Dota 2 Support Tips

Dota 2 Support Tips by Jeten_Gesfakke

I recently saw people ask for more support tips. A lot of people seem to think there’s enough of the other types of guides, but enough not of these.

If anyone has any remarks, feel free (and actually obliged) to give them. It can only make this guide better since I personally keep editing and updating it in my own txt files.


  • If you are against 0 heroes, stack and pull as much as possible. Maybe do a single pull with a siege creep to take down their T1 tower.
  • If you are against 1 hero, one of the supports should pull/stack, the other should be zoning out the enemy offlaner. If you can’t zone him out on your own, both of you should focus on getting a kill and then pulling. Another possibility is that your carry can 1v1 the enemy offlaner. In that case you can rotate to the enemy safe lane or middle immediately. You need to be sure that your carry can’t be ganked here though. Leave a lane ward or just don’t rotate and stay with your carry.
  • If you are versus 2 heroes and they are weaker than you, they are stupid. Punish it. If their lane is stronger, focus on protecting your carry at all costs. If you have a jungler, let him jungle until he is strong enough to kill the enemy dual lane with you.
  • If your carry can’t farm but he won’t die either, abandon the lane and gank mid/safe lane.
  • In case of a tri versus tri lane, you let your carry farm if he can, there’s no need to get kills. If he can’t farm the lane, swap your lanes or try to get kills on the enemy. If the enemy lane is FAR better than yours, move to another lane or try to make them over extend into your tower.
  • Try not to draw creep aggro when harassing the enemy offlaner.
  • Are you losing the lane?Leave. The worst thing you can do as a support if you’re in an unwinnable lane is stay there and soak up xp while doing nothing. Let him get solo xp so he’s at least overleveled and underfarmed instead of underleveled and underfarmed. Oh, I should mention I’m assuming he knows how to play and doesn’t over extend and die to get 2 creeps per minute and just sits back and soaks xp to get overleveled, you might have to mention that to him if he’s bad.Now that you’ve left, what do you do?

    1) Protect runes for mid

    2) Gank mid with good rune

    3) Smoke gank mid

    4) Gank opponent safe lane

    5) Go to different lane and stay there to push forcing pressure off your safe lane (often called “making space”)

    6) Hate on mid again

    7) Ward aggressively instead of defensively. People often think when they’re behind they have to play defensive. However, warding opponent jungle and running at their AM while he’s trying to farm can slow him down/get a tp reaction from the axe/wd and they waste time chasing you (again, making space)

    8) Smoke gank again

    9) You should have a level advantage on your cores from 2 solo lanes and you protecting mid, use it mid game to kill people and turn xp into gold

    10) See who’s doing well on your team, follow them around (if they need +1 to kill, if they don’t let them do what they’re doing and just sit far behind them in case of ganks) and help them kill people so you get assist xp/gold and they’re safer cause you can sacrifice yourself to make sure the person doing well doesn’t die

    11) Hope your carry isn’t full retard and can make use of solo xp

    12) Farm jungle yourself. It might actually be better your carry gets solo xp and you get jungle farm from pulls, but that’s a judgement call.

    13) Stack ancients/large camp. Use judgement though, if your mid is getting pushed down at 5 minutes you’re probably not going to get to farm those ancients. You can hang out while your carry kills it for some levels.

    Basically, there’s tons of things to do when you lose laning phase unless you get crushed and die 3 times each. Then the game might just be over.

  • Don’t stare at the cliff while you’re warding. When warding, shift queue. Place the ward and Shift click somewhere else so the motion is fluid. Want to make this worse for your opponent? Stare at a cliff you’re NOT warding while you know they have vision of you.
  • If you feel you’re getting yourself into a warding war, stop dropping obs there. Maybe you can drop another sentry if you have a way to get vision of the cliff ward, but that’s about it.
  • If you have the room to carry a stick and 3 branches, keep it that way instead of upgrading into a wand.
  • After you upgrade the courier, your next item should ALWAYS be a TP scroll. Suddenly being on the other side of the map is a strong surprise and easy kills. Even easier is TP’ing when someone is tower diving. Free double kill for you.
  • Even if you’re a support, don’t let last hits go to waste. When pushing, try to be the first to kill the ranged creep When pulling, last hit those neutrals
  • Fight the urge to TP to a lane when you’re in the fountain. Keep the cooldown fresh and save gold for when you’re actually needed.
  • The scoreboard assist counter means NOTHING. What matters for kills is that you’re around them. Assist gold is always evenly split among heroes in a 1300 radius of the kill, even if they didn’t damage them. When you narrowly survived a dive, mind your position, but don’t run back yet. If your team turns the fight you can maybe throw out another spell and in the worst case benefit from assist gold.
  • Ask yourself this one question all the time: “Am I safe?” Always travel with someone else, even when warding. Looking for some farm? Take farm close to where your team is or a tower of yours. Are you going to iniate? Make sure your team is ready to follow up so you don’t die.
  • Always carry a TP from min 5-6 onward.
  • If you are babysitting, focus on denying creeps.
  • Don’t single pull unless you want to push the lane.
  • Always consider buying a smoke at the start of the game.
  • Try your best not to pull at 1 Min game time as your carry usually does not have enough damage or experience to last hit under tower. Wait until the 3rd wave to pull and while waiting you can harass the enemy offlaner so that you carry can get some last hits and either get a quelling blade or his boots!
  • Take opportunities for solo xp when you can get them. If your mid leaves the lane you can take the lane during their absence. Some heroes like Maiden or Sand King can also make use of jungle on their own. Don’t be too greedy doing this though and always have a TP scroll on you.
  • Play from the fog as much as possible. Doing this, you deny information to the opposing team. Seeing a support hero in lane makes the other lanes feel safe and comfortable. Support hero that’s off the enemy radar is a threat anywhere on the map.
  • General starting items for supports are
    • Support 1: Obs, courier, tango, salve, clarity
    • Support 2: dust/sentries, smoke, tango, salve, clarity
  • In a tri lane the first item you buy is a magic stick. Otherwise get a TP or save for the courier upgrade.
  • Make sure you use that little bit of early gold you have all the time.
  • If both you and your carry are low, give him your salve, suicide to neutrals (after spending unreliable gold) and walk back to lane.
  • Initiation is ok if you are ganking WITH VISION. It’s not ok when 4 are off of the map and you see 1 in jungle. Otherwise, please let your offlane or mid initiate.
  • Everytime you want to cast a spell cast it at max range away from the teamfight.
  • Supports should ALWAYS have 1 eye on the lane, 1 eye on the minimap and another eye on the ward CD.
  • Don’t just randomly go around the forest cause you might get screwed over by a possible agrotrilane.
  • After a pull is the best time to smoke gank. The enemy offlaner will report missing but tell his teammates you are pulling.
  • If you want to get a kill but don’t see an opportunity yet, don’t harass the enemy laner. Stay close and let him think he can safely lane.
  • Try to always gank with your fellow support player.
  • A support without mana is often useless. Walk back to base to get mana.
  • Later in the game if you want to smoke, deward the area where you’re smoking first or make sure it’s not warded.
  • Do NOT pull the lane if you have 2v2 or 3v3 on your hands
  • As a support player, you will spend a lot of times walking around warding, trying to assist in kills or simply waiting in the fog for your trap to snap or to find a lonely hero to gank. During that time, try to think ahead to the team fights. Try to anticipate the enemy battle order, their items, their positioning.
  • Once it is used, there is a cloud of smoke travelling quite a distance and this can be seen by enemies. So avoid using it too close to a creep wave since the enemy might spot it.
  • #5 position does not buy Mekansm but goes for cheaper items like a medallion or urn if no one else is getting them.
  • Always check your opponents armor, regen, HP and damage before you start harassing. This way you know if you can just stand and right click them. If you can’t just right click harass to outlast them, use mana harass. If you can’t harass the enemy out of lane in any way, leave, because you’re useless in that lane.
  • When to gank:
    • Your carry has free farm and can easily control the opposing offlaner
    • Your offlaner got zoned out hard, but he still has kill potential if you rotate over
    • Your mid-laner is having a rough time
    • Your opponents are over extending
  • When to go pressure a lane:
    • You’re against a 4 protect one line-up and you have dual cores or a core that comes online quicker
    • You want to force out rotations so other lanes can split-push
    • You want to force out rotations so other can go to roshan. Often done on Dire.
    • You want to force fights because you have the stronger 5 man line-up. Often in deathball line-ups with an early mek.
  • Don’t go defend if you can’t hold the tower. Also don’t go defend if you have no mana to do anything after your TP. When to go defend:
    • Opponents push a lane to siege your tower
    • Opponents push out lanes to split push
    • Opponents push out lanes to make a roshan attempt
    • Enemy supports are rotating to a lane to gank
    • Enemy heroes rotate to pressure one of your cores
  • When to trade:
    • You can’t defend the tower/hero in the lane they are pushing or ganking
    • The enemy is going roshan and you can’t contest it/you’re going to be too late
    • You can’t fight because your ultimates are down
    • Your TP’s are on cooldown
    • Your heroes lack certain core items
  • Always try to secure the 4 min rune for your mid. It’s the most important rune in the early game. Obviously rune control is always important, not just at 4 min. mid to late game, a DD rune can easily secure your team the victory. Rune control is normally left to the 5 position. Check your opponents and your own positioning before you go the rune spot. Will you be there in time, can/will the enemy kill you? If you can’t contest the rune, try to at least make sure you know which one it was.
  • When pulling, stand to the side of the enemies so you can see them coming before they disrupt your pull.
  • Check the opposing mid’s hero/items to see if they’re rushing bottle. The movement from stacking/pulling a camp at 1:42 / 1:53 to securing the rune at 2:00 then sniping the courier before 3:00 is just so nice.
  • If you are dual 2-1-2; The ganking support should get boots first while the defensive support can get the courier and Observer (No need for sentries as you arent really pulling in 2v2)
  • Ganking the enemy mid is really easy during the first night. From the moment he gets into the river, you can basically kill him. Even when the enemy is under his tower mid, you can still easily gank him, just make sure you know the vision between the T1 and T2 tower mid.
  • In a 3v3 situation, use the creep aggro as a support to pull the enemy creeps into your own tower. Lane equillibrium is not incredibly important in this matchup, but netting your carry some important easy last hits is.
  • vs heroes who can easily keep the wave pulled back, you NEED to pull a lot. This likely also means that you’ll need sentries to deward the pull camp. Examples of heroes who can heavily influence lane equillibrium: Lich, Enigma. Don’t do this against clock or earth spirit as they can easily solo kill you or your carry when you do this.
  • Don’t forget that your safe lane has a gank path from the secret shop too. It’s heavily underused and really effective. Especially when the enemy has a ward in your jungle to spot ganks.
  • If you had a prolonged fight at the first rune spawn, don’t forget to stack the camp on your way to the lane!
  • Learn the ganking potential of your allies. If you have a mid storm who will hit 6 soon, have smoke ready at mid or be ready to TP mid to fill his bottle so you can get a kill when he gets lvl 6. Support got lvl 6, which is a strong nuke/disable? Buy smoke and go kill. Your ally just solo killed the enemy mid? TP mid to refill his bottle and go again as soon as the enemy comes back.
  • Learn the ganking potential of your enemies. You have a mid sniper vs that storm? Hide at your T1 tower to counter initiate when he inevitably jumps your mid at lvl 6. Storm died/went back to base? Check the map for potential ganks on your allies and have your TP ready. Offlaner about to hit 6? Protect your carry or kill him before he starts to rotate. He’s missing? Have TP ready and be careful.

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