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-   -   Why do we have supports? (http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=2847511)

henchdog 11-29-2012 05:35 AM

Why do we have supports?
I am going back to basics here, I have been struggling with the season 3 support changes that I am not too keen on and I have got the the point where I don't really know why supports exist at all. I will break down my question into smaller ones to show why I am struggling here;

1) Why, if a character has a support skill (eg heal or shield), are they expected to have no offense or defense from mid game onwards? Tanks like Cho or Amumu put out insane disruption and still have solid damage and high defense, but disrupting supports like lulu and janna have almost no offense or defense.

2) Using a support skill at the right time is fun - eg Kayle's ulti - but why does that mean that using support skills is the only contribution a champion can effectively make to the game? I am genuinely struggling with why a support should 'only' do supporty things.

3) Why is 'support' considered a champion archetype when each support is so diverse (compare 'alistair' to 'lux' in what they do). It is easy to identify and AD carry or a Tank - they are clearly designed that way. Support doesnt seem to have an identity, just a role in the meta.

4) Why do we have 4 gold flows in a 5v5 game, demoting one champion to much weaker state than the other 4 (gold items dont solve this, because they significantly lower a champion's power for most of the game)

I love playing high utility/disrupting champions - Lulu is my favourite champ, but if i want to play her I never get to her full potential because I have to spend most of the game with a philo stone and a stack of wards.

I am a little scared of asking these questions because I am assuming people will just give smug or toxic replies to such basic questions, but if there is anyone reading this that can really convince me that 'support' makes the game better, I would welcome the discussion.

TheRobot99 11-29-2012 06:08 AM

I don't remember which forum I heard this from, but the contribution of a support is often not easy to easily see. Sure Sona has an AoE stun, but what about her other abilities that have aura? How do they contribute? Taric has his stun, but how many times has his passive armor aura and ultimate aura either saved a carry from dying or allowed a bruiser to kill the carry that split second earlier? It's getting into the micromechanics that shows how powerful supports can be. Take Janna's passive movement speed boost - how many champions has that saved when being chased having that extra movement speed?

Weltall8000 11-29-2012 06:11 AM

1) Who says this? Anyways,I build supports to have AP and/or defensive items while still having an emphasis on team utility. I don't really see why anyone would not build such items. Of course there is less gold available due to wards and a low CS, but with the gold that a support does have...they should probably be buying offensive/defensive items (many of which do synergize well with the role of support mind you).

And while I personally do consider a tank a form of support, Cho'gath isn't a "pure tank" and Amumu is a fantastic jungler. As I see it, they are all supports, but with emphasis in different places. Cho and Amumu support the team by being in the front lines and focusing more heavily on constant disruption and durability. Lulu and Janna deal a good amount of poke, as well as some CC, and even team defense with shields and heals.

2) Who says this? "Support" is a pretty broad term, it could mean buffing, healing, CCing, damaging, blocking, etc. depending on the context. There is more to support than merely buying wards and spamming Aria of Perseverance. And if we are going with tanks being "supports" (for instance Leona often plays the bot lane with an ADC making a kill lane) they have loads of defense and play the role in the opposing team's face.

3) Isn't that a good thing that they have variety and can fit different playstyles and nuanced strategies?

A rose by any other name I suppose.

4) To increase the carry's gold by allocating the gold that another one (the support) otherwise would have received. Just like why we have a jungler, part of it is to get another character (solo top) more gold. Gold/5 items are great, including the masteries and runes for this, they supplement their lower CS. Also, assists net gold for supports, kill lanes are great ways to make money without CS for a support.

And really, think about it. The game is designed around enabling the carry to wipe out the enemy team in a team fight, then enabling your team to take out structures. It makes sense to strengthen the carry as best as you can so that they can carry your team to victory. Yes everyone has to contribute to make this happen, it's just a different role.


Her "full potential" is subjective and depends on the circumstances. She may deal more damage if you build her straight AP and get a high CS, but is that more useful than getting an allied Vayne fed in lane?

"Convince" you? Maybe not, but is this really a legitimate discussion or is this looking for approval on an opinion you've already made your mind up about?

Also, -1 for using "toxic."

goremote 11-29-2012 06:28 AM

Support is the "gameplay" tank of the League -- they take all the hits to fun and gratifying play, so then everyone else can maximize their effectiveness in their roles. They get the jobs that nobody wants, because they have to be done and nobody else can do them while still effectively doing their own jobs. Supports, though aura items, healing, and warding, take preventative and reactionary measures to ensure that a single teammate's mistake won't ruin the entire game. They manage information flow, including map awareness, enemy item builds, dragon/baron spawn and respawns, and all the other details that his or her teammates simply can't take the time to think about.

1. This is a question of maximization. Really, there isn't any point in claiming the support role if you're not going to put every bit of gold available to you towards fulfilling that role. By definition, the role does not ask you to deal damage, or take large amount of it for your team. Of course, most supports (especially support tanks like Leona, Alistar, and Taric) still itemize more towards defense than offense simply because you can't support by getting two-shot every time you leave base. This isn't always true (shield/healing champs tend to build more AP than defense simply because shield/heal values scale rather well with AP). Additionally, support champions itemize for cooldown reduction in addition to defense -- this is a trait you typically *won't* see on full-tanks like Amumu, Shen, or Malphite because stats like armor, MR, and health are simply more important than cranking out abilities. Supports, however, are heavily reliant on spamming their abilities, thus requiring CDR (a notable exception here is Sona). While tanks and supports both itemize some degree of CDR and defense (thus leading to the emergence of the support-tank role mentioned earlier), one stat typically outweighs the other between the two roles.

2. Again, this is a question of maximization, though there are certainly a decent number of supports that offer supportive utility in addition to their "tons of damage"/defense capabilities. Kayle, for example, is rarely seen in the support role any longer because of her design as an aggressive, high-damage support. Her stats and kit allow her to support herself in top lane or the jungle (or, occasionally, as ADC). The same is true for non-standard support champions like Lux, Karma, Morgana, Teemo, Amumu, Fiddlesticks, Cassiopeia (yes, support Cass exists), etc. These champions don't fit the current 0-cs meta, and thus typically do not go bottom with the ADC. Yet, these champions can still be considered "support" because they offer advantages to their teammates in the form of hard cc, healing, shielding, or buffs. These advantages may not be as strong as those from a dedicated support, but by definition a "dedicated" support can only do "supporty" things.

3. Supports do, in fact, have an identity (see 1). Granted, that identity manifests itself in many different ways, but the same is true for every role. For example, compare ADC Vayne to ADC Kog'Maw. Vayne utilizes her high mobility through her passive and Tumble alongside her true damage from Silver Bolts to fulfill her role as a high-AD output carry. Kog'Maw, on the other hand, has very little mobility, instead preferring to kite his targets through a massive range steroid, an AOE-slow, and a vision-granting long-range salvo. The two kits are fundamentally different, and yet they both have the capability to hyper-carry. The same is true of supports, though the number of responsibilities a support has is much larger than the carry's or tank's, thus requiring a large disparity between support kits to address every support concern. For example, while Teemo is an unconventional support pick, his ultimate allows him to stop spending money on wards. Giving this ability to someone like Sona or Lulu would be huge.

4. This is a question specifically for a red, as I don't have design experience. It does seem like a design flaw to me, though it is certainly a highly difficult problem to overcome without other roles abusing it for their own gain.

inb4 tl;dr, I just spent at least 45 minutes typing that up, which I could have spent working on my Karma (pun not intended) or Sona instead.

goremote 11-29-2012 06:35 AM


Originally Posted by Weltall8000 (Hozzászólás 31919156)
"Convince" you? Maybe not, but is this really a legitimate discussion or is this looking for approval on an opinion you've already made your mind up about?

Also, -1 for using "toxic."

Why are you attacking the OP for having doubts of a role whose purpose is not immediately and gratifyingly apparent? Additionally, why are you putting words in his mouth?

Got a chuckle from your last bit, though. The sheer irony is delicious.

CerealBoxOfDoom 11-29-2012 07:04 AM

short on time but support is not a primary champion type. The primary types are


some common subtypes are

Some tritary attributes that are used almost like slang and some that aren't official terminology

That said, the reason why any given support can't do this and that is because "support" generally isn't the champion attribute that has priority in regards to their function. Even though we refer to them as supports they are first something else. The exception being teemo. Teemo is purposely not given a main type. He's a jack of all trades and master of none sort of deal. Though its probably best just to think of him as a very awkward fighter mage who, like fizz, has had his sustain compensated for with utility.

Some examples btw
sona= mage
kayle = fighter
leona is not actually support but she is a tank with a "together we dump on you" passive
nami = mage
nunu is not actually support I think but he is a fighter with very convinient abilities for certain teamwork strategies
taric = i dont know what but I do know that he is at least a tank.

Alithalor 11-29-2012 07:13 AM

So we learn to stand... obviously =p

Crimson5pheonix 11-29-2012 07:23 AM

Anybody who doesn't think much of supports has obviously never AD carried with one :P

Arcticfury 11-29-2012 07:40 AM

Playing as the support can be very frustrating. We are expected to not take cs, buy wards, never get last hit on a kill, and somehow have something to throw in at the end of the game. Really, as support you are 95% reliant on your ADC to carry you, you need the assists to get enough gold to matter later on. And yes as support you keep your ADC alive, but you still rely on them too much.

The problem with supports,and I believe they are trying to fix this, is that you are expected to do absolutely nothing for gold gain and if you do then you are stealing it from your team and are contributing to a loss in their eyes. With that horrible gold gain you are expected to ward. I love that the new items will have wards and be more specific for supports, but some have no offense or low offense. If you don't have defense as a support you should be given a little offense imo.

henchdog 11-29-2012 07:50 AM

@goremote Thanks for making the effort to write such a detailed reply - i enjoyed the read and i appreciate the time you took. I enjoy watching pro -streams and I notice a much larger variety of0 CS picks lately - the last game i saw had a panth and a maokai in the support role. I am wondering if this is a trend or just preseason 'experimentation'?

@wetal8000 I may not fully understand the support role, but that doesnt mean I don't understand trolling. I hope your forum manners improve.

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