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Need some strategic support help!!

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Hey guys! I've recently started supporting my way through ranked games and getting pretty close to Gold, but I had a few questions about when to do certain things. If you can answer any of these questions, I'd really appreciate it.

#1 Starting Items:
How do you typically know what to start with as a support? The most common start I see is a Faerie charm and 4 wards, however there's a ton of options and I'm not entirely sure about the reasoning behind WHEN you choose these. For example:
Faerie, Rejuvenation, 2 Wards, 1 Potion
Flask, 4 Wards
Faerie, 2 Wards, 2 Potions, 1 Pink Ward(my personal favorite, actually)
etc. Are some of these more suitable for aggressive playstyles or is it just about preference?

#2 Pushing/Freezing the lane:
Does where you want the lane positioned(pushed towards you/towards enemy) depend more on the adc, the type of support you are, the jungler, or some combination of the 3? Thus far, I've just assumed that if I'm playing Taric or Leona or any other melee with a strong engage, I should have the lane pushed towards me, but that's all I know, and that might be wrong.
any suggestions?

#3 Lane comps:
What are good lane comps? I'm not asking for specific comps, I just want to know what kind of adc goes good with what kind of support. Do more farm-reliant adcs work better with Janna and Raka or...? I don't know.

#4 Countering enemy support(?):
This is kind of a weird question, because when I think of countering, it's mostly mid and top lane that come to mind. Is there certain supports who naturally wreck on other supports? For example, I saw a recent game on Xpecial's stream where he chose Janna against a Leona because he could cancel Leona's Es with his Tornado. Likewise, I've seen some people take Alistar support against Taric to counter those hard engages.
Is support countering a thing and if so how do you decide what to pick?

Any and all suggestions/tips are greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

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Uncanny Doom

Senior Member


Starting items should be based on your lane match-up and/or the support you play. Just factor in if you're going to be getting harassed or forcing trades and poking, whether or not you have sustain, etc. Find what works for you, though I do think Faerie Charm and at least two wards should be kind of mandatory for any support.

Pushing and freezing just kind of depends on what your lane (typically the carry) wants to do and if it's warded. I don't think it really depends on the jungler because junglers won't often come bot unless they know whether or not it's warded. Though if you're against something like a Nocturne where he can gap close from a large distance I would be extremely cautious when pushing.

Yes, Janna and Soraka are usually good if the ADC is one that is more passive and wants to farm, or just doesn't have a very good laning phase. Sometimes it's better to just ask the AD Carry how they like to play though. Are they aggressive or passive? Would they like you to pick someone with hard engage or someone with sustain? You get the idea.

Support countering is very much a thing. Just look at the enemy support and think of what their strengths are, and if there is a support that could bypass that. Sona for example is good for poke and harass, but supports that can gap close on her like Blitzcrank, Leona, or Alistar can do well against her. Sometimes you don't want to pick to counter the support but to compliment your AD Carry. If you have a Miss Fortune or Graves you might want to pick a more aggressive support to take advantage of their strong lane phase and early game damage.

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Screw faerie charm. Flask + wards is better now by far if you remember to use it. Flask is insanely efficient if you're using it like you should and you don't have to sell it until maybe 20 minutes in when your slots are full unless you just never finish items. Philo is useful but not mandatory, so only build if you want to build something out of it (I do, so I still always get it).

Rush sightstone. It's like 8 GP/10, you just have to spend it all on wards. And since you _should_ be warding up, that's completely awesome. Depending on what you have in wealth, you may only get 3 wards during the start (and possibly 1 pink 2 green). You're really going to have to stretch those a little bit. Have some idea how long it takes their jungler to clear/when they like to gank so you don't blow your wards early. There are very definite counters. Kill vs. poke vs. sustain lanes. Try to learn who goes with who.

My favorite is Janna with the new heal spell, which helps a lot vs. her biggest weakness. But you need some good shield skills to block that harass (I use shielding hotkeys, which have saved my rear _VERY_ often). With Blitz & Malphite permabanned and Alistar often banned, you have no major worries. And Alistar really isn't that bad with your mobility unless you just screw up, because his heal pushes lane if he's not careful and the headbutt isn't bad with proper positioning (i.e. do not sit next to the wall). Leona is more annoying, at least in lane and they're both manageably hard rather than devastating so long as you're not dumb and take tornado at level 1 for the disengage (you take shield first vs. more passive lanes & shield your jungler if possible). She just has so many possibilities that you can do a ton to keep the team alive if you have any skill with her. And a live, fed carry just melts the other team.