This is my first guide and a lot different than a lot of the standard guides you will find online. Most guides you find online will tell you to do this, this, this, and this. I decided to go a different ways and instead offer you the viable options for various things and let you experiment and find what works best for you. I will typically give personal preferences as to what I like and use, but I will leave it open to you to experiment and find out what works for you. I have never found a guide anywhere online that has been great for me to just follow blindly. So by offering you options, I hope that you can take what I use as my base, then expand it and make it your own. This guide also assumes you have a basic understanding of game mechanics and the terms used in game, but feel free to ask on anything you don't understand.Your Role
Your role on the team is to support the team to the best of your ability. Typically you will go bottom lane with an AD carry and allow them all the last hits in favor of harassing the enemy and denying the enemy AD carry last hits. You are also typically responsible for map vision as well which allows control of the map and the various objectives around it. In general this means that your creep score, should not be above 20 in most games and that you should have very few kills overall. You should always pass on a kill in favor of giving it to someone else when you can, but you should also never let a kill get away because you were too afraid to secure it. This is a delicate balance to strike helps define good and great support play. Support is an important role on the team because it helps secure map control and will help your AD carry farm while conversely attempting to deny the enemy AD carry.Champion Select
Now there are 5 standard support characters seen today, however the current meta has evolved and expanded so that more than just these 5 characters can be played as support. The advantages you get with the standard 5 are mostly in the sustain area. Your ability to stay in lane longer. The advantage you get by going non standard is typically either more aggression in lane or a stronger team fight game.
The standard 5 support champions are in personal preference order of strength are Sona, Janna, Soraka, Alistar, Taric. For the sake of this guide, I'm going to primarily focus on standard support.Runes
There are a couple ways to go about this. You can either take primarily defense runes and masteries which will let you be more aggressive in laning. Or if you prefer a more passive game, you can take things like mp5, gp10. But lets focus on each category individually.
Reds: Flat armor v magic/armor pen. You're going to have more damage with your pen, but you're going to have more sustain with your flat armor. Its more a choice of how aggressive you want your lane to be vs how aggressive you think their lane will be.
Yellow: Is really where a lot of choice comes in as there are a lot of viable yellow options. Armor is another strong choice here as yellow has the best armor runes. mp5 is great for more sustain in lane and is much appreciated on more mana starved support which is almost all of them now (Janna and Sona especially, Soraka a bit more with her recent e nerf). Gp/10 is another option. Since you have no real way of getting gold outside of assists, you need some way to generate extra income.
Blue: Theres really 2 choices here based on playstyle. Scaling MR is nice for those later team fights as you will be a target when you get an oracles. CDR is also a prime choice as it will let you use your abilities more often. Since a lot of the support nerfs revolve around increasing the cooldown on your abilities, this can be very helpful.
Quints: I mostly just stick with gp/10 as you need income. Its your staple source of getting income and there are no really glaring better choices for support.Masteries
There are 2 main schools of thought here. Defense tree will help you get in the enemy face a little more to harass and is a strong choice. It will also help your overall survivability all game.
A typical defense build will look like thishttp://www.solomid.net/masteries.php#00000...031030100000000
Utility will give you things like more gold generation, more mana regen, xp gain, starting gold. Stuff like that. I've used both and while losing some of the support tree stuff hurts, I find that defense is typically the way to go. The extra survivability does you wonders all game. Plus you can still take some of the mana regen stuff in utility by going 0/21/9 which is often one of my bigger issues while playing support.
A Typical Utility Build will look like thishttp://www.solomid.net/masteries.php#00000...031030400230031
Rarely, if ever are any points in offense viable.Summoner Spells
While no longer a must have for all support champions, still a strong pick. This has a high skill cap to use properly and even some of the pros don't want to be bothered with it, but being able to track the enemy jungler as well as reveal fleeing enemies can help secure you kills. CVing an area is also great if the enemy clears some of your wards in an area and you want to know if its safe to go place another.
Flash despite its season 2 nerf as well is still the best summoner spell in the game. Letting you flash in and out as well as use flash to setup ults like Sona's is fantastic. I still think its a must have on pretty much any champion in pretty much any game.
A more popular pick a few months ago before a lot of AD carries just started taking it themselves so they get the full and not half benefit of it. Not a fan of it, but its not a terrible pick.
May help you secure a kill, and probably the last of 4 spells that are legit to take on a support. It will also help you reduce the enemy damage output in team fights later on in the game.
Primarily an escape tool that you just shouldn't really need. You probably won't ever be that tanky where ghost will help you escape if you're out of position like flash will.
Makes you a little more mobile around the map to help in placing wards. Really isn't necessary and there are better choices out there. Especially because it will never be useful in defending a tower really. Good players should rarely fear taking a tower cause of a support.
Again is good to help secure a kill, but likely this will net you the actual kill which isn't really what you want. Take Exhaust for the sake of this.
Again if you're out of position to need this, you're likely already dead. Take flash instead.
Worst spell in the game. Only somewhat viable on Karthus. You should not be playing Karthus as support, nor is this a good option if you are.
Only slightly better than Revive. This spell does little that better management of your skills wouldn't also do. Its a crutch for those newer to support and should only be used as such.
No, your job is not to push a lane and take last hits
No, extra AD/AP will do very little for you overall and most support have bad ratios anyway.Early Game
For your starting buy, typically you want to go fairy charm, 3 wards, 2 health pots. If you got the extra starting gold talent, you can sacrifice a health pot for a 4th ward. Why you do this is because you need wards for early game. Once you get into the higher levels of play, you'll be placing 2 or 3 of them to stop counter jungling before minions even spawn. Early team fights are very random and if allowed, a team can quickly snowball on you out of control because you got caught in your jungle without vision early.
In lane, a ward in one or both of the bottom brushes can help you keep vision on the enemy support/ad carry and let you harass/zone them better. Getting a ward up by dragon area is also not a terrible idea to prevent early ganks. Around the 10-12 minute mark, you'll want to make sure you have a ward at dragon as this is when a team should be gathering to do it typically. Though having it earlier does not hurt.Mid Game - Late Game
Start warding up the map better. Make sure most if not all map objectives are warded as well as heavily trafficed areas. Also, make sure you get an oracle and start clearing enemy wards. This will also tell you if the enemy has important map objectives like baron warded and can let you get an easy steal on baron if they don't. Or if you're stronger than the enemy, by clearing their wards, you force them to come check baron and can bait them into a team fight.Build
Most support builds will be similar. Your core build should essentially be Shurelia's reverie, boots, and a billion wards. Anything after that is somewhat situational. I like to get a heart of gold to make me a little more tanky and generate more gold. A kage's pick can give you a little AP and also do the gold generation, but the deathfire grasp it builds into late game isn't terribly useful if you get that far. You may not even build up your boots past level 1 for a while. Still, good choices when you do are merc treads or ionian for cooldown reduction. Ninja tabi are also doable. Rarely should you pick up any boots that aren't these 3.
You'll also want to typically get items that give aura or team buffs. Locket of the iron Solari, Will of the Ancients, and Aegis of the Legion are good choices. Things that make your more tanky are also good. Chalice of Harmony should help fix some of your mana issues while making you more tanky.
Rarely should you build AP items as your ratios are typically bad. If you must build one late game though, something with mana regen and or CDR would probably suit you well. Morello's Evil Tome is about the only one I ever get.
The important thing to remember about support is that you will never have as much gold as everyone else. Between buying wards and not getting kills, you will always have less money as a whole. Which means that when you look at itemization, you should focus on cheaper items, more cost effective items. Closing
Hopefully this guide has better helped you understand one of the most frequently misplayed roles in League of Legends. I have tried to explain not only what is important, but why it is important. If you have any questions though, feel free to ask.