Supporting your way out of ELO Hell

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Petrokov

Junior Member

04-13-2012

Hello everyone.

I'm posting this thread because I feel like I've figured out a good way to get out of ELO hell.

When I first started playing ranked, I believed that I was best with Sona. However, I was too passive; I didn't ward enough, and I did practically nothing during teamfights. So when I played Sona in my first four ranked games ever, I lost all of them. I played some other roles, but I didn't have much luck. When I finally received an ELO, it was in the low 900s.

I decided to take a break from ranked. I knew that my losses were partially my fault, but mostly I was pissed at all the feeders that were on my team and thought I just needed to somehow get to a higher ELO where my teammates would be better.

Then one day I found Nhat Nguyen's stream. He was playing a Soraka in bot lane with a Graves. I was really taken aback by the idea that someone could maintain an ELO above 2000 by playing a champ as simple as Soraka. It hit me that there was more to playing support than I had previously thought, so I kept watching his stream. After analyzing what he did in each game, I decided that I should start with the simplest support, Soraka, relearn what I thought I knew about her, and master her. Then I would work my way up to more complicated champs like Janna. So I played ten normal games with Soraka, and I won eight of them.

I've come up with a list of tips that I think are really helpful:

1. Wards.
You can never have enough wards. Wards win games. One thing I did wrong and that I see other people doing wrong is not buying enough wards. Here's the bottom line: wards are more important than most other items. So if you're playing support, don't ever tell your AD carry that you couldn't buy any wards because you needed the money for your items. If you have no wards, then you get ganked. If you get ganked then you die. If you die, you feed the other team. I'm pretty sure it's worth not feeding if you have to wait a little bit longer to buy your kindlegem. This applies to late game too. Leave an item slot for wards. It's better to have five items and be able to see than to have six and get ganked all the time. Also, wards let you catch people out of position, which equals kills, which equals money. So wards also pay for themselves that way.

You can find full warding guides elsewhere, but when you're in lane, ward dragon and the river bushes that they can gank from. If someone is harassing from a bush, or if you have someone like a Blitzcrank hiding in a bush, then put a ward there too. This way your carry won't get zoned and lose CS. When it's late game, baron is the most important place to ward, because this objective can win the game. Dragon is also important, though.

When your team is in a group looking for the other team, put wards in places that they could be hiding. Don't go too far away from your team to do this because they could engage you (it's often helpful to CV a bush before warding it so you don't get caught). But vision is important before teamfights so that you can see where everyone is and know exactly how to engage and catch people out of position.

Also, I always figured this was obvious, but you need GP10's to afford wards. So get a Philo Stone and a Heart of Gold early game. Maybe also a Kage's, depending on how many assists you get. Wait until later to upgrade them. Also, GP10 runes are nice.

2. Look at the minimap
There's no point in having wards if you don't see people walk by them. Ideally, everyone should look at the minimap all the time, but as support, you're not CSing, so you really have no excuse not to. When I see someone walking by a ward, I like to ping them just to make sure my team sees them too.

3. Your AD carry
MAKE SURE THEY DON'T DIE. Also, pay attention to what they're doing so that if they jump on the other carry or support, then you can follow up with some CC and/or damage plus any heals or buffs you have for them. This isn't related to your AD carry really, but it's really helpful to harass the other team when it's safe; just don't get caught doing it.

I also thought this was obvious, but don't CS and don't KS. The gold belongs to the AD carry.

4. Teamfights
Pay attention to who the other team focuses. If you can heal or shield them, then it really helps your team. Also, remember that you do damage, so make sure to attack whoever your team is focusing (as long as it's safe). Pretty straightforward. Just don't stand there because you're a support and you feel like you do nothing. There are specific things that each champ can do; for example, Sona can engage with her ultimate, and Alistar can engage with his ultimate and his W + Q combo. But you should look at champ guides to find this stuff out.

5. Communicate with your team

Anyone can do this, but one thing I find as support is that you're more able to think about the entire map because you're not concentrating on CSing. So if you get a kill bot, your jungler is nearby, and your team is strong enough, then tell everyone to go for dragon. If you have more people alive, then this is usually an easy 975 gold. It's not a bad idea just because no one else said to do it. In low ELO, no one will think of it unless you tell them to.

6. If you decide to take clairvoyance, use it
You can do a lot with CV. CV their base at about 10 seconds to see their items, and then their starting buff when CV comes up again to make sure they're not invading. If you want to place a ward at dragon, but you're not sure if their jungler is in the river bush, CV it. If you know where their jungler should be at a given time, CV him (if you know where the jungler is then everyone knows he's not ganking and they can push). If the entire other team is missing and baron is up, CV it. If your teammate is pushed without a ward and you have no idea where their jungler is, then CV the most likely ganking route. It could save their life. If it's late game and you're with your team and you see someone that you might be able to catch, CV them to make sure their team isn't hiding. Don't take it just to CV their base and their jungle at the beginning of the game and then never use it again.

7. Don't rage
When you rage, your teammates will either get pissed off or really embarrassed and insecure about their playing. Either way, they're not gonna play any better. If you see someone making a mistake, by all means, tell them. But be nice about it. Instead of saying "OMG RIVEN STOP FEEDING" "/all GG MY TEAM NOOB", try saying "Don't extend so far without vision" or "You really need to play more passively." People don't like to lose. So if you tell someone what they're doing wrong politely, then chances are they'll try to fix it. It doesn't work all the time, but it's better than nothing, and it's definitely better than raging.

The reason I think this is a good way to get out of ELO hell is mainly my experience. I started off being 0/4 with Sona. Since I've started watching Nhat, my record with her is 14/21. My ELO is still really low (in the 1100s) but Sona is getting me out of ELO hell. Also, from my experience, no one in ELO hell knows how to play support. Not many people have heard of a ward. At best, you'll get someone who sits in the bush and sometimes harasses. At worst, you'll get someone who gets mad at the AD carry for "stealing their minions." So I feel like playing support correctly will put any low ELO team at a huge advantage over the other team, because the other team is likely not placing many wards and just has someone hitting the heal button over and over.

So that's my opinion about supporting at low ELO. I believe that even among complete noobs, the support has a huge influence on the game. So I guess to summarize everything, I would say this: if you think supporting is boring, then you're doing it wrong.

tl;dr
1. Buy wards. Then buy more wards.
2. ?????
3. Profit


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hupala

Junior Member

04-14-2012

I wholeheartedly agree with your post. Like every game i get there is a person who says they will "support" and do not know what support is. It pisses me off. They think doing support is just picking a support character but dont do any support things. Then they take cs from the ad carry preventing him from making a good build early. Then they push the lane preventing the jungler from helping to gank and they dont ward so when they do overextend they dont see enemy jungler coming and they feed. The ones that try to get the last hit on enemy kills really bug me and its not like where the enemy was close to getting away and they were the only ones to hit them I mean that they try to get last hits when your ad carry guns him down and is about to get the kill but the support sees the opportunity to get a kill for himself. You feed your ad carry then he will be more valuable in team fights.


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Arthainius

Member

04-14-2012

Well if either one of you who are good supports want a true taste of elo hell 1k-1250 inv for duo queue. Support your way out of 3 games and ill believe this long ass guide.


OPEN CHALLENGE. I wont feed intentionally or anything. Will play a typical game.


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Petrokov

Junior Member

04-14-2012

Alright, I'll add you. Keep in mind that my ELO is between 1k and 1250, so I know what it's like. I acknowledge that sometimes there are people who are just completely stupid and there's nothing you can do about it, but usually I can pull of a win with Sona (or Soraka if they're mana heavy). So challenge accepted


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General J Swain

Senior Member

05-20-2012

Hi! I wanted to post here because I just started doing ranked this weekend and my mains are mostly support characters. Unfortunately, I placed on a losing streak, so my elo is pretty sad. One thing I've noticed about being in bot lane in low elo is that everyone expects a kill lane. Very few AD carries I've laned with understand the intricacies of last-hitting and not pushing. They try to engage when I harass and zone, missing minions and losing money.

Your advice is good and (for my sake) I hope you're right. If there's a good AD out there who wants to be supported out of elo hell, hit me up!


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TheWazupian

Junior Member

12-16-2012

Omg I wish i would have read this, i tried playing solo top and i did good, but my team usually got utterly owned. Solo top is still my favorite, but playing adc, support, or maybe even jungle is the best way to climb out, i just got out tonight, its a great feeling.


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Gnarkill1

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWazupian View Post
Omg I wish i would have read this, i tried playing solo top and i did good, but my team usually got utterly owned. Solo top is still my favorite, but playing adc, support, or maybe even jungle is the best way to climb out, i just got out tonight, its a great feeling.
Not trying to be a dick and not supporting the idea of elo hell. But, youre 1130 elo with 28 games played... I wouldnt consider you to be beyond the range of what is considered typical elo hell.


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Gnarkill1

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Pwnage View Post
One thing I've noticed about being in bot lane in low elo is that everyone expects a kill lane. Very few AD carries I've laned with understand the intricacies of last-hitting and not pushing. They try to engage when I harass and zone, missing minions and losing money.
THIS!... Even though I know how to support, I hate doing it at low elo simply because trying to explain to an adc how to freeze a lane and zone out the enemy is impossible. They will just pump away at their auto attacks and if you so much as hit someone they will burn flash, ignite and every cooldown they possess to try to get a kill. Dont get me wrong, I think a good support is worth their weight in gold and is an invaluable cog in a team. However, I dont think its the best way to get out of low elo.


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redhead1183

Senior Member

12-17-2012

Thanks for this post!!! We need more posts with tips for new and old players both.

Taric got me out of elo hell last season. However, I ran into trouble later because the adc's werent able to do their jobs. I love support, but sometimes it feels like support can't make too big of a difference when a team is failing. I find that adc or apc champs can make more a difference than a good support sadly.