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Apr 27, 2015

Monday Musings: Support Meta Shifts

As a support main watching LCS evolve from a fairly static Sona/Janna support status to this strange and wondering mixture of Nautilus and Kennen supports, I can't help but look back and reflect how diverse the champion pool has become.


As a support main watching LCS evolve from a fairly static Sona/Janna support status to this strange and wondering mixture of Nautilus and Kennen supports, I can't help but look back and reflect how diverse the champion pool has become.

Yet, as someone who likes to stay one step ahead of the "meta" and find the next "OP" before it becomes a mainstream ban, I can't help but want to look even deeper at the possibilities. However, first, what makes a "good" support?

What Makes a Good Support?

  1. Good map control
    • Free sight, built-in bush checking, etc.
  2. Crowd control
    • Self-explanatory
  3. Effective killing power with low gold
    • Gets your team kills; or
    • Keeps enemies dead so teammates can free farm and take objectives
  4. Effective tanking power with low gold
    • Blocks skillshots for team, meat shield to minimize effectiveness of enemy damage
  5. Superior mobility
    • Roaming power and ability to ward/outrun enemies
Any combination of these, or simply a massively overpowered version of one is sufficient to make or break a support.

For example, Blitzcrank was for a brief few months, considered the best support. Although his "obvious" utility was his hooking power, Riot simply target nerfed his mobility, instantly dropping his win rate to under 50%.

Strangely Meta Supports

As mentioned before, strangely enough Kennen and Nautilus seem to be the new "meta" supports on the pro scene. Meanwhile, there are definitely a few support "under the radar" that may simply need a minor buff on one of the 5 points above to push them into the strong territory.

Possible Future Supports

  • Galio - With his superior movespeed, high damage reduction, and AOE CC, a few mana buffs on any of his skills could easily put him into strong support status.
  • Jarvan IV - Multiple CCs and a strong gap closer/armor reducer, J4 could possibly be placed into support status if they nerfed his damage and lowered his mana costs.
  • Malphite - Strong sustain via his shield and relic shield, Malphite could easily become a popular support with his poke, initiation, and aspd reducing skills.
  • Poppy - With complete invulnerability, Poppy is essentially the strongest diver in the game. A small movespeed buff to her already fast skills would put her on top.
  • Rammus - Similar to Leona, Rammus would be a very "all-in" type of champion that focuses on superior mobility, but has a better point and click CC. He just needs a slightly bigger range on his powerball AOE.
  • Volibear - This guy is already a very strong support since his damage simply scales with health, a fairly standard thing for supports to stack nowadays..
  • Warwick - Strong sustain, team attack speed, and a single target CC make him a possible support, the only issue is that his ultimate is easily interrupted by the multitude of CCs bot lane. If they made his CC uninterruptible and nerfed his damage to compensate, he could potentially someday see himself as a support. (Somewhat of a longshot"

Other Meta Shifts

Another meta shift I potentially see is the whole Exhaust/Ignite support meta. I think that it's possible that if the power of jungle items continues to be dominant, we might even start seeing smite/cinderhulk builds on supports as well. That could be interesting.

What do you think? Any other meta shifts you see coming on for supports or any other roles? Comment below

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  1. Kevin Lorenz ZapataApril 27, 2015

    Galio J4 Malph are already viable supports, and yeah lowering their mana costs (just a bit) will make them more reliable/ staple in the position. Personally I'm looking on a possible Flash/Red smite meta for supports, I think it's very feasible much like how top lane is running it now too (although supp's imo can't afford to lose flash just because you will lose a lot of clutch saving/ playmaking power). Red smite allows you to zone the enemy carry (it's like a combined Exhaust and Ignite), and because of it and tanky supports having a boatload of cc, I can honestly afford to lose those two summoners.

  2. StokeDaddyCApril 28, 2015

    Galigod (Galio Urgod) bot lane is beautiful... come close to our turret I dare you...

  3. Sadly, we won't be seeing a Smite Supp meta in the future. A Rioter responded to a Reddit thread saying they are planning to make it so that laners can't abuse Cinderhulk. Tbh, I really liked how because of the new Smites, flash isn't a necessity anymore.

  4. Anyone have luck with Ashe? She has Crist smacks, slows, and the vision ward arrow.

  5. Yeah i played her a lot as supp, and it's so fun and it worked very well !

  6. Cristina Mazaki Da SilvaApril 28, 2015

    galio and Malphite to make sense....the rest pays not.

  7. thecheezelApril 28, 2015

    You should try j4 or poppy. Both require a little coordination with your adc but they are quite fun. Both function similarly to leona. They can engage quickly and with a quick burst of damage

  8. MellowthreatApril 28, 2015

    Every team I come across with a Nautilus support loses. Poor man's Leona...don't do it kids.

  9. Please don't comment of things you know nothing about, it makes you look dumb and people will laugh at you.

  10. Chad PryorApril 28, 2015

    I've played a lot of Support Galio this season. I think it's a lot of fun, but it's not optimal enough to ever want to take to ranked. His mana costs are oppressive, and you have to poke a lot in lane to do anything pre-6. Your aggression patterns are really predictable as well because of his short cast range. I think if his Q got longer range and his mana costs got trimmed, I could pull it off more reliably, but he might become overbearing in a lot of Mid/Top matchups were that to happen.

  11. I don't think I have lost a game with support Ashe yet, she is pretty underrated imo.

  12. MellowthreatApril 28, 2015

    Dang, someone's salty, just lose a few ranked games? Here's what I know: Leona is significantly higher on SSJ's solo queue tier list, Leona's win-rate is higher, anything the pros are doing doesn't relate to us (we're not high elo, you're silver I'm gold), and finally from my own observations, Leona>Nautilus.

  13. cory jacksonApril 28, 2015

    Over first 7 games playing him ever I'm 6-1 sith almost a 4 kda

  14. calico jonesApril 28, 2015

    Just posted in the tier list the other day that I think J4 is a pretty strong support. He doesn't offer the utlity of some supports, but his poke with Q and passive are great for keeping pressure in lane and I don't need to mention everything else he offers.

    I also enjoy playing Azir support. Still haven't found the optimal build, but it's fun to play him as an aggressive support with AP tank runes/masts. Not sure if anyone else thinks it's viable, but his zoning is great, and his soldiers act like Thresh's hook, where you can decide if you want to engage with knock up or not. His ult is game changing if you flash+push them into turret and his passive is great for keeping waves back after you lose lane.

  15. just_injeenyusApril 28, 2015

    Anyone try Rammus support with Sivir? I'm just a little curious about how that duo would do bot lane. Sounds kind of fun to try

  16. Ben HaertelApril 28, 2015

    How is Nautilus a poor man's Leona when Nautilus costs more IP than Leona D:

  17. For me, when enemy has naughtylus sapport, we always have lost, at least usually. tanky as FCKKKKK in late game. pure monsta tank and still deals somewhat OK dammage... has HUGE amount of CC, and lots of HARD CC also. annoying cc.

    I really hate when enemy has naughtylus sapport and I try to gank/go gank bot. nauty can just cuddle, fundle with me, with his Q... while enemy adc reks me with him. annoying, gotta be very careful when enemy nautilus support.

    I think you are being too harsh on nautilus. he is quite good. idk... leona is maybe better, at least slightly. But I like nautylis and he is a fresh change.

  18. MellowthreatApril 28, 2015

    This is valid. lol

  19. MellowthreatApril 28, 2015

    I agree with your 2nd to last sentence.

  20. where the hell is elise

  21. Sejuani support was fun before she became permabanned. Support Sion is also decent since even without much gold he is still pretty tanky and does adequate damage. The main downside is that you don't get a lot of stacks on his W.

  22. Leona has basically been the best support for quite some time now. Nautilus is ok if she's banned lol. The main thing with Nautilus is that his Q pulls instead of dashing to it's target, so it's less of a commitment than zenith blade and also drags the target towards your team a bit, which is especially helpful if you can pull them away from their tower. Leona's ult is definitely way better if as long as you don't miss. I think Nautilus is stronger in the late game where his passive will root for longer and he'll be much tankier, where as Leona is strong pretty much through the entire game, although

  23. I've seen AP Ezreal as an off-meta poke support. The one time where it's helpful that his W doesn't hit minions, although when not using it to poke he tends to shoot his ADC for the AS buff. The down side is that he has absolutely no CC unless he builds gauntlet and even that is mediocre compared to what Brand or Vel'koz support can do.

  24. A fun cheese lane support is Anivia with Vayne as ADC. Anivia Q is decent CC, but her wall is super troll with Vayne since she can throw it behind enemies for an easy condemn-stun, since Riot changed it to interact with champion-made terrain.

  25. Honestly it's not so much as having cinderhulk as the fact that it's hard to trade with the enemy lamer when they have challenging smite on a 75 second cool down, which is basically a weaker sorta of hybrid between ignite and exhaust. It's even worse if they're on blue side and can get the poison buff from Gromp. Go ahead and poke me Teemo...

  26. Jaewon JungApril 28, 2015

    i still play thresh QQ

  27. Shen support is very strong. If you know how to use your E, you can easily root the carry or save your adc by taunting them.

  28. By the looks of the requirements for a "good" support, it seems like tanky pantheon would be the way to go, of course I am not looking at him as a support, just a champ who seems to fit most(if not all) the suggested requirements.

  29. Jim PaponettiApril 28, 2015

    in the trash can

  30. Never rule out Darius support.

  31. Wesley OliveiraApril 29, 2015

    Sion... tankness (W), CC(Q), CC(E) and Roaming Power (R)

  32. Alan BairdApril 29, 2015

    Curious if Teemo might become a viable support based on your criteria?
    1) Map Control - 'shrooms, nuf said
    2) Crowd Control - not much except the AOE slow on 'shrooms
    3) Killing Power - poison from E and AP damage on Q are solid
    4) Low gold tanking - ummmmmm . . . .not this one
    5) Superior Mobility - Yes, Move Quick passive and Active on W

    Other than general Teemo love or Satan hate, any thoughts?

  33. Hmm lissandra support? I'd love to see it happen. But i would think she is way better top or mid


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