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-   -   Support selection -- Is Alistar always superior to Soraka? (http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2182702)

MeltedWater 06-04-2012 03:45 AM

Support selection -- Is Alistar always superior to Soraka?
Now, don't get me wrong, I like Soraka. My friends got me started playing LoL. I didn't even start with a tutorial, just went straight into playing Soraka my very first game. And I've loved her ever since. She was my favorite champion and the main one I played for a while, but I eventually "moved on" to Gangplank and then Fiddlesticks. Each of these 3 characters, however, have vastly different roles on a team. They were my favorite 3 to play, but I'd just pick one based off what everryone else on the team was doing. Seemed to work.

Then I played Alistar.

I started playing Alistar when my team would need a tank, initially to be the tank. I've ONLY played support bottom role as Alistar; the same I'd do as Soraka (have never went mid with her, I'd probably just use Fiddlesticks instead if I could for that). And Alistar is amazing. He's a great support, yet tanky at the same time. He can support the carry (or anyone else), set up kills, harass with Headbutt, deny minion kills with his heal (I suppose, although I don't really do it), heal himself and his carry, initiate fights (including team fights), escape quite well, push very well (with his Pulverize and heal), and his build is fun as it's different every game as he can need any number of different items (armor, resistance, gold per 5, AP, auras, etc.). And I'm great as playing him. Go ahead. Look at my match history. The last four games I've played as him (and I've played far more) I won, and in 3 I did amazingly well. These are some significant odds. My match history also shows my most recent Soraka game in there too, and it's correct in indicating I play well as her too.

But I like Alistar more.

Soraka is a good support, I guess, since she can give more sustain in mana, and heal people from anywhere on the map. Her heal also heals more than Alistar's, but has a significantly longer recharge time and isn't an AOE that includes minions. Sometimes healing minions is bad...but usually, it's not. And that's about all she's good at. Honestly, I've probably rarely acctually helped someone clear across the map by healing them. Usually if I'm not around they'll probably die anyway, or wouldn't have needed the heal. Soraka's E at level 5 doesn't even harass as well as Alistar's W at level 1, and Alistar also has his Q to harass with. Soraka can't push as well, can't tank as well, can't take turrets, can't harass nearly as well, and can't set up ganks. She doesn't seem to be able to help people out nearly as well, relying on a champion's own get-away techniques if her heals aren't good enough (and, often, they aren't). Alistar can help people get away real well and they won't need heals (although he CAN provide them a little bit of it). About the only thing Soraka seems better with is the mana sustain, but if Alistar can start the game with a Mana Manipulator and that just about solves that problem.

Now, I'm sure Soraka is good at .... something ... that I'm missing. Or I'm not playing her right. Or something. Maybe I'm just not as good as her as with Alistar? I hate to say she's a useless champion but I fail to understand why I'd ever want to pick her over Alistar, if given the oppurtunity. (Alsitar is never banned. The only time I'd not have the choice is if someone else picked him first, basically.)

TL;DR: Should I ever pick Soraka over Alistar?

CapriciousXII 06-04-2012 04:18 AM

Depends on your team comp honestly, and your matchup

With alistar you'll have a more agressive laning phase while with soraka you babysit the carry and make sure he/she doesnt die.

I honestly thought all bottom lanes were pretty boring because they did the same thing but from a different perspective it becomes clear why you'd want one support over another.

If the enemy team has a gank happy jungler pick janna, she breaks up ganks like no other and disrupts teamfights

if its a passive lane you can go with soraka to make sure that your ad stays healthy and allow him/her to farm until late game where they shine

if you go for a kill lane then you'll want blitz, leona, alistar, etc
they have good initial damage on top of really annoying CC to pin down the target

Dont pick a support for the sake of supporting, you have to take their utility into account as well to balance out matchups that would normally go against your teams favor. Early game you have to carry your carry so that they can carry you as you fall off into lategame.

Something Snazzy 06-04-2012 06:30 AM

With cool down, which you should be getting from boots, shureylias, masteries and what have you, Soraka can shred MR like a beast. -12 every 2 seconds practically, up to -96. And it is AoE. Sure, she'll never be on the front line but she is so great at peeling people who dive onto your carries. If Irelia, Wukong, Riven, etc, jump onto your Ashe and blow their load, next thing they know, Ashe is back at full HP, has twice the armor and their MR is down to zero. After that, they melt under any AoE magic damage your team has.

Ali may be amazing at initiating and disrupting an entire team and he can tank towers like a beast... but after that, his heal is practically nothing with a long CD due to lack of minions in teamfights and his knock back is his only real peel. That knock back doesn't have a drastic difference in cooldown from most gap closers (like Ire, Wu, etc) either, making it better for their pushing their squishies into the fight, not peeling champions from your squishies.

That being said, I only really like Soraka when your team has solid magic damage and the current meta seems to put an AD bruiser top and an AD champ in jungle. Overall, Soraka is a support late game, Ali is more of a tank/disruptor late game. Whatever your team needs is what is better.

midillusion 06-04-2012 07:44 AM

I main Taric as support, and he is much like Alistar in playstyle, but there are times when Soraka is better for the lane. For example, if someone on your team picks Ashe or Kogmaw, I would pick Soraka. Why? Because I know that these 2 AD carries don't have a lot of kill potential early on compared to other champions, and will mainly just want to farm up for 20 minutes. Soraka is perfect for these types of AD carries, because she has the greatest sustain (allowing your AD carry to stay in lane as long as they need to) and she counters most aggressive kill-lane supports.

I know Soraka may not seem like much, but she can be amazing in the right hands. The reason why she counters aggressive supports like Leona, Blitz, Taric and Alistar is because her silence out-ranges all of their initiation abilities. This means that if you see them coming, you can stop their aggressive behavior before they have even started. If you see Leona walking towards your carry, just silence her and she has no choice but to back off or risk taking a ton of damage from your AD carry.

Warrrrax 06-04-2012 09:34 AM

I think Alistar is more useful mid to endgame. With him you get a solid support champ, who is about as good as anyone else.

But mid and endgame, you get an actual TANK with lots of CC who is very hard to kill and has lots of tasty auras.
The soroka is still squishy and her contribution is her Armor/Heal (once per fight), her Silence (probably once per fight, minor damage), and she hides in the back waiting to use her Ult Heal. She wont even be tanky enough to do starfall spam. She can also be taken out or focused to force her to heal herself and/or take her auras out of play.

SchrodingersPig 06-04-2012 10:15 AM

I like having a Soraka when I play Kog'Maw, as I have enough potential to harass and farm if I have infinite mana. I can just spam my E and my ult with the insanity that is Infusion, and if things get bad, I have a heal and a silence at my back.

arcticnerd 06-04-2012 11:05 AM

I’m an avid support player but I have never been a fan of Soraka. For me her game play is far too passive. While I know she can be devastating in the right hands I feel that she is very reliant on her ad playing well during the laning phase. At low elo you can’t expect your ad carry to pull off the amazing plays or be competent on their own. Instead I prefer to play champions with more effect on the lane and the enemy champions. Alistar, Janna and Taric all have great cc that can help your ally land skill shots and extra auto attacks for kills or pressure and Sona is an absolute bully in the lane with deceptively high damage. These champions can force the lane in your favor and can set up some easy kills for both your ad carry and jungler. They also transition well into the mid to late game. Alistar and Taric become tanks with strong cc where Janna and Sona have dynamic and fight changing ults. You could say Soraka has a fight changing ult and you would be right but again Soraka’s ult, like the rest of her kit, depend on your allies doing well. If you heal them and they simply run away or are out of position they will not contribute to the team fight. Janna and Sona’s ults on the other hand disrupt the enemy team making it exceeding easy for even poor players to net a kill or at least do some major damage.

Soraka is a great support champion for some situations but at low elo she doesn’t have to tools to force her team to victory (or at least her tools are not as strong as other support champions).

Rawrful 06-04-2012 11:11 AM

Healing minions is generally terrible, and one of his biggest disadvantages. It pushes your lane. When your lane is pushed you have to deal with nasty ganks.

Also, Soraka's greatest strength in lane if her armor buff. It is enough to turn hard engages in her favor- If Alistar CCs her phys carry, she can instantly heal all the damage he did and force a fight because Alistar is now in melee range.

Of course, if the phys carry also has CC and you can chain it properly, Alistar is probably stronger. Or if you have a very ganky jungler. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and both are really good. Alistar isn't always better than Soraka though.

etharian 06-04-2012 11:49 AM

was waiting for someone to bring up the lane pushing. i play ad carry alot and im nite a huge fan of having an allistar bot because he starts pushing my lane with that heal. which means more aggressive warding and i have to push minions to the tower so they can freeze the lane and farm it all day. although he does scale well late game the point of soraka us counting on ur ad carry to farm hard enough to...well carry of course. and her Mr shred is kinda a big deal

Warrrrax 06-04-2012 01:12 PM

Well I see downvote but no actual commentary. Alistar fills 2 slots basically...support and tank. This gives the rest of the team more flexibility as to what they can pick. i.e. You don't have to put a tank in the jungle, but can counterpick their jungler for example.

Soroka certainly has her advantages and it is hard to compare the two I'll admit. I just know that I breathe a sigh of relief when my team has Alistar because I dont have to wonder if someone is gonna rage and not want to pick a tank.

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