high risk high reward” situation I mentioned earlier. Here are a couple of tips that should help you out when playing a Kill Lane:
- Bush Control – I can’t mention this enough. Bush Control is invaluable in every single lane type and it WILL win you the lane. However, I’d say it’s even more important when playing a kill lane.If you manage to control the front bush of the lane, the enemy will have to risk getting in range in order to get CS. And if they do… Well, you just do your job and burst them down. If they don’t, you tell your AD Carry to freeze the lane.
- Be creative – Try finding new places to engage from. Remove the enemy’s wards and engage from different places. Don’t let your opponents read your play style or, at least, make it a lot harder for them to do so.
At level 6, your killing potential will often increase dramatically. So you can, for instance, save a pink ward for bush control at level 5 and then surprise your enemies when they don’t see you level up.
One of the beauties about the bottom lane is that it’s a lane with constant 2v2 action. This also means that there is a lot more room to deal with counters. That’s pretty much why I decided to end this video by talking a little bit about this. Do have in mind that each of these options has upsides and downsides. For more specific information about each of these mechanics, stay tuned for more in-detail videos in the future.
So, how to deal with really aggressive lanes and counters? Here’s 5 tips that I think will help you out:
- Notice if the enemy support has any pink wards. If not, ward or pink the bush closest to your turret and regain it by poking and harassing. Do this patiently though. Don’t be your own worst enemy. Losing farm AND giving up kills is a lot worse than just losing farm;
- Ask your jungler if you can take golems/wolves and farm the jungle until the creep wave reaches your turret;
- If the enemy lane is freezing non-stop, roam. Group up mid, get the turret. You can do this mainly because it’ll force the bot lane to rotate to other lanes and help out. If they don’t, you’re getting free objectives.
- Push. The. Lane. Playing against a Leona as Sona? Well, if you push the lane nonstop, the enemy bottom lane will be stuck under their turret all the time. That way, if she wants to engage, she’ll have to do it on top of your creeps, and they’ll make sure she takes a lot more damage than she was expecting. Pushing the lane denies your enemies the chance to be aggressive.
- Practice not getting hit by skillshots. Ward whatever you need to ward, but don’t get hit by rocket grabs, zenith blades or any other skills of the sort. Pay attention to your enemies’ movement and practice your prediction skills.
And that’s it for now! There’s a whole lot more to cover about the bottom lane and the mechanics involved, but I hope these notions will be of some use to you guys for now. Thanks for reading and until next time!