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Sando's Guide to Pub Support

April 7, 2017 by Sando
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Orion5 (4) | July 16, 2017 5:08pm
+1 Nice guide
A few suggestions if I may, as I play a lot of support

I always try to buy regular obs and sentries if I am the hard support (ie lowest priority farm hero). try to buy them so the greedy support can get the item they need (ie. Earthshaker Blink Dagger). get dust if there are invisible heroes. that includes invoker. I dont worry about the cost. if you set up kills and team starts taking towers the gold will start rolling in

If you can see the enemy support, especially walking to a warding spot, you can potentially deward them and get gold and exp from this. the same applies if the enemy can see you, they can deward you. overambitious warding can be punished in this way

Using Smoke of Deceit to ward is totally legitimate and can lead to setting up future ganks

If the enemy behaves to avoid your ganks very efficiently, suddenly ganks your farming teammate, there may be a ward in that location

Invisible heroes such as Riki, Bounty Hunter, should always carry wards so they can place them for the team. buy them for them

If the enemy is very bold and confident in your area there may be a ward, or an invisible hero

Teleport scroll cooldown is very important on support. as it is unlikely during the laning phase other cores will want to leave their lane (they want to stay and farm and get to a stage they can fight) try to have teleport scroll ready to defend gank atempts. YES this means a lot of walking. take advantage of this walking to ensure you stack at appropriate times

Level 6 is a huge power spike for supports. if there is a unoccupied lane (ie core gone to jungle, mid gone to gank) then take the lane, get the levels you need.

Learning how to last hit as a support is just as important as cores. you need to get enough gold to buy those support items anyway. you should only have few opportunities to farm if your cores are sensible, so make the most of it

In teamfights always hide your position as support. you have such little net worth you die fast, but you need to ensure you cast all your spells before you die, if you can, it goes a long way to team winning teamfights. if you can cast all your spells twice this is even better, which is why Force Staff and Glimmer Cape are very useful. provide vision for your team with wards and sentries to observe for initiation atempts from the flanks or behind

Deciding when to stop babysitting your core depends on how likely you think they will die if you leave. roam if you think its unlikely they will die. carry a tp scroll and keep it active
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DioX (1) | May 3, 2017 6:28am
A very good guide for newbies who wants easy 4k mmr.

I want to read it but I am already a mastery in just 7 months of playing dota 2 and I'm new at dota 2 I already know how to play Io, Anti-Mage, Invoker, Lich, Juggernaut, Phantom Assassin, Axe, Sniper, Riki, Bloodseeker, Meepo, Visage and etc.
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TEL9021 (5) | May 1, 2017 6:23am
Great guide as always! I especially liked your description of a "streetwise" support, that needs to know the limits of his role in a typical pub match setting.
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DioX (1) | April 30, 2017 7:32am
I feel bad for people who reads this guide who doesn't know what damage is and how heroes works with no common sense which makes my english bad.
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ChiChi (47) | April 18, 2017 4:17am
Nice one Sando! Very general idea of supporting but appropriate for an intermediate level and I personally love the warding and tips section (I felt the first chapters of the "bad guys" were a bit lame at first, but they do transmit the message intended anyway).

I've actually been kinda lucky myself with this, 50% of times either receiving nice praise from my cores for supporting them or getting a support myself that tries his best, even if he doesn't do much more than staying in lane indeed (at least asking politely to leave me/pull etc has been working well). But finding a good support is just as hard as finding a good core, and trying to transmit the essentials is always good :)

Only suggestion I'd make: for you to reflect a bit somewhere in this guide on the role of the support as the team's captain, as it's generally the most appropriate position to take on that role. And how appropriate shot-calling relies also on all those notions you shared of good vision/information/deduction etc.
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Hamstertamer (84) | April 17, 2017 2:22pm
Good guide Sando. Yes it's important to remind people of these very simple things.

Actually, there's nothing wrong with playing a greedy #4 as a core. Just, that's an art, and forgetting to buy wards, smoke, sentries TPs etc is definitely not the way to do it.
The true way of the greedy #4 is getting a ~13 minute midas off an early snowball (first blood + bounty runes + pull gold + midlane assist gold). This is completely compatible with buying wards, smoke etc.

Support items are dirt cheap. Buying all the Observer Wards on cooldown costs 26 GPM, that's not even a third of your BASE GPM, which is 91 per minute for doing nothing. Wards are so cheap that I actually think cores should buy wards. There's really no excuse for supports not buying the most gamebreaking item in dota.

Don't be too hard on "eternal babysitters" tho, they're clearly the lesser evil here. A Warlock that does nothing but sit in lane, deny and harass, pull without ruining lane equilibrium, ward defensively and spam heal is better than 95% of the supports in 4K.
Generally I think carry players are way too stuck up on "don't sap muh XP" :
1) Supports scale way better with XP than carries do (what would you rather have, a level 6 Lion, or a level 6 Anti-Mage)
2) I can't think of a single carry that wouldn't happily trade sharing XP for 15 minutes of complete freefarm. Who cares that your anti-mage is underleveled, all he wants is his early Battlefury.

I'd add my most hated type of support, which I call the AFK puller. This one trumps all the others for me.
This guy learnt that pulling is an important part of supporting, so he keeps doing it over and over without having any lane presence. He spends 2/3ds of his time during the laning stage in the jungle farming pull gold while his carry is getting zoned out of lane by the enemy offlaner.
He doesn't understand the concept of lane equilibrium and pulls when the lane is already where it should be, leaving his carry to tank creeps under tower and having the lane push back as a result, giving free farm and levels to the enemy offlaner. Even those who understand that single pulling is bad have trouble getting that stack-pulling is just as bad if the lane is not pushed already.
The AFK puller also has no concept of positioning, and doesn't understand that a support should be IN FRONT of his carry, and not the other way around. Instead, he sits back and lets his carry get harassed, being a dead weight that saps XP.
With that guy supporting you, playing carry is just like playing solo offlane, except that as solo offlane you get twice the XP ;)
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Hades4u (260) | April 17, 2017 1:06pm
Great guide. People really need to give it a good read, I rarely meet supports that know what to do; they buy wards at the beginning of the game and then they just proceed by trying to become a core instead of continuing to fulfill their support duties.

Keep it up!
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