We’d like to wrap up our support meta-discussion with a quick summary of what’s changed in the overall support playstyle in the new map. Many players are having a hard time adjusting, so here are some quick tips for the new patch to get you started.
It’s not hyperbole. Wisdom runes are by far the most important target at minutes 7, 14, and 21. Maybe for much longer than that, but the impact is more pronounced when you reach level six early or when you get to choose your level ten talent before the enemy for a small potential power boost.
Be mindful of them, prioritize them over kills, and an argument can even be made for sacrificing yourself for the Runes of Wisdom. At 14 minutes, he gives 1120 XP to the team that chooses him, the equivalent of a ~11 level hero dying. If you’re below that level on a support, which is very likely, trying for the enemy rune Wisdom is generally worth it, even if the chance of dying is high.
There’s a reason there’s a cap on consumables now: they’re extremely effective at keeping heroes on the map and active. With the introduction of Twin Gates, the area of effect on the support was essentially doubled for the early game.
It means that if you want to maximize your effectiveness, you need to do some rotations. You can no longer be content with just leveling your lane and that means you need to have at least some resources available at all points in the game.
Make sure your lane partner is aware of you coming out of lane, make sure the side lane you’re teleporting to has your side or Roshan/Twin Gate Watcher incapacitated, and prepare for multiple rounds of casting spells. In many pub games, it’s actually worth saving the Twin Gate area around the four-five minute mark, because most of the successful spins come at night, and being aware of them can give you an advantage.
This is a 7.33c specific addon, but the stack feels great now because it now rewards XP on top of the extra gold. The Twin Gate ward we just mentioned? It also covers the area with two camps for Dire and Radiant. Zone is significantly more convenient in Radiant, but even as a Dire you can pull the double double behind your level one safe lane.
Get 3 times on both and you can suddenly get a huge influx of XP once someone comes to clean them up. It should only take you out of lane for ten seconds or so if you’re efficient. Do make your lane partner aware of your movements in and out of the lane, even if it is for a very short period of time.
Clearing these stacks at the seven minute mark is possible in many carry metas and is a very good way to get your neutral items faster than the enemy. Having +4 to all stats or some extra MS and Mana can make a massive difference before the tenth minute: it’s pretty much a whole extra level worth of attributes in most cases.
This is not necessarily a specific support, but it is a very important concept nonetheless. The map is too big to aimlessly search for kills around it. Playing for objectives is a better game nine times out of ten. If you are stronger – let the enemy come to you when you knock on their door. However, if you’re weaker, split up and work, with props keeping the dangerous lanes away from a safe distance.
Unless you’re playing in Immortal+ pubs, smoking and going for a gang will take a lot of time. One of your cores will suddenly want to finish off the neutral camp. Another will require an extra minute to retrieve the next item. Everything will waste time, so instead of being an exercise in frustration trying to rally your team, just play the efficiency game yourself, staying behind your cores to save them when needed, stacking up along the way and pushing dangerous lanes.
Usually the best way to smoke in bars is after one of your hubs makes the call about it. For them it might be a level or item, but your team as a whole should have a clear objective in mind. Smoke for the enemy torturer? Good smoke. Smoking for Roshan? Excellent. Smoke for Wisdom Rune? It makes sense.
Don’t smoke and wander through the enemy jungle. If you’re unlucky, the enemy read your smoke ten seconds ago and is now farming the opposite side of the map.
The only effective “roaming smoke” is after you put up a good fight around the enemy tower, take the tower while the enemy was respawning, and then immediately smoke to run across the map to the enemy tower on the other side of the map, where the enemy core is most likely now working. This is why at least one smoke should always be in your inventory.
The general feeling at the launch of 7.33 was that backers have it rough, and while that was true in the initial release and in 7.33b, we feel that 7.33c is more of a “feast or famine” for support players. Which is good for better support.
By rotating into the gank early, being efficient on the stacked map, and controlling Wisdom runes, you can not only speed up your support progression, but also completely shut down enemy supports. The myth of the ten-minute level four support is true, but you don’t have to be them.
You can be a level seven support at minute ten, with lots of assists and kills, going out of control with a super early Pavise, which is still probably the most cost-effective support item in the game right now.