Supporting in Team Fights

This is a rough transcript of the video above by impakt

What’s up guys! For those of you who don’t know me (which will be most of you), I’m a Diamond I Support Player from the EUWest Server. I’ve competed against some of the top players and teams in Europe, attended offline events like Insomnia and Dreamhack, and both me and Cloth5 will be bringing you some quick and easy-to-follow guides that we hope will be helpful.

As a support player, one of the questions I’ve been asked the most is: “What are you supposed to do in teamfights when playing support?” – Well, I’m here to answer that question as best as I can, and in detail. I’ll be dividing the team-fight roles of the support in a few different categories, and then explain each one in detail. I will also give a couple of suggestions for item builds that you can try out. Have in mind, however, that nothing is black and white, so even though I’m giving you a few suggestions and base guidelines, you should analyze every game and draw your own conclusions.

Find your own playstyle, and find what fits your team better.

Support Types

So as I said, I’m going to divide Team-Fighting as a Support in FIVE different categories:
(1) Protector (2) Engager (3) Disengager (4) Pick-Off and (5) Hybrid. Don’t worry, I’ll be explaining each one in detail. I’ll talk about each one and then I’ll analyze a team fight for each type, while focusing on the most important points.

There are a few other roles that a support can play out in team fights, but to start things off I’ll be focusing on those I think are the most basic and important ones.
Have in mind, however, that these suggestions are meant to aid, not to restrict your own analysis and process.


Let’s get started then! First off we have the Protector Support. And as the name implies, your job will be to protect. To make things easier, I’ll even sum it up for you. You need to follow 3 basic steps:

  1. Identify who’s dealing the most damage on your team;
  2. Identify who’s a higher threat to that person;
  3. Build, position and peel accordingly;

So some people may be asking themselves: “I thought the support is supposed to be protecting the AD Carry” – And the answer is: Yes, you are. And most of the cases, the person dealing the most damage to the enemy team IS your AD Carry. However, sometimes your AD Carry isn’t doing so well, and by protecting the AD Carry alone, you’ll have no damage, leading to a lost team fight.
The protector will also need a build that allows him to… well, PROTECT! So a couple of items that you should have in consideration:

  • Mikael’s Crucible (For healing and CC removal. This can be highly effective against a team with a lot of CC or a lot of burst damage. It also helps to have crucible against champions with cooldown resets, such as kha’zix, master yi or katarina. By using crucible on a champion who’s near health, you’ll deny the cooldown reset, granting your team an opening for counter-attack);
  • Locket of the Iron Solari (Grants a magic resist and health regen aura but the active is what really makes this a must-have in all teams though, by absorbing up to 50 (+10 per level) damage )

There are other items good for protection, but these are my main two choices. Randuin’s Omen is also a good pick-up, and so is Shurelya’s with it’s disengage potential. However, I highly recommend giving higher priority to these two.

My favourite picks for protection are Sona (Sustain, Damage Reduction on her Aria of Perseverance’s Power Chord and Crescendo), Thresh (since every single skill on his kit can be used for protection), Alistar or even Fiddlesticks (whose CC, when properly chained, can keep a target totally helpless for up to 4.4 seconds)


Second on my list is the Engager. And yes, the engager’s job is to engage. Yes, I am a rather creative man. ANYWAY, you’ll be committing to engaging the enemy team and picking off the fights for your own team. You would probably need to play this role if your team has a lack of hard engage, making it harder for the other team to just run away or kite you back.
Sound simple enough? Let’s break it down:

  1. Identify high priority target;
  2. Wait/Create opening for engage onto THOSE targets;
  3. ENGAGE!

Now, the engager has a few items that should be considered:

  • Ruby Sightstone – Yes, I’m actually listing this. It gives you 3 wards, and a lot of HP for a support. And if you’re going to engage, you’ll need both the map awareness and the extra tankyness.
  • Boots of Mobility for quick and hard to dodge engages. Also depends on the champion you’re using, but it’s definitely worth it most of the times.
  • Shurelya’s Reverie is almost essential. It gives your whole team 40% movement speed for 3 seconds. Meaning that, even if you don’t need to use it to catch the enemy team, it’ll still be useful if your team is to follow you up on time. You don’t really want to engage while your team is too far behind, do you?
  • Randuin’s Omen is a really expensive item for a support. However, if you have gold for it, GET IT. It gives you health, armor (durability) and it slows the enemies’ movement AND attack speed. It’s THE perfect item for engaging.

Other items that will give you tankyness are also highly appreciated. Let’s say you have a triple bruiser comp? Consider ZEKE’S HERALD. Your jungler isn’t building Locket? Build it yourself!

As for champion picks, I usually go for either Thresh or Leona since they have, in my opinion, the best skill-sets for the job. Sona is also a good option, with the usual flash+ult combo. Fiddlesticks is also to be considered, thanks to his ult and follow-up CC.


Next up is the Disengager and it’s pretty much the opposite of the engager. Your role will be to disengage team fights. Usually you only pick something specific for disengage when you know from the get-go that your team doesn’t want to team fight. This happens when you have a lot of poke or even split push. If the enemy team’s composition is better for team fight than yours, then maybe picking is a disengager is a good idea.
Usually my chain of thought while playing a disengager is something like this:

  1. Notice if the enemy team shows desire to teamfight;
  2. If so, notice how many members of both teams are present;
  3. Unless your team has the number advantage, or is ahead of the enemy team in gold, DISENGAGE;

As for the main items in such a role:

  • Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the 15% cooldown reduction. You’ll want your disengage tools to be available as soon as possible;
  • Shurelya’s Reverie for the extra 10% cooldown reduction and for the +40% movement speed on it’s active.
  • Twin Shadows may also come of some use, if for some reason you don’t have enough map vision and to give an extra helping hand with the disengage, thanks to it’s 40% movement speed reduction on enemy champions.
  • Oracle’s Elixir is always a high priority pick. However, when playing with a disengage support, you’ll want to ALWAYS know where the enemy team’s members are, and deny as much vision as possible. Also, if you’re playing a disengager, odds are your team comp is poke-based. In that case, you’ll need oracles even more, to deny enemy vision of your own team, and allow them free poke.
  • WARDS, WARDS AND EVEN MORE WARDS are self-explanatory;

Janna, Nami and Sona are, in my opinion, the best picks for disengaging. Janna’s Howling Gale and Monsoon are arguably the best disengaging tools in the game. Also, Nami’s Aqua Prison and Tidal Wave serve the same purpose almost as well. As last but not least, Sona has the disengaging potential with her crescendo, while speeding your team up with Song of Celerity and even having the added bonus of increasing your team’s damage with her Hymn of Valor, which helps even more when allied to a poke comp.


As for the Pick-Off Support, the concept is pretty simple: you don’t want to team fight with equal numbers. So your goal is to pick someone off, burst him down, gain the number advantage and then fight again. A pick-off support must have the ability to lock-down a target and/or disposition him so that the kill is as quick and clean as possible. So, once again, let’s sum it up in a few steps:

  1. Recognize which champions are high priority;
  2. Look for an opening to pick them off;
  3. Burst down Champion;

I know it sounds easy enough, but sometimes it’s harder to pull off than it seems.
The items you’ll need for this comp are rather simple:

  • Boots of Mobility since you want to move as fast as possible;
  • Ruby Sight Stone because you want the extra tankiness to take some damage and for the free wards;
  • Oracle’s Elixir because the core of this comp/playstyle is to catch the opponents off-guard. You want to remove the enemy vision as early as possible, and replace it with your own. Which takes me to the final items:
  • WARDS. As many as you can possibly buy.

No team is always grouped up. Lanes have to be pushed, buffs have to be collected, and even jungle camps need clearing. Oracle’s and wards will make it possible for you to pick those champions off with a lot less fear of being engaged on.

Champion-wise, there stands but one King of the pick-off: Blitzcrank. Another great support that can be played with the pick-off potential is Thresh. Hooks OP.


And finally, the Hybrid. Now this isn’t as straightforward as the other support roles may have seemed. A hybrid consists of more than a single role in the same fight. Do not forget that by committing to more roles, you won’t be able to carry out each one as well as a dedicated support.
Leona, for example, can use Solar Flare to engage a team fight, and save both Zenith Blade and Shield of Daybreak to protect the carry. Thresh can also engage with Death Sentence and Dark Passage, saving The Box and Flay to protect the entire backline of your team.


I thought I’d end this video by sharing a thought: don’t let yourself become your worst enemy. If you want to improve, look at your own mistakes, even if you win every game. Work on your mistakes and keep improving. If you want to become better, the first thing you have to do is admit to yourself that you have flaws and that no one plays perfectly. I make mistakes as well. And so do you. If you want to get better, keep working, keep playing, and always be the first to criticize yourself.And that is all for now. Feel free to comment or even make suggestions for future articles/videos. All feedback is highly appreciated and will be taken into account.

Thank you for watching/reading and until next time.


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