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Wild Rift

Wild Rift: Support Analysis (Patch 1.0a)

Wild Rift’s support meta is terrible. With only the shared gold from minions for income alongside takedowns, supports often rely heavily on guaranteed kills to make any impact on the game. With the terrible position that the support role is in, players typically avoid the role in Wild Rift, as the position provides no sense of accomplishment.

Itemization

All enchanter supports, besides Seraphine, are lackluster in Wild Rift. The itemization in the game simply does not allow for defensive options, as the damage in the game simply scales too strongly. This pushes champions such as Janna, Soraka, Sona and Nami into the low tier picks, giving players little incentive to play them.

Take Ardent Censer, for example.

The item gives 10% attack speed when healing at low levels. This does virtually nothing, as the game is too fast-paced for that additional 10% to make a significant difference. Skirmishes begin and end within two seconds in the duo lane. Players engage, deal damage, then retreat. This repeats until a player or two dies.

This means that early level Ardent Censer would provide maybe half an auto-attack during these quick skirmishes. This adds up to maybe 32 extra damage assuming both support and ADC manage to auto-attack.

There is then little incentive to build such items, allowing for damage items like Luden’s echo to be more appealing buys.

Now, compare Harmonic Echo and Luden’s Echo.

Note that the healing passive from the item only gives it to an “ally other than yourself”. This means, in a duo lane, the item would provide 70 extra health to the ADC. Meanwhile, Luden’s Echo deals 100 damage to both enemy champions, assuming they are clumped up together. These numbers are excluding the AP scaling.

Laning phase is essential for supports, as it determines whether they fall behind or stay relevant in team fights. Just from the numbers, Luden’s Echo is clearly a better buy. This disincentives healing builds, creating a kill or be killed laning phase for supports.

But supports rarely acquire enough gold to make the damage build work. If they fall behind even a little, their damage cannot overcompensate for their squishy bodies.

Most enchanter supports cannot wave clear, which leaves them helpless when falling behind.

Tank support picks play well in lane, but lack utility thereafter. The crowd control they provide helps ADCs snowball, but Wild Rift tank optimization is very lacking, thereby making the tanky support picks lacking as well.

Strong Support Picks

Image courtesy of Riot Games

The most viable enchanter support is Seraphine. This is because other champions, such as Nami, Sona, Janna and Soraka cannot even begin to compare to Seraphine in terms of wave clear.

Her Q excels at area of effect damage, and even her E deals damage to multiple targets.

This allows her to farm up and push waves to add to her gold income, opening opportunities to build enough damage and utility to be relevant.

Besides her wave clear, the area of effect on her skill shots allows for her to be incredibly useful in team fights. With crowd control built into her kit, Seraphine abuses the clumped up nature of Wild Rift.

Typically played mid, Lux support is also very viable. Similar to Seraphine, Lux support has area of effect wave clear. This allows her to clear minions and stay relevant in the game.

Lux’s ultimate is global, and her base damage is quite high. Her skill shots provide strong crowd control and damage in big team fights, and her barrier can be the difference between a clean play and a bad trade.

The strongest support champion, despite Patch 1.0a nerfs, is Blitzcrank. Blitzcrank’s grab and base damage provide utility unmatched by most supports.

He can hook anyone, and if it lands during laning phase, nine out of ten times the fight is already won. His base damage is ridiculously high, making him a threat to both the enemy support and ADC. And as Wild Rift’s map is smaller in scale, Blitzcrank’s grab hitbox is ridiculously big.

Blitzcrank also does not require much gold – he just has to hit hooks. Supports such as Janna, Sona and Soraka require gold to do more healing. But Blitzcrank can have no items, and just hook Janna, Sona or Soraka, and they will die to the ADC or have to flash out.

Blitzcrank is technically a tank champion, but greatly outmatches the other picks such as Braum and Alistar. This is because Blitzcrank’s engages to bring the target to the allied team, while Braum and Alistar focus on engaging the enemy.

In Conclusion

The support role needs help. With the itemization and gold income for the role so lacking, supports are essentially trapped in the ADC’s shadow.

Enchanter supports are in a very weak place, and tanks, in general, are very weak in Wild Rift. The problem with tank items and champions will be discussed more in-depth in a future article. Stay tuned for more meta-analysis that will compare and contrast picks and further discuss itemization issues in Wild Rift.

 

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

Special thanks to the r/wildrift community for helping make this article series happen.

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