Table of contents

I place wards. Why can’t I win?

Players in lower and normal brackets tend to make similar mistakes. As I reviewed, I believe, close to 5000 replays of players in these ranks, I can see their most common mistakes with my eyes closed.

This is why I decided to make a small series of discussion articles, talking about the mistakes many people make and how can you improve by fixing them.

So let’s get straight to the point. Support is one of the most complex roles in the game. Support role is not only about warding, de-warding, ganking, protecting your carry and making calls, it is about everything at once. We will talk about all these aspects of a support role, but now let’s begin with one of the biggest misconceptions many supports might have.

I warded all game, but you didn’t carry me. You lost me a game.

Most of you could face this behavior of supports in your games, for some of you it may be shocking, but it is actually very common. Numerous times I have seen replays of supports doing nothing but running around and placing wards. Moreover, they would hurt their own gameplay by purchasing too many wards. Buying too many wards can be bad? Of course, it can. In previous patches, it was even worse, as supports could spend all their gold right before the first night time on several Observers and Sentries without even having Boots of Speed. In the current patch, as wards became free, you might still find yourself in a bad position by buying too many of them. Why? Because if you buy all of them, you have to place all of them for them, so they can make an impact on the game. It is obviously not worth to place three wards on one side of the map, so in that situation, support has to run all around the map to place all three wards in useful spots. What it means, is that in this time, support is not going to be able to help his cores, make stacks or ganks. Buy the number of wards you need, rather than all of them. In a current meta, it is ok to leave some wards for a roamer, midlaner or offlaner.

Mastering support gameplay

Let’s get to common mistakes, which stop supports from improving their MMR. We begin with a Lack of Movement.Good movement is a key to win games as a support. What most supports do wrong, is that they stay in the safelane for way too long. In most games, support should leave the safelane around the 5th to 7th minute. Once you give your carry a decent start, there is no need for you to keep staying in the safelane. The most common move for a support is to make a rotation to the offlane in order to gank the enemy carry. As side options, you can stack jungle camps, gank the middle lane or place some wards. By staying for too long in the safelane you steal too much experience from your carry player, which later prevents him from increasing his tempo of the farm.

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Presence in the lane

First of all, do not pick weak supports, such as Lion. As a support, your job is to secure a free farm for your carry, so later he can carry you a game. By picking a weak support you can ruin the game for both yourself and your carry.

Coming to the lane you need to analyze the strength of your and enemy’s team line-ups. Many supports make the same mistake by playing very passively in a match stronger line-up. Do not just stay behind your carry and look him getting bullied. If enemy duo has no way of killing you, you should position yourself aggressively on either side from creeps and constantly harass your opponents. In case the enemy duo is a lot stronger, stay a little bit behind your carry and use any opportunity to attack enemy heroes. It is also very effective to make pulls constantly against powerful duos. That will help you to deny some farm from opponents and allow your carry to farm safely under the tower.

Do not forget about denying and last-hitting, as it may have a huge impact in the lane. Focus your attention on denying and last-hitting ranged creeps in general. They give more gold and experience than melee creeps. It is absolutely okay for a support to take a last-hit of a ranged creep with the help of a nuke, in case your carry has no nuke to ensure it by himself.

Mastering support gameplay

De-warding and detection

We have talked about warding, but what about de-warding? Sadly, not many supports tend to buy sentries at all in lower-tier games. Having good vision on the map is great, but removing enemy vision from the map is a lot better. Make sure to check the most common ward-spots with sentries at all stages of the game.

Try always to keep at least one Sentry Ward in your inventory in case the enemy hero finds Invisibility Rune. Make sure to provide the vision for invisible heroes or units.


Want to be a good support and provide an impact in your games? Then don’t be shy and start talking to your teammates in games. Core players are usually too busy by contesting last-hits, so it is supports job to provide information about the positioning of enemy heroes and their possible rotations. Talk about the basic information, including power runes, bounty runes, outposts and other key objectives of the game.

And the last thing, but not least, try to have a good time. It is a lot easier to get wins in Dota if you have a good mood and help your teammates to achieve it as well. Be respectful toward your teammates, make jokes and create a good atmosphere in a team.

👉 Compare yourself to the enemy support in the post-game analysis 👉

Hope you found this article useful and also have something to say about this topic as well. Other supports, please share your own experience and tips! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.