Support players are an essential part of any Dota 2 team, responsible for ensuring the success of their team’s carries. While the carry players are the ones who deal the most damage and get the most kills, support players are the ones who make it all possible. They provide vision, crowd control, and healing to their team, as well as protecting their carries from danger. However, playing as a support player can be challenging, and it requires a different set of skills than playing as a carry.
To be a successful support player in Dota 2, one must have excellent game sense, a deep understanding of the game mechanics, and the ability to adapt to different situations quickly. Support players must be able to communicate effectively with their team, making sure that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal. They must also be able to prioritize their tasks, deciding which objectives to focus on first and which ones can wait.
In this article, we will provide some tips for improving the playstyle of support players in Dota 2. These tips will cover everything from hero selection to itemization, as well as strategies for laning, team fights, and map control. Whether you’re a seasoned support player looking to improve your skills or a new player just starting out, these tips will help you become a more effective and valuable member of your team.
Understanding the Role of a Support Player
In Dota 2, the support role is one of the most crucial and yet often misunderstood roles in the game. The support player’s primary objective is to enable their team’s carry to become as strong as possible, while also providing vision, map control, and crowd control during team fights.
Support players are typically responsible for buying and placing Observer and Sentry Wards, which provide vision of the map and reveal enemy wards respectively. They also need to be aware of the game’s economy and make sure that their team has enough gold to purchase necessary items.
One of the most important aspects of playing support is understanding the concept of zoning. Zoning is the act of keeping the enemy heroes away from your carry, allowing them to farm safely. This can be done by harassing the enemy heroes, denying creeps, and positioning yourself in a way that makes it difficult for the enemy to engage.
Support players also need to be aware of their positioning during team fights. They should stay behind their team’s frontliners and use their abilities to disable or damage the enemy heroes. It’s important to note that support players are typically squishy and can be easily killed, so they need to be careful not to get caught out of position.
In summary, the support role is a crucial part of any Dota 2 team, and understanding the role’s objectives and responsibilities is key to improving as a support player. Proper ward placement, zoning, and positioning during team fights are all critical components of playing the support role effectively.
Mastering the Basics
To become a successful support player in Dota 2, one must master the basics of the game. This includes understanding the map, warding and dewarding, stacking and pulling, and harassing and zoning.
A good support player should have excellent map awareness. This means having a clear understanding of where the enemy team is and what they are doing. It is important to keep an eye on the minimap and communicate with the team about enemy movements. This will allow the support player to anticipate ganks and be in the right place at the right time.
Warding and Dewarding
Warding and dewarding are essential skills for any support player. Placing wards in key locations can provide valuable vision of the enemy team’s movements and objectives. Dewarding is equally important, as it removes the enemy’s vision and prevents them from gaining an advantage. It is crucial to have a good understanding of the map and know where to place wards and deward.
Stacking and Pulling
Stacking and pulling are techniques used to control the creep wave and provide the carry with safe and easy farm. Stacking neutral camps allows the carry to clear them quickly and gain extra gold and experience. Pulling the creep wave allows the support player to deny the enemy team experience and gold while also resetting the lane equilibrium.
Harassing and Zoning
Harassing and zoning are techniques used to keep the enemy carry at bay and prevent them from getting farm. Harassing involves dealing damage to the enemy carry whenever possible, while zoning involves positioning oneself in a way that prevents the enemy carry from getting close to the creep wave. It is important to have a good understanding of the hero matchups and know when to harass and when to zone.
By mastering these basics, a support player can greatly improve their playstyle and help their team achieve victory.
Roaming and Ganking
Support players in Dota 2 can significantly impact the game by roaming and ganking. Roaming involves leaving the lane to move around the map and create opportunities for kills. Ganking involves coordinating with teammates to surprise and eliminate enemies. To be effective at roaming and ganking, support players need to have a good understanding of the game’s mechanics, such as creep waves, vision, and map control.
One way to effectively roam and gank is to use smoke of deceit. This item makes the player invisible to enemy wards and allows them to move around the map undetected. Support players should coordinate with their team to use smoke of deceit to initiate ganks and catch enemies off guard.
Positioning in Team Fights
In team fights, support players need to position themselves carefully to provide maximum utility to their team. They should stay in the backline and avoid getting caught out of position. The support player should also prioritize protecting their carry and other important heroes on the team.
To improve positioning in team fights, support players should practice their movement and positioning in bot matches or unranked games. They should also communicate with their team to make sure they are all on the same page regarding positioning.
Saving and Protecting Allies
Support players can also have a significant impact on the game by saving and protecting their allies. This can involve using abilities to heal or shield teammates, or using items like force staff or glimmer cape to help them escape from danger.
To be effective at saving and protecting allies, support players need to be aware of their teammates’ positions and health bars at all times. They should also communicate with their team to coordinate saves and protect important heroes.
Overall, mastering these advanced tactics can take time and practice, but they can significantly improve the playstyle of support players in Dota 2.
Hero Specific Strategies
Choosing the Right Hero
The first step to improving as a support player in Dota 2 is to choose the right hero. A good support hero is one that complements the team’s overall strategy and playstyle. For example, if the team is focused on pushing and taking objectives early on, a hero like Shadow Shaman, who has strong pushing abilities, would be a good pick. On the other hand, if the team is focused on teamfighting and controlling the enemy team, a hero like Earthshaker, who has multiple crowd control abilities, would be a better choice.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a support hero is their synergy with the team’s carry heroes. For instance, a hero like Crystal Maiden, who has a strong disable and can provide mana regeneration to her allies, would work well with a carry hero that has a high mana cost, such as Phantom Assassin.
Utilizing Hero Abilities
Once the right hero has been chosen, the next step is to utilize their abilities effectively. For example, a hero like Dazzle, who has a healing ability, can be used to keep allies alive during teamfights. Similarly, a hero like Witch Doctor, who has a strong ultimate ability, can be used to deal massive damage to the enemy team during teamfights.
It’s also important to use support hero abilities to create space for the team’s carry heroes to farm and become stronger. For instance, a hero like Vengeful Spirit, who has a swap ability, can be used to save an ally from danger or to initiate a fight by swapping an enemy hero into the team.
In summary, choosing the right support hero and utilizing their abilities effectively are key to improving as a support player in Dota 2. By doing so, support players can help their team achieve victory and climb the ranks of the game’s competitive ladder.
Communication and Teamwork
Good communication is essential for success in Dota 2, and it’s especially important for support players. Support players need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively with their team to coordinate ganks, set up kills, and protect their carry.
One of the most efficient and successful techniques of interacting with your team is verbal communication. Using simple chat commands, such as “Missing!” or “Careful,” can help your team avoid unnecessary deaths. Additionally, giving compliments, such as “Well played!” or “Nice job!” can help boost morale and keep your team motivated.
Coordinating with Team
Support players need to be able to coordinate with their team to set up kills and protect their carry. This requires good communication and teamwork.
To coordinate with your team effectively, you need to be aware of your team’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, if your team has a strong initiator, you can coordinate with them to set up kills. If your team has a weak early game, you can focus on protecting your carry and helping them farm.
It’s also important to communicate your intentions clearly. Let your team know what you’re planning to do, whether it’s setting up a gank, warding an area, or stacking camps. This will help your team coordinate their actions and achieve their objectives.
By communicating effectively and coordinating with your team, you can help your team achieve victory in Dota 2.
Continuous Learning and Improvement
Support players in Dota 2 must continuously strive to improve their skills and knowledge of the game. This section will discuss some ways to achieve this goal.
Learning from Mistakes
One of the best ways to improve is to learn from mistakes. After each game, support players should reflect on their performance and identify areas where they could have done better. This could include missed opportunities, poor decision making, or lack of communication with teammates. By acknowledging and analyzing these mistakes, players can learn from them and avoid making the same errors in future games.
Adapting to Meta Changes
The meta in Dota 2 is constantly changing, and support players must adapt to these changes to remain effective. This could involve learning new hero picks, item builds, or playstyles that are currently popular in the meta. Additionally, players should keep an eye on patch notes and updates to the game to stay informed about any changes that could impact their role as a support player.
Watching Professional Games
Watching professional games is a great way for support players to learn new strategies and techniques. By observing how professional players approach the game, support players can gain insights into how to improve their own gameplay. Additionally, watching professional games can help players stay up-to-date with the current meta and learn about new hero picks and item builds.
In summary, support players in Dota 2 must continuously work to improve their skills and knowledge of the game. By learning from mistakes, adapting to meta changes, and watching professional games, support players can stay ahead of the competition and become valuable assets to their team.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best support heroes in Dota 2?
The best support heroes in Dota 2 are those who can provide utility to their team while also being able to harass the enemy heroes. Some of the best support heroes in Dota 2 include Crystal Maiden, Lion, Shadow Shaman, and Vengeful Spirit. These heroes have a variety of abilities that can be used to disable enemy heroes, heal allies, and provide vision on the map.
What are some effective Dota 2 support builds?
Effective Dota 2 support builds depend on the hero being played and the situation in the game. Generally, a support hero should prioritize purchasing items that can provide vision on the map, such as Observer Wards and Sentry Wards. Other important items for support heroes include Arcane Boots, Urn of Shadows, and Glimmer Cape.
How can I improve my support playstyle in Dota 2?
To improve your support playstyle in Dota 2, it is important to communicate effectively with your team, have good map awareness, and be able to make quick decisions. Additionally, it is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your hero and to be able to adapt your playstyle to fit the situation in the game.
What are some good lane combos for support players in Dota 2?
Some good lane combos for support players in Dota 2 include pairing a ranged hero with a melee hero, such as Crystal Maiden and Juggernaut. Other effective lane combos include heroes with strong disables, such as Lion and Sven, or heroes with strong sustain, such as Warlock and Necrophos.
What are some tips for playing as a soft support in Dota 2?
As a soft support in Dota 2, it is important to prioritize purchasing support items and to be able to adapt to the situation in the game. Soft supports should focus on providing vision on the map, harassing the enemy heroes, and assisting their carry in the lane. It is also important to communicate effectively with the team and to be able to make quick decisions.
What are some strategies for tipping in Dota 2?
Tipping in Dota 2 is a way to show appreciation for good play or to motivate your team. Some strategies for tipping in Dota 2 include tipping your teammates when they make a good play, tipping the enemy team when they show good sportsmanship, and tipping your opponents when they make a mistake. It is important to use tipping in a positive way and to avoid using it to flame or harass other players.