[4.5] The Complete 3v3 and 5v5 Support Guide (for every support) by Pasu

[4.5] The Complete 3v3 and 5v5 Support Guide (for every support)

By: Pasu
Last Updated: Jul 16, 2019
26 Votes
Build 1 of 12

Adagio

Build: Support Adagio

Ability Path

Arcane Renewal
Heroic Perk
Gift of Fire
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Agent of Wrath
1
2
3
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Verse of Judgement
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Ardan

Build: Support Ardan

Ability Path

Julia's Gift
Heroic Perk
Vanguard
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Blood for Blood
1
2
3
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5
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9
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Gauntlet
1
2
3
4
5
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7
8
9
10
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12

Catherine

Build: Support Catherine

Ability Path

Captain of the Guard
Heroic Perk
Merciless Pursuit
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Stormguard
1
2
3
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5
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8
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Blast Tremor
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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Churnwalker

Build: Support Churnwalker

Ability Path

Futility of Life
Heroic Perk
Hook & Chain
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Torment
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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12
Trespass
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Flicker

Build: Support Flicker

Ability Path

Willow Whisper
Heroic Perk
Binding Light
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Fairy Dust
1
2
3
4
5
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7
8
9
10
11
12
Mooncloak
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Fortress

Build: Support Fortress

Ability Path

Packmates
Heroic Perk
Truth of the Tooth
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Law of the Claw
1
2
3
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5
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7
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10
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Attack of the Pack
1
2
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8
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Grace

Build: Support Grace

Ability Path

Retribution
Heroic Perk
Benediction
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Holy Nova
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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Divine Intervention
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
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Lance

Build: Support Lance

Ability Path

Partisan's Technique
Heroic Perk
Impale
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Gythian Wall
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Combat Roll
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Lorelai

Build: Support Lorelai

Ability Path

That's Swell
Heroic Perk
Fish Food
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Splashdown
1
2
3
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10
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Waterwall
1
2
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5
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7
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Lyra

Build: Support Lyra

Ability Path

Principle Arcanum
Heroic Perk
Imperial Sigil
1
2
3
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5
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7
8
9
10
11
12
Bright Bulwark
1
2
3
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5
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8
9
10
11
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Arcane Passage
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
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Phinn

Build: Support Phinn

Ability Path

Unstoppable
Heroic Perk
Quibble
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Polite Company
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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Forced Accord
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
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Yates

Build: Support Yates

Ability Path

Devastation Flail
Heroic Perk
Wolf's Maw
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Overwhelm
1
2
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Iron Mandate
1
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Introduction Top

Hello guys, my name is Pasu and I have played Vainglory ever since 2014 on the SEA server. I first started playing when Joule came out, so I have been through a lot and although I did stop playing for a while in the middle (between when Idris and Grace were released), I have since then concentrated back on playing the game. I currently stand at Simply Amazing Gold in 5v5 and Hotness Bronze in 3v3, after the season reset.

I played the game casually without giving a single thought to important game knowledge such as last hitting, stutterstepping and freezing the lane for the first two years of my Vainglory experience (I remember I used to just build full attack speed items on Krul, so I would have like three Tornado Triggers), so I didn't really have a main. However, as soon as Lyra came out I fell in love with her ability set, and ever since have mained her through all her nerfs.

As a support main (and especially a Lyra main), I have all five stars on Lyra with 700/2000 points (over 80 ranked games on her), and one star on each of Ardan, Churnwalker, Koshka, Caine, Gwen, Phinn and Varya (around 11 ranked games on each). My mains for 3v3 are as follows: Laner: Lyra; Support: Lyra; Jungler: Koshka. In 5v5: Top: Gwen (to burst down the enemy bot laner, due to her strong early game); Mid: Lyra or Varya; Support: Yates (if not banned) or Churnwalker (if Yates is banned); Jungle: Koshka or Joule (depending on the situation); Bot: Caine (to execute the often tanky enemy top laner).

Warning: This guide will be very long and tedious, especially the Crucible block list, so if you're not interested in that I suggest skip over that and move to (1.4) Other items.

Table of Contents? Top

Because I'm too lazy to figure out how to do a Table of Contents, you'll have to make do with my improvised one. I've given each chapter a number so just ctrl+f to search for the number.

(1.1) Support do's and don'ts
(1.2) How and when to use Fountain
(1.3) Crucible block list
(1.4) Other items
(1.6) Vision
(1.7) Introduction to the supports
(1.8) Types of supports
(1.9) Strong teammates, counters for each support, heroes they counter
(2.0) Winning the draft
(2.1) What a good game for a support should look like (3v3)
(2.2) What a good game for a support should look like (5v5)
(2.3) 3v3 Tierlist (my personal opinion)
(2.4) 5v5 Tierlist (my personal opinion)

Why play support? Top

This chapter is to boost the confidence of people to play support, as in all of my ranked games I have seen less than five people apart from me instantly indicate support (which almost always means they are really good at supporting), people who are forced to support generally save their Fountain of Renewal for themselves.

Although I am competent in any role, and can do well with pretty much any hero, my main role is support. Like many of the support mains out there, I was forced to play support because no one wanted to play it. I initially hated the role, and thought that it was pointless; however, after honing my timing on my actives like Fountain of Renewal and Crucible, I genuinely enjoy playing support. Some people think that the support role is a role meant for noobs, and that supporting requires no skill. From a certain point of view, this is true; the support is always the last to be killed, and is pretty much invincible unless all the enemy heroes target them. Furthermore, the support is the one who gets all the blame when a teamfight is lost, and is often ordered around by teammates. You must also be willing to die to save your teammates, and block any skillshot or high-damaging, non piercing ability such as Spitfire, Forward Barrage, or Scorcher.

However, there is a reason the support is otherwise known as "captain". The support of the team initiates the teamfights, leads the team, and turns the tides of battle with their many actives they need to use at the right time. Imagine support as a role with twice as many abilities that have to be used at the optimal time. This is the main reason a team with a jungler, laner, and a support (3v3) or four laners/junglers and one support will always beat two junglers and a laner or five damage carries. BUT this only applies when the support is good and uses their abilities and actives when needed. Otherwise, the support is just a meat shield that offers up free Breaking Point and Dragon's Eye stacks.

Being one of the few people who instantly indicates that they will be playing support has quite a few advantages. One, if you don't steal cs, play properly and Fountain of Renewal on time, or use Crucible to block a teamfight changing ability such as Blast Tremor, Yummy Catnip Frenzy or Bangarang, your teammates will almost guaranteed honour you, and possibly even your enemies. The main advantage of that is if you get enough upvotes, you can get Great Karma, which gives a 25% glory boost after every game. It might not be much, but it's not that hard to get, and it's something. Two, as long as you are friendly toward your teammates and after you ace them, give a thumbs up ping or something small like that, it will really bring up the team morale and spirit. Also, there is the feeling you get when you turn a teamfight around with a single ability, and knowing that you were the reason your team won.

However, keep in mind that the support role is most reliant on competent teammates. The golden rule of Vainglory is that a good support cannot carry the team by themselves, but a good laner/jungler can.

(1.1) Support do's and don'ts Top

Do's:


1. Rotate through lane and jungle all the time
2. Help the jungler damage monsters but don't kill them!!!
3. Buy Fountain of Renewal as your first item
4. Provide vision for the team
5. Body block abilities
6. Engage the enemy unless you are one of Lyra, Lorelai or Adagio
7. Sacrifice yourself for your teammates if one of you must die
8. Remember to ping to tell your teammates where to go
9. I personally recommend playing with the sound on, as some abilities such as Baron's Ion Cannon and Flicker's Mooncloak do not have a visual effect, only a sound effect
10. Treat your teammates like your babies, be patient and babysit them
11. Play the right support in the right situation (though the jack of all trades are an exception to some extent)
12. LEAD THE TEAM!!!

Don'ts:


1. Steal CS
2. Fight the enemy team on your own
3. Sacrifice yourself needlessly to hand the enemy team an ace
4. Use toxic pings unless they repeatedly do something wrong (at least three times)
5. Play a single support the whole time. Even as a Lyra main, I have to adapt to my teammates' needs, and I never play Lyra if there is a Skaarf on the enemy team, I will switch to Catherine or Lorelai
6. BUY DAMAGE ITEMS AS YOUR FIRST ITEM (grrrrrr)
7. Play heroes above your skill level (most notably Churnwalker)

(1.2) How and when to use Fountain Top

Fountain of Renewal is the item all supports must build, no matter who they are. It provides a possibly tide-changing heal in your team's favour, and can easily win a teamfight. However, a lot of the time I see the life-giving green line that indicates the heal from Fountain of Renewal seeping into the enemy laner's dead body. This happens once in a while for me, but I see it almost half the time from the enemy support. It also means that the support just wasted the heal because the jungler is still on full health. Worse are the supports who seem to think Fountain of Renewal is a self-only item: they use it when they're low on health, meaning that for 75 seconds, they can no longer provide a massive heal to all their teammates.

So, how do you avoid such a fatal error? My advice would be to look at both your health bar and your teammates' health bars, prioritising the laner. If the laner is below 30% of their health, it's time to click that Fountain of Renewal. Although it might heal more when they're lower health, chances are that they're dead before they can receive your heal. The jungler is less important, but if they're at around 20% health and your laner has lost some health as well, it's still a good idea to Fountain of Renewal. If you're really struggling to use your Fountain of Renewal before your teammates die off, you could use Crucible to give them a health barrier and guarantee they won't die, and then Fountain of Renewal, but I wouldn't advise to do so as there are many abilities you need to block with Crucible, outlined in the next chapter.

(1.3) Crucible block list Top

Crucible provides a scaling barrier based on level for 1.5 seconds, and grants immunity to all forms of CC: stuns, silences, roots, displacement, slows, and, just for the Samuel, Baptiste and Tony mains that I might upset not including these terms, sleep, fear, and taunt. This is an immensely powerful tool, and the only other item that all supports must buy alongside Fountain of Renewal and War Treads. Simply put, if you're not building them as a support, you're not doing your job. I will outline each hard CC ability that has a dangerous effect (so abilities that simply deal damage are not included, or I'd be here all week). (Update: With the most recent update you can no longer activate Crucible while stunned, so it becomes even more important to block CC abilities over damage abilities)

Note: this is just my opinion and my priorities when I am playing support

Adagio has only one ability that is important to block, and that is his ult, Verse of Judgement. When a hero is on fire and gets caught in the large circle, they are stunned for a long period of time, making them extremely vulnerable to attacks. This means the ability is vital to block even if the Adagio is a support, but only if you are on fire as the threat comes from the stun and not the damage. Fortunately it is extremely easy to block as Adagio channels for two seconds before using his ult. Activate your Crucible only when you see the full circle though, as Crucible only lasts for 1.5 seconds and if you panic and activate it the second you see him starting to ult, you won't be able to block it.

Priority: 1/10 if not on fire, 10/10 if on fire
Difficulty: 1/10

Nothing you can or should block for her, unless you or a teammate is really low and the laser appears signifying Prime Directive.

I mean, yes you can block the first hit of her Shimmer Blade so she can't teleport to you, but once again, there are more important things to block since you only have one Crucible.

Gauntlet is the ability to watch out for here, and unless you have perfect coordination with the team, it's really difficult to allow all three/five teammates escape without being stunned. However, you can at least allow one teammate to escape, as when you see them run into the barrier you can Crucible at that exact moment to allow them to escape without being stunned, and quickly move through yourself. However, if you think your team has an advantage, standing and fighting inside the Gauntlet could be a better choice.

Priority: 8/10
Difficulty: 1/10 for you escaping, 4/10 for two of you escaping, 8/10 for all three escaping. Four or five escaping is impossible unless you have communication, prioritise your teammates.

Two abilities to be aware of here. Ordained is the more dangerous as it stuns, and acts as a mini- Gauntlet for one person only. Once again, when you see your teammate move towards the edge of the circle use Crucible to allow them to escape without being stunned.

Priority: 6/10
Difficulty: 4/10

The other ability is Fearsome Shade, and this is rarely useful during a teamfight and more often used when the Baptiste is escaping so that you run in the opposite direction for a short time, so if you want that ace it's imperative to block it so you can catch the enemy. To block it, it's almost impossible to block it at point-blank range but at a distance, the second you see those ugly things crawl towards you, activate Crucible to avoid being feared.

Priority: 5/10
Difficulty: 5/10

If your teammate is about to die from one of Baron's Porcupine Mortar, use Crucible to give them a health barrier and prevent them dying, but your Crucible should really be used for more than just negating damage.

Nothing you should block for him, unless you or a teammate is really low and you see him start to extend his sword for Feint of Heart.

If you ever do see him in ranked, brace yourself, because his Last Rites EXECUTES. Yes, EXECUTES. The one and only execute in the game belongs to him and that is a massive problem for you. While you're on the frontline taking damage for your teammates, you can get chunked pretty low, and Caine can reduce that "pretty low" to zero in an instant, without you using any of your Fountain of Renewal or Crucible. In other words, this is a must-block if you or any of your teammates are low health and the second you see the big red sight near you or a teammate at low health, CLICK THAT Crucible. Or just ban him, he's way too oppressive in laning phase and chances are that you won't even reach lategame where he falls off slightly.

Priority: 9/10
Difficulty: 6/10

If the enemy team has a Catherine, you must be very good at using Crucible, both for Merciless Pursuit and Blast Tremor, especially the latter, which can decide an entire teamfight on its own. Merciless Pursuit is slightly less important to block as only one target gets stunned, and is a little easier as well. When you see Catherine increase her movespeed and extend her shield, immediately Crucible to prevent the stun.

Priority: 6/10
Difficulty: 5/10

Blast Tremor is perhaps the most important ability to block in the game, with only Yummy Catnip Frenzy, Stuffed, Trespass and Verse of Judgement (when burning) coming close to its threat level. It silences all enemies in the blast range for a massive 2.5 seconds at max level, easily enough time to decide a teamfight. Unlike the other four abilities highlighted, however, it has no warning; meaning that the millisecond Catherine stands still and raises her shield, you have to immediately activate Crucible or your team has a greatly reduced chance of winning the ensuing teamfight.

Priority: 10/10
Difficulty: 9/10

One word defines Celeste: zoning. Her stars keep you at a distance, although perhaps not as well as Silvernail, and her Core Collapse, when it stuns more than one of you, can spell doom for your team. She can also use it to escape, and once you are stunned by Core Collapse you cannot catch her. Thus, it is important to be able to block Core Collapse so you can catch her, as she has absolutely no mobility at all. There is a slight delay between the black hole forming and collapsing, so immediately Crucible the second you see a circle beneath you.

Priority: 7/10
Difficulty: 5/10

Although all of Churnwalker's abilities can be dangerous when low health, the most dangerous ability that you have to watch out for is Trespass. Torment is not included in this as Trespass is far more important, and it has next to no warning. Speaking of Trespass, this ability can stun your entire team for a large duration of time, in which the support will be unable to use their Fountain of Renewal to save the laner. However, it is very challenging to block as it has minimal warning, the only indication being a green blur on the screen. Activate Crucible and you should be able to block Trespass as his stun only hits when he stops moving, giving you a very small window of opportunity to block it.

Priority: 10/10
Difficulty: 8/10

While Binding Light does root you, its hitbox is so small that you and your teammates should be able to avoid it with ease, unless you decide to step right into it, and it's only a root and not a stun, so most of the time it's not worth blocking, unless, of course, your or your teammates' lives depend on it. Similarly, Fairy Dust only applies a slow (though beware, it's a pretty significant one), but once again, if your or your teammates' lives depends on it, activate that Crucible even if it's not the best use for it.

Both abilities (in general situation/teamfights):
Priority: 2/10
Difficulty: 1/10

Nothing you should block for him, unless you or a teammate is really low and you see the mark appear above their head that indicates Fortress is about to use Truth of the Tooth.

Afterburn is arguably the strongest offensive ability in the entire game, as it allows Glaive to single out a target and send them back towards his team with him standing in the route of escape, as well as stunning them. Thus, it is extremely important to be able to block this ability, whether it be to prevent you being knocked too far away to protect your teammates or to prevent your laner from being jumped by all three/five heroes on the enemy team. To block it, simply Crucible the second you see Glaive dash forward and the duration of the Crucible mostly covers the duration of which Glaive's axe is powered up, so you can prevent your team from getting divided.

Priority: 9/10
Difficulty: 4/10

A combination of boots and Holy Nova to catch an opponent inside the stun range is the main combo you have to watch out when facing Grace, and while the laner is usually the one targeted, once in a while all three/five of you will be caught in the stun, which nearly guarantees an ace for the enemy team. In other words, you have to block it unless you are the one and only one inside the stun range. Fortunately it is quite simple to block, the second you see the circle begin to appear/the ground start to break, use Crucible and you should avoid being stunned, with the added advantage of Grace being unable to move for a short time.

Priority: 7/10
Difficulty: 2/10

Grumpjaw's Stuffed spells danger for one person: for once, not the laner, but you, the support (at least if they know what they're doing). Good Grumpjaw players will eliminate the support from the battle and then proceed to engage the enemy team, with the result being that no one on the enemy team is able to use Fountain of Renewal or Crucible. In other words, if you get eaten, your team is at a massive disadvantage in a teamfight. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to block; there is no warning visual effect, so against a Grumpjaw, you have to turn on the sound. When you hear a something that sounds like someone choking, immediately Crucible, or you will pay for it heavily. This is somewhat remedied by the fact that Grumpjaw is rarely seen at higher ranks, as well as lower ranked Grumpjaw players using Stuffed to isolate one player rather than engage the enemy team.

Priority: 10/10
Difficulty: 8/10

~Sigh~ Gwen used to require some skill, but some knobhead decided to nerf her Aces High to be easier to hit at the cost of quite a bit of range, so we're left with a hero that is comparable to Ringo for skill (not including stutterstepping), albeit slightly more. Now I'm done reminiscing about the days when I mained Gwen, let's get into it. Gwen has one ability that is worth blocking if you really want, but I'd strongly encourage against it unless it's clearly directed at your laner, who might get ganked by two or more enemies after being stunned. If that is the case, the second you see that card flying through the air or you hear the warning "whoosh" sound, you have to activate Crucible if you want to block it.

Priority: 2/10
Difficulty: 7/10

Nothing you can or should block for him at all.

She doesn't deal much damage on her own, but Banishing Kick into a wall (which stuns you) with some support from her teammates can easily separate your team, so it's best to avoid getting kicked in the late game, although most of the time you want to save it for the support's ultimate, or something like Yummy Catnip Frenzy or Stuffed. Blocking it is also quite difficult, as the second you see Inara move in front of the direction you are running, you can guarantee there is a Banishing Kick coming (as there is nearly no warning visual).

Priority: 4/10
Difficulty: 8/10

Her Rocket Leap is the only ability you should block in this case, as the other abilities only deal damage. If I'm being completely honest here, Rocket Leap shouldn't even be on the list because there's a massive red circle saying "DANGER" where she lands, so it's a rather big warning to avoid that space, and she takes some time to get there, so that should be plenty of time. However, if you are immobilised and you see that big red circle appear on top of you, it will stun you, so be prepared to block it!

Priority: 2/10
Difficulty: 1/10

The only CC Kensei has in his kit is Path of the Ronin after using Kensho, which is a pretty big giveaway that he will use his ult because without the stun, Path of the Ronin is far weaker. When these two abilities are combined, they allow Kensei to stun all enemies in a line as well as deal decent damage, so it's imperative to be able to block it. As highlighted before, when you see him jump back ( Kensho) you should immediately Crucible the Path of the Ronin that follows, or you could find you and your teammates all stunned and trapped between your enemies. If you don't see him using Kensho beforehand, there's no point blocking Path of the Ronin as it doesn't stun (and it's quite difficult to see coming).

Priority: 6/10
Difficulty: 5/10

While Kestrel does have a stun, which can only be activated when she deals damage to you while you are inside her Active Camo mist, it's impossible to block (as it activates instantly), and can be avoided if you just avoid stepping in the place where she disappeared.

Similar to Kestrel, Kinetic also has a stun, which can only be used when she overdrives her Inertial Dash, and uses it as well as Plasma Driver within 5 seconds. This plasma shot will stun, and normal Kinetic players will choose to overdrive both Plasma Driver as well as Inertial Dash, so be prepared to use Crucible when you see a yellow plasma shot that looks larger than the normal ones shoot towards you. However, it's not really all that important to block as it only stuns one person, unless you know the entire enemy team is nearby.

Priority: 3/10
Difficulty: 2/10

The most dangerous hero early game and a menace even in mid-game, Koshka can use Twirly Death to stack two powerful attacks, and when someone uses boots to attempt an escape, she can use Yummy Catnip Frenzy to stop the escape and kill them with another Twirly Death. Even though it loses much of its power late game, a 2.2 second stun is still nothing to be scoffed at, and usually spells death for the hero being stunned. Thus, it is very important to block at any stage of the game. Fortunately, if you are skilled enough, blocking it shouldn't be much of a problem as there is a large cat face that appears before Yummy Catnip Frenzy. The second you see the cat, immediately Crucible to avoid you or any teammates being unable to do anything for more than 2 seconds.

Priority: 10/10
Difficulty: 5/10

From Hell's Heart is the main problem Krul possesses, especially when it is combined with Shadows Empower Me as well as the use of the "boomerang", this almost always spells death for the hero being targeted. Even when you are trying to escape and you get stunned by his sword, you will almost definitely die. Plus it's pretty difficult to block, so you have to be wary at all times or buy a Flare Gun if there is a Krul on the enemy team. There is a telltale sign though: when he starts to reach towards his chest, you immediately need to activate Crucible, as the sword travels very fast and has a very large hitbox. Most of the time however he will activate it in a bush, meaning that even the slightest notice is gone, so just tell your teammates to stay as far away from bushes you don't have vision on it as possible.

Priority: 6/10
Difficulty: 7/10

Lance's Impale is dangerous for all of his builds, be it weapon or support, especially when more than one hero gets rooted (and more often than not, stunned with Gythian Wall). However, the decision whether or not to block the Impale rests with the number of heroes that are about to be rooted. If only one hero is going to be rooted, it's usually better to save your Crucible for something more threatening. However, if two or more heroes are in the path, being rooted and stunned usually spells death, so it's often better to block them. To block Impale is slightly difficult, but when you hear the "yah" sound Lance makes or when you see him extending forward for Impale, you need to use Crucible immediately. I won't include Gythian Wall in this because it's usually never used without Impale, and can easily be avoided by staying away from any walls.

Priority: 2/10 for one person, 6/10 for two, 8/10 for three. It takes some brainlessness for four or five heroes to get rooted so I'm not going to include it
Difficulty: 7/10

Leo's Lion's Might becomes Lion's Fury when he uses it near an enemy, and if he catches all of you, you might as well just write your will, because the entire enemy team WILL jump onto all of you and very likely kill you. Fortunately, it is quite easy to block as there is ample time to block when he knocks you in a direction before stunning you, so if there is a Leo on the enemy team, remember to save it for his ult!

Priority: 9/10
Difficulty: 3/10

On a side note, Leo's Jet Cyclone does have the ability to root if he uses it alongside Lion's Might, so watch out when his blade is glowing and when he charges up, block accordingly. However most of the time they will opt to use Lion's Fury, this is just something to be aware of.

Priority: 4/10
Difficulty: 4/10

Lorelai's Fish Food is pretty much Joule's Rocket Leap except it doesn't slow around the edges. As a result, it is usually pretty easy to dodge, but an empowered Fish Food has an almost instantaneous stun, making it far more dangerous. Furthermore, there is absolutely no warning for an empowered Fish Food, so there is no point trying to predict it. A normal Fish Food is not very threatening and easily avoidable, but in some cases (say, a chokepoint) you won't have the opportunity to avoid it if you're running, so you NEED to block it (which isn't too hard).

Priority: 7/10
Difficulty: 3/10

Lyra has no hard CC ability, only a dash blocker in the form of Bright Bulwark, as well as a slight slow, meaning that she has no ability that can or should be blocked with Crucible

If you are affected by Magnus's heroic perk Arcane Rite, beware as his Chrono Driver can stun with a single hit. Otherwise, you shouldn't get stunned by Chrono Driver, because even though it moves quite quickly, it's rather ridiculous to stay in the same place for more than half a second. Chrono Driver can pose a serious threat if more than one hero is stunned because of Seraphic Flare, so to block it, the second you see the golden disc leave Magnus, you have to block with Crucible if at least two teammates affected with Arcane Rite are in the path.

Priority: 1/10 for one hero, 5/10 for two heroes
Difficulty: 6/10

Although Malene possesses five abilities, only her Light A, Light Ribbons, is a CC ability, and it roots the first enemy hit. In other words, the only time you should ever block it is when your squishiest hero (usually the laner) is about to get rooted, but in all honesty you should've been there to body block for them. To block it, the second you see the white ball emerge from Malene you have to activate Crucible.

Priority: 2/10
Difficulty: 3/10

If there was an award for "Most Obvious Ability", Bangarang would take the gold medal by a whole mile. If the sound warning wasn't enough, Ozo's ult also warns the player who is getting stunned with a massive symbol above their head. You can even block the second you see him start to roll towards you or your teammate, as Ozo has a maximum travel duration of 1 second, and Crucible blocks for 1.5s. However, it must be blocked, as it almost always guarantees the death of the hero being targeted.

Priority: 8/10
Difficulty: 1/10

Nothing you should block for her, unless you or a teammate is really low on health, and one of those munions on fire wander over for Spontaneous Combustion.

Two CC abilities to watch out for here; Quibble when overdriven has the ability to stun, but is rather hard to land due to Phinn's incredibly slow movespeed, as well as Forced Accord, the far more dangerous ability, as it reduces your laner's kiting range to exactly zero, and the Quibble that almost always follows will stun everyone caught by Forced Accord, which is more often than not the entire team, meaning it's best to block the Forced Accord in the first place, but if you can't, blocking the following Quibble is crucial. Forced Accord is quite difficult to block, as you only have the split second when you see Phinn start to throw out his anchor, so if you can't Crucible in time, you should still use it to block the Quibble that is coming.

Forced Accord and Quibble Combo Priority: 9/10
Difficulty: Forced Accord 9/10, following Quibble 1/10

With two CC abilities to make up for his (complete) lack of mobility, both abilities are relatively harmless when used separately, but devastating when used in tandem. Chill Winds roots all enemies around Reim, while Valkyrie stuns those in the centre and slows all of those around the area of effect. In other words, if you get rooted then stunned by Reim, you are pretty much dead. Blocking Chill Winds is the more important, as Valkyrie is easy to dodge if you aren't immobilised. It has been made considerably harder as Reim no longer has to hit the hero before being able to root them, but as long as you and your teammates are able to keep your distance from Reim, the threat of Chill Winds is not present. However, when you see a Reim rushing towards you with his boots on, instantly Crucible as that is a sure sign he is about to use Chill Winds + Valkyrie. To block Valkyrie, the second you see the large iceberg appear above your head, you need to Crucible.

Priority (combo): 8/10
Difficulty: Chill Winds 5/10, Valkyrie 2/10

Nothing you should block for him (although you should be body-blocking his Scorcher), unless you or a teammate is really low on health.

Nothing you should block for him, unless you or a teammate is really low on health, and you see the orange circle around them indicating Spiked Brew, and Crucible reduces the brunt of the damage (which is the burn that follows).

Nothing you should block for her, unless you or a teammate is really low on health, and she closes the distance with Into the Fray, which is often followed by Foesplitter to finish off a low health enemy.

Oblivion affects quite a large area, and although it's not as dangerous as, say, Blast Tremor or Trespass, it can still prevent you, the support, from using your active items while your teammates are killed, so it's another must-block ability. Fortunately, there is quite a long warning, so even if you aren't able to dodge the sleep, you can still avoid it with ease. However, if for some reason you can't escape the cloud, the second you see the large skull appear above your head, use Crucible to prevent you or your teammates being put to sleep.

Priority: 6/10
Difficulty: 2/10

Honestly, if you use your brain you'll know that it's a rather bad idea to attack San Feng when he is meditating with Tiger's Bridge. One, he gains fortified health, so your attack won't damage him. Two, he instantly gets to attack. Three, his attack stuns as well. But sometimes it's unavoidable, so you have to block WHILE he is meditating if you really want to block it, but his damage isn't as high as the assassins, so you should be able to peel him off no problem. In other words, this is not really a priority to block, especially as his ult...

Priority: 3/10
Difficulty: 2/10

Speaking of which, San Feng's ult, Master's Lesson, must be blocked if you can't stun him out of it. He deals some pretty good damage, stuns, AND sends all enemies around him flying! #newheroisalwaysbroken Fortunately, blocking it isn't the hardest thing in the world, as it's pretty obvious when he is about to use it. I mean, a hexagonal area with candles that light up. Surely that's warning enough?

Priority: 10/10
Difficulty: 2/10

Damage, damage, and more damage means there is no space in SAW's kit for any CC, so unless you or a teammate is really low and you see him pull out his knife for Roadie Run, Crucible should not be used for him.

Silvernail is a bit of an enigma, as his Stake technically does silence, but that requires you to walk through it, so it's usually a better idea to go around the tripwire, maybe?? That leaves his Rebuke. Imagine it as an opposite of Forced Accord, except in the opposite direction, and that it stuns if you hit a tripwire, structure, or wall. This is usually used to peel the jungler off of Silvernail, so this could become the difference between a lost or won teamfight. The biggest giveaway is when Silvernail seemingly places an innocuous tripwire behind your team, so that your entire team gets stunned when he uses Rebuke. Immediately Crucible to block the impending Rebuke. However, he might not do this if there is a wall nearby, and in that case there is no warning for Silvernail's ult, so you have to close the distance as the support and hope to bait out his Rebuke.

Priority: 7/10
Difficulty: 7/10

Nothing you can or should block for (it?), unless you or a teammate is really low on health. For the record, I always see people block Dragon Breath when they are on full health. Please just play a support that has a stun when facing a Skaarf, you should never be using Crucible just to block damage unless you are nearly dead.

Although the stun time from Death From Above is relatively short, the damage that Skye can do in that period of time is incalculable. Fortunately there is a clear warning where her missiles will land, but sometimes you just cannot avoid stepping into them, so use Crucible before walking through them to avoid being melted in about two seconds.

Priority: 4/10
Difficulty: 1/10

Nothing you can or should block for him, although if you or a teammate is really low it is difficult, but not impossible, to predict X-Retsu. After he uses Kaku, wait one second before using Crucible, as he will usually attack within that timeframe if he tries to finish off you or your teammate.

All three of his abilities involve some sort of CC, but only the third punch from Jawbreaker and Bada Boom are worth blocking, as Trash talk's taunt duration is too short to be worth blocking, especially for ranged heroes. Jawbreaker's third strike, although it only stuns one hero, can allow the rest of Tony's team to inflict heavy damage upon the hero stunned. It's quite easy to see coming though, as the first two hits are a clear warning for the third strike.

Priority: 3/10
Difficulty: 2/10

Bada Boom threatens the support more than either the jungler or the laner, as the effective range of both Crucible and Fountain of Renewal has a slightly short range, and Bada Boom's main purpose is to remove the support from the fight (which usually guarantees a lost teamfight). Fortunately, the difficulty of blocking it is rather low, as a large circle appears, as well as Tony requiring around half a second to reach the affected area (depending on the distance).

Priority: 7/10
Difficulty: 4/10

Nothing you should block for her, unless you or a teammate is really low on health and you see her charging up Arc Recursion.

Yes, yes, he does have a CC ability in the form of his Wait for It, but unless you decide to stand still after the initial warning burst, you really shouldn't get silenced. Unless you or a teammate is really low, there is no point in blocking any of Vox's abilities just to negate damage.

For the first time in ages, they've released a hero who isn't completely broken. In fact, he's extremely underpowered. Off the top of my head, I can only remember two that no one touched until their respective buffs; Reza and Inara. Similarly, I don't think anyone will be banning or picking Warhawk because he is abysmally weak. However, I'm not here to talk about the strength of heroes so let's get to the point. [{Vacuum Grenade]] is Warhawk's only CC ability and is quite detrimental if you get caught in the blast, both pulling you into the centre as well as stunning you. First rule of thumb: don't step in there! If you must though, for example to catch him, remember to block as you move in to avoid becoming a sitting duck for around 1.5 seconds.

Priority: 3/10
Difficulty: 1/10

With two CC abilities in his kit, there is a reason Yates is often picked as the support. His Wolf's Maw is like a miniature version of Phinn's Forced Accord, but it only pulls one hero (and seems to have a far larger hitbox than visually). The extreme range of this ability, as well as its capability to pass through walls, means that it is a must-block ability, as the hero who was pulled, especially the laner, is often always dead after being pulled. At higher ranks the telltale sign a Wolf's Maw is about to be used is when Yates seemingly uses Overwhelm for no reason, as this means that he will stun the hero he pulls as well. However, sometimes there is no warning, so ready your War Treads to save the hero who was pulled. Furthermore, you should be body-blocking Wolf's Maw for your teammates as the support.

Priority: 8/10
Difficulty: 7/10

Imagine Overwhelm to be a combination of Grace's Holy Nova and Flicker's Fairy Dust, except that Yates increases his own movespeed instead of slowing enemies', and doesn't have to stand still while using it. Simply put, it's a highly threatening AOE stun which has the potential to stun your entire team. Thus, it is very important to block, especially if more than one hero is inside the affected area. Like most area CC abilities, Overwhelm is quite easy to block with Crucible as you can see Yates being surrounded by a large red circle (the stun range). Use Crucible a short time after you see the red circle appear though, as if you use it immediately, you might not be able to block the stun from Overwhelm.

Priority: 7/10
Difficulty: 2/10

Binding Mine will not be included, since you should always be using Flare Gun and placing Scout Trap everywhere you go, so her mines should be very easy to spot, and you should be the one to break them without touching them. On the other hand, Charge Shot, when at full charge, has the ability to stun, and in tandem with Crimson Fang can easily burst down a squishy hero. However it is quite easy to block, as you can clearly see her charging it up, as well as Ylva being slowed by it. When you see her finish charging her weapon, block it if any of your teammates are extremely squishy and within range of it, or try to bait it out by moving into her attack range.

Priority: 4/10
Difficulty: 3/10

(1.4) Other items Top

Note: I like building my supports aggressively, so most of the time I build an offensive item after I finish War Treads, Fountain of Renewal and Crucible (apart from Phinn and Churnwalker), hence the builds above. However, if you are behind in the game, I would recommend going for more defensive items.

War Treads is the only other item all supports must build alongside Fountain of Renewal and Crucible. It gives the whole team a speed boost, useful for both escaping and chasing fleeing enemies.

Capacitor Plate is an item that is rarely bought by some supports, such as Fortress, Catherine, or Churnwalker, but is a compulsory part of the kit for others, such as Ardan, Lyra, and Adagio. This is due to its passive, which causes all heals and barrier to become 15% stronger, as well as granting allied heroes bonus movespeed for two seconds. In other words, if a support utilises barriers or heals, this is a must-buy; otherwise, you COULD still buy it as it synergises with Fountain of Renewal, Rook's Decree and Crucible and it is almost universally good, but depending on the situation another item might be better.

Rook's Decree is a key item for most supports with short cooldowns on their abilities, as it provides all teammates with a barrier of 150 health plus 15% of the bonus health of the support when they basic attack after using an ability. Heroes that should build this include Lance, Grace, and Ardan, as one of their abilities ( Combat Roll, Benediction and Blood for Blood respectively) involve a basic attack, which automatically procs Rook's Decree.

Atlas Pauldron is a very important item for countering high-damaging heroes that rely on attack speed, such as Krul, Ringo, and SAW. It lowers all enemy heroes' attack speed in the affected range by a whopping 65% for four seconds, more than enough time to finish a teamfight. If the enemy has a very threatening hero that relies on attack speed, you could even consider building this before Crucible to nullify their threat. However, to use this item you need to get close to the hero you want to debuff before using Atlas Pauldron, so ranged support heroes like Adagio and Lorelai should recommend their jungler to buy Atlas Pauldron instead, as they rarely get a chance to move near the attack speed reliant hero. Lyra is the sole exception here, as her Arcane Passage allows her to close the distance with ease, and an immediate use of Atlas Pauldron almost guarantees the debuff, short of it being blocked by Reflex Block.

Pulseweave is a common pick for support heroes with a slow movespeed or a weak engage, as it allows a far stronger engage than normally possible by slowing the enemy heroes, and give a 10% bonus movespeed. However, the downside to this is the inability to "bait" enemy heroes to follow you, as Pulseweave becomes a dead weight after its passive is triggered with one hit from an enemy hero, which makes it easy for the enemy support to break the Pulseweave and disappear back into the jungle. Heroes that should include this item are Phinn, Flicker, and Churnwalker.

/ Vision is probably the most important aspect of the game when it reaches the 20-minute mark, as one teamfight can decide the game at that point, due to both teams having full build no matter how the mid- and early- game went. However, its importance is less significant in the early to mid game, especially if your team is winning. At this point a Flare Gun will suffice, as you rarely venture into the enemy jungle and they rarely venture into yours, but a Scout Trap/Ward provides permanent vision, which is more important late game, and the extra cooldown speed doesn't hurt either. This item is a must-build if the enemy team includes any of Taka, Kestrel, and especially Flicker, but otherwise a more offensive/defensive item will fare better in the early-mid game.

Stormcrown is the primary item to boost damage for supports, as well as some cooldown reduction, but due to the patch change, it focuses on burst rather than sustain, meaning is effectiveness is reduced significantly and most supports looking to do more damage would be better off with items like Aftershock, and, in some cases, Alternating Current. Stormcrown is most commonly used on Catherine, Ardan, and Fortress at lower tiers, but should only ever be built after all the core items and never as a first item (please, it costs more than Fountain of Renewal and only helps yourself)...

Speaking of Aftershock, it is the go-to item for supports that want to deal some damage, and synergises very well with Rook's Decree, as both effects are applied after using and ability and basic attacking. I usually build it on my support after Fountain of Renewal, Crucible, and War Treads if we are winning, or one more defensive item if we are losing. However, this doesn't apply to all heroes, notably Lyra and Lorelai, as both have crystal power scaling on their attacks (as well as a slow on Lyra's), so they are better suited to Alternating Current. However, it is a core part of Catherine, Ardan, and Fortress, as they deal nearly no damage without Aftershock, and with it they can sometimes win a fight against a low-health hero.

I will talk about all three items in tandem, as they all have only three heroes that they are suited for, Adagio, Lorelai, and Lyra. Notice anything in common? That's right, they're all ranged. None of these fit into the classic "support", but they have their own advantages to make up for that. Primary among them is their ability to deal damage; all three have some sort of scaling on their basic attack (in Adagio's case, Agent of Wrath), and abilities that are more powerful than the other supports, most notably healing. Due to having stronger abilities, some cooldown reduction always helps, and that is where Clockwork comes in, as it offers 35% cooldown reduction, as well as reducing all abilities' cooldown by 10% every time you hit an enemy with an ability. Alternating Current makes both Lorelai's and Adagio's basic attacks deal far more damage, and procs Lyra's Principle Arcanum slow more often. Dragon's Eye further enhances the damage potential for these heroes, but should usually only be built as your last item unless your team is very close to winning and you want that extra damage, as, after all, you are a support, and should focus on the team's needs more than your own.

Finally, when it extends into the very late game and you have nothing to do with your money, Crystal Infusion is almost always the way to go, as it offers cooldown reduction alongside some crystal power, and this is more useful for all the supports except for Yates, as his damage scales on weapon power.

(1.6) Vision Top


Disclaimer: This is not my own, I borrowed it off of reddit. If the original owner would like me to take it off please message me or leave a comment, I will take it off immediately.

So while I did say that Contraption is a late game buy, there are some games that extend to that point, and Vainglory tips probably puts it better than me: "Vision becomes crucial in the late game, as most of the map becomes unsafe to wander in". Thus it is crucial that you know where to put the scout traps to provide vision rather than damage, as at this point the scout traps can easily be dodged and are far better served as vision.

Also, if you don't have vision on a bush past 17 minutes, Flare them every time before you go in, you never know what's in there are waiting for you in there!

Vital


This kind of explains itself; it's the first place you should put the scout traps in, and are extremely important to the welfare of the team. These ones should ideally be placed early in the game by buying Scout Traps.

The first one is in the far left of the triangle bush near your base (try to figure out which one, it really isn't that hard). This one is placed in the far left so that enemies don't accidentally pop it while rotating up to lane, and provides useful vision in a bush which is often used to either capture Kraken or ambush your team.

The second one is at the far left of the bottom lane bush near your base for the same reason, and this one protects your laner from those pesky assassins (especially Koshka) and that blasted Afterburn if you aren't there to protect your laner.

The third one is (again) at the far left of the "adrenal" bush... doesn't it look like an adrenal gland in 2D? This one is used to check when enemies are trying to sneak into your jungle to invade, or when they are trying to steal the two little bears in the nearby camp.

The final one is to be placed on top of the Gold Mine/Kraken spawn. They are the most important objective in the game (apart from destroying the Vain Crystal of course), and placing them right on top of the objective almost guarantees it won't get popped accidentally, as all heroes have range.

Visibility


These ones are slightly less important than the vital ones, but they do give you useful information, and you should place these the second you get Contraption and a couple before with Scout Trap. The most notable difference is that these are in the enemy half rather than your own. Personally, I would classify the one next to your Jungle Sentry as situational as well, as very rarely do enemies push that far into your jungle unless they are in a teamfight.

Once again, we'll start off with the green mine in the triangle bush, and once again, it is placed in the left side of the bush. This is because during the early to middle game, most heroes only pass through the triangle bush to get to the shop, which means that it will not be accidentally triggered.

Another one resides in the enemy bottom lane bush, and this is used to watch over the jungler moving up to lane to gank, and is once again placed to the far left of the bush to minimise the chance of it being triggered, but this one is probably the one that has the highest probability of being triggered, so prepare a few spares if you are up at lane protecting the laner.

The Scout Trap in the right adrenal bush is the only one that should be placed on the far right of a bush, as most people (including me) move to the shop from the top road rather than the bottom, so it will rarely be triggered. It provides important information about the enemies when they are shopping, which provides a good opportunity to ambush them.

The fourth visibility Scout Trap lies right on top of the healing treant in the enemy jungle that is further from their base, and this one has the potential to last the entire game without being popped. This is because there is absolutely no reason to walk over the place where it is, whether in a teamfight or just normal farming. Thus, it can provide valuable information on where the enemy team is going.

The final Scout Trap sits on the intersection between the middle and bottom paths through the jungle. This one is slightly easier to find than the one before, but it provides an earlier notification of when the enemies are moving through their jungle so an ambush can be set.

Situational and Offensive


These Scout Traps should in general only be placed when it is on your path, and you should never go out of your way to place these, as having at least one charge (preferably two) in your Contraption for a Flare is crucial.

(1.7) Introduction to the supports Top

The support role is well-defined in Vainglory: a hero that is able to protect teammates from damage and lead the team to victory. Not all heroes are well-equipped for this role though, and you certainly wouldn't expect to see a Koshka, Ringo, or Baron as a support. Some support heroes can play as other roles though, including Lyra, Grace, and Fortress. However, we will focus on the support area of these heroes only.

The support roster consists of, in alphabetical order: Adagio, Ardan, Catherine, Churnwalker, Flicker, Fortress, Grace, Lance, Lorelai, Lyra, Phinn, and Yates. I will give a quick overview of each hero.

An angel who thinks that floating around in the air is way cooler than walking on the ground ("Walking is so mundane"), but sacrificing quite a bit of movement speed in the process, Adagio is one of three heroes that has a teammate-healing ability, and one of the two before level 6. He carries a heal, a damage buff, and an aoe/stun. Adagio is the only hero that can buff the attack damage of his teammates, making him good for many weapon damage carries. While having a powerful ultimate that can deal decent damage and stun at the same time, it requires Adagio to cast Gift of Fire on himself, and it would take a very inept support to be unable to block it.

A grieving father who only lives to protect his children (idk why tbh, Celeste seems alright but Vox? ("Did you know that if you yell into a minions mouth that it echoes?") Nah...), Ardan is one of the most versatile supports in the game. His toolkit includes a barrier/slow, a distance closer, and a stun/space limiter. The ability to provide a sizeable barrier as well as limit the enemy team to a specific area is what makes him such a powerful support, although less so after the nerfs.

A both physically and mentally strong woman who kills her best friend to spare her a a worse fate (anyone read "Of Mice and Of Men"?). The master of CC, her stuns and silences can decide a teamfight on their own, and her heroic perk means she grows stronger as the games go longer, making up for her extremely weak early game. She really packs a punch in terms of CC, carrying a stun/movespeed increase, an invulnerable/reflect damage, as well as an aoe silence. Catherine's Stormguard reflects any and all damage above 7.5% of her base maximum health, rendering burst tactics useless. However, she lacks the ability to heal/give barriers to teammates, which is the only downfall of this otherwise extremely useful hero.

The bane of all invisible heroes, as well as any heroes that have no dash abilities. Churnwalker is centred around his Hook & Chain, and you can't even USE his other two abilities without it (a pull and a stun). For the first of many times in this guide: if played well, he is unbeatable; but if played badly, he is what Petal is in ranked: Useless. This is because he requires pitch-perfect coordination with his team to be at his best, or communication with them.

This little rabbit fairy is the definition of the word "annoying", this stemming from his perk Willow Whisper which gives him invisibility and true vision when he stays in a bush for 2 seconds. His abilities include a root, a slow, and team-wide invisibility. Incredibly powerful in the early game, anyone caught in his Fairy Dust is dead meat. His Mooncloak also allows for surprise attacks as well as backdoor strategies, but the enemy support has not know what they're doing to fail to build a Contraption/ SuperScout 2000 to counter Flicker.

A savage pup that was once a permaban hero back in the day when 5v5 first came out, he is now a very niche pick and played more often as a jungler than a support. His package contains an initiator, a slow/reduce healing, and a Flare Gun (just kidding, it's pretty useful in teamfights). He plays the role of the most aggressive support with only Grace being able to compare to him, and his built-in mortal wound on his Law of the Claw can help to take down tanky self-sustain heroes such as Krul in a trice.

The light shines upon this holy lady, and will do so on you should you receive her massive heal. She comes with an initiator/slow, a stun, and a massive heal. In the early to mid game, Grace's Divine Intervention can easily decide a team fight, as well as her Benediction if used correctly, and if her Holy Nova lands on more than one hero, her team has a significantly increased chance of winning the fight. When overdriven, it also becomes a Reflex Block for her!

This soldier has such a massive sword he has range! How cool is that? On a serious note, while Lance is good while played well, with a root, a stun, and a dash, he is not versatile at all. His Gythian Wall is very strong against heroes that have massive burst damage, but extremely weak against those that deal sustain. Oh, and if he overdrives it, it becomes a directional Crucible! He also has the highest mobility of any support with his Combat Roll (which can go through walls).

Piranhas coming from the ground? I sense something FISHY there! She provides a speed boost, a stun, as well as a sizeable barrier, making her sound like a great pick. Although slightly skill-reliant and harder than the average support, she can fit into many team comps. Just remember that to get the most out of her abilities you should always be standing in a pool when you use them, especially her Waterwall.

This brilliant mage is good at pretty much anything she does. I would say that Gythian schools are good, but there's Lance. That Combat Roll is absolutely appalling. Her heal is THE strongest in the game (that isn't an ult, Grace, chill out), plus it gives a move speed boost, her Bright Bulwark acts as a mini Gauntlet, and she can move any hero the furthest distance in the game! She also comes with a built-in slow on her basic attack (which also deals half decent damage with just an Alternating Current) as long as you build health! What's not to love about her?

He might look dumb, but don't let that fool you, getting pulled and then stunned has finished many teamfights. The meat shield of Vainglory has a heroic perk turning all movement-impairing abilities into slows, and all stuns into silences, AND gains an 18% on ALL defensive stats! His package includes a slow that when overdriven becomes a stun, an AOE effect that barely does damage but grants a barrier, and pulling any enemy heroes inside the affected range right in front of him.

"What kind of a name is Yates, anyway? ~ Inara" Don't ask me either, but then again, have you ever met anyone named Inara? Yates possesses one of the strongest abilities in the game in the form of his Wolf's Maw, arguably stronger than even Glaive's Afterburn, and when comboed with his Overwhelm becomes one of the strongest combos in the air. He also comes flying in from the air to save any teammates in trouble!

(1.8) Types of supports Top

The supports can generally be sorted into three categories, and Churnwalker by himself: jack of all trades, friendly buff, and enemy counter.

Jack of all trades



Definition: A jack of all trades is a support that works well in (almost) any situation, and usually the first pick on either side, as they are the most sought after hero. The common qualities that all three share are that they are hard to counter, and generally have easy but extremely useful abilities that benefit the team.

The first of three jack of all trades, Ardan is the most picked support, in fact, the most picked hero according to www.vgpro.gg, at 56%. This is due to his very easy to use abilities, high health, ability to offer allies both a barrier and a movespeed boost, the extreme usefulness of his Gauntlet which restricts enemies to a region or risk being stunned, and his Julia's Gift perk allowing him to heal when taking damage, meaning he makes a very good tank for supports. His primary weakness comes from enemies having good coordination to escape his Gauntlet, which leaves him with only his Vanguard to help teammates, and his lackluster ability in the form of Blood for Blood as a support, although some decent damage can be deal with an Aftershock.

Difficulty: 2/5

The only ranged support that is a jack of all trades, Lyra's extreme usefulness stems from her ability to heal, increase the movespeed of allies, offer consistent slows (as well as damage), block dashes and close the distance with relative ease. Her healing potential is only eclipsed by Grace's Divine Intervention, which is not instant or gives a movespeed boost. The defining quality of Lyra is that she is the only support which is sometimes targeted first, which speaks volumes, considering that most of the time, the laner is prioritised, as her versatility is so high. However, she is not without her weaknesses, which lie in being one of the squishiest supports, as well as having no hard CC ability, making her teammates susceptible to strong ults like that of Skaarf, Joule, and Adagio (she can escape easily with the use of Arcane Passage).

Difficulty: 2.5/5

The final jack of all trades, but only due to his ability to both counter enemies and buff teammates. He is relatively difficult to play for a support, and is not always a good pick. I will give my opinion on that in the tierlists. Yates has an extremely powerful kit, but only if you can use him properly. His Wolf's Maw is extremely powerful and spells the death of any non-support hero who is unfortunate enough to be caught in it, his Overwhelm combines Grace's Holy Nova and Flicker's Fairy Dust to become a very powerful AOE stun ability, and although his Iron Mandate is rarely useful late game, in early to mid game it can have a huge impact on 1v1s in either jungle or lane. His weakness stems from being rather difficult to use due to being centred around his Wolf's Maw, and his lack of an ability to provide a movespeed boost or a barrier/heal.

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Friendly Buff


Definition: These supports strive to make life easier for their teammates with their abilities, be it buffing their damage, reducing their damage taken, or increasing the friendly hero's movespeed. Often the last pick on a team, these heroes are those that work well with their team picks to strengthen them. In general, they are the easiest-to-play, point-and-click heroes that people play to synergise and not to counter. The downside? They are easy to counter and, for the most part, are the part of the weaker half of the supports.

The first name on the friendly buff pick should come as zero surprise, considering two of his abilities are casted on allies. He increases the damage of all his allies, as well as giving them a burst heal. He works well alongside weapon power heroes, as well as high-health heroes who are unable to heal themselves. His weakness lies in his ult, which is difficult to use effectively as he is easily interrupted while channelling, as well as the enemies having to be burning for it to really have an effect, as well as the usual weaknesses of ranged supports of being squishy. The main reason that he is so rarely seen is that Lyra pretty much outclasses him in every way apart from the burst heal and the stun capability of Verse of Judgement.

Difficulty: 1.5/5

Another friendly buff support who makes life easier for his teammates, Flicker possesses a very difficult to hit root, an extremely powerful slow, and provides team-wide invisibility with his ult. His ability to slow the enemies down to help teammates catch up is on par with Lorelai, and he is by far the strongest support during the early game. Flicker works best alongside slow but powerful heroes, as he reduces his enemies' movespeed to nil with Fairy Dust, and gives his teammates a massive speedboost with Mooncloak. However, his primary weakness comes when late game arrives, as at this point scout traps are everywhere, rendering his invisibility useless, and when he uses Fairy Dust, the enemies no longer have to run, but just attack him. He also hates being engaged upon, so with the addition of wards to the game, his presence (or lack thereof as it seems) has waned significantly.

Difficulty: 2/5

When you see his name, you would imagine that he's some sort of massive tank. He's not. He's just a little puppy dog... that is, until he marks you with Truth of the Tooth and his teammates come out of nowhere with increased movespeed. Fortress requires a teammate alongside him to achieve his full potential, as his perk, Packmates is activated alongside a teammate, while the slow from Law of the Claw can only be activated by him and his teammates attacking the same teammate. Simply put, he needs to mark the most dangerous enemy hero, and all of his teammates need to target them. Furthermore, his Attack of the Pack allows him to pinpoint enemy location, as well as give him fortified health. Fortress he works best alongside bursty heroes to take down a single target. His primary weakness lies in all of his abilities being offensive rather than defensive, meaning that he is unable to give teammates barriers, and that he has no CC abilities at all.

Difficulty: 1.5/5

The last of the friendly buff heroes, Grace has both offensive and defensive capabilities, as her Holy Shield reduces incoming damage by 40%. As a result, her Benediction is a great distance closer, and her Holy Nova combined with her boots makes for a powerful AOE stun. Her Divine Intervention offers a massive heal as well as a Holy Shield to the teammate that receives the heal, making her a powerful all-round hero, who works best with tanky heroes who are unable to heal, as well as allow slower heroes to catch up. Her weakness (and subsequent loss of popularity) comes from her susceptibility to being interrupted when using Divine Intervention and her weak lategame.

Difficulty: 1.5/5

Enemy counter


Definition: An enemy counter support is pretty much the opposite of the friendly buff support; they are the heroes that respond to the enemy team composition to choose their support hero. Almost always the last pick on the team, these supports are extremely good in some situations but a dead weight in others. In general, they are more difficult to play than most of the jack of all trade supports bar Yates, and all of the friendly buff supports, but comes with the reward of being able to stop the enemy heroes from doing their job properly.

The only one of the four enemy counter supports who has a difficulty rating below 3, Catherine specialises in shutting enemies that require channeling to unleash a powerful ability down. Her super-strong Merciless Pursuit allows her to stun at will, as well as counter to burst damage in the form of Stormguard make her a massive threat to all assassins, and her Blast Tremor cripples most ability reliant enemies. However, she is extremely weak to low-damage but high number of hits per second damage, such as Forward Barrage and Munions, and has no barrier/heal for her teammates.

Difficulty: 2.5/5

The master of disruption, Lance can potentially root all three/five enemies, stun them, and close the distance with ease, as well as reducing his damage taken significantly. He is strongest against heroes which rely on movement, and burst damage heroes, as his Gythian Wall can potentially stun all three/five enemies. All this means that he should be on the frontline protecting his teammates, and can be a real menace should he land his Impale. On the other hand, there is a massive penalty for failing to land Impale, as there is a long cooldown during which time enemies can avoid Lance and attack his teammates. Lance's biggest weakness is being caught on his own, as while he can escape with ease, he has no movespeed increase to provide his teammates with or any barrier/heal to provide his teammates with. This combined with his relative lack of damage make him more of a situational pick that is rarely seen in ranked in the current meta.

Difficulty: 3/5

Lorelai was originally scoffed at, but has started to come into her own recently and I was tempted to place her into the jack of all trades category, but the fact remains that some heroes can counter her (more on this later). She has quite a powerful kit, incorporating an AOE stun with an ability that slows enemies AND speeds teammates up, AND she can stand on them after to empower her abilities! Oh and of course she can also provide a massive shield for her teammates if that isn't enough. However, her role as a enemy countering support comes from her ability to slow and then stun any enemy foolish enough to walk through her pools. Her weakness is that she is quite squishy for a support due to being ranged, and that some heroes with strong movement abilities can mitigate her carefully placed pools.

Difficulty: 3/5

Phinn represents the tankiest support in the entire game, and his combination of Forced Accord plus overdriven Quibble is one of the most dangerous in the game. Quibble is an area damage version of Merciless Pursuit, at the cost of the movement speed and a slight delay before it lands, Polite Company gives teammates a sizeable barrier and pulling enemies closer to him, and Forced Accord reduces the range of all enemies to literally zero, stopping all kiters. If the enemy team consists of all ranged heroes, one Forced Accord can win a teamfight by itself! However, Phinn is not without his own weaknesses, as he is very vulnerable when caught alone due to his extremely slow movement speed, and a Phinn who cannot land his Forced Accord will never be able to land any of his abilities come late game.

Difficulty: 3/5

Don't play unless you can land your hooks CONSISTENTLY (for the first of many times)



Churnwalker is a bit of an enigma: He fits into none of the categories, and requires extreme skill to reach his full potential. Not even I can play him at his skill ceiling, that is, landing all three/five hooks within two/three seconds and spreading the damage across them from your teammates. He incorporates a slow, pull, and a stun, all with potentially all three/five targets! Landing three/five hooks in succession and pulling all of them in with Torment, and then stunning them with Trespass almost guarantees a won teamfight if your teammates are there to help. Churnwalker is probably the hero which shows the skill level of the support the most clearly. A skilled Churnwalker can arguably be the best support out of them all. However, a bad Churnwalker is even worse than a bad Phinn. This is due to his abilities being centred around his Hook & Chain, which requires a decently skilled player to hit due to the travel time, and his Torment possibly causing teammates' skillshots to completely miss their target, thus requiring excellent communication between teammates to be really effective. As such, in soloq I would advise to avoid Churnwalker due to his extremely high skill cap and difficulty to coordinate with teammates, but if you believe yourself to be an adept Churnwalker player even without communication, you are nigh unbeatable as a support.

Difficulty: 4.5/5

(1.9) Strong teammates, counters for each support, heroes they counter Top

Each support has teammates they work well with, as well as counters to their abilities. This is a massive part of the game not apparent in the earlier tiers, when draft is not yet available and auto-lock is a thing. You will notice a general trend here: the jack of all trades supports tend to work well with any team and have very few counters, while the friendly buff supports are stronger with some specific heroes, and the enemy counter supports tend to prioritise countering the enemies without much regard for the teammates' picks.

As a friendly buff support, his main job is to heal and buff the damage of his teammates. As a result, the hero that he works the best with is naturally SAW, as SAW is susceptible to taking high amounts of damage due to his low mobility, but deals heavy damage when at full stacks of Spin Up due to his insanely fast attack speed, meaning he can utilise Adagio's Agent of Wrath to its full potential. Furthermore, as SAW uses Suppressing Fire, Adagio can use Verse of Judgement as all the enemies are slowed already, meaning he can heal SAW instead.

Adagio's biggest counter is Rona, as her Foesplitter causes Mortal Wounds on her target, reducing their healing by 33%, and he has no movement ability to escape from her Red Mist apart from his boots, so once they are depleted Adagio can only wait for death.

Due to Adagio being a friendly buff support, he does not really counter any heroes (I couldn't think of one either), if you have any ideas please comment!

As a jack fo all trades, Ardan can work well with almost any hero, but the one that stands out particularly is Skaarf. As long as his Dragon Breath is not stunned and Ardan manages to trap all three/five enemies inside his Gauntlet, all three/five enemies will be dead, or at the very least reduced to around a third of their health, meaning the jungler can easily jump in to clean up.

It seems fitting that one of the few heroes to counter Ardan should be another jack of all trades in the form of Lyra. With her Arcane Passage, all three/five enemies can escape Ardan's most dangerous ability, Gauntlet, leaving them to gain a favourable position (especially now that the teleport range has been increased). Ardan without his Gauntlet means he can only provide his teammate with the barrier from Vanguard, while Lyra can both heal with Imperial Sigil and block dashes with Bright Bulwark.

The Queen of Mobility might not be so mobile inside Gauntlet, will she? Skye relies on her mobility to deal most of her damage, and sometimes you might feel that no one can hit her. However, with a Gauntlet around her, she is more likely to Suri Strike into one of the walls instead, allowing your teammates to close the distance with no issue and kill this pesky hero.

As Catherine is a enemy counter support, she doesn't really work particularly well with any heroes, but Joule has one of the strongest combinations with Catherine, especially CP Joule as when the enemy is stunned by Merciless Pursuit, Joule can immediately activate Big Red Button to melt the enemy, as well as land her Rocket Leap with far more ease.

Heroes that deal little bits of damage in many seperate bursts are the key to counter Catherine, and Skye is the epitome of that with her Forward Barrage, especially CP Skye, as once Catherine uses her Merciless Pursuit she will be unable to avoid Death From Above, as well as Suri Strike being able to clear the range of Blast Tremor with relative ease.

There are many heroes that Catherine can counter, and the one that especially comes to mind is Skaarf. Catherine possesses the only stun in the game that is not a skillshot in the form of Merciless Pursuit, meaning that whenever Skaarf tries to use Dragon Breath, she can instantly stop him from doing so, and removing Skaarf's ult means he loses his main source of damage, tilting the teamfight in your favour

With his super-strong CC (when played correctly) as well as his healing when chained enemies take damage, Churnwalker is a natural fit for Vox, most notably CP Vox, as Churnwalker's perk, Futility of Life, allows him to transfer damage to other enemies, as well as heal himself for the damage dealt. As CP Vox deals massive damage to all enemies affected by Resonance, Churnwalker is able to both increase this damage as well as heal himself.

Naturally, heroes with abilities that can shake off Churnwalker's hooks have an advantage against him, and while Gwen is very strong against Churnwalker, the sustain of Idris make him the prime counter to Churnwalker, as he can just Shimmer Strike, whether it be into an enemy or a teammate, and once Idris is able to build a Breaking Point, Churnwalker poses absolutely no threat to him as Churnwalker has no movement abilities of his own, so Idris can easily kill Churnwalker with his extremely high mobility.

Before, I said that Churnwalker was the bane of all invisible heroes. This is due to Churnwalker dealing damage to everyone on his chains, meaning that the invisible hero will be revealed unless they are out of range of Churnwalker's Hook & Chain, rendering their invisibility useless. As a result, the hero that is affected most by losing their invisibility is Taka, who loses his ability as an assassin once he gets hooked.

Flicker's Fairy Dust slows all enemies to a crawl, which means heroes with abilities that deal area damage but are hard to hit have an advantage. Cue Baron, the king of AOE damage,. When enemies are slowed by Fairy Dust and then rooted by Binding Dust, Baron can unleash all of his Porcupine Mortars, hitting all enemies without having to aim and dealing devastating damage.

Flicker is primarily countered by Contraption, but there are some heroes that can spot him even when he is under the effects of Willow Whisper. When it comes to vision without Contraption, there is one hero who can provide a similar effect, and that is Petal. Furthermore, Petal's Munions can follow an invisible hero around, pretty much giving their location away.

Ringo's early game is extremely weak, and Flicker's is the opposite. Thus, the second Ringo is caught in Flicker's Fairy Dust, he will almost immediately get killed, due to his low mobility and inability to kill Flicker in time. Come late game though, and Ringo will kill Flicker when he tries to use Fairy Dust, so finish the game as fast as possible!

Fortress is especially powerful alongside heroes that deal a large amount of damage in a short time to a single target, or heroes that lack a strong engage. Enter Krul, who can easily kill an enemy hero with no trouble if he is allowed to stick to a single target for a long time, but most of the time he is peeled off. With the slow from Law of the Claw, easily achievable due to Krul's attack speed, as well as the move speed boost gained from Truth of the Tooth, allows Krul stick to his target and probably kill them.

Ardan limits the area in which enemy heroes can move around in significantly, and Fortress relies on good positioning to do well. Thus, with his mobility significantly limited, Truth of the Tooth has a higher chance of getting him stunned rather than allowing teammates to engage upon the priority target.

Like Petal's Munions, the wolves from Fortress's Attack of the Pack follow any invisible hero around, giving an approximate indication of where the hero is, allowing for easy skillshots. Thus, Fortress can completely counter Flicker's Mooncloak, as the second you hear him use it, Attack of the Pack can reveal each and every enemy's location.

Joule's perk Heavy Plating allows her to take reduced damage from both the front and the sides, making her tankier than most other junglers, meaning she can last longer and has a higher chance to survive to receive Grace's Divine Intervention. Furthermore, a chain stun can be achieved with Rocket Leap and Holy Nova, usually killing the enemy hero caught.

A massive part of why people play Grace is for her ult, Divine Intervention, and when that is removed, there are far better options for the support. Catherine's Merciless Pursuit can easily stun Grace from using her ult, and her Blast Tremor can prevent her from using the ability at all.

Rona has very little mobility while using Red Mist, meaning that Grace can easily stun her out of it with Holy Nova. Furthermore, Rona's low damage potential and inability to stick to an enemy hero is easily exploited by Grace, who has one of the strongest peels in the game in the form of Benediction.

Lance's high mobility complements Alpha's stickiness, as her Core Charge is not a skillshot, it will not be affected by Lance's Gythian Wall, and his Impale allows Alpha to get more attacks in, reducing the cooldown of Core Charge. Furthermore, after Alpha explodes with Termination Protocol, Lance can keep enemies at bay while she is recharging with Gythian Wall.

A big part of Lance's kit is his ability to CC the enemy, with his root alongside his push/stun. Thus, Phinn, who is immune to all forms of CC, has a massive advantage over Lance, as he cannot be separated from his team, and no matter how many times Lance uses Combat Roll, Phinn can always pull him back with Forced Accord.

The main reason Ozo is very rarely seen in ranked nowadays is because he is reduced to a useless hero if there is an enemy Lance. The main reason for this is Ozo's main source of healing and sustain, Acrobounce, easily interrupted by Lance's Gythian Wall, which means that Ozo can no longer fight as a sustain hero and wreak havoc among the enemies. Ozo's mobility is also significantly maligned by Lance's Impale, meaning that unless Lance is banned or picked, Ozo is never seen in ranked at higher tiers.

Grumpjaw struggles to reach his enemies before they kill him, and, due to the relative weakness of his abilities, he rarely manages to kill his enemies before all his Living Armor is gone. However, with Lorelai stunning and slowing them with Fish Food and Splashdown respectively, Grumpjaw's lack of mobility is easily remedied, and his high tankiness can be extended even further with the help of Waterwall.

Koshka's mobility means that she can clear Lorelai's Splashdown pools effortlessly with Pouncy Fun, especially when overdriven, and dodge Fish Food without any problem. Early to mid game, not even Waterwall will save a teammate from Koshka's extreme damage with only an Aftershock, and although Lorelai can stun her out of Yummy Catnip Frenzy with Fish Food, the move speed boost from Bloodrush means Lorelai is no match for Koshka, whether it be for protecting teammates or herself.

Take Krul, and reduce his movespeed to 1. He can't heal when he can't damage anyone, and that is exactly what happens when he is caught in one of Lorelai's Splshdown pools. Even after he uses To Hell's Heart, he can't catch the enemy he stunned to heal, and Fish Food makes him a sitting duck waiting to be killed. Oh and if that isn't enough, Waterwall provides a massive barrier to deny him even that tiny bit of damage he can deal with Dead Man's Rush.

Gwen is very strong against CC, but her main weakness stems from being unable to peel off sticky heroes such as Alpha. Lyra provides this ability with her repositioning from Arcane Passage, as well as her innate slow from Principle Arcanum. If that isn't enough, she can also block dashes with Bright Bulwark, further reducing the ability of any sticky hero to be able to attack Gwen.

While Lyra is difficult to counter, she does have her downsides, and Skaarf exploits them fully. With her lack of CC, Skaarf can use Dragon Breath without worrying that he will be stunned out of it, and he has no dash abilities to be blocked by Bright Bulwark, plus when Lyra stand still to activate Principle Arcanum, Skaarf's Spitfire becomes a cinch to hit.

Koshka has two dash abilities, Pouncy Fun and Yummy Catnip Frenzy which can both be blocked by Bright Bulwark, and if Yummy Catnip Frenzy is blocked by Bright Bulwark, the Crucible can be saved for other CC abilities. Furthermore, when a hero is caught on the edge of Bright Bulwark, there is a short duration in which they stand still, allowing your teammates to burst her down. Her increased movespeed from Bloodrush can also be somewhat nullified by the speed boost from Imperial Sigil.

Phinn works well alongside heroes that are equally as slow as him, and work well in close range. This description completely fits Reim, who is able to deal a large amount of damage at close range but struggles to stick to enemy heroes. With a combination of Forced Accord, Quibble, Valkyrie and Chill Winds, coupled with a few Winter Spires can deal devastating damage to the heroes unfortunate enough to be caught in it.

When a perk literally says basic attacks deal increased damage to heroes with higher health, Phinn is the first hero that comes to mind. While Phinn might be tanky and immune to CC, he certainly isn't immune to high damage, and that is where Kensei comes in. With Phinn's low mobility and Kensei's Immovable Mind alongside a Breaking Point, Kensei can absolutely shred Phinn in a matter of seconds, even if Phinn can't be stunned by Path of the Ronin.

Phinn's immunity to CC causes headaches for many supports, such as Lance, Ardan, and Catherine, but none more so than the powerful Yates, who revolves around his Wolf's Maw in order to help his teammates. Although Phinn's movespeed hinders him slightly here, he can move to block Wolf's Maw, and as he cannot be displaced, Yates becomes a far less useful hero when compared to the other supports without his Wolf's Maw.

Speaking of Yates, he has a very strong combination with Malene, especially after her range was nerfed from 6.2 to 5.8, as it means she has far more difficulty kiting enemies, and unlike most CP mages, she likes to be close up rather than far away. Wolf's Maw makes both Light Ribbons and Shadow Tendrils easier to hit, and Overwhelm stuns the enemies so that Malene can use Enchanted Transformation one more time and either deal more damage when she switches to dark form or slow the enemy when she switches to light.

In general, Yates has a hard time when facing heroes you don't want near you, such as Krul, as it is extremely difficult to stop a Krul once you accidentally pull him to you, as Yates only has Overwhelm left due to the very long cooldown on Wolf's Maw. Furthermore, Krul can heal himslef back once he is within attack range, making the use of Wolf's Maw very dangerous with a Krul on the enemy team.

On the other hand, Yates can pull heroes who think they are safe while kiting at the edge of the battle to him, and completely disrupt their plan. Celeste places her Heliogenesis stars carefully before a battle to deal more damage with them, and Yates simply pulls her to him, removing the need to walk through a minefield of stars to get to her, and due to her extremely low mobility, an Overwhelm stun will often finish her off.

(2.0) Winning the draft Top

The draft is one of, if not the most important part of the game. Some games are won before they have started assuming that the players have equal skill, as there are matchups that are nearly unwinnable (is that a word?). Knowing every hero well is key to drafting, which is why drafting only starts at Hotness and above. The first pick on either team is usually the most sought after hero in the current meta (often the new hero), and the last pick is usually a situational pick which can be easily countered by some heroes (e.g. Ozo) or a hero to counter the enemy comp (e.g. Catherine). The support has perhaps the most variable role, as they can take first pick with a jack of all trades hero, or ask their teammate in last pick to swap with them and take a enemy counter hero. This is why the support must be flexible, as there is no such thing as "I only play this hero" as a support; remember, your teammates are your babies. You don't tell a baby to bend for you, you bend for your babies. Use the counters in (1.9) if you're really struggling to decide which hero in draft is best for that particular situation, but remember, those are my personal opinions, and you might not even like playing the hero. I personally hate playing Adagio because I feel he relies too heavily on teammates, but I have seen Adagio used to great effect before.

(2.1) What a good game for a support should look like (3v3) Top

Early game (From the start of the game to when the jungle shop opens)


At the start of the game, you should always go to fight for the middle treant unless BOTH you and the jungler are weak early game heroes (e.g. Catherine and Kensei). In that case you start with the two little teddy bears next to where the miner spawns. On the other hand, if you and the jungler are strong early game heroes (e.g. Flicker and Koshka), target the enemies once they attack the treant. Otherwise, kill the two little teddy bears next to the big treant, and then check the enemy shop bush with a Scout Cam. If they aren't there, start attacking the middle treant, but if you see them, allow them to attack the treant first so they take more damage and as with Kraken, save your most powerful burst damage till last. If you manage to get the treant it might be worth engaging the enemy to get an early gold advantage from first blood, or at the very least damage them so they have to return home and steal their farm.

After that, go for one "round" (i.e. all four minion camps) to help out the jungler before moving to lane. Note that this might be going against support protocol, but you should allow the jungler to tank the minions unless you have bought Ironguard Contract, as otherwise you will have no healing, and the jungler gets healing from the healing treants just outside your base and the middle of your side of the jungle. When you complete one round, you should at least be level 2, and if you stole anything from the enemy, level 3. At this point, rotate up to the lane to help out the laner, whether it be helping them freeze the lane, helping them kill the enemy, or allowing them to return to base to heal up and buy items. This should take up the first four minutes of the game.

Strong supports at this stage: Flicker, Grace, Lance.

Mid game (4:00-until Kraken spawns)


Mid game is the period where the game is pretty much decided, unless a team has a late-game comp ( Baron, Catherine, Anka). At this point, the jungler will still be trying to farm as much as possible to be able to reach level 12 first, but will visit lane for the occasional gank or turret push, while the laner should still be farming lane like mad. You, as the support, should almost constantly be at lane protecting your laner, as the jungler should no longer need your help to clear effectively. Full-blown teamfights are very common in the lane at this point, so stand on the frontline to protect your teammates, and tank the turret for your teammates if it means your team will get an ace. On average there are around three teamfights in this period, so remember to use your Fountain of Renewal to save your teammates, and that Crucible to block those CC abilities that could easily win a teamfight. Once you get the ace (quite common as everyone has low health, so these fights are dependent on the Fountain of Renewal use of the support), you should tell the laner to take a turret while you and jungler take the Gold Miner in the middle to gain an unassailable lead in gold. If you play this well the game might not even extend into late game, but if for whatever reason you find yourself losing, you will be praying for late game. Why that is will be covered in the next chapter.

Strong supports at this stage: Adagio, Ardan, Fortress, Lorelai, Lyra, Yates.

Late game (Kraken spawn and after)



I like to classify this as the stage where "one teamfight can win or lose you the game". This is the point where both teams are full build, so whatever happened in the early and mid game does not matter; no matter how big a gold difference the winning team has, one lost teamfight and all the Gold Miners the team has killed all matter nothing; their Vain Crystal is destroyed, and they lose the game. It's not a very nice feeling to have, especially when you were winning the whole way but just failed to deal that fatal blow, so you need to know what to do in this stage.

Rule #1: Never leave your team's side. Don't go off by yourself unless you are going for a heroic Kraken steal.
Rule #2: Flare each and every bush you don't already have a Scout Trap in, and then place one there if there is no enemy in the bush. Once again, one teamfight can finish the game, and getting ambushed is, to say the least, not very fun.
Rule #3: Stand on the frontline, even if you are the squishy ranged support. Your teammates are still going to be squishier than you (with a few exceptions), and you can barely do anything if you're the last one left alive.

Strong supports at this stage: Catherine, Churnwalker, Phinn.

(2.2) What a good game for a support should look like (5v5) Top

Early game-Early mid game (From the start of the game to when people start converging into mid lane for teamfights)


The playstyle of a support in 5v5 is significantly different in the earlier stages. Due to having more heroes, the role of the support becomes even more important, as you have to rotate between all the lanes (not the jungle, someone decided to remove ambient gold there smh). In general, you should start in the mid lane and protect your mid laner by lurking in one of the side bushes and protecting them when they need it. AT THE SAME TIME you need to look at bot lane to see if they need help. Oh and you have to do the same for top lane. Similarly to 3v3, you need to split your time between all the lanes, or your team will end up losing a turret quite quickly. As a general guide, I would say to spend 75% of your time in mid, 15% of your time helping bot and 10% of your time up at top because IN GENERAL, the top lane is a tanky hero who can sustain themselves.

Mid/Late game


Note that there is no mid game in 5v5; it is included in late game, as there is no clear transition period. This is the point where the teamfights start to begin and if the enemy team is completely missing, it's safe to assume they're going for either Blackclaw or Ghostwing (most commonly the former). There really isn't much the support can really do at this point, apart from leading the team. Some quick tips to remember: a)You are the one to face-check bushes. Always. b)Organise your team well and only lead them into a teamfight if all of your teammates are present unless you are going for a dragon steal. 5v4 is pretty much unwinnable, unlike 3v2, where you can enlist the help of the Jungle Sentry to help deal some decent damage, in 5v5 there is no such jungle guardian. Once you lose a teammate, it's pretty hard to fight back. c)Use your pings effectively. Around one or two years ago, there was a purple question mark ping meant to say "enemy missing", but everyone took it as "wtf are you doing?" I'm glad they removed that and replaced it with the current ones, though now the accepted ping sequence for "wtf are you doing?" is a green ping on the hero in question and a thumbs up. Don't use it like that though. It hurts team morale, and the person's confidence as well. It won't do any good. As the leader, you should always praise your teammates when they do something well, such as first blood, winning a 1v2, taking Blackclaw and just small things in general.

Oh and you have two more babies to babysit, so remember to prioritise the one that deals the most damage (in general, the AOE laner).

(2.3) 3v3 Tierlist (my personal opinion) Top

Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion in 3v3, some heroes are stronger in 5v5 (e.g. Churnwalker and Phinn), please don't get salty just because I put Adagio in last place

S-Tier (The best of the best)


Being a Lyra main, there was absolutely no way I wouldn't place her in first, and she is, in my opinion, the most versatile hero in the game. She is strong as both a laner and support, but this guide is for support only so we will only focus on that part. Her kit is the most complete of any support in the game, with Principle Arcanum providing a reliable and continuous slow, Imperial Sigil providing damage early and massive heal late, Bright Bulwark countering all assassins bar Anka, and the massive 20/30 range on Arcane Passage being absolutely broken at engaging or disengaging, all the while doing decent damage with Alternating Current! She has the highest "utility" rating in Vainglory, and the way she is able to protect her teammates is second to none. Very few counters and ease of play mean that she takes top spot without a doubt.

The only hero comparable to Lyra in terms of versatility, there is a reason Ardan is the most picked hero in the current meta even after being nerfed. While his damage potential, dash blocking and slow are not as reliable as Lyra's, he makes up for that with some CC and having more health. Vanguard can give a massive barrier come late game, Blood for Blood is acceptable with an Aftershock, and Gauntlet is a large version of Bright Bulwark that hinders many mobility-reliant heroes. He has been a solid pick ever since he was released after Skaarf, and I don't remember a time when he was obsolete through my four and a half years of Vainglory. Overall, he is an easy-to-play, but strong hero which excels in many situations, allowing him to take second place in the tierlist.

No, I didn't get it wrong, the final place in S-tier is indeed not Yates. Churnwalker could move above Ardan and even Lyra as he has the highest skill ceiling of any support in the game, but, once again, it all depends on his Hook & Chain. In 5v5, he is undoubtedly one of, if not the king of supports due to the increased number of targets and with it his healing, but remember, we're talking about 3v3 here. If he hits it on all three enemies, both the damage he deals (spread to enemies on his chains) and the health he heals is immense, and both Torment and Trespass prevent any enemies from escaping. When played well, almost no one can stop him if his teammates are also competent, leading to his high ban rate in higher ranks. Personally I am half decent at Churnwalker, but I rarely play him due to him being banned most of the time, but I will try to play more in the next month or so, and his ranking might rise. The best summary of him would be a high-skill, high reward hero who excels when your teammates are good, but requires many hours to master.

A-Tier (Good, but a step below S-Tier)


Ever since his release he has been a common ban, and for good reason. Like Churnwalker, he possesses Wolf's Maw, one of the most dangerous offensive abilities in the game which combines Hook & Chain and Torment into one, but with only one target. Overwhelm is a very strong movement ability, useful for both chasing and escaping. More specifically, it can shut down many distance closers, and alongside Wolf's Maw make Yates one of the best peelers in the game. While his Iron Mandate might not be the most exciting ability and is more useful in 5v5 rather than 3v3, it is strong for swinging those 1v1 laner or jungler fights in your team's favour. The reason his place in S Tier was usurped by Churnwalker is due to his skill requirement, as well as his lower versatility and inability to work in certain team compositions that the three above him can.

One of the few heroes that were present at the start of the game, Catherine has always been a rock for those learning to play support, due to her lack of a skillshot ability (unless you count Blast Tremor as one, but that area of effect is so massive I honestly don't know how some people still manage to miss it). Merciless Pursuit has been, and is still, the only non-skillshot stun ability (which doesn't hinder you in some way, Ylva), Stormguard starts off lacklustre but grows into a massive threat, and Blast Tremor is a teamfight-changing ability. Her ability to shut down ability reliant heroes like Celeste and Skaarf is second to none. Although she has her counters, she has been, like Ardan, one of the strongest picks for support from (nearly in the case of Ardan) the start of the game, as they and one support who shall not be named were the only heroes that could fill that role. Even though she might not be the most versatile teammate, she is certainly a good counter to ability-heavy team compositions, which nets her fifth place in this list.

Most people, including me, never touched Lorelai until her buff. She has gone under the radar for a long time, but now she has emerged as a leading force in the support category, due to her incredibly powerful abilities once they are empowered; Fish Food becomes a near-instant AOE stun while Splashdown becomes an instant slow/speed boost, and her Waterwall pretty much gives a hero immunity for 4 seconds. She is an incredibly versatile hero with a very strong peel, and the only reason she didn't make it into S-Tier is because heroes with dashes can easily avoid both Fish Food and Splashdown, leaving only her Waterwall to contend with.

B-Tier (Acceptable)


Though virtually disappearing from the meta in a period where aggressive supports were favoured, that has slowly faded away and as a result, Phinn has returned from the dead, and he hasn't stopped there. He has continued rocketing up the pick lists, behind only Ardan in the support heroes, but most people play 5v5 nowadays, so that is not very reliable. He is by far the tankiest hero in the game, and although Vainglory lists him as an "easy" hero to play, I don't necessarily agree. His most powerful combo, Forced Accord plus Quibble requires a) knowledge of the hitbox of Forced Accord, b) prediction of the movement of enemies, and c) the immediate use of Quibble after Forced Accord. Furthermore, his slow movement speed hinders him significantly in situations where the enemy is escaping, making him more suited in 5v5 where he has the unique advantage (alongside Lorelai) of his movespeed being increased in both directions. Unfortunately, this means he misses out on A-Tier and resides in the top of B-Tier.

The complete opposite of Phinn, Grace was either first pick or banned in the aggressive meta alongside her partner-in-crime Alpha, and some people even chose to play her weapon. During that time it was extremely common to finish the game within the mid-game, meaning that Grace's lategame weakness was not exploited, and she also incorporated the item Echo (which allowed her double Divine Intervention), meaning that almost as long as she got her first heal off, the teammate was, in essence, invincible. With the loss of the item, however, and the shift of the meta to favour more lategame heroes hurt her badly. While she is still acceptable as a support, there are just better choices, especially as the aggressive support meta has dissolved. This lands her in the middle of B-Tier, but she could still move up if an aggressive support meta returns.

When 5v5 first came out, he was banned almost all the time. But wait, he wasn't banned in 3v3, and I clearly remember picking him as fifth pick (in total) to play support. Turns out, his strength in 5v5, where there are more targets to slow with Fairy Dust, does not translate to being strong in 3v3. The early game started well enough, where the Koshka and I gained quite a large number or kills, but the Vox in lane wasn't making much progress against their Baron. Once 10 minutes arrived, the tides turned, and the lead we had gained in the early game was completely wiped, which eventually led to a loss. The problem with Flicker in 3v3, apart from being rather squishy, is that vision just counters him too much. For one thing, it takes five hits to kill a full health ward, and in the time it takes you to reach a Scout Trap, enemies can spot you with ease. His strength in the early game must be accounted for, however, which means he sits on the very fringes of being viable in 3v3.

C-Tier (not recommended)


Before I start talking about my opinion on heroes below are, again, this is my opinion. This whole section has been my opinion; however, the rest of the guide is completely unbiased, or as unbiased as I have tried my very best not to inject any of my opinion into it.

For god's sake: just because you have that golden skin on Lance does not mean you are good at him. I struggle to understand why anyone would pick Lance over Catherine, apart from an Ozo being on the enemy team. Catherine just does everything better; Captain of the Guard only gets stronger as the game goes on. Lance? Oh, his attacks have range and strike all targets along his path. Completely useful for a support hero. Catherine's Merciless Pursuit is a guaranteed stun, which is better than a skillshot root. But you might say, "But Impale can hit more than one person!" Oh please, how often are all three enemies going to bunch together for you to root? Onto the case of Stormguard vs Gythian Wall. Stormguard can kill Taka when he tries to X-Retsu you (which is kind of dumb, but anyway), AND you don't take any damage. Gythian Wall only reduces damage. Yes, it has a passive, I know that. If it didn't, Lance would be completely obsolete. Now on the the most polar difference, Blast Tremor vs Combat Roll. Blast Tremor? You silence the enemy team for 2.5 seconds, preventing them from using any abilities, and is one of the most powerful initiation tools in the game. Combat Roll on the other hand? "Do a barrel roll!" and empower your next attack. That's it. His difficult playstyle and lack of a direct supporting ability result in him being placed in C-Tier.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Once upon a time, Fortress was, like Grace, one of the most picked supports in the game, and for a period of time, even I played a lot of Fortress despite being a Lyra main, he was just that good. Now his pickrate sits at just a measly 7%, 38th in the rankings. Where Grace has picked herself up in an attempt to return to her glory days, Fortress has only slipped further down the pecking order. Even if he is picked, he is more often seen as a jungler rather than a support. Unsurprising, considering how un-support-like his kit is, with no heal/barrier to speak of, no CC ability, or particularly high health. Honestly, you should only pick him if your team is an extremely aggressive comp that aims to finish the game before late game arrives, or Truth of the Tooth will not be an initiator, it will be a death sentence for you.

D-Tier (never play)


Adagio mains, look away. This is my final warning.

So, on to the final hero. The bottom of the pack. The hero I refused to mention alongside Ardan and Catherine that was present at (nearly) the start of the game. You could attribute my contempt for Adagio due to being a Lyra main, but even when Lyra wasn't released, I never touched Adagio unless it was Battle Royale or Blitz, where talents made him playable. Let's compare him to Lyra. First, the perk. Principle Arcanum deals half decent damage, and slows at the same time. Arcane Renewal? It regenerates energy for Adagio. That's all. Energy is useless in the late game. Imperial Sigil outclasses Gift of Fire in every way except the larger burst heal from Gift of Fire. Apart from that, Imperial Sigil provides a larger overall heal, the ability to finish off low health enemies, as well as a movespeed boost. Agent of Wrath is outclassed by Principle Arcanum if self-cast; if cast on allies, it adds a tiny amount of damage to their attacks. Bright Bulwark on the other hand can prevent all dashes, such as Afterburn, Pouncy Fun, and X-Retsu. Ults? Do I really need to explain this? Lyra can teleport the entire team straight back to the safety of a turret, and should the enemy decide to follow, set up a trap for them. Verse of Judgement is alright for zoning, but nine times out of ten you get stunned while using it, especially as you need to stand still as you're channelling and the one time you don't get stunned, the enemy support blocks it with Crucible. Oh, and the enemies have to be burning from Arcane Fire for the ability to actually have some effect. All in all, just don't use him as a support. He hinders the team more than helps it, and he works better as a laner than he does a support.

(2.4) 5v5 Tierlist (my personal opinion) Top

So like I said in the previous chapter, some heroes are stronger in 5v5 than 3v3, most notably the ones with AOE abilities. This list will have some significant changes from the 3v3 list, but don't worry, Adagio is still there sweeping the basement tier (although he now has a friend!) and probably will be for eternity unless he gets a major overhaul like Potato (sorry, I mean Petal, but honestly, a 36% winrate?). In my opinion however Petal's change was for the worse and now she has an incredible 2.24% pickrate, the lowest in the game. Anyway, venture on at your own peril!

S-Tier


There is a reason Yates has the highest banrate in the entire game at the moment. If the enemy team manages to pick Yates, there is pretty much only one solution to stop him wreaking havoc on your teammates; that is, picking Phinn and body blocking EVERY Wolf's Maw (and telling your teammates to pick heroes with dashes like Blackfeather, Kinetic, and Reza). The strongest support in the laning phase bar an extremely irritating fairy, Yates can easily change a teamfight instantly and significantly with Iron Mandate. Quite possibly the most difficult support to play whose name is not Churnwalker, Yates requires prediction of movement, almost perfect timing, and constant looking at the mini-map to be at his full potential. Similar to Churnwalker, Yates has his most powerful ability in the form of Wolf's Maw, but he doesn't revolve around it unlike Churnwalker, making him that slight bit easier to play. Wolf's Maw becomes both weaker and stronger in 5v5. It is weaker in the sense that it has only one target, but stronger as the hero pulled is almost definitely dead as there are more teammates. Overwhelm is stronger as it is an AOE stun. Finally, Iron Mandate in my opinion is rather useless in 3v3, but in 5v5 it is a different matter, allowing Yates to turn a 1v1 into a 1v2 instantly, almost certainly winning the fight.

Often banned, and if not, picked, in 5v5 ranked, Churnwalker is without a doubt the strongest support in 5v5 currently if you play him well (for the millionth time). While rather weak in the early game when he is stuck babysitting the mid laner, when mid game arrives and all the heroes converge into mid lane, his constant hooks, pulls and stuns make him a constant annoyance to be dealt with. His healing and transferred damage goes off the charts once he connects with all his chains, and both Torment and Trespass with five targets is horrifying for the enemy team. Plus, that isn't even taking into account the slow from Hook & Chain. Even my tendency to sway towards Lyra being the best support can't deny the massive fact that once you manage to hit all your hooks on Churnwalker and your teammates deal a decent amount of damage, Churnwalker becomes immune as he heals all the damage he takes. Personally I like to compare the strength of the abilities of the hero to the strength in 5v5 and all three of Churnwalker's abilities become stronger in 5v5 (due to being multi-target), which equates to a massive increase in rank. However, the fact that he is the hardest support to play still exists as a blockade for many of those who are new to the support role, thus placing him below Yates due to his extremely difficult playstyle and mechanical requirements.

Notice something both heroes in S-Tier have in common? That's right, they both have an incredibly high skill cap and an even higher skill ceiling, so if you can't play either, please don't pick them, just look further down the list for less skill-orientated heroes. However, I would strongly recommend practicing these two in particular (in casual and not in ranked, obviously) if you plan on maining support in the long term because, simply put, they give the team they are on a massive advantage.

A-Tier


Residing in the top of A-Tier is Lyra, mainly due to the strength of Churnwalker and Yates in 5v5. In my opinion compared to 5v5, the only ability in Lyra's kit that gets weaker is Imperial Sigil due to it being mostly for healing and more than one enemy being able to drain the sigil in next to no time, but in the laning phase it is still one of the best abilities to support your mid laner with. Bright Bulwark undoubtedly becomes stronger as there will be dashes that it can block, offering substantial protection to any teammates inside the circle. However, the biggest power spike in 3v3 compared to 5v5 originates from her Arcane Passage. This renders any frontline protectors completely useless (yes, I'm looking at you, Lance), allowing all teammates to instantly target the backline damage dealer. It can also be used defensively to escape from a bad teamfight straight to the turret (or even better, the Vain Crystal). While she does come with the normal downside of a ranged support, that is, being squishy, heroes that can adapt to the situation at hand and work well in any team comp are always a good pick and Lyra is the epitome of that.

By far the largest climber in this list compared to 3v3, Phinn is made for 5v5. Literally. He gets the river boost going both ways. His Forced Accord and Quibble combo hits five people rather than three (if you can actually hit it, that is). Finally, Polite Company pulls more heroes towards Phinn and provides more heroes with a barrier. In other words, he is strengthened a ton by the very nature of 5v5. Immune to all forms of CC, he is an absolute force to be reckoned with the current meta being so CC-heavy. His drawbacks of being unable to deal damage and being caught alone are nullified by the style of play on Sovereign's Rise, as damage is less of a factor in 5v5 due to having more laners and a teammate should always be near you in 5v5 (early game, the mid laner and late game, the whole team).

The hero who suffers the most compared to his ranking in 3v3, Ardan falls out of S-Tier to the bottom of A-Tier in 5v5, even though he is one of the most picked heroes. Before, I named him as a jack of all trades. The full saying is "jack of all trades, master of none". That, in essence, is Ardan. He isn't especially good at anything and this is fully exploited in 5v5, where two of his abilities become weaker. These are Vanguard and Blood for Blood. Vanguard has a single target and has a rather long cooldown, so you can save one and one teammate only. I really don't think I have to explain why Blood for Blood is a terrible ability for a support. Its only viable use would be to engage in early game; in lategame it will only get you killed. Gauntlet is Ardan's only saving grace on Sovereign's Rise, as its ability to limit the movement of all five heroes is very powerful (unless, of course, they have a Lyra on their team). Although his abilities become less useful in 5v5, Ardan is still a strong pick for his versatility on Sovereign's Rise.

B-Tier


Personally, I quite like Catherine and feel that she should see more play than she does, but I do understand why she is so rarely seen. As mentioned before, Catherine was present in the game from the start, where there were only seven heroes: SAW, Petal, Ringo, Glaive, Koshka, Adagio and Catherine. Of those seven, only Koshka and Ringo are truly viable in their respective roles for 5v5. These heroes were made for 3v3, meaning that they have few AOE abilities (yes, I'm looking at you, Baron). As a result, Catherine is rather weak in 5v5, with both Merciless Pursuit (due to being single target) and her iconic ability, Stormguard (due to having more enemies) being weaker. While silencing five heroes with Blast Tremor can easily win a teamfight, Catherine is just not the same hero in 5v5 as she is in 3v3.

Lorelai is an average pick in 5v5 due to her versatility, similar to Ardan. When compared to Ardan, Fish Food and Vanguard are about equal in terms of usefulness, Splashdown is far more useful than Blood for Blood, and Waterwall is slightly weaker than Gauntlet in most situations, assuming that all of Lorelai's abilities are cast in a pool (which you should always be standing on). Ardan gets the advantage over Lorelai in this tierlist due to the current meta favouring squishy laners and junglers, so Ardan is more suitable due to his tankiness, especially from Julia's Song. Compared to 3v3, both Fish Food and Splashdown are stronger due to being AOE, but Waterwall becomes weaker as it is single target. Her versatility and ability to damage often compensate for her lack of health, especially when paired with a tanky jungler, but she requires some skill to play well.

By a sliver over Yates and Churnwalker the strongest support during the laning phase, two words mean Flicker is rarely picked: Late game. Once again, his glaring weakness sticks out like a sore thumb. This is slightly less obvious in 5v5 compared to 3v3, as a large gold advantage is very difficult to regain in 5v5. But honestly, you will get melted by pretty much any laner unless you harass them enough early game. Binding Light? Oh don't, please, the delay on that ability is so long it would take an absolute fool to not walk out of it or, even worse, walk into it. Fairy Dust is half decent, especially when more than one hero gets caught in it. The only reason for Flicker's ranking rise is that Mooncloak now has five heroes that it can make invisible rather than three. Having an entire invisible team is quite strong, but that should only ever be seen when the enemy doesn't place wards everywhere. Oh, and don't forget that Flicker specialises in engaging enemies, but not in being engaged. He is playable in 5v5, don't get me wrong, but you have to end the game fast, or you will pay for your aggression tenfold in the late game, being the squishy support you are.

C-Tier


As in 3v3, she was once a staple pick/ban in 5v5. There was a time when the first item was most commonly Tension Bow (the old version), which I hated a lot, both playing against it and playing with it. Against it, it meant that her Benediction dealt insane amount of damage and could easily 1v1 a laner, while with it, it meant that she had no Fountain of Renewal. Nowadays, Grace is a shadow of her former self, being even less common in 5v5 than 3v3. This is somewhat surprising as two of her abilities are strengthened while only one is weakened; Benediction provides the Holy Shield to more heroes and can potentially slow more targets, Holy Nova when used in the middle of a teamfight can stun many heroes at once. Divine Intervention used to be insanely powerful when you could double heal a teammate (with Echo), but now it can only heal one player so choose wisely. Her heroic perk Retribution is perhaps where she falls short, as it mainly does damage and only offers a slight slow.

Now before all those people come along and tell me "But Pasu, Lance is actually pretty good in top!" I'm not talking top dammit, I'm talking support. You know, the guy that hangs around the midlaner and follows him like his dog? Aaaanyway, I've already used most of my roasts for Lance in the 3v3 bit, so let's analyse his abilities compared to 3v3. Impale gets stronger in 5v5 and can maybeeee get two heroes if you're good at using it, but that's his only advantage compared to 3v3. And we know how terrible his 3v3 is. Then we have Gythian Wall. Yes, yes, he can hit more heroes with it, yada yada yada, but have you noticed how a) most of the action occurs around the mid lane and b) how open the map is? Where are you going to find a wall to stun the enemies with? If you don't, that's missing out on half of the ability. Combat Roll deserves the award for "Most Useless Ability in Vainglory". Sure, it looks cool, but does it do anything for Lance as a support? His basic attacks do next to no damage. Oh and if the enemy has a dive comp ( Fortress, Taka, Koshka, etc.), you'd better put that massive sword away and get a shovel ready to dig your teammates' graves. Unless you can, by some miracle, manage to knock them away with Gythian Wall when they dive your teammate, they are already dead.

D-Tier


Yes, at the start I said that Adagio was sweeping the basement tier, not the basement! Adagio actually moved out of last place, but is still stuck in D-Tier. While still extremely clunky and hard to use, mainly because for his Verse of Judgement to have any effect, enemies have to be burning, there are some situations where his strong burst heal from Gift of Fire works well, and he can also splash Arcane Fire onto more enemies. Agent of Wrath is as useless as ever, while Verse of Judgement can hit more targets (if it is not blocked and you don't get interrupted). My idea for an overhaul of Adagio would be to keep Arcane Renewal and Gift of Fire the same, but change Agent of Wrath to inflict a slow and Arcane Fire on the enemies hit by the empowered attack as well, and make Verse of Judgement deal a fixed percentage of the target's maximum health if they are burning. This would make Adagio a far more attractive choice, and make up for his lack of health and mobility.

I, by no means, take pleasure in placing Fortress at the bottom of the list. As mentioned before, I used to play him a lot as a support, when dive comps were meta. However, that has faded and Fortress has followed it down the drain. He is even more useless in 5v5 than 3v3, where there are less heroes and his single-target kit could come in slightly useful, but he falls way short of the mark in 5v5, being even weaker than Adagio. The only part of his kit that is remotely support-like is his ult, Attack of the Pack. Otherwise, all of his other abilities are single target and oriented for 3v3 (as he was released before 5v5). Don't forget his perk Packmates either. Easily the most lacklustre perk of the supports and quite possibly the most boring one in the game, it seems like SEMC fell asleep at the keyboard for Fortress's perk. Gaining increased movement speed when near an ally is nowhere near as powerful as Julia's Gift, Unstoppable or even Captain of the Guard in terms of support. All in all, just don't play him as a support. He's not made to be a support and shouldn't even be classified as a support, especially in 5v5.

5v5 Tierlist changelog Top

14/04/19


Removed the rankings compared to 3v3, they just don't fit together.

(Up 4) I'll admit that it was a massive mistake placing him at the bottom of A-Tier. When I played a couple of games last week he was always banned, and the one game I did manage to get him (via getting my first pick friend to lock him in for me), we absolutely steamrolled the opponents in less than 15 minutes. I sorely underestimated the strength of Iron Mandate and how strong his early game was, so I've rectified my mistake and he sits just below the support king of 5v5, Churnwalker, whose insane power level at any stage of the game still ranks him higher than Yates (With Churnwalker, I managed to 1v2 a Magnus and a Flicker AND come out on top with 20% health left, with only my standard start of Oakheart and Sprint Boots). Note that with this increase in ranking, all the heroes above him bar Churnwalker will drop one ranking.

(Down 1) Poor guy. The nerfs have finally gotten to him and he is suffering it far worse in 5v5 compared to 3v3, where he still has a place in S-Tier. The last time I saw Ardan in ranked 5v5 was over a month ago, and there is a reason for this. There are just so many better picks nowadays compared to him. While he still sticks out as an easy-to-play and versatile option with relatively few weaknesses, at higher ranks it's better to pick one of the supports that specialise in something and allow your teammates to cover your weaknesses, hence the decrease in rank to last place in A-Tier just below Lorelai (speaking of which, I haven't seen much of either).

23/06/19


(Up 2) While the recent buffs to Catherine are certainly welcome and long overdue, I still don't think she is viable in 5v5. Sure, her shield goes down far slower when she is focused and her Blast Tremor is incredibly powerful at initiating, but she has no direct support to offer her team whatsoever and her early game is relatively weak. This contributed to my decision to keep her in B-Tier instead of promoting her to A-Tier alongside the likes of Phinn, Ardan and Lyra.

(Down 3) This is not due to her kit change, but rather a lack of playing her. I haven't seen a Lorelai support for the whole of last season, and I think she really deserves a buff of some sort to put her back into line. When matched against fast-moving heroes like Skye, Koshka and Gwen, her Splashdown simply does nothing and her Fish Food becomes nigh impossible to land, leaving only her Waterwall to contend with. This results in her demotion to B-Tier, below the newly buffed Catherine.

25/06/19


Down 1 Finally, the king has fallen. King Churn has been knocked off of his 5v5 mantle by Yates, primarily because Yates is a permaban hero at the moment in 5v5 alongside Caine at the moment. Note that this is not an upgrade to Yates, but a downgrade to Churnwalker. After watching the enemy Churnwalker floundering trying to hit hooks onto our mid Varya and ineffectually trying to pull me as Phinn towards him, I appreciated just how difficult Churnwalker can be to new players. Even as a support main, sometimes I decide that I want an easier game and just settle into one of my 5v5 comfort picks of Lyra, Ardan or Phinn instead of going through the mind-draining plays that Churnwalker requires you to make. While Churnwalker is undoubtedly the strongest in 5v5, the level of gameplay required means that Yates beats him to first place.

Final words Top

If you've gotten here without skipping any part of this guide, I congratulate you! I hope that you have taken something away from reading this guide.

This guide will probably be the finished product (bar adding new heroes to the Crucible block list), unless I suddenly have a brainwave and decide to add more chapters to the guide. If you think there is something I haven't covered, please let me know in the comments section and I might add it to the guide.

Upvote this guide if you feel it's helped you, and feel free to comment. I will try to reply to all comments within 1-3 days.

Good luck in playing support, and happy ranking!

~Pasu

For the final time: I am a Lyra main, but I have tried my best to look at each hero from a neutral point of view (apart from the tierlist). If you would like you can check out my Lyra guide here which includes both CP and support builds.

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