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Carrying As Support: Improving Your Zone Game

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  • 21/11/2015
After the great success of our HotS and Overwatch Blogs, we decided to offer you guides from our LoL Boost Team as well. Today we focus on zoning, specifically as a support in the bot lane.

According to many players, it’s very hard to carry if you main support, because your laning phase is always dependent on your ADC: if he can’t farm or trade properly it’s impossible to win the lane. However in our LoL Elo Boost team there are a lot of support mains that disagree: they see the laning phase as a 1vs1 between the supports, that fight to deny the enemy adc creeps, experience and resources in general. The most effective strategy is the zoning.

There are two main ways to zone your opponents: hard engages and poke. Depending on the situation and on your champion’s kit, both can be more or less effective. Let’s take a closer look at these techniques!


Zoning using Poke

Poking is the most efficient zoning tool for champions like Zyra, Sona and Lulu: in general, ranged supports that have high damage. Our Elo Boost Team will teach you a little trick to poke more efficiently, especially with skillshots: try to poke the enemy marksman when he is going to last hit a creep. Not only it’s easier to land the skillshot if the enemy is immobile to auto attack, but he will also have to decide if it’s good to trade a portion of health for a single creep.

It’s almost a mind game: sometimes the fear of being poked is more effective that the damage itself. If the enemy Lucian is about to last hit a minion and Sona walks into him, he either way will take a Q auto in the face or will give up the creep: always a lose lose scenario. Try to understand how your lane opponents think: if he suddenly changes his behaviour, trying to be aggressive despite the fear of the poke, probably his jungler is sitting in the bush.

However according to our LoL Elo Boost Team poking is a double edged sword. If you are getting too close to the enemy to harass him, his support may decide to engage into you, especially if you are facing tanky supports with hard engages like Thresh, Leona and Blitzcrank. Let’s say that you are playing Zyra, and Thresh hooks you when you are about to use your E WW Q combo: Zyra will probably be a dead plant in a matter of seconds unless she can flash away. Before poking, consider also the positioning of your adc, the burst of the enemy marksman, bush control and if you have vision of the enemy jungler. Easier said than done, right?

Zoning with hard engages

On the other hand tanky supports that lack poking abilities can compensate with their engages tool: right now we are thinking about Leona, Thresh and Alistar. Keep in mind that hard engages are a high risk, high reward tools: poking it’s not really risky if you play safely, but a wrong hard engage means that you are in a bad spot yourself!

Anyway, when done correctly the enemy adc will face the same previous dilemma: it’s worth to eat many hard ccs to get those creeps? Zoning with hard engages means getting control of the lane and abusing the enemy ad carry. You can decide to push and take the enemy turret early with the threat of a tower dive (especially with Alistar’s lv6 power spike, since he can tank turret shots for a ridiculous time) or freeze the wave to deny cs and possible force a kill with an all in.

For the best hard engages zoning, our LoL Boost Team recommends to sit in the bush (if the enemy don’t have wards) or to sit between your caster minions. Keep in mind that if the enemy jungler shows up and you are playing aggressively, things can get nasty unless you are ready to flash out.

How to Counter Hard Engages And Poke

As we said, zoning is crucial to win fights in the bot lane, and since the massive rework of ADCs in the preseason bot lane is always the focus of the game: securing an advantage for your marksman means that you have a high chance of winning the game. That’s why many players, during our LoL Duo Queue Boost Service, ask our booster how to establish dominance in the bot lane and how to zone their enemies.

When facing a tanky support as a tanky support yourself, usually the tank with more hp will be able to zone effectively, because he will have the advantage in a possible all in. On the other hand, when there are two poking supports, the hp bar plays a big role but usually the mana pool is more important, since they are likely to poke each other for a long time.

In a scenario where there is a tanky support facing a squishy caster, for example Leona vs Sona, according to our Elo Boost Team the tank support wins most of the time, since a single mistake means the death of the squishy champion. On the other hand, to secure lane dominance the poking support needs to deal a lot of damage to the enemy tank making him so low that he can’t engage while being safe himself. Winning this matchup is really hard, but not impossible.

Final Words

Too many times our boosters, during the LoL Duo Queue Boost Service, see low elo players losing bot lane because they can’t zone properly: this means not simply losing the lane, but also dragon control and map pressure, eventually leading to a loss. If you follow our guide, you will have a better understand of this mechanic. If you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and check our site in the next few days for more content!

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