I contributed this article to FrontTowardsGamer! Nice guys over there, and I’m looking forward to posting a lot more articles and guides over there soon, so stay tuned!
I contributed this article to FrontTowardsGamer! Nice guys over there, and I’m looking forward to posting a lot more articles and guides over there soon, so stay tuned!
This article is going to be split into two; reason being, it grew a lot longer than I originally intended. This first part is going to talk about my favourite supports to lane with. In the next one, I’ll discuss… Everyone else, basically.
So, let us begin!
My preferred supports
I’m just going to put this out there. I love Draven. This is likely not news to regular readers.
What this means is that I’m not going to be impartial here; I prefer a few certain supports, and think poorly of a few others. That is likely due to my inexperience with them; I’m sure that many support I don’t expand on greatly can be played to great effect, but I personally prefer a few select supports. If you disagree with me (as I’m sure many will) simply argue against me in the comments either here or on reddit.
Draven loves kills. I mean, not just lore-wise, I mean he loves early game kills. As mentioned in my prior relevant article, Draven needs to use the early advantage his kit gives him to snowball the game quickly. For that reason, the supports I tend to prefer are tanky as all hell and/or have the capacity to engage the enemy for me, enabling me to win trades or straight out murder the enemy laners.
So, here’s my little list:
Leona: God damn, I love her. Fantastic engage and disengage. She has so many stuns in her kit that they almost go to waste. I want to engage; Leona, go fetch. She E’s, Q’s and then they’re basically done for, because (if I’m playing right) I’ve already taken most of their health.
You get caught by Leona, you’re done for.
One thing I love about her besides her engage is her fantastic disengage; she’s no Lulu, but she has the ability to control the flow of any trade thanks to her stuns and the tankiness that her W gives her. Ezreal engaging on you? She’ll stun the crap out of him and tank his Q’s with her W.
Without a doubt, she’s one of my favourites to have in lane.
Lulu: Ah, the purple princess. You know what, scrap that, she needs a new title; Queen of the disengage, and princess of poke. Lulu pokes your enemies down like nobody’s business, weakens the enemy enough to ensure they’re too frightened to trade properly.
Her disengage is her greatest strength, however. Say the enemy jungler comes for a gank at the exact unfortunate moment your wards run out. The enemy ADC and support are just above half their health from poke from both you and Lulu, but the jungler coming down makes the enemy duo think they can have you. Lulu disagrees. She ults you, making glorious Draven the size of a Cho’gath; then, the enemy jungler becomes a delightful cupcake (or squirrel, whatever skin takes your fancy). You may then joyfully feast on the enemy ADC and Support, leaving the jungler to either die as well, or run away to lick his wounds.
Laning with Lulu is like a free pass to a won lane, if Lulu knows what she’s doing and if the ADC remembers that, even in an unfavourable situation it can easily be turned around by Lulu’s ult. Don’t just keep running away from them, like when a friendly Shen ults you and you just run away, panicking and not knowing what’s going on, screaming “OH GOD WHY IS MY HEALTH BAR PURPLE I’M TOO YOUNG TO DIE”. Don’t do that,okay?
Taric: You know what he is. Do I even need to say what he is? Come on now, you know. He is Taric. Armour is nothing to him. The enemy ADC CS’ing is unimportant to him. He will engage, Shatter and Ult the enemy to oblivion, leaving you to mop up. If I can get him, I love him. There… is a problem, however. People see Taric as easy mode. They think they must insta-lock him first pick whether or not they know how to play him. Please don’t do this! So, so many Tarics simply walk up and stun the first enemy to get in their range. Even a half-brained enemy support will know to just walk in range of Taric when you’re not ready to engage, waste Taric’s stun and basically make you two useless for a good while. If you want to play Taric, bloody well learn the best times to engage and when to stun. Read my previous article if you like. Just for god’s sake, stop wasting it…
Another minor point that’s a mildly advanced tip, don’t use your W (Shatter) too much when it’s not an all-out engagement, as it unnecessarily pushes the lane leaving you more vulnerable to ganks. So, yeah, please don’t do that.
Nami: Kinda like Lulu, but with healing, higher mana costs and a skillset that requires the ADC to pay god damn attention. With Nami, it’s very difficult to actually plan what’s happening in lane except for both healing the adc, and damaging the enemy. Damn I love that bouncing W she has…
The strength of Nami’s kit is that she is an odd mix of engaging, sustain and poke. Each suffers somewhat though:
– Her engage is damn hard to hit. Anyone intelligent will simply move away from it. So, it requires the knowledge of knowing where the enemy is going to go rather than where he is, similar to Blitzcrank in that regard.
– Her poke is great, but it… it has a tendency to steal kills. Too many kills. The Nami will be attempting to heal you in a fight, but will instead utterly steal the kill from you… That sure is fun…
– Her ult serves as a fantastic disengage, as well as a follow-up engage from some other form of CC. I also love her E, empowering me to deal more damage.
In short, I do love her, but any Nami player needs to damn well understand her abilities.
You know what? Another great maxim to observe: Learn your champions abilities. Stop going into a ranked game with two custom games and a cursory knowledge of the ability effects of the champion under your belt. You need to know a champion through and through to play it successfully! Learn everything you can! Test it! Learn.
Those four are my most loved and treasured supports. I love them because they work well with my play style, and the champions that I typically play as well. However, I do not know everything; I have developed these preferences through my experiences with supports, and also through the supports my friends played with me – thus, I grew to enjoy the champions the people who duo’d with me played.
In my next article (this was originally meant to be a single article, now it’s going to be in 4 parts!) I’ll talk about the other supports commonly seen in bottom lane, my reasons they didn’t get put in this article, and my feelings about the support meta at the moment.
Many thanks for reading, as I said earlier if you have any perspectives you wish to share, please do write in the comment section below!
You want to support? You want to play support?!
Let me guess, you think it’s just sitting there, being a pansy, chucking down a ward occasionally and typing “soz” when you steal a kill? Get out. Go back to top lane.
Support is hard as balls. I hate support. Do you know why I hate it? It’s because it’s hard as balls. You need to know everything about the lane. You need to know your ADC’s cooldowns, his health, his damage capability, the enemy ADC’s exact same, YOUR OWN health and cooldowns… You need to know a lot, is what I’m saying.
Sure, you could pick Taric, stun the first person to walk into range, flash in and Shatter and then walk away. Yeah, you could do that. Congratulations, your ADC might get a kill. Too bad that the enemy ADC also killed you, won the trade against your ADC and now has the lane to themselves.
Let’s break it down:
What do you need to do as support?
A lot of things. Just… a lot of things.
Wards: You will be warding. Sounds simple I know, but you need to know the right places to ward. For example, a vision ward is very strong right now due to the Oracle’s nerf at the beginning of Season 3. That delightful pink ward allows you to control the river. Push your lane slightly, pink the river brush, and congratulations; assuming the enemy support didn’t ward the tri-brush, you have total coverage of the river.
Paying attention to where the enemy wards are: Where is the support going? Oh, he’s just going to river, probably warding no problem. NO. Follow him. Find out where he puts the ward; did he place it in river brush? Tri-brush? At dragon? Where is he warding, so as to give you a better knowledge of the best place to pink ward.
Poke: Depending on the champion, you may be largely responsible for poking the enemy duo away from CS. What’s that? You’re playing Nami/Sona/Lulu/anyone with ranged poke, and I see you sitting in brush? Stop it. Attack them, dammit!
Time the minions: Knowing when to initiate trades is of paramount importance; if you begin a trade with the enemy duo when they have the minion advantage (that is, they have more minions in range than you do) you will likely lose the trade due to the enemy minions hitting you. Remember, minions will swap targets to an enemy champion if their friendly champion is targeted. Use this to your advantage! Know that, when you have a minion advantage, that’s when to initiate, to force them to attack you!
Support your ADC: You’ve already got a long list of things to manage, but perhaps the most important is the one you’re named for; you need to support! You need to be helping the ADC get fed, feeding him kills, enabling him to catch the enemy (or just straight out catching the enemy for him) or doing things as simple as tanking damage for him. Is that an Ezreal Q coming for your ADC? Walk in front of him and take it, especially if you’re naturally tanky like Taric/Leona/Alistair. You want your ADC as strong as possible for team fights and tower pushing, so it’s up to you to make sure he can do what he does best.
Sadly, sometimes the ADC will be terrible. It will happen. They’ll just be goddamn terrible. You can still do things; you can create really, really obvious situations wherein the ADC can get kills. It can be hard, it can be daunting, but it’s your job dammit.
Make shot calls: Another key important task is to try and be the one to call shots. As a support, you often have abilities that enable you to initiate onto the enemy (except someone like Soraka) so it’s often your job to be the one to start a fight, to pick out the enemy carry, to win the game. That’s right, I just said that supports win the game. Very rarely have I totally stomped my lane and then go on to win the game without my support. It’s the supports who ensure your safety, your dominance and your success.
Worst of all? It’s thankless. People will rarely give you the credit you deserve. The ADC will get a “gj” or “gg”, but you will get nothing. But you will know. And, most likely, your ADC will know as well but be too proud to admit it. But know that, when you’re in the end-game chat with the “victory” message displayed proudly, and all your enemy teammates are saying to report their ADC, whereas your teammates will all be honoring their ADC, you will know.
And sometimes, something magical will happen. The ADC won’t thank you in-game, nor even after chat. They’ll just go along with everyone about how great they are, never mentioning you. It will appear thankless and pointless; hell, you’ll think about giving up support altogether.
But then… You get a Teamwork honour. You might even get a covert friend request, maybe a duo partner in future.
And it will all be worth it.
Next time, I’ll continue this segment about supporting with a post on the different supports, there strengths and weaknesses, objectively, and my feelings about them from a subjective standpoint.
See you next time!
I love Draven. It might have been rather apparent, considering I wrote a 1500-word essay on his power as an ADC champion that included numerous calculations about his damage output at level 1. He’s quite simply my favourite champion in LoL, both because of his play style, and his attitude.
Have you read his lore? It’s so bad ass! He aspires for fame and glory, but not in the field of battle; instead, he performs glamorous and over-the-top executions for Noxus. Instead of just killing them, he lets them try to escape, killing them by throwing his axe at them from across the Colosseum. Come on, that’s pretty bad-ass.
His voice acting – that is, his character – is just so bad-ass. He taunts his opponents is cocky and in your face, and when you choose him in champion select he says “Welcome to Leaaaage of Draaaaaven”.
So, as you can imagine, I’ve been somewhat maining him for a long time now. I’m only on about 50 games with him in ranked, but that’s likely closer to 100 total games played with him. If each of those games lat an average of 30 minutes, that’s 50 hours in the company of Noxu’s Glorious Executioner.
What I’m trying to say is, I know him pretty well.
A lot of people seem to have trouble laning against a Draven; too many times I see the enemy team confide in me that they hate Draven when I pick him, or my team saying the same to me when the enemy team gets him. The more conventional ADCs have their counters that are known to many; beat Vayne in the early game, don’t let Tristana get to 6 items + let her push the lane to be ganked, hide behind minions to mitigate Ezreal’s damage etc. But a lot of people simply cannot deal with Draven.
I’m going to do it. I’m going to let the secret out on how to beat Draven, both in and out of lane.
Dealing with Draven In Lane.
The core damage of Draven is the mix of damage on his Q and passive. When Draven trades with you, he’s likely going to be hitting you with 1 Q-empowered AA and another normal AA. Your two AAs are simply not going to best him. I haven’t done the calculations, but I’m pretty sure that Draven’s simple two-hit combo is more damaging than Ezreal’s Q+AA combo.
So, to deal with Draven in lane, you simply need to possess timing. Know when to trade with the cocky bastard. Good Dravens often run Armour Penetration Runes (I do now as well, contrary to my prior article; I’ll make an update about his damage with Armour Pen runes soon) so this means that their last hitting is that slightest bit harder. To deal with this, most Dravens use their Q to farm minions with; in fact, a common trick is to use a Q to last hit a minion, then immediately on catching the Axe, attack the enemy ADC for a large instant burst of damage – this punishes the enemy laner for coming in to take CS.
When Draven last hits with Q (and you can tell when he does, he has a special particle effect around him when he has activated his Q, and you can see it – it’s larger than his normal AAs) attack him. Seriously, that’s all there is to it. Stop letting me decide when to trade. People are afraid of the damage that Draven puts out, so they don’t be aggressive against him and try to start trades, they let Draven start them. That’s a terrible idea. If you let me decide when to trade, I’m just going to only trade when I have my Q activated and I have a minion advantage, ensuring my victory.
So, attack Draven when his Q is being used to last hit. Either he’ll have to activate his Q again (assuming he’s been catching this same axe multiple times, thus the cooldown of his Q is refreshed) which costs him mana, or most likely, he’ll just regular AA you, making you win the trade.
Next, and this is important: don’t die. Draven is, quite frankly, terrible without kills. He has great AD scaling, but without the advantage of items he will begin to lose trades around level 7, especially if you can dodge his ult. Most ADCs have abilities that scale much better than Draven with levels; just don’t die to him in the early game, and you almost certainly win.
Also, please, please stop diving me under tower. What is wrong with you? I have my E (Stand Aside) that interrupts your ability to CC me and try and kill me, all the while hitting you with Qs and stacking my passive on you, thus ensuring me the kill.
Another great tip against Draven is to never forget about his passive. On his Q-empowered AAs, and any critical strike, he will deal a fair amount of extra physical damage over time. Something to note about that is that when you trigger the passive multiple times, it doesn’t simply refresh on the enemy; it stacks. If I’m level 10, my passive is hitting you for (30 + 4 * level)= 70 damage over 4 seconds. If I hit you 3 times, two of those being Q-empowered and the remaining attack luckily being a critical strike, the 70 damage isn’t refreshed, it just stacks and keeps going. That means my passive has given me (70*3)= 210 extra damage over the next several seconds. That’s freaking amazing. That’s what makes Draven so scary.
Basically, don’t just walk up to a Draven and expect to win without seriously considering his passive damage. It’s fairly easy to figure out; his passive scales with level with the formula already mentioned (30 + 4 * level) and you can figure out if he has the cooldown on his Q enough to empower more than two attacks and also figure if he has any crit chance yet. Know your enemy.
Dealing with Draven Out of Lane.
Draven as a champion suffers greatly from his lack of a repositioning skills. Many ADCs have one; Tristana’s jump, Ezreal’s E, Caitlyn’s E etc. but Draven doesn’t. He only has a very, very short Movement Speed and Attack Speed steroid. This means that the key factor to destroying Draven in any kind of teamfight is to simply catch him out, pounce on him and annihilate him.
Honestly, that is it. Armour is always a great counter to him of course, so getting a Randuin’s Omen is definitely a good shout as well.
I love my glorious executioner, but he is most certainly flawed in how he operates with regard to his lack of an escape. However, his simply disgusting damage more than makes up for it!
In summary, don’t trade with me when I have my axe, stop dying to me, and just pounce on me late game.
Hope you enjoyed that!
PS: Apparently, there’s also still an issue with Draven (that I, I will admit, did not notice) that when Draven hits towers whilst his Q is up, he does reduced damage somehow! Worrying, but will require some testing to confirm.
PPS: Holy crap, 4000 views? Thanks guys! If you want to discuss Draven, please do leave a comment below, or in the reddit thread on /r/leagueoflegends here !