Black by Popular Demand – Activist by Choice

2014 World Championship Meta: Support

Finally, you have your supports. There isn’t really a solid group that supports all belong to, but one thing is sure: gone are the days of passive sustain supports. Most current supports revolve around playmaking ability.

The Current Meta

Nami

NamiNami is one of the most dominant supports in the game. She simply provides so many different tools that she is hard to pick against. The heal on Ebb and Flow makes her one of the strongest laners in the game, simply because any fight which does not kill her or her AD Carry will be sustained through. However, on top of that, Aqua Prison and Tidal Wave can be used to isolate a single target, start a teamfight, or disengage, allowing her to dictate the pace of fights. Finally, her Tidecaller’s Blessing serves the twin focus of speeding an ally up and slowing their target. When used on an AD Carry, this allows for an extreme amount of kiting, combined with the CC she brings. For more on Nami, read about her professional play!

Morgana

MorganaMorgana has been a stable support for most of 2014, ever since her introduction by ROCCAT’s Vander. Similarly to Nami, she provides a good amount of isolation potential with Dark Binding, disengage via Black Shield, and hard engage via Soul Shackles. Black Shield is one of the best abilities in the game for the current high damage AD Carries, as it can keep them safe to output damage. The combination of Soul Shackles and Dark Binding can lock up a target for long enough for her team to follow up:

For more on Morgana, read my analysis of her popularization by Vander!

Braum

BraumBraum is the ultimate defensive support, dedicated to protecting his team. All of his abilities have defensive uses, and he has the unique ability to block all incoming damage and redirect it to him instead. This safety allows his team’s damage dealers to put out more damage, and also looks really badass:

For more on Braum, check out my analysis of his professional play or watch this video for LCS players’ opinion on Braum!

Thresh

ThreshThresh has one of the most interesting kits in the game, and fans should cheer for his pick just to see highlight reel of play after play. Death Sentence allows him to initiate onto any target, but requires pinpoint precision. Flay can be used either to engage or to disengage, and also interrupts dash abilities. Dark Passage can allow an ally to follow him or can be used to bail an ally out, and The Box gives a crazy amount of disruption in teamfights. Watch as Bunnyfufuu uses his Flay to interrupt, then predicts Doublelift’s flash to catch him with Death Sentence in one of the most fantastic Thresh plays I have ever seen. Then watch again for the slow motion instant-replay.

For more on Thresh, read about his professional play and get Pro Tips from LCS players!

On the Fringe

Alistar

AlistarAlistar is one of the most in-your-face supports in the game, and very few supports actually play him. However, he carries two of the strongest CC abilities in the game, and uses them to great effect, both to protect his AD Carry and to start fights. He happens to work particularly well in combination with Orianna, as shown by CLG:

Janna

JannaMost AD Carries have come to view support Janna with a healthy suspicion, thanks to her reputation as a ‘sit back and peel’ support who doesn’t really make plays on her own. However, her kit is fantastic for playmaking in the right hands. I’ve had the privilege of playing with a Diamond 1 Janna main and he was anything but passive. However, there are few professional supports who have mastered the aggressive Janna style. Aphromoo and Gorilla are the two supports that come to mind for me, and while we won’t see Aphro at Worlds, Gorilla is likely to face a Thresh ban at some point, and fall back onto his Janna. Between her AoE knockback and straight-line knockup, Janna has tons of playmaking potential, not to mention a slow and a shield/buff for her ADC. Aphromoo highlighted the potential for her aggressive playstyle in this do-or-die relegation game for CLG:

Zilean

SKTT1K’s Piglet played support Zilean at All Stars, and since then, it’s seen on-again, off-again play. On the one hand, when ahead, his ranged harass is oppressive. On the other hand, when behind, he lacks engage, disengage, or sustain. However, his ultimate essentially makes up for his relative lack of CC by giving a second chance to a priority target.

What do you think? Do you agree with my list? What Supports do you think will see play at the 2014 World Championship? Weigh in in the comments, and stay tuned for my breakdown of the teams headed to Worlds next!

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Categorised in: Analysis, eSports, League of Legends

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