When the Season 10 of League of Legends began, Nautilus and Leona reigned supreme over the botlane. Then, Kalista came back into the spotlights, which lead Taric to make his big comeback. While this trend wasn't absolute at all — as shown by the presence of Nami or Senna — let's face it: melee supports were clearly dominating the meta.
However, following the impulse of several pro-teams who played Sona or Soraka in the toplane, Riot Games decided to target several supports for some changes, in order to keep these champions where they belonged. Taric and Nautilus were nerfed, some others were nerfed, and the bottom lane now seems to be the kingdom of ranged supports.
Why are they so strong in the current meta?
- During the laning phase, they can constantly poke the opponents when he farms, which helps greatly in the coming trades.
- Their itemization and their spells increase their team's survivability and DPS: the more the game progresses, the more they will be of great help during teamfights.
- Their controls allow kiting without difficulty enemies who have little mobility.
What are their weaknesses?
- Not very robust and with mobility boots, they have no room for error in terms of placement, especially against Assassins
- Similarly, they are not allowed to face check bushes and must be accompanied place wards.
- If their carry dies, they often find themselves helpless against the enemy team. For example, Yuumi brings a huge peel to the carry on which she is, but if the latter dies, the keeper of the grimoire will find herself surrounded and helpless in front of the enemy team.
Play the lane or the map?
As a support, you will often have the choice between peeling your ADC or roaming around the map to take vision and help your other allies — but which one should you prioritize?
- Some ADCs are much more autonomous than others, so it will be easy to leave Ezreal alone because he has a large range and a good escape. Conversely, Twitch must always be accompanied.
- It is very important to determine the victory conditions for your game. Sometimes, having your midlaner snowball and securing the neutral objectives will have much more impact on the outcome of the game than staying with your ADC to keep him alive during the laning phase. You will then have to choose the most appropriate option to win the game. This is what makes the support role powerful and interesting: it is this ability to create plays on the map without worrying about farm or golds.
- Finally, tell yourself that your role during teamfights will be to peel your team at best, but especially the carry which has the largest DPS (which will not necessarily be the ADC). Take into account the synergy that you can have with your different allies, for example, the shield of Janna increases the AD of an ally while the blessing of Nami can also increase the spell damage.
Meta & Counters
- Currently (under Patch 10.10), top tier supports include Soraka, Sona, Janna, and Lulu. All are really good and versatile choices that fit the current meta.
- Yuumi is also a very good choice but only if you are in DuoQ as you need to heavily communicate with your ADC.
- Riot probably wants to see Lux reappear in a botlane given the patch to come.
- If you do not play these champions, you can counter them by playing grab champions (Blitzcrank & Thresh), champions who can punish placement errors without putting themselves in too much danger. Leona is also a good choice if you have an early-aggressive ADC.
With frail and puny appearances, ranged peeling supports are more dangerous than they seem; their ability to harass the enemy botlane at the start of the game and then drastically increase the damage and the chances of survival of their allies in teamfights is a great added value for their team.
However, players who main support must first and foremost be flexible and identify their victory conditions, even if it means leaving their ADC alone in order to win the game by helping other allies.
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