TagPro Support Offense Guide
TagPro Support Offense Guide by noblord
I meant to do this two days ago, which was the anniversary of first time I ever played tagpro, but I got a bit busy with some stuff, so I decided to write it today. These are some pointers that I came up with over my year of playing (oh btw this is meant for more advanced players who already have the basics down.
As a support offense, you are the playmaker. Your job is to create a bunch of plans so that you or your partner can get a cap. Sure, you might not get the glory, but that will lower your draft stock so that the rest of your team can be stacked ;)
I decided to start with this one because it is THE most important trait of a support offense player. This isn’t one of the most obvious things either. Every single defender you play against has a playstyle. Each playstyle has a weakness. It is your job to find out where those weaknesses lie. You can do this two ways: (1) watch videos of the people you are going to play against or (2) figure it out over the course of the match.
When you watch videos, focus on the moments leading up to the grab for each capture/regrab chain: was the defender out of place? Did they not position themselves perfectly to stop the boost/bomb? Did they straight up get juked? Did they run into each other? You want to find where a defender makes the most mistakes and force them into those positions. If you don’t want to / can’t watch the videos, ask yourself these questions in game. Move around and try different methods of grabbing to see where you find success. That’s the reasoning behind my running-in-circles strategy. I make different approaches (sometimes grabbing the flag, sometimes not grabbing the flag) to see how a defender reacts, and then I make my move.
As a support offense, you have to take risks. If you don’t take risks, then your offense is stagnant and predictable. This doesn’t mean grabbing every few seconds, but it does mean making a flaccid grab every so often. Sure, you might be perceived as a scrub, but that’s fine: what matter is the end result. As a player on offense, you can make as many mistakes as you want (just not at the wrong times), but on defense, a single mistake can put your team behind.
Support offense is all about balance of risk. One of the riskiest plays that I do is grab while my defenders are behind and the enemy has the flag. I don’t do this every time (in fact, I probably only do it less than 20% of the time), and taking this risk and failing is one of the worst feelings. HOWEVER, when it does succeed, it evens up the playing field: instead of their team having a regrab chain / preventing your team from regrab, both teams are now chasing the flag carrier.
It is better to know one exact powerup timer than the approximate times of all the powerups on the map. Yes, if you can remember more than one, then kudos to you (you’ll be a great asset to your team). The less time you waste grabbing powerups, the more time you have to put pressure on the opponent. Most powerups are situated in the the path of a straightaway (i.e. center powerup of boombox) or in the path of a boost (i.e. side powerups of velocity). Running in at the right time, or especially boosting in gives you a clear advantage in the powerup battle. With your extra momentum, you can push the person who is waiting onto the powerup tile and grab it yourself. This means the powerup battle is up to you: if you run in too late or even too early, they win the powerup, but if you time it properly, it’s all yours.
Another thing about powerups: sometimes it is much better to abandon the powerup if it is out of the way. The maps I think this applies to the most are boombox and velocity (the base powerups). If you have two people on offense, and they send one person to get the powerup, that’s a 2v1 scenario and it should be an easy grab. That’s pretty much the net gain you would get for a powerup. It’s rare when you see a team get more than 1 cap due to a single powerup (except maybe tagpro on wormy).
You know how I said that you have to have awareness? This is where the magic happens. Know every single boost path that you can use to enter / exit base with a good amount of momentum. Also know the momentum pathways.A momentum pathway is a way you can be running onto the flag at almost full speed and be able to run away with full speed. By running and bouncing off walls, you can conserve your momentum and gain weird amounts of spin to throw defenders off.
Never grab unless you have a plan to get out or a plan to drag the defenders away so that your partner can escape. Knowing where the defense will end up after they pop you is very important. Leaving an open pathway for your partner is just as good as getting out yourself (and if they don’t commit enough to your movements, you can get a cap for yourself). An example would be on velocity where I sometimes run into the powerup corner immediately after I grab the flag. “That’s certain death!” Well, it’s only death if 2 defenders are gunning for you. If that happens, your partner (if you are communicating) has a free grab to go on the far boost and be way ahead of two defenders.
Buttons – Your have to keep the defenders off the button in maps like Geokoala and Smirk. I remember the first time I tried to fight for a button, I lost miserably. You have to see which defenders are approaching you and run out to meet them way before they are close to the button (or run into them to push them off it). If you do this, you can fight for the button pretty well.
Blocking – Throwing in a solid block can mess up the defense and give your partner just enough room to escape. Block when you know it can help your partner outrace the defender in either the vertical or horizontal direction (whichever the way the map is shaped). Also, if you see someone spawning, stand in front of them because that may give your partner the extra time they need to cap. Don’t do this if you know your partner is in a dangerous situation, as you are preventing yourself from getting a clean regrab by doing this.
Playing defense – Stand in between the two defenders. This gives you the ability to go either way. If you can’t do this, run out to meet the incoming flag carrier. Against high level defensive players, you will be blocked out unless you split them.
And yeah have fun playing support :)