"Supports are the true 'carriers' of the team."
I have been playing support role since forever because I find this role the most fun role in the game. I love actions and I love getting into fights as early as possible. It was a good thing though because most players here want to play farmer and carry. Farming is important but I find it boring because you become an insurance for the team. You simply stick to your lane and try to farm as much as you can at early game. I know you have to dominate your lane too but if your hero have disadvantages at early game against your opponent, you'll have to play passively. I was known for being a great support for our team back then. But I have to admit, after watching one of my team mate play support role, I realized that someone became a lot better than me. I don't play too often now but I still watch replays and I see a lot of boring support players. They would often act as slaves for the team. You wont even recognize them.
itsme.JAM will change your boring impression about supporting role.
Last Friday, Mafia, one of the finest team in Bicol came to play against itsme. They had 3 games and itsme won all of them. It was quite a surprise to win 3-0 against them because the last match against them was a devastating lost. I, then, decided to watch the replays. I realized that having Jam and Ldrige on the team made a big difference. They are totally comfortable with each other and played as one. But, the one who stepped up the most was Jam. He controlled the gank and map awareness for the team. He made the plans and most are successful. Itsme would always dominate early game in all of the 3 games against Mafia. Thanks to these excellent supports.
These are some things you can learn from itsme.JAM and be a better support player for your team.
Have a Gank Strategy Plan
Killing a hero is not easy if it is controlled by a good player. Good players are aware of gankers. In this screen shot from game 1, their strategy is to hide near at the secret merchant where most players wont expect gankers to come from there. This wasn't done in the next games because if they've done it again, the opponents will trap them and easily kill them.
Planning your ganks that would surprise your opponents will leave them unguarded and will be easier for you to kill them. Ganks that are monotonous may be successful at the first time but good opponents will easily learn your strategy and will build higher fences against it. You can find a lot of suggestions in ganking here - Dota Ganking Style. Ganks should be planned and smoothly executed. There must be a perfect timing on when to engage, who's the first one to cast spells and who to aim.
Unique Ward Placement
Supports are the masterminds of observer wards. Placing observer wards in important areas like rune spots is very important. Mid heroes will have great advantage dominating the rune. Defensively, wards are important to counter opponent's gank threats. But in most cases, opponents will predict where you placed your wards and either destroy them or find another place to hide. Having your wards in unique spots is a wise decision. It will be hard for opponents to deward and will make your opponents waste their time waiting.
In this case, Jam placed a ward infront of the opponent's tower. Placing this ward here is very tricky. You would know if a support is hiding behind the carry for back up and you would be able to ensure successful attacks.
This picture right here showed how this ward helped in killing Necrolyte. Necrolyte thought that he wont be seen in buying his item from the secret merchant but the ward shows very clearly that he went there. The supports then took advantage of trapping him and killing him easily.
Learn to Wait
In ganking, you cannot be impatient. You should always wait for the perfect timing to engage. The game shows how patient Jam was waiting for the perfect timing to kill Dragon Knight as shown in the pictures below.
|venge got invi|
|He positioned himself and wait for the perfect timing.|
|When DK finally showed up and was far enough from the tower|
|venge stunned him, giving more time for Alchemist to respond.|
|DK is in big trouble now and tried to hide in the forest which I think was not a good move.|
|Then, they finally killed DK.|
Never get tired of trying
Jam was quite successful in most of his attempts. It is the combination of prediction and luck. Luck, unfortunately, is included in the game but good gankers would always bet their effort and time. In the games played against Mafia, you would see Jam hiding in the forest waiting for an opponent to farm.
And these are the results of waiting and trying...
Try to gank more instead of sticking to lane. Don't wait for your opponents to be strong and farm items that will kill you in 3 hits. Make it hard for them by being a big pest on their lanes.
Create Advantages for Carry
Supports are needed to dominate early game. They have skills that can disable, nuke, give vision, slow, or heal. They doesn't need to farm a lot to be big help. The only problem is heroes with such good skills doesn't have much potential in late game. That's why carry heroes are still needed. Supports should be around to help team mates get kills, help them dominate their lanes, give them vision for better defense and help them survive.
|Venge gave vision for tinker to kill ES|
|Venge helped tinker kill SF|
Be a Ninja
How does a Ninja fight? If you're a ninja fan like me, you're aware that Ninjas attack from unseen areas. You'd feel their swords inside your chest before you even know where they are. Gankers should be like a Ninja because of 2 important reasons. 1st is simply the low health of support heroes. Good opponents would not hesitate getting you out first. 2nd reason is to make the gank more successful. If you are seen before you engage in your gank, the initial reaction of your opponents would be to retreat. You'll then waste the chance of killing that hero. As you can see from the pictures above, Jam hides in the forest a lot, and show himself along with his magic missile.
Always be ready for clash
Supports are very important in early clashes. They have the skills that are deadly for these low level opponents. Stun and nukes are essential to kill most of your opponents. Jam would use his clarity and flask if he has low hp and mana to be ready for team fights. He doesn't loiter around when he has short mana or hp. Jam would run through the fountain quickly and regenerate if there are no other chance to have his mana and hp back. Then run again to lanes where he is much needed. He can cast magic missiles, terror and swap anytime because he didn't waste time loitering instead of regenerating.
Destroy your opponent's wards early
Jam realized that the opponents have wards where he would hide to gank them. He immediately bought sentry wards to remove the opponents defensive advantage. You can see at this picture that it was only 9mins and he already took the initiative buying sentry wards to destroy opponent's wards. Destroying your opponent's wards is very important if you want to gank. Good opponents would always have their eyes on the map and would know if you are planning to gank them. You should never skip buying sentry wards in ganking.
Always back your team mates up when they are in trouble
Map awareness and always having tp scroll with you makes it easier for you to back your team mates up. You can either walk if you sense that team mates in other lanes would be in trouble or you can buy tp scroll and teleport as soon as you see the opponents charging through your team mate. There are big chances that you or your team mate would be the one to kill the opponents who tried to kill him. If not, at least you saved your team mate from losing his golds and letting the opponents have extra gold.
Psych out your opponents
In every game, once you mentally defeat your opponent, he's done. Try to psych out your opponents and make him feel that he should fear you. Like what Jam done here. We all know that this venge cannot kill shadow fiend in this case, but Jam is trying to psych out the Shadow Fiend by trying to show that he can. Though venge didn't continue killing SF, he left something to SF that wouldn't make him reach his potential, fear.
Supporting is not boring. It is up to the player whether it would be boring or not. Give supporting an art and be a fun to watch player whatever your role is.
Watch how itsme.Jam played support here Itsme vs Mafia 1 2 3 .