• EveryonePanic

Pick like a Pro - Support

Updated: Feb 3, 2019


When it comes to making your choice in the hero selection screen, it goes without saying that the heroes you feel most comfortable with should definitely be on the top of your list of heroes to choose.


However, if you are up against a team that counters your pick, or if you're with a team whose composition would have to make a big stretch in order to make proper use of your kit - Is your knowledge of your chosen hero enough to outweigh the lack of potential synergy or to outplay your counter? While there are certainly ways to make any team comp work, regardless of what choice you made, you should keep in mind that certain heroes work better in certain comps than others, and that certain heroes are actually even significantly better when played in the right environment for their kit.


This week I'd like to focus on support heroes. As a support main I have seen my fair share of things you can pull off with Support heroes and things you should rather not do when certain conditions are met, and I would like to share with you some of my experiences that might help you making the right choice in the hero selection screen.


For starters, what actually is it that you should be looking for when it comes to support heroes?


Mostly, and generally, as a support you want to pick a hero that has abilities that complement your own team in a given matchup. This is usually a bit easier in any Elo below Diamond, since you don't necessarily end up having your favourite hero being picked by the enemy team.


This normally gives you a lot of freedom in terms of actually choosing a hero to complement your team, which, especially when playing alone, is actually a lot more effective than trying to pick something that counters the enemy team. You always have to keep in mind that a support hero is actually pretty useless without their team capitalising on their kit, so by choosing a hero that might have a synergy or two with the team you might think you're putting yourself into a more favourable position, but do keep in mind that, especially when queuing up alone, synergies tend to get lost rather easily since most people are busy trying to play to the best of their own abilities without paying too much attention to possible combos that the team could potentially pull off. Usually it will be a much more rewarding experience to play with a couple of friends who understand how to make proper use of your kit, and to switch to support heroes that can fare reasonably well in chaotic situations when queuing up alone.


Overall, playing Support in Solo Queue can be a very frustrating experience but there are a lot of ways how you can make it work, and there is definitely a lot more to making that choice in the hero selection screen than just to look at a Tier list and pick a hero that has an SSS rating. To put this into perspective, imagine a theoretical draft. If you take Mina as example, she's usually seen as the best support tank in the game, which generally holds true, but you should not be tricked into thinking that this means you can pick Mina in just about every match and be successful, the problem here being that Mina simply requires a team to follow up. Additionally, Mina has a direct counter in Chaugnar, who can simply cancel Dark Dominion by using his Chaos Protection. Often enough, when you just pick whatever floats your boat, you will end up in a team that doesn't capitalise on your abilities with the additional chance of having smart enemies who will counterpick your pick. Those games are most certainly the least rewarding when playing Support and show very clearly why it can be challenging to choose the correct support hero.


Again, it's not very likely that these picks happens in solo queue, where, even in Diamond and Master, people generally just tend to play whatever they feel like playing, but I'm trying to get you into this mindset of trying to already beat your enemies during the draft phase. Simply by choosing the correct support you can already make some great choices that make winning a lot easier, and sometimes not choosing a certain support that you would like to play can be the game-winning move. As I mentioned earlier, you should never draft Mina when the enemies already picked Chaugnar, and it's fairly risky to pick Mina when the enemies still have to pick a Support, as they then simply can pick Chaugnar. As an exception, if your team gets to pick first and if you are really determined to pick Mina (Let's stick with our theoretical draft), simply get Chaugnar banned. Overall it might not be the best ban target as there are heroes with much higher power levels that you want to get out of the way, but if you REALLY want to play Mina without getting bothered, you will want to get Chaugnar banned. This will not only allow you to safely pick any CC-heavy support, but will also open up one slot for otherwise insta-banned heroes for your team. There is, however, a small chance the enemies pick Mina before you, which is unfortunate, but usually that will still leave you with a lot of viable options to choose from.


Additionally, there will be games where you have to pick first, and nobody on your team wants any hero saved. Those situations are a little awkward, but there are some allround choices out there that can support teams on a very convincing and successful level.


For the following list, please note that this is my personal impression of support heroes, and they might deviate from your own perception. Also, the synergies pointed out don't mean that a hero exclusively synergises with the heroes listed, but rather that these heroes have particularly strong synergies with each other.


Hope you enjoy the list, and let me know what you think in the comments below!


Alice

Premade ★★★★★ | ★★★☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: All heroes*

• Countered by: Mobile heroes with high damage output, Chaugnar

• Strong Synergy: Ignis, Jinnar, Krixi, Maloch, Murad, Wisp


* While the Silence effect from Hissy Fit is strong against all heroes, it is particularly strong against immobile, ability-dependant heroes. Against most tanks, however, it doesn't do too much.

Annette

Premade ★★★★★ | ★★★★☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: All heroes

• Countered by: Mobile heroes with high damage output, Chaugnar

• Strong Synergy**: Ignis, Lauriel, Lindis, Marja, Zephys


* Annettes CC is strong against all heroes. However, her chip damage makes her particularly strong against HP-stacking enemies (Tanks and certain warriors).


** Annettes abilities work well in any team composition. Her synergies mostly come from her passive, which is triggered more often through ability-spamming heroes closeby and can actually even synergise with enemy heroes.

Arum

Premade ★★★☆☆ | ★★★★☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: Melee heroes*, non-HP-stacking heroes

• Countered by: Long-range damage, Long-range control abilities, Lauriel, Maloch

• Strong Synergy: Enemy towers, Fennik, Lindis, Nakroth, Natalya, Rourke, Ryoma, Slimz, Tel'Annas, Veera, Violet, Yorn


* Arum excels against assassins and is a hard-counter to the likes of Kriknak, Murad, Batman or Wukong.

Baldum

Premade ★★★☆☆ | ★★★☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: Physical damage dealers

• Countered by: Magic poke damage, true damage (Lauriel, Maloch), Armor Pierce*

• Strong Synergy: High-damage heroes**


* Any physical damage dealer, especially Astrid and Elsu as well as any hero building Muramasa counters Baldums naturally very high armor.


** Baldum synergises so well with high-damage heroes because his displacement and CC potential is very high. High single-target damage and further CC can synergise especially well with his Wild Charge and Wild Stomp.

Chaugnar

Premade ★★☆☆☆ | ★★★☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: Control-heavy heroes*

• Countered by: Mobile heroes with high damage output**

• Strong Synergy: Jinnar, Krixi


* Chaugnar has lost some of his power due to the introduction of suppression effects (e. g. Aleister, Arum, Roxie), but still brings a lot of value against these heroes. His rating is so low since he is generally a counterpick.


** Despite being considered a tank, Chaugnar almost entirely relies on items for survivability.

Cresht

Premade ★★★★★ | ★★★★☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: All heroes

• Countered by: Poke damage, true damage (Lauriel, Maloch)

• Strong Synergy: -*


* While Cresht has no particularly strong synergy with any hero, his strength comes from complementing any team composition.

Gildur

Premade ★★☆☆☆ | ★★★☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: All heroes*

• Countered by: Control-heavy heroes, Chaugnar

• Strong Synergy: Ignis, Jinnar, Kriknak, Krixi, Maloch, Ryoma


* Gildur is not primarily a support, but he has poke damage, melee abilities as well as control, which makes him a versatile pick.

Grakk

Premade ★★★☆☆ | ★★★☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: Ranged heroes

• Countered by: Control-heavy heroes, Chaugnar

• Strong Synergy: Ignis, Jinnar, Kriknak, Krixi, Liliana, Maloch, Natalya*, Ryoma


* Grakks synergy with Natalya is among the strongest synergies in the entire game

Lumburr

Premade ★★★☆☆ | ★★★☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: All heroes*

• Countered by: Poke damage, control-heavy heroes, Lauriel, Maloch

• Strong Synergy: Yorn, Tel'Annas


* Lumburr fits in any team, but he is particularly strong when the team has heroes that need to make it to the later stages of a match in order to shine.

Mina

Premade ★★★★★ | ★★★★☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: All heroes*

• Countered by: Poke damage, control-heavy heroes, Chaugnar, Lauriel, Maloch

• Strong Synergy: Mina synergises with almost all other heroes


* Mina fits in any team and can even shine against ranged heroes with proper positioning to maximise the effect of Death Scythe and Dark Dominion

Omega

Premade ★★☆☆☆ | ★☆☆☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: Low-defense enemies*, towers

• Countered by: Poke damage, control-heavy heroes, high-mobility heroes, lack of team coordination**, Chaugnar, Maloch

• Strong Synergy: -***


* Omega is not inherently strong against any hero, but his stun potential enables his team to take out enemies with little to no retaliation, which works better against enemies with low defense.


** Omegas hardest counter is a team that does not know how to play around him.


*** Omega is a CC monster, and therefore almost every other hero in the game can find some use in his ability to stunlock enemies for a total of up to 7 seconds (S1, AA, S2, S1, AA). However, please note that Omega has an extremely high skill cap since his abilities have to be timed precisely in order to have an impact.

Ormarr

Premade ★★☆☆☆ | ★★☆☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: Low-defense heroes*

• Countered by: Mobile heroes, poke damage, Lauriel, Maloch

• Strong Synergy: -**


* Ormarrs strength against low-defense heroes does not come from his damage, but rather from his CC potential, which can disable enemies long enough for his team to secure the kill.


** Ormarr is similar to Omega, only that his stuns are unpredictable, and therefore do not create any real synergy, but rather accidental synergies when paired with AoE-heavy enemies.

Peura

Premade ★★★★☆ | ★★☆☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: Ranged heroes*

• Countered by: Mobile heroes with high damage output, lack of team coordination**

• Strong Synergy: Jinnar, Krixi


* Peura has no particular strength against any hero due to her being a purely defensive support. However, her ability to heal can mitigate poke damage, which makes her very strong against any form of ranged attack whilst close to her team.


** In order to have any impact at all, Peura has to stay close to as many teammates as possible. Without communication or a team that knows how to play around Peura, this is an extremely difficult task.

TeeMee

Premade ★★★☆☆ | ★★★★☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: All heroes*

• Countered by: Mobile heroes with high damage output

• Strong Synergy: All heroes**


* TeeMee doesn't particularly counter any hero. His strengths are more team-oriented, and his offensive abilities are effective against every type of enemy. Therefore, he is probably the most universal support.


** TeeMee doesn't have any outstanding synergies. Scavenge and 'Being a Bro' are universal synergies that work well with all heroes, though.

Thane

Premade ★★★☆☆ | ★★★★☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: High-mobility heroes with high damage output*

• Countered by: Poke damage, control-heavy heroes, Lauriel, Maloch

• Strong Synergy: -**


* Thane excels at peeling for his allies, especially against assassins like Murad, Batman or Murad.


** Thane has no particularly strong synergy with any hero, other than that he can protect low-defense teammates better than many other supports.

Toro

Premade ★☆☆☆☆ | ★★☆☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: Control-heavy enemies with high damage output

• Countered by: High-mobility heroes, poke damage, Lauriel, Maloch

• Strong Synergy: -*


* Much like Omega, Toro is a hero whose abilities have to be utilised by his team, and even then, can easily be dodged with proper positioning. Against inexperienced enemies this can work, but generally, Toro can be ignored.

Y'bneth

Premade ★★★★☆ | ★★★☆☆ Solo / Duo / Trio

• Strong against: All heroes*

• Countered by: Poke damage, Lauriel, Maloch

• Strong Synergy: Almost all other heroes**


* Y'bneth has an extremely solid kit that allows him to fare very well against every type of enemy.


** Y'bneth has very good synergy with a lot of heroes, be it either through enabling them to land their AoE abilities more reliably through Nature's Realm or Branching Out or by controlling single targets for high-single-target-damage teammates.



Changelog:


11/26/2018, 01:45 a.m. UTC:


• Added context to the Chaugnar ban example to exemplify that it's a possible option, but not necessarily the best option.

• Added an explanation to Arum, clarifying that her strong suit is to lock down assassins

• Excluded Tanks from Alice' "Strong against" part.

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