Edit: This guide is for CM and CD and not for your all pick unranked madness where you have 4 hard farming carries and 1 lonely cm.
Troy Mclure Paradox, many of you might know me from past reddit posts as “Drafting in captains mode. A walkthrough and guide” or “Joindota and GD studios, paycheck? How do they make money”.
Today I am here again to bring you another ridiculously long, no joke though, this one is fucking insanely long, and probably badly formatted text.
Tl;dr: You should really read it.
Let me introduce you to the support role through the eyes of a 4k+ player.
The 5 pillars of supporting.
- You shall always be humble
- Positioning is key
- Your teammates are your children and need guidance
- Your children will do stupid things, but thou shall not insult them, as you love them
- Map awareness
“You shall always be humble” This is directly aimed at player’s item decisions. If you don’t play support very often and play carry or mid a lot then plenty of you, when transitioning to support for a game, will have that empty support feeling. The feeling of “why do I only have boots, I really need a force staff or blink dagger so I dont die so much.” “I’ll not buy wards”. You shouldn’t feel this way.
I understand the arguments of not getting wards in order to get a core item on your hero, but there is no item more “core” than wards. Ill explain later through the other pillars.
Many support players need to get over their selfish behavior of needing items. The only items a support need is some wards, smokes, a tp and a flying courier. PINCH OF SALT REDDIT
“Positioning is key“. A lot of the time, in my experience, the need for more items comes from bad positioning, which results in deaths-a-plenty. This basis comes from over agression/extension because supports feel like if they have stun spells they should initiate.
In reality, they shouldnt always initiate as when you do, you get jumped on and die.
Initiation is ok if you are ganking WITH VISION. It’s not ok when 4 are off of the map and you see 1 in jungle. Otherwise, please let your offlane or mid initiate. This is for the midgame and lategame.
Good positioning requires a lot of patience and decision making to properly execute. To know, for example, when to go into a fight, and when to wait. Perfect textbook example: if other team has a tidehunter and you are rubick, all you have to do is stay far away until tide ulties and you can steal it.
Another not so textbook example could be used for puck and shadow demon. Puck blink intiates but instead of getting out with orb and phase shift he gets stuck in the middle and their entire team jumps on the bandwagon to murder this faeiry.
Shadow demon comes in and defensive disrupts. FREEZE. What we have now is shadow demon kind of being in the fight but not really, stuns have been thrown out towards puck so much to be afraid of isnt nessescary but caution is still needed cause the other team wont be that stupid to stack all their stuns.
You can do 2 things now, stay in the teamfight to do 2 shadowpoisons maybe an ulti and a soulcatcher or move back away from the teamfight so you can get an overview and survive whilst spamming spells. Everytime you want to cast a spell cast it at max range away from the teamfight.
“Your teammates are your children and need guidance“, You know when you are lasthitting as a mid, or paying attention to not getting fucked by their defensive trilane as a support and sometimes you just lose track of the minimap? Yeah everyone has had that and all of a sudden mid comes to gank you and you are dead, or their supports come to mid and fuck u up cause you werent paying attention.
You still try to blaim team and say, why no ss, when you couldve seen them coming cause you had wards up, ( Yeah I expect wards to be up, they are so important ). Jup that has happend to everyone. A support player shouldnt only be the guy coming to gank and placing wards, he should be coordinating and helping the team with awareness,
he should be yelling hey mid theres 2 supports coming over care, or hey mid offlanes supports are missing care. Supports should be the manager of the team, the awareness they dont deserve but need. Supports should ALWAYS have 1 eye on the lane, 1 eye on the minimap and another eye on the ward CD.
“Your children will do stupid things, but though shall not insult them” When teammates do stupid shit, dont start off flaming them, just forgive them move on, if you see they repeatedly get ganked and die to the same mistake, instead of constantly pointing the mistake out, go to their lane, hide in the trees and anticipate a next gank, help him instead of insult him, be a caring mother father. CARRY TPS BUY WARDS eleviates this problem a bit since you can anticipate even better.
And instead of blaiming it on your teammate on dying because he did this bad, try thinking about how could I have played even better so he couldve not died even though he played bad. Maybe you didnt have a tp on you, maybe you didnt pay attention to his lane and saw he needed help ( hes half hp enemy is full ).
It sounds like a lot to do because its out of your controle, but thats what makes you different from any other support player who isnt as good. The completely selfless act of trying to help even though he fucked up.
“Map awareness” Map awareness is so important, knowing the flow of the game, putting yourself in their perspective, 2 supports are missing, what could they possibly be doing? Tell your entire team they are missing carry a tp and be ready to help where it is nessescary, instead of focusing on getting xp in lane due to pulling or what ever, you get xp and gold from killing other heroes by counterganking.
Im going to demonstrate some of these pillars through a game and explain them play by play what I was thinking.+ some advanced warding theories I always use.
649918640 is the code for the replay. ( https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/44249407/649918640.dem)
Please keep in mind this is very boring if you aren’t interested in play by play explanations so just skip this. If you liked the guide, upvote for more wards.
So we start off very classic, I buy courier obs, my partner buys smoke and sentry.
at 0.30-0.40 I go around the forest cause I know they won’t agro with a Medusa. Don’t just randomly go around the forest cause you might get screwed over by a possible agrotrilane. = overextension
We go for the kill but Kelly isn’t ready for it. Now I could decide to start flaming her for not being ready or I could just accept the failure and move on, learning from my mistake of not communicating that I wanted to kill and not just zone.
1.43 I decide to pull and pull through, we see that storm just got killed and decide to smoke to mid. This has several reasons. First one, because I just pulled bristleback is going to notice there is no creep wave and communicate to his team supports are missing but pulling ( we are a 5 stack versus a 5 stack) This way their mid has no reason for concern cause we aren’t ganking we are pulling. Because storm just died too he won’t expect a gank so fast. Perfect opportunity for us to smoke and gank We smoke up and wrap around cause its less expected plus easyer to gank from there. At about 3, We sit at high ground and we have patience for a good gank, this occurs when storm moves up to the north side of the lane a bit more perfect for us to come in from that side. Again patience was key here. We get an easy kill.
At 3.20 I get the money to upgrade courier from killing storm and I instantly get it, the faster your courier is upgraded the less danger it poses to die and the faster you get you items. We instantly rotate back to bristle cause he was pushed up a lot. We try to kill but we end up kind of fucked up with a large creepwave on our tail.
5.30 you’ll see me dancing around the bristleback trying to get a good disrupt so mirana can set up, I cant find the perfect one so I just wait, I have patience and don’t attack the bistleback, this way he thinks he is in controle cause he isn’t getting harassed, he can just come up lh etc, this will lead to him making a mistake and dying at 5.50
At 8 we see ES taking the rune, I hide in the trees in mid cause I’m anticipating ES to gank TA. I just have patience and wait there, nothing happens, no worries, I waste a bit time but not to big of a deal, I made sure he didn’t die. My ward I placed at 8.40 is to protect my TA. Their supports are top and wil rotate in from there. Especially the jungle enchantress. We rotate top and get another kill, always try to stay together with your other support player to get easy kills don’t go split ganking it isnt effective and might get both of you killed.
at 9.30 I preemptively tp bottom to make sure bristle doesn’t dive, I feel like this was a bad play by me since bristle wasnt at the point of no return. A bit later I don’t have a tp and mirana dies cause I cant tp and save her, I blaim myself for not playing better and letting that happen. There’s no reason for me to start flaming mirana for her doing stuff wrong cause Kelly knows it herself. I reward bottom too. So we atleast have 1 rune ward for TA.
at 12.30 dire team tries to intiate on us, they kind of failed and my team turns around, I don’t have a tp on me though and I fail to get there at the start to participate, again this is a mistake I Shouldn’t make, ALWAYS HAVE A TP ON U. If I had been there from the get go we might’ve gotten ES too and traded 3 for 0 instead of 2 for 0. It’s not a lot but it’s something. Dota is in the details.
Again I fail my team at 14.20 by still not having a tp on me for like 2-3 minutes. You might see me running back to base quite often cause I’m half mana or less, in my oppinion a support without mana or not enough to use multiple spells is just useless, you are just sapping xp from carries and when shit goes down you can’t do anything.
13 I place a ward top river so it spots out runes for my TA and it gives me vision of their jungle. This rune is good because we are ahead and they are playing defensive = they won’t cross the river and will be in their jungle a lot of the time.
At 16 Weaver dies due to mass tps and I coordinate my team that they are 5 top and they should split push. We can’t defend their horde of minions so they keep splitting. During the entire game I was coordinating who was missing who should care and what their movements are. Just telling your teammates where their supports are what their jungler is doing gives them more self esteem and confidence to go for last hits and push up that bit more further.
18.20 The ward I placed at 13 spots es and enchant we decide to deward first, we spot no wards, smoke up and go kill.
20 Teamfight breaks out in their jungle area, I arrive a little late but play this almost perfectly imho. I arrive use my purge and damage ampl on the enchant so she can’t get away and gets bursted fast, I use these spells cause I know their team is coming and I dont wanna waste disruption and give them more time to arrive.
20.10 I disrupt the bristleback cause I know disruptor is behind me and we can handle storm if he goes on me whilst bristleback is harder to deal with if he ‘s on my face and bashing. Storm proceeds to come at me and gets blown up by disruptor like expected. Note that during these teamfights I’m always on the outskirts, even though I can be in the centre more I Decide not to cause the risks are too great for the gain. I don’t even go in for that extra harass cause I know it doesn’t matter that much if I get that bit of damage in or not cause we are outnumbering them. + we have more mobility than them.
at 21.30 kelly hits an arrow and I Decide to go in, the first half goes well but then the second half I miss position myself on the front of the fight and die because of it, I should’ve backed or atleast been behind Mirana when she retreated.
at 2150 and 23 we place another 2 jungle wards quite deep because we want to have vision of them playing defensive so we can use our high mobility to catch them and kill.
at 24 I see storm coming, he’s constantly twitching, stepping left and right, this lets me know he wants to go in, and I try to bait him, I know disruptor is close and out of vision of storm, the minute he starts his ball lightning I disrupt myself and disruptor moves in and we secure the kill. Thank you wards.
24;30 the ward placed at 23 gives us vision of enchant and medusa trying to go for weaver, we move in and kill both of them. Again thank you wards. I die to Dusa cause I was being a retard and moved within her attack range instead of stayed on the outskirts. Support failure.
at 26:30 I place a ward at bottom cause around this time their team should be okay to take a rosh if they catch one of us offguard.
26.50 I overextend putting myself at the front lines of the fight and die again as support. Im a derp.
These examples should show you how important wards are and positioning is as a support. The game continues and we just keep the agressive jungle wards up and eventually take an easy win.
note: Just before I die at around 21 I have a gpm of 221, times 20 minutes = a total gold made of about 4420. I have 2k stashed and only a tranquils and wand, so thats 1175+2000= 3175. This means 1300 has gone to wards and smokes 20 minutes in.
If you look at 10 minutes earlier I have a gpm of just below 150 so 1500 total gold made, I have boots and thats it, so out of the 1.5k I have I spent 1k on tp wards smokes sentries. I couldve had a bracer more for a little less vision, but that little less vision makes your entire team play more cautious= less lasthits and more lasthits for other team and possibility of death on our team and a reduced possibility of death for the other team.
Ps: A lot of thanks to Aiurhero, my lover and friend, for correcting spelling and grammar
Pss: If any of you are crazy enough to watch my replay if you have any questions about plays or item decisions I make just ask away!