The Support’s Guide to Climbing Low ELO
Many players tend to feel that Support mains struggle to climb in low ELO because of their teammates and their AD Carries being bad. This is definitely an issue that all ELO’s face, but it is not the biggest thing that is holding you back from climbing.
In this Mobalytics guide by PicklePants, we will discuss some ways you can actually carry and win more games as a Support main in low ELO League of Legends.
This will be part of a bigger series so if you’re reading this as a player who mains another role, we’ll have specific articles for all the other roles as well.
Before we begin, let’s clarify what ranks we’re talking about here. Now, you could ask 50 different players off all ranks and ask them what they determine to be high and low ELO.
Some players will say anything below Gold is low ELO, anything below Diamond 2 is low ELO, or anything under top 200 Challenger is low ELO!
In this guide, we’re going to go with anything below or around the lower end of Gold is low ELO, and anything above or around that is high ELO. You may disagree with this statement, but that’s what we’re going with for the context of this guide. If you do disagree, however, that’s okay. Everyone’s definition of what low and high ELO is are different.
Learn what each champion does
Generally speaking, many lower ELO players are new to the game. Most players who pick up League of Legends will finish their placements below Gold. And for newer players, you should do your research on how to play against every bottom lane champion.
This includes how to play against the enemy Support and the ADC. But you should also learn what every champion does in general.
By increasing and widening your knowledge on what every champion does, you will know what to expect from the enemy champion in lane. For example, understanding what each ability does will help you know what tools the enemy has in their arsenal like a dash ability.
While there are tons of things you should try to learn about each champion, it’s good to get the basics down first and no more basic can you get than learning what each ability does. Before diving too heavily into mechanics, trivia, or other things about a champion, make sure you learn what each champion does first.
Start with the champions that we face most often and then work your way down to the champions that you see more rarely. Afterall, metas can change quickly and the unpopular champs of yesterday can become the popular choices of tomorrow.
A good place to get some of this information is through our in-depth LoL champion pages. It’s key to learn what each champion does. You can also go to the counters section to get some tips to learn how to lane against, how to play against, and learn when a champion spikes in-game.
Learn when to trade
Trading and fighting is something lower ELO players tend to do either too much of or not enough of. You’ll tend to see people fight at the wrong time and it always seems to end disaster for them.
Before looking to trade with the enemy, you need to ask yourself some questions and take an overall look at how the game/lane is going. With this, you’ll have a better understanding of how things will play out if you decide to trade.
For example, if you start a fight when you or the ADC doesn’t have a lot of health or mana, your damage output in a trade will be lessened and it may favor the enemy if you decide to trade.
This is why you need to be on the lookout and not constantly fighting the enemy or trading with them. For example, you can count or see if there is a cannon minion in lane before trying to auto-attack the enemy to get more stacks on your warding quest.
Instead of just attacking them willy-nilly, you should hold off from harassing with autos when there is a cannon minion in lane as it will focus you as soon as you auto-attack them. They deal a lot of damage and their damage does add up over time. You can preserve health by not auto-attacking the enemy when there’s a cannon minion in the lane.
Something else you need to think about is what can the enemy do to you if you decide to trade. We all like to harass the enemy in lane, but you need to pick your fights (AKA when you want to harass them) so it doesn’t work against you.
For example, fighting when the enemy has an ability on cooldown will reduce their chances of dodging skill shots or trading back with you. As an example, when playing as Blitzcrank, you should wait for Lucian to use his E before you try to land a hook or focus the Support instead.
For our final trading tip, when walking up to harass the enemy, make sure you’re stood in a position where the enemy cannot trade back with you or deal tons of damage in return- or even kill you or land CC.
Most champions who have skill shots will use them when you’re in the open and not behind minions.
Ezreal’s Q doesn’t go through minions, so if you always ensure that a minion is in between you and him when you try to poke him, he will not be able to hit you with his Q. This is why it’s super important for you to watch your positioning when you try to trade with the enemy.
All of our tips in this section so far have been focused on initiating a trade. But there are actually two main types of trading. One is initiating a trade and the other is retaliating from a trade.
We’ve actually made a whole guide on this topic in the past which is about the “art of retaliation” and how you should trade back with the enemy. Check it out if you need some advice to win more trades when the enemy starts a fight.
Learn how to play against hook champs
One of the biggest issues for lower ELO players is that they struggle to play against champions with Hooks like Blitzcrank, Thresh, Pyke, or Nautilus.
While players of all ranks do struggle against them, they are very difficult to play against in low ELO.
There are a few things you can do to make playing against these Hook champions easier like constantly adapting your positioning so you’re always standing behind a minion so they cannot land their Q.
You should also be playing a lot safer when your Flash is on cooldown and avoid overextending when you’re defenseless too.
Playing safe and not overextending when your Flash is down is good advice against all champions, but it’s especially important against Hookers as they can often snowball quickly and exploit your Summoner cooldowns.
We have made a separate guide that talks about how to play against Blitzcrank when playing as the Support (and ADC).
I would give it a read if you really struggle to lane against champions with Hooks like Blitz. The advice is also good against all champions who have Hooks, so make sure you check it out!
Build your champion pool
I’ve been playing League of Legends for over 6 years and in my time, I have seen dozens of new champions being added into the game. Many have complicated and unique play styles, while others are rather plain and basic.
There is a huge variety of champions in the game and it’s one way Riot keeps people interested and playing.
However, when there are so many champions to play, it does make it difficult to stick to the same champions and play just them in ranked. For optimal climbing, you need to be continuing to play a select few champions over and over again.
Pick your top 3 Supports and just play those champions. Do not play any other champions in ranked unless those champions stop working for you or are no longer strong.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone play a champion they’re not good at and decided to try it in ranked.
Here are a couple of tips to help you build your champion pool. First things first, check out the tier list on our site. From there, you can see some of the best Support picks in the current patch. You should be looking to have all 3 of your champions on that list if possible.
Now it’s time to build your champion pool, you should have a Support picked for every scenario such as when you’re against a tank or when you’re against a dive comp etc. If you’re struggling to build a champion pool, we have a separate guide on how to build one.
It will come in handy to help you build your champion pool for optimal climbing and I would recommend giving it a read if you struggle to stick to the same champions in ranked, or if you’re struggling to build a pool, to begin with.
Die less and stop getting caught out of position
It’s easier said than done, but try to die less in League of Legends. It’s important that you do not overextend and die in the mid or late game as it can result in you dying, your teammates dying and the enemy taking objectives.
The time when most Supports die alone is when they go to ward. Try and avoid warding or wondering around Summoners Rift alone without your team as the enemy can easily pick you off.
If this means that you have to delay placing wards until your team arrives, then you’ll have to wait. Ping your team if they’re not helping you move into the river to ward objectives.
There are also a lot of other things you can do to stop dying in the mid and late game. I would recommend giving the article in the previous link a read if you struggle with dying or getting caught out in the later stages of the game.
Everything we’ve talked about so far in this guide will help you die less. Learning how to play against champions with Hooks will help save your life, learning what each champion does will help you know what the enemy can do to you, and by limiting your champion pool, you will know what to expect of each champion and learn what their limits are.
Assuming you have listened to all the advice in this guide, you’ll find yourself climbing in no time as you’ll be playing more consistently and dying less. Being consistent is the factor impacting your gameplay and as long as you’re doing what we’ve talked about, you’ll start becoming more consistent in no time.
However, there are tons of other things you need to work on to climb in League of Legends as well, and unfortunately, it does take time to climb. I hope that the tips in this guide have helped you a little bit and given you the first step to improving and climbing as a Support.
If you have any questions or want to learn more, check out PicklePants stream.