In the MOBA game, Dota 2, Icefrog designed it intricately for more than a decade. As it stands, it achieves high levels of flexibility within the game. With this flexibility came a lot of theory crafting and experimentation.
In the minds of creative players, anything can be effective in a competitive match. You can try anything in any skill bracket with enough practice and good game sense. Here are interesting support picks that you can pick up and learn in your games.
Though a powerful agility Carry hero, it has seen some play in the support role at all levels of play with two different styles over the years. Before the current meta, several patches ago, his talents allowed him to blink strike at great distances and allowed him to close the distance during a chase that made the support play style viable. The second play style carried over the core philosophy of the first, as one core mechanic was replaced with another.
With the introduction of Aghanim’s Shard, Riki now had access to a long-range hard disable in his Sleeping Dart, which allowed heroes to get on top of the target. With the blink strike cast range talent replaced with something new, support Riki players looked to the Sleeping Dart to continue the support play style.
Though not getting attention at first, it took professional player Kim “DuBu” Doo-young to lose in one of his ranked matches against a support Riki of this play style before this support style caught on. DuBu simply replicated the playstyle of his then opponent Riki and made it better by relying on cast range to further increase the potency of Sleep Dart and, of course, playing from a much better skill level.
What better support is there than air support? Gyrocopter is a traditional agility carry hero that saw more picks as a support hero than a hard carry. The reason for this was Gyrocopter’s magic damage potential and his game design. His first ability, rocket barrage, made trading against him a big loss for any opponent, as the ability worked best against lone targets. His second ability homing missile made it possible to track targets in the fog and had a reliable, albeit delayed stun. But perhaps the greatest thing to ever happen to this relatively mastered hero was the addition of the Aghanim’s Shard.
With the shard changes in version 7.30, Gyro now had a great way to harass and zone out enemies in a fight, or even solo kill them. The shard now made it, so his homing missile would fire a rocket barrage after it was cast. Even better was that it always prioritized the missile target, therefore forcing enemies to tank it earlier or make their team destroy it. The shard also made it plausible to run Gyro as a midlaner focusing on fighting with magic damage and utility itemization.
Strength supports, even without armor, are a welcome sight in a game. So why not have both HP and armor in one? Sven had a stint as both core and support in the recently ended TI11. It was a popular pick against physical damage heroes like Visage during all parts of the tournament.
His reliable stun and his ability to clear out waves are only second to his Aghanim’s shard which turns his third ability, Warcry, into an AoE ability while still being able to press it for a massive boost of armor and movement speed. This armor AoE enabled Sven to be a great aura carrier in Wraith Pact and more importantly, Boots of Bearing.
This play style of being able to commit to skirmishes and then resetting with ease is one of the core gameplay objectives of a support Sven.
The fear of seeing a warrior in a garden is more apparent in seeing a support Marci. Unlike most heroes in this list, Marci’s kit enables the support play style to flourish without much practice.
On top of good disable potential, Marci becomes a menace with few items and thus fighting from the get-go and setting up plays is essential to be a good support for Marci. Her ultimate, Unleash, adds another layer of slowness to her kit, as well as the speed to chase. Most importantly, it gives her the ability to fight, even against core heroes.
Due to the success of Marci as a hero, she saw a high pick and ban rate during TI11 and when she got through, she was sure to unleash terror either as a support or as a core hero frequently in the hands of Resolut1on.
A special degree of skill and madness is required to even consider this pick, even as a core pick. Anti-Mage, according to pro players like Topson, is a grief pick. His gameplay is all about farming and taking his time to gather strength to be effective.
This farm dependence dissuades players from picking it in a meta where heroes that can fight with few items like Juggernaut, are preferred over slow-paced heroes like Medusa.
Support Anti-Mage is a cult status theory craft made popular by Dota 2 player 2B. The strategy devised by 2B made use of speed and backline disruption to have an edge over the enemy.
This style relies heavily on Aghanim’s Scepter which gives Anti-Mage the ability to send out illusions. It either burns out an enemy’s mana or tricks them into committing to that illusion. This play style requires a bit of time to farm, but Antimage can fight sustainably with the Scepter.
What other “interesting” support picks do you know? Share your thoughts! If you liked this article, you can read more on our website. You can also follow us on social media to stay updated on the latest gaming and esports news.