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9 Votes


December 1, 2011 by Leech
Comments: 6    |    Views: 10543    |   


What is a support you may ask. A support is a character or player (I will explain) that uses his/her abilities and items to enhance other players and progress as a TEAM throughout the game. If you are reading this and you are a player who likes to get kills then I suggest leaving this page because as a support you won't try for those types of qualities. Support classes are not always categorized as such in Dota 2. For instance, Dark Seer is categorized as a pusher which is true but he is also a very good support hero. With that said, some heroes that are classified as supports can be other roles as well depending on play style and item build. As I mentioned earlier players can be support, what I mean by this is the heroes that you may call an initiator like Tidehunter can be considered as a support if the player using him utilizes his Gush and Ravage while throwing wards across the map. You may say "That's initiating and roaming" but technically by definition of helping your team, it can be called support. So lets go over some items and heroes that showcase the support role, before we talk about how to be successful as a support.

When to pick a Support Role

When to pick:

    When you have other roles covered.
    When you know how to play your hero and a support in general.
    When your team knows what they are doing.
    When you are confident in your abilities to Ward and assist in team fights.

When not to pick:
    When your team has a support or needs other roles.
    When you don't know how to play your hero and a support in general.
    When your team is new to Dota or you feel like you have to carry.
    When you don't understand the concept of warding and helping rather than nuking.


The following short list is a group of items that tends to be core for many supportive roles.

Urn of Shadows - This is not always core; however, this is purely support and can benefit a team who is getting kills pretty regularly.

Observer Wards - As a support vision is key. Rune domination and protection against ganks is arguably the most important strategy in Dota.

Sentry Wards - Situational for those pesky invisible enemies. Placing them in team fights and places such as Broodmother's Spin Web will allow your team to clean up in a fight and/or see trouble before trouble finds you.

The following items are consumables that should be utilized in certain scenarios.

Animal Courier - This item should ALWAYS be purchased at the beginning of the game if no other teammate purchased.

Dust of Appearance - This can be used in place of a Sentry Ward for hunting down an invisible hero at any one time. (Note: it has uses so use with caution)

Smoke of Deceit - This is only really useful when getting the jump on an enemy hero/team. Use to attack an enemy hero/team that would otherwise seek you out or be scared by your teams presence.

The following items are supportive in some way, and should be considered for any game.

Buckler - Armor. (Teamwide in Range}
Drum of Endurance - Attack speed and move speed aura with active increase. (Teamwide in Range}
Eul's Scepter of Divinity - Crowd Control.
Force Staff - Movement Control.
Gem of True Sight - Vision over enemy heroes. (Teamwide in Range}
Headdress - HP regen aura. (Teamwide in Range}
Mekansm - Armor aura and active health/armor. (Teamwide in Range}
Orchid Malevolence - Silence and amplified damage.
Pipe of Insight - Spell barrier. (Teamwide in Range}
Ring of Basilius - Armor aura + Toggle. (Teamwide in Range}
Scythe of Vyse - Crowd Control.
Shiva's Guard - Area of Effect (from character) slow.
Veil of Discord - Increases magic damage taken by enemies in radius.
Vladmir's Offering - Lifesteal, Damage, Armor and Mana regen aura. (Teamwide in Range}

Support Heroes

Just a quick list of heroes that perfrom the support role and some abilities that make them qualify. The Follwing abilites listed next to each hero are abilities that are supportive by nature.{Current heroes in Dota 2, will be updated as it proceeds)

Ancient Apparition - Cold Feet Ice Vortex Chilling Touch Ice Blast
Chen - Penitence Holy Persuasion Hand of God
Crystal Maiden - Crystal Nova Frostbite Arcane Aura
Dark Seer - Vacuum Ion Shell Surge
Dazzle - Poison Touch Shallow Grave Shadow Wave Weave
Huskar - Inner Vitality Life Break
Lich - Frost Blast Ice Armor
Lion - Earth Spike Hex
Necrolyte - Death Pulse Heartstopper Aura
Omniknight - Purification Repel Degen Aura Guardian Angel
Pugna - Decrepify Nether Ward
Shadow Shaman - Hex Shackles
Vengeful Spirit - Magic Missile Wave of Terror Command Aura Nether Swap
Warlock - Fatal Bonds Shadow Word Upheaval
Witch Doctor - Paralyzing Cask Voodoo Restoration

Please Note: Some of these heroes can be played as completely other roles; however, they are either classified as a support or are often played as such.

Being a support in-game

How can I be successful as a support?

Being successful as a support can be summed up as "help your team." What this means is keeping Observer Wards up for rune domination as well as viewing crucial parts of the map. As a support in lane you should try to NOT get kills and farm too much. Getting kills is nice for most characters, but as a support you want the benefits of kills to go to your teammates and especially to your carries to ensure victory. Also with farming you don't want too many last hits, try and help your laning partner get those last hits so that he/she can shine while you enhance him as more damage based role. A rule of thumb I like is last hitting enemy creeps once for every 2-3 your partner gets, since farming is a bit more useful as a support in the very early stage of the match. After you have got some supportive items let the carries and other roles farm uninterrupted. As a support you are only as good as your team so choose a support wisely and with a group of players that know how to play off each others roles.

Some supports can and will jungle; however, I prefer to lane and disperse the pressure of what would be a solo side lane. Almost 100% of the time you never want to solo as a support especially mid lane. This makes you less effective as a team support, although it can be pulled off by a skilled and knowledgeable player (not recommended for casual players). for more strategy with your character specifically you should check out a hero guide. Here are some of my Support guides. Dazzle and Dark Seer (coming soon).

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