League of Legends Support Positioning During the Early Game
To my dearest Support, please watch your positioning in lane. I cannot play alone 1v2 and I cannot farm properly when you’re so far back. The enemy Support has tons of pressure and unless you can walk up, we’re going to lose lane and fall behind. I am having to sacrifice CS and get into range of the enemy Support because you’re standing so far back.
Your 500k mastery 7 ADC Vayne
Does this sound familiar? Well, it might do if you don’t know how and where to position as the Support. With poor positioning, it will not only affect your ability to do things in lane, but it also leaves your ADC off worse as they can fall behind if you’re so far back.
In this Mobalytics guide by PicklePants, we will discuss where you should be positioned in lane to ensure maximum pressure while also giving you tips and tricks to survive to prevent you from falling behind.
Why positioning is important
Good positioning in lane achieves a ton of things that benefit you and your ADC. If you’re stood too far back, you and your ADC will miss out on things such as gold and lane pressure. If you’re stood too far forward, you’re putting yourself in a position where the enemy can abuse you.
Things that can be achieved by good positioning:
- Your ADC can pick up more farm as they will not be zoned by the enemy Support. If you have equal pressure, they cannot necessarily engage.
- You will be able to complete your warding quest quicker. This is purely because you’ll be in range to harass the enemy with basic attacks and abilities. If you’re too far back, you’re never going to get stacks on your Supporting item.
- You will have more pressure in lane which can prevent the enemy Support from poking your ADC or engaging on to the carry.
- It prevents the enemy Support from zoning your ADC away from farm and forcing them to miss out on gold. Some tanks can place themselves more forward to threat an engage, but if you have good positioning they can’t really do that.
- It allows your ADC to deal damage to the enemy’s tower and start getting turret plating as they can walk up and start auto-attacking it. The more gold the better for you and the carry!
Of course, there are more things that good positioning archives, but these were the key points. As you can tell, the things listed are all benefits for you and your ADC, so it is crucial that you keep an eye on your positioning and try your hardest to have pressure when possible.
Where you should be positioned
Most lower Elo players tend to be either positioned too far backward or too far forwards which is not good. If you’re stood too far back, you cannot trade with the enemy or engage and if you’re stood too far forward, you’re putting yourself in a position where the enemy can poke you down or engage on to you freely.
Now, where should you be positioned? It generally depends on a few specific factors which include the champion you are playing and the champion that you are against.
There are three main types of Supports: tank/engage Supports, utility Supports, and finally mage Supports.
Before we break down where these champion archetypes should be positioned, we will discuss how to play against all three.
- If you are against a tank Support, you want to play and position less aggressively when their chance to engage is high. As an example, if the enemy has their main engage ability up, you should position slightly backwards so the chances to engage are lowered.
- When playing against a utility Support, you can usually position pretty aggressively
- Against a mage, you need to toggle in and out of range to poke and avoid their poke.
Take note that your positioning will change however depending on who you’re playing and if you’re a ranged champion or melee.
Playing utility Supports
The biggest offender for poor positioning is utility Support. Most players, in particular, Janna, Soraka and Lulu players tend to stand far too back. Standing here forces your ADC to sacrifice CS as you are not in a position to help them secure it. For a squishy carry or somebody with low range, having to step up puts them in grave danger of being traded with or engaged on. This is a huge problem when against engage support like Alistar.
With this in mind, you should be positioned in line with or slightly behind the AD carry. You shouldn’t be too far behind them. In fact, you should only be a few Teemos behind them at max. Standing here is ideal because you can harass the enemy and be more of a threat to them. This includes being able to poke them when they last hit (or when the Support tries to secure a minion for their Supporting item).
Against tanks, you’ll usually want to be stood in line with your ADC so you can use your range advantage to poke them down. You would want to toggle between standing next too, slightly behind and in line with them as and when the enemies abilities come up. In addition to that, depending on who the enemy is, you should try to keep your distance between you and the ADC. If the enemy has AOE CC like Leona (post 6), Alistar early on and Bard, you shouldn’t stand too close to the ADC so the enemy cannot CC both of you.
When playing against mages, you need to be stood in line with your ADC and toggle in line and behind the ADC. If the enemy walks forward and tries to harass, you should walk backward until they fall back or use an ability. Once it’s down, you can move forward again.
When playing against utility Supports, stand next to the ADC and in line with them. This will allow you to trade with the enemy as well as protect your ADC. Most utility Supports will not be looking to trade often, but if they walk forward you can walk slightly backward and then move back when they’ve fallen back.
Most utility Supports will be stood next to or slightly behind their carry while moving forward to poke and then falling quickly back to safety. As they are generally squishy is important to limit the time spent in a dangerous position as one mistake can cost your life.
As you can see in this example, I am constantly moving around and adjusting my positioning. I am moving backward and forwards when trying to harass and minimizing the time spent in range of the enemy Support. Remember that if you’re in range of them, they’re almost always in the range of you.
Playing tank/engage Supports
When playing as a tank, you should always be in a line (or in front) of your carry so you can be a threat to the enemy while being able to peel if needed. If you are standing too far back, then you are giving up lane pressure as they know that you are not going to be engaging anytime soon. Even if you don’t want to engage, you should be in line with them so you can pretend that you want to engage. This is one of the many mental battles that you need to be good at.
If the enemy is ranged then should try to take control of the bushes so the enemy cannot poke you down. It is important that you constantly adapt your positioning so the enemy doesn’t poke you down for free. If you start to get poked down and lose a lot of health, you’re going to have to recall or play incredibly safe.
When playing against mages, stand in line with your carry while toggling between behind, in front of and in line of them. Constant movement between the three is good because it reduces the enemy’s ability to harass you while also keeping up with their pressure in lane. You can fall back slightly only if you are not able to engage. For example, if you’re out of mana or your abilities are on cooldown.
Playing against utility Supports is the exact same as mages and you need to constantly move between the 3 positions to ensure safety in lane. Do not underestimate constant poke from a champion like Janna or Lulu as the damage can really add up over time.
As tank Supports want to engage too, you need to be stood in line with your ADC so you can help them and “counter engage”. If you’re standing behind your ADC, you’re going to have a delay on the engage which can cost you the fight. As an example, if the enemy Leona engages and you’re standing back, the enemy will have the advantage from the get-go. If you’re also stood too far back, the enemy Support can zone or threaten an engage onto the ADC which will either result in them dying to an engage or having to sacrifice XP.
When playing as an engage champion, you’ve always gotta put yourself in a position of aggression. Make sure you’re in an area where you can look to engage but not too far forward where the enemy can just poke you down for free.
Overall, standard positioning for a tank is in line with the ADC or in front of them. Constant readaptation to positioning is key and moving forward when the enemy misses an ability and backward when you have nothing to offer is a good starting point to go from.
Playing mage supports
And finally, mage Supports usually toggle between being in line and in front of the AD carry. You don’t want to be too far forward as it allows the enemy to poke you down and trade back. As Mages to deal damage, you need to reduce the time spent overextended so usually, you will walk forward- poke, and then fall back.
Against tanks, you need to be really careful with your positioning and when you try to poke as moving forward or poking at the wrong time allows the enemy to engage on to you while you are overextended. Usually, you will want to poke when the enemy tank cannot engage. Alternatively, you can use the bushes to your advantage to poke from.
Against other mages, should try to poke when they cannot poke you. You could walk forward then swiftly backwards and if the enemy throws out and ability and it misses, you can walk forward again and poke. Do this every time to maximize your survivability in lane.
When playing against utility Supports, position in line at all times and only walk forward to harass. Once you have used all your abilities, fall back to safety so the enemy cannot poke you in return. Do not underestimate a utility Supports damage even if they are playing somebody like Janna.
Waiting for the best time to poke is key on a Mage Support. It’s important to weigh up the risks versus the rewards to ensure victory, and unfortunately, this was a poor trade, but I made it better by getting the bounce back on the heal.
The most important thing to remember about mage’s positioning is that you need to remain healthy in order to poke. Do not put yourself in a position where the enemy can trade with you or out damage you.
Positioning is crucial and needs constant adaptation. Make sure you do not stand too far behind your ADC as you’re causing more harm than good. Always try to be close to them (in line) so you can maintain pressure in the lane. Remember that your positioning will change depending on in-game factors and the champion you play, so make sure you use this guide as a basis to improve from.
If you have any questions or want to learn more, check out PicklePants stream.
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