I am pretty bad, and have not yet got to level thirty so I have not yet made it to "elo hell", and I have questions.
Question 1: What would your mindset be when playing support? I generally, in order, have my priorities:
1: Keep self alive. (First because if I know the carry isn't gonna make it out alive, I won't either unless I run)
2: Keep team alive.
3: Keep enemies from doing what they are trying to. (Stun, slow, buff team, heal team, etc.)
Question 2: How do you help other lanes without losing your own?
PS: I generally use Taric, Soraka or Nunu as support if that helps.
Again, technical questions like these are best asked in ExecutionerKen's thread. It'll be on the first two pages of this forum, look for it, it's something like "Advice about LoL from an 1800 Elo Player" or something. He's a lot better at it than I am.
However, here is my two cents:
Your mindset is a good one. However I do want to add two more little caveats for you:
1. Keep Self Alive - #1 priority always, unless you are the tank
3. Poke - Both in laning and during skirmishes/teamfights. Help the team out by providing whatever dps you can. ESPECIALLY if you're ranged like Sona or Soraka (Learn Sona, she's sort of broken right now)
4. Keep Team Alive
5. Disrupt enemy team - often goes hand-in-hand with #4, and also #3.
As to your second question, here are all the things a support can do for other lanes:
1. Keep track of the jungler (i'm assuming draft play here, if you play blind pick I'd suggest practicing in draft before getting serious about support)
2. Ward everywhere
3. Roam on occasion and help mid/the jungler out. People often don't expect a wild Taric to pop out of the bushes at them.
4. Ward everywhere - ward the **** out of their jungle. If you haven't bought at least 20 wards as the support in a >30 minute game, you failed.
5. Keep track of dragon/baron/red buff/blue buff timers. If you've warded their jungle you can even keep track of THEIR buff timers
6. Ward everywhere.
With regards to your second question using top/mid, you do this by harassing your lane partner, forcing them to b, pushing the lane, and roaming to get other lanes some kills. This is your JOB as a mid lane actually. You are supposed to out-harass or outright kill your opponent, push your lane to their turret and start roaming around. This is why mid-lane should pick last, so they can counter their opponent. Top lane counters aren't nearly as important (consider Malphite vs. Teemo, Teemo is going to wreck Malphite early, but Malphite still has his ult regardless, and Teemo's usefulness (except for his shrooms) falls off considerably in the late-game), though they do help.
If you have a global presence like TF, GP, Ashe, Karthus, etc., then you have even more responsibility to communicate well with your team so you can coordinate help in other lanes. A clutch bait to a global ult can be the difference between winning and losing a lane. I've seen teams coordinate an Ashe arrow across the map, where the top laner kept their opponent rooted in the exact spot the arrow would fly, BAM, kill, easy lane push to tower destroyed.
My experience with low Elo is that if you A) have a champion that can carry late game (is still useful in the late game) and B) have the balls to get in the fight and do something, you will usually come out on top. Mid-lane is not as important as a tanky top/jungle/support in low elo because you might help out your ally, but then again he might be a derp and waste the gold you gave him by derping around all game. I'd learn Alistar support (and Alistar jungle, he's not seen often but those that are good with him are in high-demand), he's broken right now as well.
Honestly the supports you know are useful, but none of them have a late game presence at all. Soraka's silence is the only super useful thing that they have. Taric's stun is useful but it's a short range and requires him to get in the fight, and nunu's slow is useful in lane, but late-game it falls off. Alistar, Blitz, Sona, Malphite, and Morgana are all supportable champions that WRECK the late game, learn them.
EDIT: I forgot how outrageous Taric's gems are. They are truly, truly, truly...outrageous. Seriously though, his aura's *are* useful, especially when he debuffs their team and ult-buffs yours, but late game that usefulness, again, falls off compared to a team stun from Morgana, Sona, or Malphite. And dat Blitz grab.
I think you have done a great job making this. It is exactly what people need to begin winning games. I especially liked the reference to FaerellG :3 I've played with him too and he has exactly the right mindset whilst playing games. This has helped me greatly and i'm sure it will help many others too.
One section you may want to add might be about general rules before playing ranked. For example, learn at least 2 champions in every role or get a rune page which can be used for the majority of your rules. I am no author but this information is no way near enough to make a new section on. However, if you have any more ideas it might be a good idea to add them.
Thanks for the post
Regarding the priorities when playing support, it actually varies heavily according to the type of support. The 3 main types of bot lanes are sustain, poke, and kill, and the 2 types of support are tanky melee and ranged.
The #1 priority for support is usually to keep the team (esp AD carry) alive, not yourself. You are almost always less important than the carries, and you don't need to stay alive to farm gold. Trading your team's support for anyone else on the enemy is usually a 'won' fight. The caveat is this: you should be trying to be useful, and know what you are capable of. If you cannot save an ally (because cooldowns are down, for example), don't suicide trying. Both melee and ranged supports (and most champs in general) need their abilities to make most of their impact on the game. You should try to stay alive so you can use your abilities to keep your team (primarily ad carry) alive.
Now, referring to the priorities lists above, I've removed warding because I consider it more of a separate activity not as well related to fights. It is still very important, but it should occur environmentally, before fights instead of during.
1: Keep team (ad carry mainly) alive.
2: Keep self alive.
Disrupting the other team is usually more valuable and important than poke, since you generally won't have enough damage for poke to be as significant as CC. CC doesn't scale with damage (and doesn't need to). That being said, this depends heavily on champion abilities. Ranged supports are usually better pokers, while melee supports generally have good disruption abilities, though there are plenty of exceptions.
One big issue with melee supports is that they often need tankiness to perform their disruption roles. If the game's not going well and they aren't tanky enough, they're often forced to stay back like a ranged support, but with less usefulness. Taric is often considered a weak late game support (only an aura/stunbot), but he's much more useful if he can convert into a true tank. If he's tanky enough to not melt instantly, he can block blitz grabs and other initiation and counter by stunning a priority enemy target, which often decides the fight.
I just remembered some wisdom passed on to me by my betters:
This word is tossed around pretty casually. Carrying isn't about kills nor damage. Carrying is about winning the game. That could be clutch blitz grabs or excellent amumu initiations...or of course, just murdering the team quickly with amazing damage. I sort of dislike the term "AD Carry" because it's gives ADs a greater sense of importance. ADs do damage and get kills, it's their job. If the AD scores a ton of kills and murders the enemy team, that's standard play. It's expected.
Carrying also implies that you're doing more than just your job. You're also doing the job of others on your team. You're the AD and your support isn't warding? You need to be able to deal damage and help ward for your team. Then you are carrying your support.
Your tanks not protecting you as the AD? Then you need to position better and avoid getting killed while dealing damage...then you're carrying your tank because you're doing your tanks job. If you're tank isn't protecting you and your support isn't warding, and you are able to deal your damage, ward the map, and stay alive, then you're carrying both your support and your tank. Make sense?
So short form. Carrying is doing your job as well as everyone else's job.
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