Let’s take a look at a few tips that you can use if you’re new to this amazing role.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that this guide will feature basic tips on how to play support. As a result, it’s mainly aimed at newer Dota 2 players, so keep that in mind.
Even though it is the most underestimated role in Dota 2, the support has a very important job in the game. They mainly shine during the early game, even though individual heroes are more or less valuable at all stages of the game.
Having said that, here are a couple of things that you need to bear in mind when playing this role.
One of the biggest challenges that every new support player has to face is how to survive. Although this looks easy on paper, the vast majority of support heroes are very fragile, which is why they often end up with over 10 deaths. Each kill that goes in favor of the enemy gives them a lot of gold and experience.
So, regardless of which hero you pick, you need to move around the map and participate during team fights accordingly. What this means is that you should avoid going alone or initiating a fight (in most cases). During the mid and late game, most support heroes will die in just a matter of seconds, so you have to try and make the most out of your hero while they are alive.
Once you know how to play your hero and you have an overall game sense of where to stay, it’s time to take a look at the items. One of the biggest rookie mistakes is that support heroes tend to buy core items. You’ve probably come across Bounty Hunters with Desolators at least a few times.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to buy the proper support items. Having a Glimmer’s Cape and Force Staff can make all the difference in the world, especially during a team fight. Sure, it might not be as “glamorous” as getting that Bloodstone, there is no arguing that. However, your support items will make a huge difference towards your end goal, which is to win the game.
Despite the fact that every game requires a different set of items, that’s not really true when it comes down to support. Here are some of the most popular items that people often tend to buy:
- Force Staff
- Glìmmer’s Cape
- Guardian Greaves
- Eul’s Scepter of Divinity
- Spirit Vessel
The Laning Stage
As we’ve said in the beginning, support heroes usually shine the most during the laning stage. This is when the hero can really make a big difference, regardless of if they have to stay in the lane or roam.
The first important thing that every hard support needs to do is win his lane. If they are in the safe lane, this can be done in many ways. However, one of the most popular ones is creeps pulling. This is a mechanic where you “lure” the neutral creeps to fight against your own creep wave. Although this might seem useless at first, this is a great way to force the enemy hero out of his comfort zone. You see, whenever you pull, your creep wave won’t go on the lane, which means that the enemy creeps wave will push under your tower. As a result, your ally who is in the lane with you will farm freely, while the enemy will be forced to push deep into the lane to get some experience. When this happens, you can try and go for a kill. As long as you have some sort of ability that can disable them, you should be able to score a kill fairly easily.
The second thing that you need to be aware of is not to leach experience for no reason. Unfortunately, this is a huge problem, especially among the new Dota 2 players. They tend to stay in the lane without really any reason, and as a result, they share the experience from the creeps. The end result of all of this is under-leveled heroes, who can’t do much in the mid-game.
Don’t be inactive
Generally speaking, you should always do something. Staying inactive as support during the first couple of minutes is the worst thing ever. If you’re not really doing much in the lane, go to the jungle and start stacking camps. You can even use items like a Smoke of Deceit and gank the other lanes.
Regardless if it’s the early, mid, or late game, one of the main things you need to do is place wards. Fortunately, patch 7.25 made the Observer Wards free, so you can purchase them all the time. However, you still have to spend gold on Sentry Wards, so keep that in mind.
There are many ways in which you can ward but it largely depends on what’s happening in the game. As an example, if you’re team is winning, you should put offensive vision on the enemy's side of the map because it help you find and set up for kills. However, if you’re losing heavily, there is no point in that. Instead, place the wards defensively, so that you can see when the enemy is coming.
You should be very careful when you’re trying to ward and deward. The worst thing that can happen is to let the enemies see you because they will do the same. So, one of the best ways in which you can ward is to take advantage of a situation. For example, if you win a team fight, it’s probably a good idea to make the most out of it. After all, all of the enemy heroes will be dead.
Alternatively, you can also use a Smoke of Deceit to place those much-needed wards.