Hey guys, I’m AP Sona – a Diamond 1 Support main on NA. I’ve written a short guide for the top 5 supports including starting items, skill order, a blurb about that champ, good picks with that champ, and good picks against that champ.
Generally start relic shield. Sometimes ancient coin is better if you have a team that relies on chasing (such as Lulu, Orianna).
Q > W > E if you want to focus on teamfighting, Q > E > W if you are against lane bullies.
Braum’s strength comes from his ability to protect a hyper carry in teamfights, through a variety of options. W provides them resistances, E protects them from CC and ranged attacks, and you should also be purchasing a locket and face of the mountain which can be used on your highest priority target.
Braum is a strong pick against burst champions such as Twitch, Leona, or Blitzcrank. Braum is able to do well in a 100 – 0 2v2 bot lane fight because of the strength of his passive as well as his ability to protect quick burst thanks to his E.
Braum is countered most by Karma and Zyra. Both of them are able to bully him in lane. Braum is weakest before level 6. Ward heavily at start of game, a team with Braum will win the 5v5 at level 1 because of the stun from his passive. Stand behind minions so he cannot use his Q, and he has no form of harass in lane. Poke heavily when he tries to use relic shield, and play aggressively whenever his shield (E) is on cooldown.
Spellthief’s is the best start on her, and you should rush Zhonya’s as soon as possible for teamfight potential.
Q > E > W.
It is very difficult to hit Morgana’s bind against players who are decent at dodging, so you will have to gain vision control and attempt to hit bindings from the sides. Morgana is best played with a hyper carry such as Vayne or Master Yi who can deal out a huge amount of damage as long as they are not hit by CC. If you are using your black shield on yourself as Morgana, you are doing a major disservice to your team.
Morgana is a strong pick against champions who lack mobility (Jinx, Varus) or champions who are reliant on some hard CC to be useful in lane (Leona, Blitzcrank, Ashe). Although her Q is what gets her kills and makes her strong, her shield is the unsung reason that she is pick/ban status in solo queue.
Morgana is best countered by champions with high damage who are not reliant on CC to get kills. These are champions such as Lulu or Sona. They have a longer auto attack range, so they can harass you out in lane. Furthermore, both of them have a decent amount of disengage in teamfights, which means it is difficult for you to hit multiple people with your ult unless you use your black shield on yourself, which leaves your carries vulnerable. Morgana’s level 6 is very strong in teamfights but is not as strong in laning if you have an escape ability (Lucian, Corki, Trist).
Most players prefer a spellthief’s start, although you may want to start ancient coin if you will need to chase down opponents in teamfights. If you are against a kill support such as Leona or Blitz, consider starting a ruby crystal.
W > Q > E. Although W > E > Q may be a better option if you are against an aggressive lane.
Nami is a very safe pick and has ridiculous synergy with Yasuo thanks to her bubble and ult. She has the strongest disengage in the fight, and in small corridors her ult can also be used to engage fights (this is RARE). She provides a lot of sustain and can help a weak laner such as Vayne survive laning and make it to late game, where she can shine.
Nami is a good pick against poke champions such as Caitlyn or Sona. These champions rely on winning lane to stay stronger than their lane opponents as the game goes on. Nami can help ensure the lane goes even (similar to Soraka in the good old days) which is awesome for late game scaling hypercarries.
If playing against Nami, it is generally best to run an extremely aggressive lane and to take ignite. Lanes like Corki/Leona and Blitz/Tristana have enough burst to be able to combo for kills even through Nami’s healing. If you are against a Nami and she builds defensively, you will have to focus the ADC. However, if the Nami builds aggressively, focus her. It is too often that lanes decide they can only focus the ADC even if the squishy support is a free kill – if you land your CC on a champion, focus that champion always unless it is someone like Alistar.
Relic shield is traditionally the strongest start on Thresh, because your ability to stack shields is extremely helpful in teamfighting. Your hook is also hard cc, so you shouldn’t need talisman to start a fight.
Q > E > W. It used to be E > Q > W to give yourself a bit of extra strength, but a Q max is more important for the cooldown reduction.
Thresh can make a wider variety of plays than any other support. He is unique in his ability to both engage and disengage ridiculously well. Not only can he start a fight with Q, he can also immediately stop a fight with W should a teammate get caught out.
Thresh is a really well-rounded pick, and can honestly go with/against just about anything. He is a particularly good pick against melee supports because he has a range advantage but is also somewhat tanky, so he can harass the lane without being vulnerable to an all-in.
Thresh is heavily countered by reliable ways to escape his hook. Champions such as Ezreal and Lucian have enough mobility that they can lane pretty safely without risk of getting engaged on. Support Zyra does very well against him because you can quickly spawn plants to stop his hook, and she has enough range to constantly harass him in lane with spells and your higher autoattack range. Thresh also never really gets that tanky but is most useful at the front of his team, so if you can burst him down in teamfights you will be successful (see TSM v. DIG’s games yesterday for proof).
Relic Shield is almost always the best start on Alistar, although it may occasionally be necessary to start ruby crystal if you are worried about enemy aggression before level 6.
W > Q > E unless behind, in which case E > W > Q.
Alistar is a ridiculously strong pick, and at this stage is stronger in top lane than as a support. That being said, he is still a really good support. He can be used to engage fights, disengage fights, or be a damage soak who can soak more damage than any other support thanks to the 70% damage reduction from his ultimate. Furthermore, he can remove CC.
Alistar is an excellent pick against Blitzcrank. Alistar can tank hooks constantly, and if he gets hooked by Blitz he can use it as an opportunity to get on the enemy ADC. For similar reasons, Alistar is also a strong pick against engage supports such as Leona or Thresh. Alistar goes very well with Tristana and Lucian. Alistar and Tristana can all-in at any moment, and Trist will get a free jump onto whichever target is CC’d by Alistar’s W + Q combo. Alistar doesn’t have to hard engage every time he combos – Lucian can use the combo to get a free E + double auto + Q + double auto and walk away with the huge advantage in trading.
Like Braum, Alistar is vulnerable to strong poke. Furthermore, it is difficult to land a W + Q combo if slowed. For this reason, Lulu and Karma are two really good picks against Alistar. Both can harass him in lane from range, have kill potential before level 6, and can zone him using slowing abilities. In teamfights, Alistar should be ignored when his W and Q are on cooldown. His damage output as a support is very limited and after he engages he is useful for the next 10 seconds.
An unrelated point
Please for the love of god people start maxing W when you play Blitzcrank, it is so much more useful than a Q max! The extra movement speed makes you so much more intimidating than a little extra damage on your hook, and it is a huge advantage when laning phase is over and you are roaming. Also, rush Mobi’s and pressure other lanes. Blitz is currently 100% the best snowball support in low rated games – all you have to do is get mobi’s, get a sightstone, get a sweeper and a pink, and then roam everywhere. People can’t handle the chaos, and you will win if you max w over q.
If anyone has specific questions about any supports or would like to know more especially about countering some of the other supports listed, let me know and I’ll make sure to answer! I hope this was useful ^_^ Some of the info might have been kinda obvious for support mains, but this will hopefully be a good guide to players who are trying to get more in to support and figure out what kinds of champs will gel with their playstyle. And of course feel free to ask me stuff in the comments – although this post is specific to the strongest supports, my personal favorites are Sona and Blitz so I can provide good info about them as well.