The League of Legends support meta has changed a lot over the years, but the Champions found in the role usually only work as supports. Sure, there are Champions like Lux and Brand that commonly see play in other lanes as well, but they’re still staples of the bot lane. However, sometimes playing the same old Champions all the time gets boring. And when League players get bored, they start to experiment.
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In this list, we’ll take a look at the best “experimental” (off-meta) supports that have come up over the years. All of these are based on how viable they are in the current season, but we’ll also consider how useful they’ve been in the past. Let’s get to it!
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The 7 Best Off-Meta Supports in LoL
Starting with The Unbreakable Spear himself, let’s jump right into the list of fun off-meta builds for supports.
When Pantheon began showing up as a fun support in LoL, it seemed like a terrible idea. However, as it’s evolved, it’s started to make more sense.
Pantheon doesn’t really shine in any of the traditional ways most supports do. He doesn’t heal his teammates, shield them from any damage, or provide any damage boosting abilities. What he does do, however, is apply pressure.
He’s similar to supports like Leona and Zyra in that way, but he has more potential to carry his ADC than they do. In many cases, Pantheon is probably seen as a greedy support, but the pressure he applies to his lane is undeniable. He can also help his ADC get kills via his stun, but that’s not the reason anyone plays him. Sure, Pantheon might take more kills for himself than he assists with, but it’ll work out in the end if done correctly.
Pantheon definitely isn’t a meta support (for good reason), but he’s one of the most efficient. Playing Pantheon is a bold choice, so if you’re going to play him as part of an off-meta bot lane combo, make sure you’re confident.
Miss Fortune support has been a thing for years now, and I doubt it’ll ever truly go away. The main draw to playing her as a support is how her abilities work. Miss Fortune’s abilities require much more deliberate movement and set-up than the average ADC’s, so being able to freely try and set up optimal situations for her is easier as a support than as an ADC. Her E-ability (Make it Rain) can slow enemies enough for the ADC to secure a kill, and her ultimate is easily capable of picking off anyone that might get away.
Although she’s one of the best LoL off-meta supports, choosing MF support can be a risky play — it’ll leave your bot lane team without any form of hard crowd control most of the time. And since MF has virtually no way to escape a bad situation, it often leads to some disasters in bot lane. That being said, if you know the ADC you’re with has crowd control and knows how to work with MF support, then I’d say go for it. Also make sure you know what to build on her in this environment, because it changes frequently and isn’t usually the same as her ADC build.
Neeko support is a lot like Brand support, just not as consistent. Since Neeko is an AP mage, she is able to output serious damage but lacks standard support abilities. She does have a very solid root ability, but that’s about it.
Using Neeko as as a League of Legends off-meta bot laner is all about maximizing your damage without stealing every kill. Unlike supports like Brand, having Neeko take every kill can seriously harm your team. She doesn’t have the potential to just win a teamfight on her own like some mages in the support role do, so she has to be used more carefully.
Neeko is best when paired with ADCs that want to take their time to scale, and not the more aggressive ones. Pairing Neeko with an ADC like Draven would be a catastrophe, so you have to communicate with your bot lane teammate to figure out what they should take. In the end, it’s all about communication and caution when playing Neeko support. If you get that down, she can be tons of fun to play.
Malzahar was at one point among the best supports in the game. He’s drastically declined in this role since then, but he remains one of my favorite off-meta picks. The main reason he fell out of the support role was because the overall bot lane meta shifted so drastically.
Malzahar thrived when everyone was playing healing supports (usually with Ardent Censer) and bot lane Champions like Kog’Maw. I still believe he’s decent against those kinds of teams, but since they aren’t as common anymore, he just isn’t as easy to pick. What made Malzahar so good was his ability to completely shut down any Champion with his ultimate. Now that people are playing more aggressive supports, having Malzahar immobilize himself to do the same to an enemy isn’t as one-sided as it once was. I stand by Malzahar being one of the best off-meta supports in LoL, but you just have to pick him carefully. And never pick him blindly.
If there’s any Champion that will always be a fun support pick, it’s Sion. Sion stirs more chaos in the bot lane than almost any other support can, and it’s a blast to do. His ultimate allows him to force enemies back, and can also stun enemy bot laners if he times it well. This massive crowd control is his best feature as a support, but he has other ways to help too. Both his Q- and E-ability can knock up or slow enemies, while also doing decent damage. In addition to this, he can also tank most ADC ultimates successfully.
Sion is easily one of the best off-meta supports in LoL because of how versatile he is in comparison to the others. You don’t have to only pick him against specific team comps to be viable, and you might even be able to pick him blindly if you’re really confident with him. I wouldn’t personally do that (he’s off-meta for a reason), but hey. If you really feel like it, then who am I to stop you.
Annie support plays mostly the same as she does in mid lane. The main goal Annie wants to achieve in any game is keeping enemies stunned as often as possible, and this is twice as good in bot lane. Her damage output is easy to manage in a way that allows her ADC to pick up the kills, and if things get bad, she can drop Tibbers (her ultimate) and let it take care of the hard work.
However, Annie does suffer from being very squishy without any mobility, so she can be an easy target to pick off if she doesn’t have Tibbers or her stun ready. This puts Annie into the realm of risky off-meta picks. You’ve got to be very careful if you’re going to play her. I wouldn’t recommend picking her blindly or against highly aggressive duos, but outside that, she’s among the best off-meta supports in LoL.
Ziggs has a complicated history with bot lane. He’s frequently seen play as an APC (ability power carry), taking the place of the traditional ADC but never reaching the heights of his peers. And while usually Ziggs plays that role in bot lane when he does venture down there, he can also play support too — quite a bit more effectively than APC, in my opinion.
Ziggs’s main feature as a support is his ability to lock off sections of the lane. All of his abilities force enemies to move to avoid them, so he can easily push his enemies into whatever position he and his teammates want them in. Taking advantage of this trait is the only real way to play Ziggs support, which also means communication is essential. If you want to try Ziggs as a support, I’d highly recommend doing so with someone you’re queued with. That being said, you can probably get away with playing him in solo queue if you really feel like it. Just make sure you’re fully aware of how to play him as a support and use text chat to try and communicate as much as possible.
Become a High Grounder
Playing one of the best off-meta supports in LoL can be a great way to take a break from the standard grind of playing support and have a bit more fun. It’s a risky business picking off-meta Champions, especially when you have a teammate directly relying upon you. Always communicate your intentions before locking in an off-meta support so you can make sure it will work with what the rest of your team wants to play.
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