Gather around and let me tell you a tale. Long ago, during the infancy of League, things were very much different. Even before roles were officially introduced in-game, supports were traditionally designated to enchanters. Champions that could somehow buff or heal, much like League’s MMORPG counterparts, were considered supports. Fast forward to today and look in any direction, and you’ll find a support that does almost anything effectively with little to no items. Some supporting champions excel at healing, some at peeling, and others… Engaging. Today, let’s take a look at some of the support champions that are the very best at engaging.
With 3 hard CC spells under her tool belt, Leona is one of the most effective engagers in the game. Being able to get up close and personal with an opponent through Zenith Blade, bashing their head in with Shield of Daybreak, and finally finishing them off with Solar Flare, often equates to a kill, especially in the early game.
Of course, because Leona is a melee champion herself, this often puts her at risk of eating all the damage. Luckily, Eclipse remedies a portion of the damage. Still, her playstyle is dependent on skillshots and positioning, so she works better with aggressive teams who can respond quickly and match her forward playstyle.
In contrast to Leona who jumps behind enemy lines to engage, Blitzcrank pulls opponents into the embracing arms of his allies with his signature move Rocket Grab. Everything about Blitzcrank’s kit revolves around bringing his opponents to him, disabling them as long as he can, and surviving. He’s very simple, and while Leona puts herself at risk every time she dives in, Blitzcrank does the opposite. If you make a mistake, there’s little consequences to punish you. If anything, it serves as a warning shot to opponents.
The only exception would be pulling the wrong target – which happens more than you think – such as an Alistar who pulverizes you and your team before you can knock him with your Power Fist or a fed Nasus with Fury of the Sands activated. This would make opponents who were otherwise very kitable into immediate threats who closed the gap all too quickly. Apart from that, there is very little incentive to prevent you from spamming those pulls. While he can be mana hungry at first, his passive Mana Barrier incentivizes you to stack mana, which works in your favor anyway. Blitzcrank essentially being one of the most effective champions who can pick off an opponent usually results in a 4v5 during clash, which makes him one of the best engagers in League.
Much like Blitzcrank, Nami can engage well with little to no risk on her part due to her Tidal Wave. She is able to sustain champions and harm opponents with her Ebb and Flow, empower attacks with Tidecaller’s Blessing, and follow up her ultimate with Aqua Prison to keep the enemy team locked down.
Her skills and empowering abilities also give allies a nifty little speed boost while her ultimate slows enemies to keep them at a disadvantage. If your aim is good, you could even use Aqua Prison as an initiating tool to save your ultimate, as the range is actually quite good. Overall, she is an excellent support who can disengage as well as she can engage without putting herself in any real danger, assuming the positioning is right.
Malphite has one of, if not the best initiating tools in the game in the form of Unstoppable Force. It deals a ton of damage, has a wide area of effect, and knocks up everyone in its landing path. This skill is so good, it single-handedly earns him a spot on this list. While that isn’t all he can do, the other skills aren’t nearly as impactful as his ultimate. That isn’t to say they’re bad, however, as they still have their uses. Just not in the traditional way.
Malphite scales really well with armor, and his skills basically make the lives of attack speed-reliant champions a lot harder. Ground Slam does decent damage while reducing the attack speed of affected enemies, and when you combine that with his ultimate and the scaling armor from Thunderclap, he can be a bane to enemy ADCs and auto attack champions like Tryndamere. He can also steal movement speed with his Seismic Shard, which makes it much more difficult to flee when he gets his full combo in.
Alistar is basically the ultimate meat shield, being able to eat all the damage while his allies pummel away at enemies from behind or the sides. He is incredibly tanky, and is also known as the King of CC in some cases. However, this is a list about engaging. His Headbutt and Pulverize combo may be a bit trickier for first time users, but it’s effectively the same as Malphite’s Unstoppable Force, but with less range and effective area. Couple it with Flash, however, and you solve the former problem.
Alistar’s ability to jump in, knock everyone up, while absorbing damage is invaluable. When he dives in guns blazing, he still has Trample, which is an extra CC for key targets who just refuse to die. His knack for initiating very well while not really being in danger himself earns him a respectable spot on this list.
The Titan of the Depths has a lot going for him, and he’s a very versatile champion because of his skillset. His passive, Staggering Blows, is basically a free passive root that you could potentially use on all 5 champions by just smacking them in the face. He can catch enemies with his Dredge Line, and even use it as an escape or chasing tool in a pinch. You also meet halfway, so it’s great for getting up in their face for some CC. Riptide is amazing for fleeing opponents specifically, because it comes out in waves. This means that if you time it right, an opponent moving in the direction away from you could be slowed for a total of 3 times with just that one skill.
What really makes Nautilus an excellent champion for engaging, however, is his ultimate, Depth Charge. It’s a point and click skill that sends shockwaves towards an opponent. It isn’t a skillshot, so there’s little an opponent can do once you’ve set your sights on them. It knocks them up and everyone who might be unfortunate enough in the way as well. In a clash, this is an excellent skill for targeting and signaling to your allies who to aim for, and often results in the death of squishier champions, regardless of their positioning. The enemy team is forced in a dilemma: protect the backline and get knocked up and pummeled by your team, or make a pathway for your teammates to get through and leave the squishier champion open. Either way, it won’t end well.
Apart from being one of the most mobile champions in League of Legends, Rakan has a lot going for him. Think of him as a speedier, more versatile version of a traditional Malphite support. They have similar passive skills, but Rakan’s Fey Feathers scale off AP instead of armor. His Grand Entrance is the non-ultimate version of Unstoppable Force, which is great for engaging enemies. Apart from that, that’s where the similarities end.
As long as his team is nearby, there isn’t too much risk involved with diving in, as he could easily escape to the safety of his teammates. Rakan’s The Quickness is also amazing for clashing and is a great follow up to his knock-up, leaving enemies at the mercy of your allies. Unlike other engagement tools, however, this skill allows for a bit of wiggle room since you’re still able to run around and catch opponents off-guard in case you miss your mark. Battle Dance is also great for repositioning yourself in the middle of a clash, which makes him an excellent initiator with other utility skills during the laning phase as a bonus.
Check out this list of the best juke champions in LoL.