How to be a good support 101
Support role is one of the hardest roles in the whole game. Hugh amount of pressure is on you from both your enemies and your allies. Your job is not just to help your core allies kill the enemies, You must plant wards, Buy support items like Smoke of Deceit and Dust of Appearance, stack and pull camps, sacrificing your self for your carry and many other tasks.
Supports are like the back stage staff who do their best to keep the show perfect while all glory goes to the guy on TV. Support are those invisible people who do a lot of things to push their team to victory but they are never seen. If your team wins, Your core heroes are praised the most but if your team loses, Everyone start to blame you (Even the feeders). But you do not pick a support hero for any of that, You pick it up cause The Team Needs You.
Don't even think about those stupid 5 carry team which are very popular in pubs, A team needs at least one support. The reason heroes like Bloodseeker and Pudge are very successful in pubs and low MMR pubs is all because of lack of supports in their teams. The easiest and simplest counter against 99% of pub stompers is Warding and I have never seen a carry spend his gold for wards just because a Pudge is killing everyone and already has 20 kills.
Yes supports impact in late game is not comparable to core heroes but they provide a strong late game for they by providing countless opportunities for them in early and mid game and warding. A team with no supports and no warding is always vulnerable to ganks and when there are 5 carries in a team, In dual laning, both carries try to get the last hits for them selves and this has no result but slow farming process for both of them.
Before being a good support, You must be a good person or at least a responsible one. You must be willing to prioritize your carry's need to yours. Offer the last hits on a silver plate and harass anyone who comes to deny it from your precious carry. Take care of your carry and keep him fed and safe even if he's dumb as dog'd foot, Babysit him until he grows stronger and "Carry" you to victory.
Should I sacrifice my self to keep my carry alive? Yes if necessary but you're better try to keep both of you alive, Most of your gold is being spent on support items and wards and death can delay your item a lot. Try to keep a disable off cooldown in order to save your carry (And your self).
Communication Is Ammunition
Trying to chat and create a bond between you and your teammates is always beneficial. But it is hard sometimes. All of use are used to play the game while keeping our heads down and remain silent so nothing bad can happen. All of us have been crushed and burnt in chats because of super toxic players who may even be capable of poisoning Venomancer
. This a normal and understandable approach but not the best one.
Try to act like a human being. Say hi in order to break the ice and detect the toxic players. If someone said some thing like "STFU NOOB" or something like that, Mute or ignore him (He is beyond saving) and try to make conversation with none toxic players. Be friendly but also serious ask about the game and your position in it, Ask things like: "Which lane should I go?" Or "Who is going to be in my lane?" This way you show them you are a normal human being (And not a snake) and you care about the game and team.
Creating a bond will leads to better cooperation and if lucky, Friendship. Your team mates fine it much easier to rely on a good player who is willing to cooperate and actually talks than a stranger who says nothing and just plays the game.
Sometimes two idiots in your team start to argue and sweat to each other. It may sound like a healthy conversation among teenagers (Don't say it) but it has horrible results for your team. It tears the team apart and risks the victory.
Try your best to calm everyone down and for sake of god don't try to do it by swearing at them it like Trying to put out fire with Gasoline
If your desperate attempts lead you no where tell other players who are not arguing to mute them and continue to play.
bottom is there for a reason, It keeps scums away from normal player and makes the community a little bit cleaner. Report
toxic player and people who feed on purpose But Don't Get Carried Away!
Compliment and Motivate (It won't kill you) :
One of the easiest ways to create bond with your teammates is complimenting them. Saying "well played" or calling specifically-"wp huskar" won't take too much energy and time (It's even in the chat wheel) It makes them feel respected and special and it has a huge effect on your partnership with that hero.
Motivating is a very useful way for boosting a teammate's performance. If a teammate has poor performance, Never
rub it on his face, He already knows he's bad, Saying thing like "U suck" Or "Uninstall dota and never come back" just disappoints the poor guy even more and destroys his performance. Instead try to be nicer. Give him suggestions.
Explain his major mistake politely and wish he learns his lessons.
Keep your team informed:
Keeping your teammates informed of the events in the match using Scan, Ping and chat wheel properly is the key for fast reactions and counter attacks.
You just saw the enemy Weaver
went out of the lane and there is more than a minute left till next bounty rune respawn, Cheesy huh? Hold Alt and click on weaver's icon on the top of screen and immediately a "Weaver is missing" pops in the chats then select "Careful" from chat wheel. This way your teammates notice it and they can take proper action against it.
Keeping your teammates informed about remaining cooldown of your spells specially ultimates will let them know when it is the right time for a gank or teamfight and will prevent disasters like "Oops Shallow Grave
was on cooldown sorry you're dead".
Letting your teammates know about enemies remaining health and mana or key item allows your teammate to take proper actions against them It helps an Anti-Mage
know when to use Mana Void
and assures Sniper
s about lethality of their assassination (Expand these examples and thing bigger. Consider your teammates skills and play style). It prevents waist of ultimates on Linken's Sphere
or painful encounters with Blade Mail
Being more specific is always better than simple pings. Pinging the enemy's Blade Mail
is good but pinging it, selecting "careful" and typing "Huskar" is better (Having general knowledge about counters of all heroes is a great help here.)
How to be a good support 102
Well now that you know the basics, Let's go for three of the most important tasks of a support shall we?
One of the most important tasks of a support is planting wards aka Warding
. Warding provides vision and true sight across the map and avoids ganks or it can be used to plan one, It provides useful information about the enemies actions and allows your team to be one step ahead of them. During warding
, You must consider your team's and your enemy's team potentials in early, mid and late game ganking, pushing, Roshing, etc.
How many enemy heroes are capable of ganking? How many of yours?
Is the enemy team capable of split pushing? How about your team?
How many of your enemies can solo Roshan? How many of your allies?
Is the game going to become more defensive or aggressive in the next 10 minutes?
These are the basic questions you must ask your self when you want to plant wards if you want them to be more effective. There are three main types of warding in the game: Rune Wards
, Deep Wards
provide vision on power up runes and bounty runes. Vision on power up runes boosts the mid laner's performance greatly and allows him to have much better rune control. Having vision on bounty runes in your own jungle doesn't provide much but planting a Deep ward
close to the enemies bounty runes creates ton of opportunities for ganking the heroes who come to pick them, It also provides good amount of information about your enemies actions cause they are placed in high traffic areas.
The most risky wards to plant yet the most rewarding. Deep wards provide tons of information about the actions of your enemies. You can see if their support is stacking camps, See if they are preparing them selves for a gank or smoke gank or if they want to go for Roshan or push the lane. But in order to place that valuable wards, You must enter your enemy's territory and this is very dangerous so it is better to be done with a partner or with Smoke of Deceit
Defensive And Aggressive Wards:
These wards are usually planted when your team wants to push a certain lane or when enemy want to do the same. Some provide vision around the target tower and some provide vision in deep parts of jungle (It can be yours or theirs.) These wards destroy the element of surprise for your enemies and put it in your teams favor.
is as crucial as warding for a support, Making the enemies blind and preventing them to be able to plan ganks and counter attacks. The first thing you must do it to guess the location of the ward. The easiest spots are power up rune wards, They are very important wards specially during early to mid game and most supports plant on or two wards to have vision on the power up rune spots. So plant a Sentry Ward
where it covers the area you believe there is a wards and deward it.
Those were the easy ones but the tricky ones are enemy deep wards and their locations can be guess according to the enemies Reactions
to your teams actions. If your team is up to something and somehow
your enemies keep having the upper hand, Then you must look for their deep wards. The major warding spots should be checked first then the best spots around them that can provide quite the same vision. Think Like Your Enemies.
Ask the same questions you asked your self in the begining of the game before you start warding and try to have the enemy support's point of view.
Your teams is planning to regroup somewhere, use smoke and go Roshan then a minute later all enemy team gank and crush you? Well unfortunately I have to say there is a deep ward close to the location your team regrouped.
This ward has many uses, It provides vision on Radiant bounty rune spot and medium camp, Top Power up rune spot and Roshan entrance. It is a very crucial ward for avoiding ganks on mid laner. The risk of detection is high for this ward cause it is one of the most common places for planting wards specially during early game and any support can deward it easily. So if enemy support keeps dewarding it, Plant the ward 900 units away next to the second torch on the stairs way in front of the ancient camp, It is far enough from the Sentry Ward
's range on the cliff and provide vision on ancient camp, power up rune and Roshan entrance.
Providing vision on a high traffic area and power up rune spot makes this warding spot quite crucial in the early to mid game.
This one provides huge amount of information on Dire's bot bounty rune and area around it. A great ward for pushing T1 Dire bot tower and preventing ganks.
Planting this one is risky so it should be done while being under Smoke of Deceit
effect (If you are Radiant support). Cut a tree next to hard camp and plant the ward there. It will provide vision on Dire top shrine, hard and ancient camp and good traffic area.
This one provides a lot more things than other deep aggressive
wards and it's because of its perfect location near both mid and top T2 towers and huge vision on the very high traffic jungle (Specially in late game.)
Providing full vision on a large area around Dire bot T2 tower and high traffic area makes this warding spot the ultimate push ward for Radiant.
A really handy wards for pushing Radiant top T1 tower. It makes it almost imposible for your enemies to gank properly. It also provides vision on Radiant top shrine, Secret shop and jungle.
This one is just like the previous one. It provides huge vision on Radiant top T2 tower and jungle a Defensive ward
for Radiant and Aggressive ward
for Dire. Suitable for pushing the tower or protecting it.
This spot is the most valuable when Radiant junglers are active, It provides enough vision on their actions and allows your teammates to plan a proper gank. While pushing Radiant bot T2 tower or defending it, This ward reveals gankers who approach from jungle (Very Useful).
Stacking And Pulling
Stacking is the act of pulling a natural creap out of their camp (Spawn box) by drawing aggression of the natural creaps around XX:53
and let them follow you in the right direction that put you and the creeps out of the spawn box. When clock hits XX:00
, One additional creap will spawn. BAM! The camp is stacked.
Pulling the creap wave is the act of luring the neutral creeps into your lane creep wave. When encountered, your creaps will follow the natural creaps back to their camp and fight them. Pulling has many benefits: 1-
You creaps will tank the damage and makes it easier to kill the natural creaps easier and this means easy XP and gold for you. 2-
Your creaps tank huge damage and even die and encounter enemy creap wave with notable delay this pulls the creap wave towards your tower and makes the farming for your enemies harder and riskier.
There are slight differences between camp stacking time, The picture below lets you know about the exact time and direction of pulling and stacking camps.
By placing a ward inside the spawn zone of creaps, You prevent creap spawning in that camp. It is crucial for preventing your enemies to pull the creap waves.
What are the benefits of stacking?
The most important reason for stacking camps is Securing Farm
. When the laning phase is about to end,When your carries start to head to the jungle and farm ancient camps and you farm the lane by your self (Cause it gives you the XP and gold you need to be effective in further stages.) Stacked camps give carry very good amount of gold and XP and boosts their item build progresses greatly.
Very Important Tip:
Always plant a ward that provides vision on the camps you stacked. This prevents camp blocking or worse feeding enemy carries with your hard stacked camps.
THE Wet Job
One of the hardest support task to get used to is to "volunteer" for being the living bait. The whole thing looks super simple on the paper: You act like a lonely delicious support but in fact, your buddies are hiding in the fog of war and waiting for a fool to show up, A fool shows up and tries to kill you then your teammates jump on the poor guy and kill him. Sounds easy huh? Nope The whole plan collapses if enemy supports have warded the area you want to be a bait. Technically they will out smart you and them kill you by ganking you from unexpected side or trap you inside your own trap by bringing some more muscle. So always have two Sentry Ward
s around to detect the wards and locate invisible enemies. Another thing is you must actually Look
like a bait, Just standing somewhere is not enough (Unless you act like you are waiting for power up rune to spawn (Every four minutes remember!)). Many times being mobile is a better option, You are a support and they will think you want to plant a ward or do something else and they attack you and many times, It will be their last mistake.
is the key element for successful baiting, Just walking around with 1 or 2 teammates close to you and hope to see someone is not working (Well it works in pubs, Like "Hey I know nothing about DotA 2" Kind of pubs). Good warding and one or two deep wards allow you to drag the poor guy into the trap. It lets you have a Plan.
Baiting is mastered only with practice, failing and learning from those failures. Good Luck.
Congratulations now you are a better support (I hope). The lessons I taught you are just the push, "YOU" are the one who has a whole journey ahead of him or herself. Practice, Practice and Practice even more cause supporting is not just knowledge about where to ward and when to stack, It's a skill that can be mastered over time.