Ultimate Dota 2
Support Role Guide
Learn how to be a great support that skydives the effectiveness of your team to a higher win potential. Understand the role completely and focus on what is important as a position 4 or 5 player.
What is a Support
Hero in Dota 2?
Hi and welcome to this Support Guide for Dota 2!
Supports are these anonymous heroes that save our lives but don’t get any credit. 😉
They’re really special in MOBAS (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Games) because they usually heal or have a special ability that can save the day! In Dota 2, some supports like Ogre Magi can buff you, others like Lich can make you tankier and some of them like Dazzle can keep you alive in hard situations with his grave.
Regardless of which of these supports you pick, you have to make the most of their abilities and early advantage. Supports are really strong in the first 15 minutes of the game. If you don’t use this time wisely, then you won’t be able to be a valuable asset for your team.
You might not be aware now, but the entire team depends on the supports. In a life or death situation, teammates gonna ask you to use your Force Staff or Glimmer Cape on them. You can even distract the enemy while your core is farming. Supports are more valuable and important than the impression of the majority is…
The Two Types of Supports in Dota 2:
In Dota 2 two 2 types of supports are playable:
Support (Position 4) and Hard Support (Position 5), while both share the same objectives:
Save your cores at all costs, grant vision on the map and use your ultimates wisely, in order to win team fights. However, this role has some disadvantages as you will probably have the lowest net worth in the game, meaning you’ll be really poor.
If you want to know more about the Dota 2 roles, check out this extensive article:
Dota 2 Positios/Role Guide
Why are Supports needed in Dota 2?
Supports are the brain of the team! The Sup has to decide about big decisions like if it’s the right time to go to Roshan or try to smoke gank.
Also, not so many people know this, but having vision is something really crucial when it comes to winning games. And guess what? Supports are in charge of the important duty of granting it for their team. Supports can grant vision by getting wards and place them wisely according to every tactical situation.
Support heroes are ridiculously strong in the early game. If they position themselves well, they can even help others a lot, prepare enemy hero takedowns and win the lane!
Many people believe that only cores are the ones that carry the game, but secretly supports are the real heroes of the day! 😉
Supports are the glorious heroes behind every great carry: If they play well and get a lot of kills, then the game might be over around 25 minutes…
The 10 Main Duties
as a Support in Dota 2:
If you’re playing the support role, then you have to understand your duties. Once you want to move from a Dota 2 beginner to a more experienced player, it’ essential to know what you are doing.
Knowing what to do ensures to win games and generate a huge impact as a support, which will, in the end, be the main factor that defines your MMR and rank in Dota 2.
“But, I want to kill creeps and get a lot of items”.
No, that’s not your job 😉 – but let’s check what you should do:
1. As a Support you have to be really Patient:
We all know Dota 2 is full of people from all backgrounds and, most of the time, they don’t treat others nicely. 🙁
And support players are the ones that suffer the most from this toxicity. But, don’t worry. You just have to know how to develop your patience. If your teammates start getting too toxic with you, remember muting is always an option. Just ignore them and continue playing. Some people are gonna blame you a lot because of your KDA (Kill, Death, Assist), but it’s fine. Supports usualy don’t get the best scores.
You will have to sacrifice your life for someone else and that means you will have to die. It’s alright as long as your death has an objective or purpose. For example, saving somebody, showing in lane intentionally (baiting) to know where the enemy is. So, don’t feed, but play smart! 😉
2. Learn to Harass the Enemy Intensively:
Supports are more than good companions during the laning phase: You will have to start harassing the enemy, without breaking the creep equilibrium. This is a high-level concept that can help you a lot as a support.
If you start hitting the enemy, you’re gonna notice that creeps attack you. This pushes the lane and breaks the creep equilibrium. You don’t want that!
So, you have to harras the enemy without pushing the lane. There’s a concept called “Creep Aggro”. Every time you’re close to the creeps and you right-click an enemy, creeps will follow you and attack you. Understand this mechanic and learn to deal with it for your advantage.
Special trick to harass the enemy without breaking the creep equilibrium:
The only thing you have to do is start right-clicking the enemy, but don’t let the creeps have sight of you. Then, you can come closer and hit the enemies like 2 times and creeps won’t follow you. Remember to use your spells to harass as well, but without casting them on creeps!
3. Supports need to be great at Stacking and Pulling:
Have you seen those neutral camps around the map? Did you know you can stack those creeps if you know the right timing?
The only thing you have to do is hit a creep at 53 seconds aprox and make it follow you. You’ll notice that a new neutral camp has spawned! If you feel your HC needs to recover in the jungle, then a good idea is to start stacking for them. If you have Dota Plus, these timings are shown every time you try to stack!
In the case of pulling, the concept is a little bit more complex. Pulling is the act of hitting neutral creeps and make them follow you every time a creep wave of yours is coming.
By doing this, your creeps start fighting these neutral creeps. As a support, you will get a lot of exp and gold from denying and last hitting! This will also prevent the enemy offlane hero from getting the exp of all this wave.
Do this every time your creep wave reaches the enemy tower. You need your HC to feel comfortable when it comes to farming. Besides, if your HC gets to close to the enemy tower, he becomes vulnerable to ganks, but if he farms near your tower, he will be safe.
If you want to check this concept in detail, read the Stacking and Pulling Guide.
4. In Dota 2 Care for Rune Control:
As a support, you don’t have to stay in lane all the time. There are other things you can do to give an advantage to your team and generate a huge impact:
Grab the runes. Every 2 minutes you need to start checking the power-up runes. These runes can help you even gank! Imagine you grab an Invisibility Rune, then you can go mid and gank.
Every 5 minutes, you have to check the bounty runes, which give gold to the entire team. Bounty runes are essential not only because they can give gold to your team, but you can also set up a trap or a team fight! If you kill your opponents and grab the bounty, then you will have the advantage in the lane and in this part of the game. 😉
Read this Dota 2 runes guide to master your knowledge.
5. Get Good at Warding and Dewarding:
Your job as a support in Dota 2 is to provide vision to your team. If you know where the enemy team is, it’s gonna be easier for your team to farm in a safer place.
Don’t forget to ward the area where your carry is gonna farm, so he can be safe! To build up warding knowledge and to know the perfect spots, learn the ward examples by heart.
Detailled Dota 2 Warding Guide
6. Position yourself in Fights:
Most of the time, supports are the first targets to die in a team fight. They’re squishy and vulnerable if they don’t know to position themselves on the map.
You need to master this ability to improve your KDA:
Don’t be in front of team fights. That’s the job of the offlaner or initiator. So try to stay behind and use the trees and fog of war to hide from the enemy.
The least you show on the map, the better! If you manage to do this, then you will be able to use your items like Glimmer Cape or Force Staff to save your teammates.
7. Teleporting at the Right Time:
Map awareness on this role is a must-have ability! You have to keep an eye on your map all the time.
You can change the settings of the map if you want to have the heroes’ faces instead of the color arrows. Just go to the Dota 2 settings, then options and check these boxes like this: If your midlaner is getting ganked and dived in his tower, you have to teleport immediately! Don’t double think it, just do it!
The same principle applies to every lane on the map. Don’t wait too long if a core is getting dived because you can save his life and probably win the team fight!
8. Denying Creeps and Prevent Enemy Pulls:
In the first minutes of the game, supports have to be a pain in the ass! Most supports have a lot of base damage like Shadow Shaman and they can easily deny creeps. So, try to deny as many creeps as you can. Denying creeps gives you some gold, so go for it. Remember you’re not the one last hitting, just denying!
Moreover, preventing enemy pulls is really crucial to guarantee who wins the lane. You have to keep special attention at the enemies’ support movement because he might try to pull at some point. You can either block the camp with a Sentry or Ward or try to stop the pull by hitting the creeps and bringing them again to the lane.
Don’t let any enemy pull happen!
9. Choosing the Right Items as a Support Hero:
Do you know the strongest support items? These items are designed to be cheap and also save your life and your buddies’ lives.
Try to buy items like Glimmer Cape, Force Staff or even Euls Scepter. Remember you’re not the priority. If your core is in danger, help him with these items!
10. Communicate with your Team:
As you know now, supports are the brain of the team. You can tell your team if a gank is necessary or if going Roshan is a good idea.
You can also suggest items to your cores. Cores are focused on farming and not getting caught while supports have plenty of time to think about all these decisions while they’re warding.
As a support you can get a great idea of what the enemies are planning, which items they are getting and how your team could counter it. Don’t be afraid to tell your teammates what you think and always stay positive no matter what! Also plan to make Roshan and track the Roshan timer, when he comes back.
Know your Strength and Weakness as a Support:
In this Support Guide you learned that supports are really strong at some phases of the game, but then they turn kind of weak.
To start winning more games as a support hero, you have to accomplish a huge impact in the early game: Try to roam, gank and kill as much as you can to help winning lanes. Take this advantage and don’t lose it. Try to be active during the whole match because in mid game and late game is gonna be harder to have an impact.
What kind of Support do you want to Be?
This is going to depend a lot on your playstyle. As I mentioned before in this Dota 2 Support Guide, there are 2 types of supports: 4 (Support) and 5 (Hard Support).
Position 4 Support Playstyle:
If you love being aggressive, roaming around the map and ganking all the time, then this type of support is for you.
You have to be moving, grabbing runes and helping other lanes if necessary. These heroes have a high mobility and can initiate and escape easily. Also, they are the supports with more net worth. Some good heroes now are Void Spirit, Tuskar, Earth Spirit, Snapfire, Clockwerk, always check the Dota 2 tools to play heroes that are strong in the actual meta.
Position 5 Support Playstyle:
This support is a little bit more passive, but he can be aggressive in his own way. Your duty here is to protect your Hard Carry at all costs and grant vision and detection to the team.
You’ll be the poorest of the team, but this is for the greater good! You can participate in ganks with the Support 4 and Offlaner and get kills and assists! Some good heroes now are Lich, Jakiro, Lion, Shadow Shaman.
As you know supports play a huge role in the early game and Dota 2 is a game of attitudes:
Some people give up really quickly if they know an enemy support is killing their whole team alone.
Just picture it: You try to kill the enemy Support 4 with the help of 2 teammates and you all get killed and this support survives. This demoralizes everyone! Take advantage of this to keep pressuring and pushing. You can even make somebody rage quit! 😀
Remember: Don’t feed!
Please, don’t do it! We know supports die a lot, but their deaths are intentional. They always have a purpose like saving somebody, baiting or warding. So, just don’t die too much. If you notice you’re dying all the time, it’s because maybe you’re not positioning yourself well.
Try to improve your score in every match and learn from your mistakes. Watching tournaments and analyzing how supports move is gonna help you a lot improve your skills!
I hope this Dota 2 Support Guide helped you to notice how important a support is and the impact they can generate in a match. Don’t be afraid to try this role. You might end up being the next Kuroky or Notail! Who knows? 😉
For more tips visit the Dota 2 guide overview.