Despite Riot’s best efforts to balance each champion and item every time they release a new patch, it can sometimes be difficult due to the sheer number of champions and how well they synergize with particular items.
For the most part, they do a pretty good job. Sometimes though, certain champions slip through the cracks and work better than others in certain key aspects that help them excel in their chosen role. Season 12 has been a wild ride so far, taking us for a ride that involves heavily shifting the meta during the earlier stages. Though in a more subtle way, supports are no exception.
Today we will be looking at the best support champion you should main in Season 12. But because the playstyle varies greatly for supports – arguably more than any other lane – we will have a few more options instead of picking just one. Supports can be enchanters, engage kill laners, poke-heavy champions, or tanky champions, and the playstyle differs significantly.
In my opinion, some of the most important characteristics when choosing a champion to the main boil down to two things: if you have fun with it and how versatile it is in matchups. The first one may sound a bit cliche, but there’s a reason it’s mentioned so often.
If you just follow the meta and play with a champion you don’t particularly enjoy, you might win (and of course, winning is fun), but you’re not really enjoying it, are you? Pretty self-explanatory. The second part is essential because you’ll want a champion who can fit into most team compositions without being relatively useless.
So unless a one-trick-pony excels particularly well in one aspect, it’s good to pick champions who have no extreme hard counters or can adjust on the fly. For now, let’s look at some of the more versatile picks out there.
Also read: Best Off-Meta Supports
Right now, Senna is one of the better picks out there, and there are not one, but several reasons for that. She is unique because she can later on transition naturally into a carry without deviating from her standard support build.
Her kit has almost everything you need from early to late game. While other champions excel in certain parts of the game, Senna is decent early and scales very well into the late game. Her kit has a lot of utility and damage, which really helps out as both a support champion early while allowing her to transition into a damage dealer later without compromising the utility aspect.
Throughout the game, Senna farms souls that give her permanent stat boosts. Through Absolution, her range, damage, and critical strike chance increase per soul. Eventually, she gets lifesteal as well in the late game.
Senna is great at poking, and hitting an enemy champion twice basically gives her a soul, so there’s more incentive for you to poke. Her poke also comes with a heal, which can be used just to help your carry sustain. She has a global ultimate that can turn the tide of a clash or attempted gank, and she comes with a long-ranged root that can absolutely wreck enemy teams bunched up during a clash.
Basically, her only real problems are an escape mechanism and early game mana. It’s one of the main reasons why Tear of the Goddess is so commonly built on her. Still, she has the potential to scale infinitely and basically turns into an ADC later on without needing as many minion kills because of her souls.
Lulu/Janna and Sona/Soraka
If the enchanter play style is more to your liking, you’ll be happy to know you have several fantastic options. They play similar enough that I’ve put them all on equal footing but different enough to suit your different nuanced tastes. Let’s go over them briefly and see what each brings to the table.
Lulu and Janna are similar in that they both have shields and are excellent at peeling and keeping your carry safe. Both have ultimates that can save your ADC from being burst down by enemy divers. Lulu is one of the most consistent damage dealers when it comes to supports, and trades very well because of her kit.
They are both good and generally work well with most carries. They can switch up their items depending on if they are laning with an attack damage-dependent carry like Jhin or an attack speed-dependent carry like Vayne. Lulu and Janna both have high mobility through their skills. They work well in most matchups, and if you do your job right, you shouldn’t have too many problems.
Sona and Soraka are both healing enchanters, but that’s about as far as their similarities go. Soraka has excellent laning and poke, and given you hit your Starcall, and you’ll be able to sustain your carry for a good while without whittling down your health if you would otherwise just spam Astral Infusion.
I say spam because, in the late game, the cooldown is so ridiculously low you’ll be able to if you have Warmogs and some sort of mana sustain. She also has a global ultimate and can be great for assists, saving allies, or even just stacking up Mejais.
Sona relies mostly on positioning to be effective, and she scales well into the late game and only really has one skill shot. She helps out the team in all stages of the game. When she has a source of mana sustain, she can really help out teams sustain for absurd periods of time because of her area of effect buffs.
She benefits a lot from hit-and-run tactics, which gives her time to help her teammates recover while the enemy team suffers from fatigue. This is especially useful when facing off during objectives or during a tier 2 or 3 turret siege.
Most of the supports above, particularly Sona and Soraka, are incredibly vulnerable to kill lane champions like Nautilus or Leona due to their efficiency range. While Lulu and Janna can hang back when they need to and get in when they’re needed, the same can’t be said too much about the latter 2.
Still, with proper warding and positioning, these 4 are absolutely solid picks, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Also read: Best Support Streamers
If you like being in the thick of things, perhaps Blitzcrank is a good option for you. I know I said we’d avoid one-trick ponies, but Blitzcrank does this exceptionally well. So much so that he is a legitimate pick for support champions to main. It’s pretty straightforward.
Pull, knock-up, silence. If you’re in range, you can run towards the target, knock up first, then pull when they’re trying to escape. He has built-in survivability during these skirmishes because of the Mana Barrier, which he builds for anyway because of how mana hungry he is.
In terms of itemization, it’s mostly just tanky items and mana, as he really just needs to land his hooks and survive when he can rather than pump out damage.
Blitzcrank is a game-changer. I mean that literally. You could go through most of the game missing your hooks and falling slightly behind, but when you land that one decisive hook, it may spell disaster for your opponent.
Yes, this one-trick pony certainly excels enough with picking off opponents that he is more than viable as a main. When you’ve played him enough, you’ll get the feel of predicting hooks, which can certainly lead to some fantastic plays.
You must be wondering what Pyke and Bard have in common. One is an assassin that relies on lethality, and the other is… some sort of mobile enchanter? Well, they’re both excellent at roaming, and if that fits your play style, then either of these two would be excellent picks. I added them as a bonus because they don’t work as well in most matchups compared to the safer picks mentioned above.
That isn’t to say they don’t often have their use-case scenarios in most cases, far from it. But because they work best when moving around, it requires either successful kills in bot lane early to give your ADC space while you are away, or simply an ADC who can sustain himself while you’re gone. Again, situational.
While they both have excellent mobility, Pyke is more of a kill-oriented champion who is forced to build damage (he can’t gain bonus HP). However, he is the answer to all people who want flashy kills without stealing gold and experience from your carry.
He can execute enemies from a reasonable distance and can rack up potential pentakills with his ultimate like Darius. He’s also decent at picking off enemies and escaping alive.
Bard works best when in sync with your team’s jungler. Being able to just appear with A Magical Journey from an unexpected spot is always something amazing to see. He can leave healing shrines throughout the map while he’s roaming to help the junglers and other lanes.
He doesn’t even lose out on exp too much because of the Meeps he collects throughout the map. A very good bard can cause chaos throughout the map for the enemy team, and he benefits a lot from coordinated teams. Because of that, it can be challenging to be successful with him in a solo queue.
Also read: Best AD Support Champions
No matter who you pick, it’s always important to have fun. However, these are champions we believe will serve you well with practice in the long run. At the end of the day, it depends on your playstyle. Do you like healing and supporting your teammates from behind? Go with an enchanter. Want a hybrid of a tanky champion and enchanter?
Go for Taric. Do you want to play as an assassin? Go with Pyke. Contrary to popular belief, there is something for everyone in the support role. Even AP carries can be supports (if you’re brave enough).
Some might be difficult starting out, but with the proper mastery and dedication, you’ll be climbing the ranked ladder in no time, all with a smile on your face. What’s important is to choose the champion that speaks to you.