Has 6.86 made warding weaker?

I am having some real ups and downs with 6.86. I’ve learned a lot about it over the past week and, now, I am just staying as far away from All Pick as I can. It suits me just fine because I can play almost every hero and I quite like Single Draft (my prefered queue at the moment) as I feel it provides the right amount of choice so you can choose how you play but also limits you so you aren’t picking or playing against/with the same heroes in every game. However, I find myself incapable of supporting.

Supporting is always a hard job, and is definitely hardest when your team is behind. If we are losing and I am playing support there will, inevitably, be someone blaming it on me. Usually the mid player, as it happens, but you’ve just got to mute them and move on. It is unfortunate that so many people don’t understand how to play support though, and I am not just talking about people who play carries.

Teams seem to expect supports to do everything for them. I’m just trying to compose a list in my head now of what people expect of me when I’m supporting. What they want is usually along the lines of:

  • Warding
  • Buying (and upgrading) the courier
  • Stacking
  • Pulling
  • Healing the carry
  • Rotating & setting up kills
  • Calling missing
  • Building what they think are “supporting items” even though I’m playing Lina and I just don’t have the mana pool to rush a Mekanism from minute 0

If we’re behind, they’re lucky if I can even ward without dying and, frankly, since the map changes, I don’t want to. Warding used to be easy and keeping your carry safe while in jungle was at least manageable if they had two brain cells to rub together. If your safelane is lost, which can happen, it is up to the mid-laner to upgrade the courier. Though supports aren’t alone in this; if your carry buys some wards and drops them in base, don’t just leave them there.

Tangent: I once needed to bring out an Enchanted Mango and a Circlet to complete my wand after we got first blood, and it would have given me no end of survivability, but the midlaner, once the courier was halfway down the lane, started yelling expletives (having said nothing else all game) about how I was delaying him from getting his bottle. What is up with people?

Supporting is hard. It’s a lot harder than carrying and, now that both jungles are easily invaded and now that it’s more difficult to get away from ganks even if you have a blink, supporting is a lot more dangerous now as well. I’ve always liked the mantra “keep it simple, stupid!” and, when I play carry, I live like that. When I have nothing else to do, I farm. If my team are being idiots, I farm and hope we can make it to the late game. When I see a gank coming, I hide. When I am needed to fight, I fight. When I want my team to fight, they must come or I do not fight. That’s pretty much the game if you’re a carry player. You can make everything surrounding that as flashy as you want but that, in essence, is what every carry does, or tries to do.

However, what a support has to do doesn’t have quite such a simple recipe. There are so many things that are expected of you in such a short space of time that I often don’t know what will be best. It’s the reason why you see so many support players gormlessly sit in the safelane (myself included fairly often) because they just don’t know what else to do. Warding, something I thought I was really good at when I played support even if my carries didn’t use the vision at all, has been destroyed. Warding your jungle is difficult if you’re on Radiant and the ward-spot at the Radiant ancients is borderline useless now. You have to push down the mid tier-1 tower before you can place any good ward overlooking the mid-lane.

At least I’m a good carry, this way I’m justified in not playing support.


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