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Season 8 Starter Items: Support Edition - Bran's Thoughts

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Forum » Theory Crafting » Season 8 Starter Items: Support Edition - Bran's Thoughts 10 posts - page 1 of 1
Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Branmuffin17 » January 10, 2021 8:39pm | Report
Hey everyone,

Continuing from the Carry edition, here's the Support edition.

Support Starters


Sentinel's Gift
Main Purpose: General Sustain / Gold Gain

Best for: Supports looking to keep things traditional, playing as a standard support that assists teammates more than aggressing on enemies.

Bran's Thoughts: Another returning starter item, this provides universal stats to help Supports support. Small base protections and health, health and mana sustain, and bonus gold to help the Support keep up.

This should see a lot of use, just for its overall balance and because people already know how this item works. And if you aren't sure which direction to go, this is probably the safest option.

Expected Starts:
Upgrade Options


Sentinel's Boon

Sentinel's Embrace

Sentinel's Boon: This is Sentinel's Gift on steroids, providing good physical and magical protections, a large chunk of health, good mana sustain, and continued gold/health/mana for assisting. Keep in mind this is health restore, so won't be affected by anti-heal.

Can help you get back up in health through minion waves to continue to participate in another upcoming fight, but has strong enough base stats (at a cheap enough price) to be appealing. Consider this a selfish upgrade compared to the other option. Expect this to be a pretty common upgrade.

Sentinel's Embrace: This is an interesting upgrade that provides strong base stats, but can give nearby teammates from 20-60 added protections (depending on how many teammates are close). That's huge. Consider it Gauntlet of Thebes on steroids.

I think this might be picked up more than Boon, and you should consider it in being a great teammate.


Benevolence
Main Purpose: Farming Early / Damage Functions Late

Best for: Supports that have an end-game in mind (Teammate Damage Mitigation, Aggressive Play / off-meta Supports w/ basic attack functions)

Bran's Thoughts: The high base cost of this starter compared to Sentinel's Gift gives you much less flexibility for the early game. You have less options for potions/chalices/HoG combinations, and means that you pretty much have to start with T1 Boots / Shoes. That isn't a huge problem in and of itself, but the rest of the base stats aren't all that interesting or advantageous in the early game.

While it provides some base health and health/mana sustain similarly to Sentinel's, it provides no early protections, and while unique, sharing 10% of your XP and gold with a nearby teammate isn't quite enough to be of huge benefit.

If you go this route, you have a specific end-game strategy in mind via one of the upgrades. In this form, I don't see it being purchased too much.

Expected Starts:
Upgrade Options


Compassion

Animosity

Compassion: This is a teammate-friendly upgrade. While the base stats are generally good for health and health sustain, this is all about the passive. Anytime nearby teammates are damaged, your presence helps them mitigate a portion (up to 100) of incoming damage. That damage is instead transferred to you.

Thinking at just a solo number, that 100 damage isn't much, especially when you're facing enemies late-game that can do multi-hundreds of damage per ability. However, there are 2 keys here...1) that's per one nearby teammate hit, and 2) it's transferred to you as magical damage.

It's probably best to first address the magical damage. As a Support, you're likely to build a good amount of protections. You can expect that you'll be able to mitigate a good portion of that damage due to your magical prots. This also means it might be something to consider if you're facing a magical-damage-heavy enemy team, as your build will likely benefit this function.

However, you might quickly find yourself getting damaged quickly, and can easily lead to a quicker death for you. It's a risky proposition, and one that I don't feel beats out Sentinel's Boon.

Animosity: Call me a troll, but I intend to see how well this works with a basic-attacking off-meta support. I want to try Cernunnos w/ Frostbound Hammer, or Vamana (not the greatest Supp due to low CC). Other more standard Supports with basic attack function (like Amaterasu or Erlang Shen) might also try this.

Specific items can be of benefit to this function. Shogun's Kusari is the obvious one. However, if your ADC opts for Hunter's Cowl, that could also give you a nice AS boost.

That said, I don't see this being used too much unless the player is trolling or is playing a very aggressive game (and steamrolling the comp). Sentinel's Embrace just seems too strong.


War Flag
Main Purpose: Aggressive Play

Best for: Supports that plan to play an aggressive game and have good early damage potential.

Bran's Thoughts: The base starter comes back for a second try. It provides interesting aggressive utility, in that assists not only give you health and mana, but also a small movement and attack speed buff as well. This can be great in the early game in chasing down an enemy and getting your team an early kill (or few). It might be difficult down the line, as it's the only Support starter that doesn't provide any extra gold. You need to farm efficiently and make your early aggression count (with team kills), otherwise you'll be behind the enemy Support in Gold.

You'll see the most early advantage if your Support and ADC combo has strong early game potential and better general mobility. I can see this working particularly well for gods like Fenrir, Sobek or Hercules.

Expected Starts:
Upgrade Options


War Banner

Spartan Flag

War Banner: Instead of providing anything resembling damage mitigation, this item has POWER (!!!). And while the health and mana sustain are nice, this is basically a stronger version of War Flag. If you stick close as a group, you can see some amazing mobility traveling through the jungle or clearing lanes, and pretty easily catch up to enemies if they're forced to flee.

And for basic-attack heavy comps, if you can get those assist stacks up, you're giving those teammates up to 40% attack speed (!!!!!!) for the duration.

You'll have to be good about keeping those stacks, but there's a ton of utility potential in this item.

Spartan Flag: This upgrade also provides power, but rather than focus on general mobility or fights that involve a lot of movement, this one is stronger in protecting / sieging objectives.

The flag you call down gives teammates in the radius a 10% power boost, which can be very strong late-game with full builds. While the flag can't move, it can give you an advantage if you choose to fight enemies under their phoenix, or when attempting to secure or steal the Fire Giant under pressure.

Interesting, but I think War Banner will be used significantly more than this.


Of these starters, I expect Sentinel to be used most, followed by War Flag. I don't think Benevolence will be used much unless the stats are tweaked.

So, thoughts?
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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Devampi » January 11, 2021 1:45am | Report
I share the same thoughts on the usage of the items.

Looking at the historical path of supports their biggest influence in builds has pretty much always been gold gain (S1 with watcher's and midas shoes the talaria that gave gold on enemy hit etc.). Do have to say the stats on these items are better than the adc ones except for Benevolence their upgrades.

So let's start with Sentinel's Gift
I believe it's the exact same as Guardian's Blessing. And indeed the safest bet in most games unless you have a specific game plan or playstyle.

Sentinel's Boon
The option for if you find yourself having long sieges or more poked out during fights during a game. Or lastly, the reason to get it is if you're severely behind in gold. The gold gain plays the biggest role early to mid game, not late game. Therefore, it makes its counterpart better in other situations.

Sentinel's Embrace
Thebes on steroids as it can provide a minimum of 24 prot to all your allies up to 60. only on you this already provides 80 prot. Unless you need sustain I expect to see this one a lot. it really allows support players to become quite tanky combined with thebes allowing a slot for a Divine Ruin. or double down on providing almost a full defensive item on prot with 49 prot with a thebes+sov/heartward combo.

Benevolence
The price is really a shame as the stats and gold gain are too weak. On top of that during assists, you lose your own gold gain to slightly boost an ally IF they didn't die already. This item sets supports back in such a way that I expect to see it sooner in a solo lane for the upgrade. The only question is if the gold gain counts for minions otherwise the item is even more terrible and can put you in a behind loop making you less effective

Compassion
also weaker on stats and the cap on the passive makes it a severely nerfed knight's vow from LoL (which also provides a 15% redirect of damage to your tethered ally). at this stage no reason to get it as probably embrace will mitigate more for your allies.

Animosity
Likely the one to be seen of the 2 upgrades, slightly more but not in support. I expect this sooner on your ymir solo lane or sylvanus with an attack speed build. As GP5 is better in a lane you can farm and don't expect to get many kills. the only question is if the gold gain from minions is reduced and doesn't interfere.

War Flag
an interesting one for our warrior sups and other pre 5 agro supports. And stat wise the best starter item if not for the cost. The best thing about this item allowing you adc with Death's Toll to heal even more during laning phase. Because the no gold gain this item will likely prompt an immediately played back response from your opponent as they will benefit to heavily from it and you as an aggro support will miss your window and fall behind with bad luck.

War Banner
Honestly both these 2 upgrades feel like good siege upgrades. this one being more focussed on allowing your team to outsustain poke or prolong sieges as it heals your team per killed wave.

spartan banner
the more all in focussed banner. although slightly more counterable. also weird that it has 10 increased physical power but only 5 magical from war. I expect this one to be slightly riskier if you aren't sieging or contesting a static objective as opponents might disengage and fight out of range making you benefit slightly less until it procs again.

All in all it feels like a much better job than adc items. I expect that people are mostly going to go embrace followed by one of the banners. benevolance upgrades only when trolling doing something off meta as it's just to worth it in it's current stage not on it's upgrades stats or the passive. And it's expensive as hell.

How support builds will change not to much only in that they have one situational less I still expect a situational slot to be filled with anything they picked before. the only question will be if the bigger map might warrant the weak talaria for heavy roaming players.
an example (n this case aura) build:
embrace-focus-thebes-into dedicated physical and magical (sov/contagion and pestilence/shoguns/oni) into 2 situationals (discord, relic, magus, ethereal, spectral, pridwen etc.)
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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by newbiemj » January 11, 2021 8:29am | Report
I would like to see Kuzenbo with Compassion. Use his 2 and thorns to redirect some of that damage back to multiple enemies would be nice. Granted he is probably the only plausible one (maybe Terra with blink ult) to do that because Embrace seems like the greater overall. Ares with an aura build and Embrace might be interesting to see. Still generate damage, while making yourself and allies tanky.

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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Branmuffin17 » January 11, 2021 9:20am | Report
Oooh, that's a great idea, yeah that would be pretty interesting for Kuzen.
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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Devampi » January 12, 2021 1:04am | Report
That is a good interaction to go and test, before you know it it is coded wonky and you redirect it towards your allies XD
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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Branmuffin17 » January 12, 2021 10:49am | Report
AHAHAHA I actually thought about that. The enemy damages your teammate, your teammate transfers the dmg to you, your reflect transfers the damage back to the individual that transferred it to you so you dmg your teammate.

I absolutely wouldn't be surprised if that happens.
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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Devampi » January 13, 2021 12:47am | Report
knowing the spaghetti code that can exist or the oversight it might
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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Big damage » January 13, 2021 7:00am | Report
Does anyone know if Sentinel's Embrace stacks if 2 gods built it?

For example say you play arena and 2 people go Guardian and use that blessing, would they receive each others aura benefits as well as giving them to team mates?
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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Branmuffin17 » January 13, 2021 10:02am | Report
I have to assume they don't allow stacking, just like any of the other aura items. If it does, it's more than broken.
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Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Devampi » January 14, 2021 10:08am | Report
I don't think anyone else then a support will quickly build the starter just to build it into embrace if it stacks. the solo laner is the closest option but grabbing this starter will likely lose him the lane
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