Chauster’s Conventional Support Rundown
Competitive NA League of Legends has been quite stagnant in recent months in terms of support picks. The same picks are regurgitated each and every week without much thought for why certain champs are being picked over others. Outside of Riot introducing new viable support champions like Thresh and Nami, the supports we see are generally Lulu, Sona, Zyra, Janna and the occasional Fiddlesticks. The melee supports of S1 and S2 are not played as much because the risk of running your duo lane into a 2v1 where the jungler shows up results in the team with a ranged support being at a distinct advantage for taking the first tower. Melee supports are useless in taking towers when against the top laner and jungle combo, which is a common occurrence in today’s game. I will be going over all of the supports that I think are worth playing and talk about their role.
Laning: Insane against almost every current support pick in the game, even Lulu will have problems against Alistar depending on the AD matchup.
Versatility: Can be used in wombo, pick, and even split push comps. Can initiate/disengage/zone/peel.
Downsides: Almost useless in the 2v1 scenario where the jungler joins the top laner.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Hard to pick up for most support players as his playstyle is one dimensional but incredibly delicate if you are to utilize his skillset to his potential.
Opinion on champ usage: Ali should be a popular support pick. He is simply too risky for supports to pick up as they may dedicate time to him and find out they just aren’t Alistar players.
Laning: Very strong lane presence against most bot lane combos. Not a great pick into Lulu or Trist.
Versatility: One dimensional, mainly used in pick comps. Able to peel.
Downsides: completely useless in 2v1 scenario where jungler joins the top laner.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Harder to play in lane phase correctly as positioning him is crucial to applying pressure. Rocket Grab is also hard for most supports to land consistently and Blitz is useless in the 2v1.
Opinion on champ usage: Should be played much more as pick comps are becoming more relevant and easier to do as teams becomes more organized.
Laning: Very strong in both 2v2 and 2v1 situations.
Versatility: Wombo, pick comps. Has good peel.
Downsides: Unable to lane against most melee supports.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Main reason for not being played is that Fiddle is incredibly boring. He is also special as he has large cooldowns early as a ranged poke champion.
Opinion on champ usage: Fiddle is pretty OP and should be played by every support player. Should is the key here because he is so boring most players will just avoid playing him as a whole and justify it by saying that only
a few support players play Fiddle without much success in the NA scene.
Laning: Not as strong as other ranged supports since her early game is susceptible. 2v1 is also lacking compared to other supports with offensive skills like Nami/Sona/Lulu
Versatility: Mainly used for disengage so great when using poke comps or to counter wombos. Best peel in the game.
Downsides: Lane phase is not very strong.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Not as popular because early game is so important at the moment and Janna’s early game is lacking.
Opinion on champ usage: Janna should be picked more as a counter pick against strong engages.
Laning: Very strong lane phase except against most melee supports and Lulu. Strong enough to kill junglers in the 2v2 scenario depending on the matchup
Versatility: Great for wombo and picks.
Downsides: Very hard to play, all ins are easily punishable in lane phase.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Harder to play in lane safely as you can’t go in unless you are reasonably sure the jungler is not going to counter your lane. Also not very strong in the 2v1 scenario.
Opinion on champ usage: Leona is unpopular for a reason. She is the best all in support but has too many risky downsides to warrant being a strong support in today’s game unless you are on a team that just goes crazy with dives.
Laning: The strongest overall laner of all supports with the ability to outplay all melee lanes and all ranged lanes
Versatility: Mainly used for wombo comps.
Downsides: No real disengage or great utility outside of wombo comps.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Not as versatile as the common ranged supports such as Sona/Nami/Zyra because of the lack of disengage or ability to make picks/plays in general.
Opinions on champ usage: Should be played more as her laning is the best of all supports.
Laning: Very solid laning for both 2v2 and 2v1.
Versatility: Disengage, wombo, pick, incredibly versatile support.
Downsides: Aqua prison is hard to land.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Nami is quite popular as she has a strong 2v2 lane phase while excelling in 2v1s, early dives, and teamfighting.
Opinions on champ usage: Nami is played for the right reasons.
Laning: Overall strong laner in 2v2 and 2v1 situations.
Versatility: Great for wombo and pick comps, also good for disengage.
Downsides: A few weak lane matchups, ulti reliant champion.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Sona is popular because she is versatile and she is quite easy to play.
Opinions on champ usage: Sona is at a good place. She is a faceroll support with a faceroll lane phase and has great faceroll mechanics to faceroll for supports who like to faceroll. Faceroll.
Laning: OK at both 2v1 and 2v2. Soraka has some great counter matchups currently but is not seeing play.
Versatility: Teamfighting comps and poke comps, counter for double AP or poke comps.
Downsides: No playmaking ability, team comp most likely has to rely on all 5 for utility needed.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Unpopular because too reliant on team and tunnels team comps into 5v5s or 4 man sieges.
Opinion on champ usage: Soraka is incredibly strong when your team comp allows your support to not have any utility outside of battling. Soraka is an easy pick if your jungle has disengage.
Laning: The best melee laning support in 2v2s, not very useful in 2v1. Very useless when pushed up and the enemy is managing the creep wave under the tower, Taric is best used in the middle of the lane
Versatility: Early game dive.
Downsides: Incredibly poor scaling, terrible in 2v1s, not versatile, low utility.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Taric is unpopular for the right reasons, although he is so one dimensional that he is actually the best choice for certain playstyles (snowball).
Opinion on champ usage: Taric can be used with great success if you emphasize the early game but such extremes are always risky.
Laning: Amazing 1v2, mediocre 2v2, lantern utility and threat makes up for the inability to trade effectively when being pushed in
Versatility: Pick comps, decent peel.
Downsides: Does not have great disengage, terrible against guaranteed engages (upfront bursts make Thresh ineffective)
Reasons popular/unpopular: Popular because playmaking ability is too big with Death sentence and lantern. Thresh is very versatile in teamfights and can peel bruisers with no real gap closer as well as turn around a fight or start a fight with landing a hook.
Opinion on champ usage: I think Thresh is a bit overrated even though he is an amazing champion. He has the ability to make plays all game long.
Laning: very good laning in both 2v1 and 2v2 as Zyra has a lot of zoning as well as push potential.
Versatility: great for wombo comps and to disengage, also has good peel.
Downsides: has some weaker lane matchups, unforgiving to mistakes.
Reasons popular/unpopular: Zyra is popular because she has huge impact in skirmishes and teamfights via plant zone as well as her giant zoning ultimate.
Opinion on champ usage: I think Zyra could be played more since her laning is actually quite easy.