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How to be a pro-support



Intro:

It is my first guide. The reason behind writing this guide is usually this role in the games are vanished(pub games specially) or underestimated(low level organized teams), on the other hand when you see replays on pro teams fight you will realize that how much support heroes are important. Thatís why I think writing a guide on this would be good idea. I should say that this is not a guide it is a suggestion that you may find it useful, same as other guides. No one can tell you how to play a hero or in game it is completely depends on situation, and of course your teammates. You are not alone, 4 other players are on your team too!
English is not my native language, I do my best but if you find any problem due the writing I will appreciate if you send those in comments for me so I can fix them.

NOTE:

I have atleast 5 or more comment that vengful is a support hero, why you didn't add him.
I stated below why I didn't add her but seems no one have read it so far
I list JUST EXAPMLE HEROES, not all heroes. IMO veng is not a good support while she can benefit from other items than wasting money on wards, But that is MY idea this is not a guide for veng! so some other guys maybe have a support veng build and that is a success.
Veng is support, or she is not a support, that is not my business.
hope this will answer you all.

this is last change to this guide there are lots of fact that I forgot to write and people do me a favor and comment them! read comments plz because I don't have time to cover those, however feel free to send me some parts to add! and I will add them with your name!


Change log:

28, August,2010: First edit add some part missing and reformat some parts
5, September, 2010: Added Mana support heroes, and a note about veng
16, September, 2010: Add veng to disabler group!
24,September,2010: Add note about KotL and Techies as pusher


Target of this guide:

This guide is for newbie players to intermediate players. Pro players in teams can benefit from few of these parts. Chapter 12 and some facts are written for intermediate to pro players. However, while it might not be easy for newbies to understand them, I would still recommend them to at least try.
(thanks to Ito725)

Table of contents:


1 Pick support hero
2 Courier
3 Warding
4 Pocket watcher
5 Sacrifice/suicide
6 Items
7 Play style
8 Choose a lane
9 DO SUPPORT
10 Escort
11 Do and Donts
12 Information and resources
13 Last word
14 Replays


Pick hero:

Every hero can do support, this actually same for other roles, i.e techies can do carry, but not all the heroes can make a good support.
Usually support heroes have few categories:
1-healers: ,,,,,,,,,

2- Disablers: , ,,,,,

3- Tower eaters (pushers): ,,

4-Warder:

5-slowers: ,,,

6- Mana support heroes:,,


Note 1: These heroes are usually supports there some other healers like juggernut or disablers like vengeful spirit which I don't write their name here because their main role is not support!
Note 2:These are examples,not all the support heroes! more than half of the heroes in dota got some kind of slow or disable!

How to pick one:
I usually pick from disablers category. Lion and Rhasta are my favorites. Because they both got 2 disables and one is mana destroyer and other one is tower pusher. You can ask your team to see what they need. If they are item dependent heroes pick some pusher: Techies,KotL or Rhasta. If they need less items but more ganking pick someone like Furion. If they are very fragile take healers. As you see it is completely depends on situation

Here is an example:



carry:Mirana
support:Lion/Rhasta
Reson: if she had difficulties with arrow you can stun/disable first.


carry:Slark
support: Dazzle/Omni
Reason: Healers/ he got no escape mechanism if he use jump to get enemy hero he will be definitly in problem!

carry: Morted
support: Dazzle/KotL
Reason Healers/Tower eaters She needs items asap and she is also fragile so healer or pusher are good!

* some wrote in comments if KotL or Techies kill all the creeps then how carry should farm? They are right. I stated below but better to mention here too: support should not last hit or cast spell to get all creeps killed, in case of KotL simply charge 2 sec not more. for Techies even mine lvl 4 won't kill whole wave(but will die with 1 attack) so plz pay attention to this.


again I state that in DotA you will never find a way to play a hero/role
in all games! you are humans so every time you play a game you may make unique decision.


Courier

This is one of your two main roles in game you donít want to carry buy it. With 370 gold he can buy good items (Iron wood branch, Bracers) at start so he can get few more hp, few more last hit and less harass
He can have 3 X or a


Warding

Your second important role in game. I wonít discuss warding here. I just mention few key points. There are good warding guides which I HIGHLY recommend you to read those. Like this one or this one.
But here is a map.


I usually ward at the indicated location.
Red is when you are on sentinels and blue is when you are on scourge side.
First and third ward (for both side) are rune watchers. I do not mention 1 and 3 for scourge on map they are same for both teams. Second ward is for jungle control. You should watch their jungler. These locations are my choices but not necessary the best ones! Here is an advice: Never put two wards on runes when you have just two wards!! Never! Put one of them in the jungle.



Pocket Watcher

It is not a role for supports, everyone should look at enemiesí inventories but you need it a bit more for:
If they have ward you should notice it, and track the hero (in minimap) to see where he use wards then you go and destroy it.
If they got gem, dust any other important items mention it in the chat!



Sacrifice/Suicide

By suicide I donít mean techies, Pudge, Abba . Suicide is a noobish act that will get yourself killed and put your ally life in danger.
On the other hand we have sacrifice, it means that put yourself in danger to: get 2 or more kill, you help 2 or more allies escape. The only exception is first blood, if you know that you will die but you or your ally will get first blood, Then do it! It worth it! Specially if your ally is your team carry. He will really enjoys near 500 gold.



Items
As many of you know there are lots of supportive items! Which you can benefit I will just list them in pictures. for more important items, I will tell a brief introduction and fact.
Again I mention that you are support so do not rush item by last hitting creeps or KS. Support heroes usually item independent, most important item is ward, some other items are very useful for example uinsoo's scythe of vyse but this costs 5675. Usually in a game I cannot afford this unless game lasts enough.
NO KS. period.

Useful items are:






Items with special mention:
1- Startup items:
These items gives you enough Hp for surviving in lane to buy wards and courier. Every one should get those.

Fact: Ironwood branch has the highest bonus points to money ratio which gives 1 point for 17 gold while this ration in ultimate orb is 1 point for 70 gold, and for gauntlet it is 50 gold for 1 point.

2- Ring of Basilius:

gives +3 armor to 900 AoE and good mana reg for start.
Please, Please put the ring on heroes mode by clicking on it unless you want be aggressive. When you cannot go for tower or kill hero why give armor to creeps? it will result fight under their tower. Which is equal to hard last hit and harassing enemies.
Fact: Does not stack with armor auras from Assault Cuirass, Ring of Basilius, or Vladmir's Offering but will stack with armor from Toughness Aura from Enraged Wildkin and crystal maiden aura (they have same figure with buff figures from RoB)


3-Eul's scepter of divinity:
Cheap reliable disable. Well not a disable since you cannot attack target but in team fights or ganks deal with 1 less is always good. If you master it you can dodge stuns lethal damages with it.+20 MS is also good point. It gives you enough mana reg for rest of the game.

Fact: It will removes buffs so if your have wind walk and enemy hero cast dust to prevent you from using wind walk Eul(cyclone) yourself buff will gone then go wind walk

Fun fact: The first one to developed DotA on RoC Platform was Eul , inspired by Aeon of Strife . Magina, the antimage was once named Eul, the mage slayer.

4-Force staff:
What you need? Escape mechanism, fast changing location? All questions answer is here take it. Also gives int+ nice attack speed(nice for you ofc!)
It gives you ability "BE THERE WHEN THEY WANT YOU" your are not the battle initiator but your should be the second one in team fights to disable and help as much as you can.

Facts:
1-Force pushes any unit 600 units in the direction it is facing.
2-Force does not interrupt the target's actions
3-Double clicking on Force Staff will act as if you had targeted yourself

5-Kelen's dagger of blink:
Do I need to say something?
Blink gives you maneuverability as hell! a bit expensive and not good escape mechanism if they have DoT(damage over time) spells which will disable it! but with combination with Eul's= if you die you can quit playing dota!
Cyclone yourself and shift click dagger to safe spot as soon as cyclone is finished you are gone!

6-guinsoo's scythe of vyse(aka hex):
Best disable in game.Set ms to lowest possible(100), no unit can posses ms below 100,except some spells like ensnare which set it to 0. Give mana reg as hell. Expensive, which make it difficult to buy. Other items are better!
For more advance information visit HEX GUIDE

7- Ghost scepter:
usually carries can deal less magic damage, especially late game. They rely on physical attacks, +7 all stats are also good.

Fact: It will block some spells:

Acid Spray (no damage)

Unstable Concoction (no damage, still stuns)

Quill Spray (no damage)

Adaptive Strike (no damage)

Earth Bind (no effect)

Venomous Gale (won't deal initial damage, will still slow and deal duration damage)

Heat Seeking Missile (no effect)

Diabolic Edict (no effect)

Shadow Strike (does not deal intial damage, still slows and deal duration damage)

Charge of Darkness (moves to the target and gains sight, will not stun)

Anchor Smash (no effect)

Meat Hook (moves units and stuns if enemy, no damage full damage since it is pure damage now)

Backstab (no effect)

Poison Attack (cant target, if already in the air will deal no damage)

Suicide Squad, Attack! (no damage)

Blade furry (no damage)

Omnislash (no damage)




Play style

NEVER EVER GO SOLO. You do not need xp as much as your carries. Always buy wards,dust,gem,heals,mana or TP if necessary. Buy and upgrade chicken to courier. Buy ward again and if you have money and wards are ready buy them again. This is your most important role in game.
Check pockets, if you see enemy support got ward pick sentry wards and go find them thatís why I said before watch pockets!
Buy wards again
Usually you are not the initiator, so wait others to start the fight, but as soon as fight starts be there. You should be second hero enter the fight. Protect your initiator by casting your spells, heal or disable what ever you have.
Pay attention to your hero. As soon as you enter a fight in 70% of occasions they will focus on you so be ready to cast spells and use items as fast as you can. When casting all the spells pull back a bit, not run away. wait for your spells be ready, when they have 2-3 more seconds to be ready return to fight.
this is the most important part in playing support hero, you should master it and know when to pull back when and cast spells on who, and when to block enemy path to save ally (in risk of your life!).

Here is priority for disables:
1-disablers
2-healers
3-carries
4-tanks

if enemy carries are too strong then disable them so your team can kill the rest of team.
As you two first priority are usually (not always) supports with low hp so they are easy targets, if near.Start fight with disabling them if no initiatore is near you.
AoE Heal when: one of your allies are going to die OR majority of your team have less than 50% hp.
Never heal when just 1 hero got low hp. This is not the rule for single target heals (urn i.e.) or low cd spells like shadow wave .



Choose lane:

Go mid only if you want dual mid else let some else have mid. Chose short line if you want to play safe and you think you cannot make it out of ganks, however you have wards so they shouldnít be able to gank you. If you are range always be with melee try to lane with disabler in your team so call gank (first blood) in your line with help of mid hero. If you are a range but there are 3 other melee heroes (except mid) go to long lanes, melee may be get harassed if they are on long lanes.
You do not need much money as your partner specially if he is carry, so instead focus your fire on denies and harassing enemy heroes. BUT hit few creeps at least 1 per wave. I assume if wave got 5 creeps enemy denies 2 you get 1 and your partner got other 2 but if he is an auto attacker get as much as you can but never forget about denies.
Play aggressive if you can ,but not too aggressive which will results in less last hits!
Here is a good video guide for last hitting.
Watch it.



DO support:

This means you have map awareness, be always in team fights and at least two spots of map always got ward (not necessary same spots!). Have complete map awareness tell misses! If you have ward on your side of map then pay attention to it. Signal if you see enemy heroes near it. Buy TP scrolls or healing salves if your teammates need them. You should got flying courier by 3rd or 4th wave.



Escort:

This means block enemy heroes by walking in front of them so your ally hero can get away. In this case they will focus on you. So better to have Eulís or force staff to get away. Usally daggers are disabled here! So force stuff is your reliable escape mechanism. You can also use Eul's and dagger it is reliable too but much more expensive.



Do and Dont's

DO
1-Buy Courier
2-Buy wards(both sentry and observer)
3-Dust or gem if any can hold
4-Deny as much as you can
5-Harass enemy heroes as much as you can but do not chase unless you want to kill them
6-Aware of map
7-Buy wards again!
8-Always have TP

Donts
1-Last hit too often, your carry needs money not you.
2-Do not go for big items first, save your money for TP,Wards,Dust
3-Do not initiate.
4-Do not Kill steal, NEVER. even if you are going to kill somebody and carry is around let him do that
5-Never think this guide will teach you how to be a good support!



Information and resources
As a DotA player you should have good knowledge of how does the game works. No matter you are support or carry or a tank. you should know how to build items and counter enemy heroes. Sick of seeing people think lifesteal aura will heal illusions or etc. I suggest you take a look at THESE GUIDES.
Some will not understand some parts. feel free to ask in advance mechanics. Search first if you didn't find ask. There are lots of useful guys there which will help you kindly!


Last word
First of all credits goes to Icefrog<< that is obvious!
then thanks to you all who read guide to this point!
special thanks to :Lycan, Luminous48, LEMONS and Phthalocyanine for their guides and all the advance mech stuff and active users for their helpful info.
and ..... all the others



Replays:
Here are two good replays
* you may need to put dota 6.67c in Maps wcg2010
One is Nirvana vs. LGD
and second one is TOT vs. Ehome





Misc guide
Author: tech-ladan
Map Vers.: 6.68C

How to be a pro-support

How to make a good support

Date Posted: 08/24/10
Last Comment:03/01/2013
Total Votes: 46
Current Rating: 7.59
Views: 125704



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