Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Basics of Playing Lane Support

Lane support is a very difficult role for many players because you have to do a lot with a little bit of farm. You main job as lane support is to ensure the carry gets farm and to screw over your lane opponents as hard as you can.

In this post, I'm going to go over a lot of the problems I hear from people that are trying to learn how to be a good support player.

Keep in mind, these are some of the basic things. Warding locations and other stuff will be covered at another point in time.

1. Harassment is a lot harder than I thought. Creeps constantly aggro on me.

Normal Attacking:

  • Keep in mind that you get aggro when you're attack moving on an enemy hero
  • If you regular move you will not get aggro
  • Get close before **attack moving** to **minimize** the time when you draw aggro
  • Attack Move on an allied creep (even if they are full health) to lose aggro


  • Consider attacking from a different direction
  • Come from behind your opponent (this can also help set up kills)
  • Use fog of war and tree cover to your advantage

2. How often should I soak experience with a carry in the lane?

This is really dependent on the situation.

  • 3v1 - your job as lane support is to zone. Your 2nd support will be stacking & pulling. This will result in the opponent being underleveled no matter what because they cannot contest the pull.
  • 2v1 - sometimes you can stack & pull, other times you cannot. It's always a bit risky. Zoning your opponent out is usually going to be a good option because sometimes you'll be in XP range, sometimes you won't, but your opponent will be underleveled in any case.
  • 2v2 - stacking & pulling is usually going to be a bad option unless your teammate is a good solo hero like Lone Druid. It will probably be better to stay in lane to harass and deny because in 2v2, your opponents can contest the pull.
  • 2v3 - not much you can do in this lane. Best bet is to roam or change lanes. If they know how to trilane and you don't have a hero like KotL, Lone Druid, etc. you'll get beat badly.
  • 3v3 - you want to pull the first wave, but then go to the lane after that. Harass and Deny (on defensive side), or deny and try to get kills (on offensive side).

3. When stacking/pulling, what is the goal?

  • The goal is always lane control
  • Stack & Pull - use this to move the lane closer to the tower and deny a wave of XP from your opponent
  • Single Pull - use this to make a super wave that will help push the tower (or to move the initial wave closer to the tower in 3v3)
  • Siege Creeps come every 3 minutes (good to know for the single pull)
  • Don't pull if 
    • (a) creeps are close to the tower
    • (b) your opponent will take the pull
  • When you stack you want to kill your entire wave
  • Get your gold as a support from killing pull camp creeps (some supports are also good at stacking other camps and wiping those - e.g. KotL)

4. If I'm the safe lane support, how often should I roam to get kills?

  • Roam when your carry is established (general rule of thumb - I'm sure there are exceptions)
  • Goal of a Defensive Trilane is to get your carry farmed, prioritize that
  • You might consider roaming if there is opportunity and a high chance of success
  • Also consider roaming to smoke gank the courier bringing bottle to mid (i.e. <2 min or so)
  • Smoke is your best friend

Miscellaneous Tips

  • Grab a TP by at most 5 minutes
  • Some teams divide support items like: (#4) gets Sentries + Smoke, (#5) gets Observers + Courier
  • Upgrade the courier quickly to reduce chances of it getting sniped by opposing supports
  • Make sure you get some farm (supports like KotL, Shadow Demon, etc. are good at stacking camps and killing them to catch up on gold + XP)
  • Establish a strategy. In 4-protecting-1, you'll leave your carry to move with the rest of the team for pushing. In dual roaming, you'll have 3 good solos while the two supports roam to get kills.
  • Defensive Trilanes want to get secure farm for the carry
  • Offensive Trilanes want to get kills and deny the opposing carry farm
  • NEVER do something for the sake of doing it. If there is no opportunity to roam, DO NOT ROAM. If there is no reason to pull or low chance of success, DO NOT PULL.
  • Pick the appropriate support. If you want to be aggressive early, get someone like Crystal Maiden. KotL is good at zoning and destroying Trilanes. Nyx is good at Roaming. Shadow Demon scales well.


  1. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the great works guys I've added you guys to my blogroll.SELF IMPROVEMENT

  2. You do realize this is basically all Greek to anyone who's new to the game?

  3. My apologies. This blog is more or less a place to collect my thoughts, so there isn't exactly a target audience or experience level that I had in mind.

    However, I would also note that while this post can be beneficial to someone in a public game, it's also more geared towards competitive play and therefore more of an advanced topic by nature.