Playing support can often feel like carrying the world on your shoulders. You’re expected to set up wards, babysit your carries, stack camps, scout out ganks – pretty much everything. Positions 4 and 5 have differing roles and require different play styles to work. If you missed our breakdown of the first three positions, check out the article here.
Dota 2 Supports: Position 4 and 5
Position 4 – The Roaming Support (Or Greedy Support, Flex Support, Farming Support)
I’ve heard “Roaming Support” used for position 4 even when the hero’s playstyle is actually not roaming, but you might see “Greedy”, “Flex”, or “Farming” too. The Position 4 Support needs to be able to spam spells and abilities. This means low cooldowns, lower mana costs, etc. Position 4 often builds into “team support” items like Mekansm. You’ll see heroes here that are sometimes played as carries too – the position 4 support can be a hero that needs some items or levels. Their job is to have more of a pivotal role in teamfights and assist with ganks on the enemy carries. If the game goes late, the position 4 can transition into a 4th carry provided they’ve gotten some good farm. Aui_2000’s Visage is a good example – after a couple of important items, his Visage used to wreck enemy teams.
Notable Pro Position 4 Supports:
Zai (Evil Geniuses)
Aui_2000 (Currently not locked to a roster)
Puppey (Team Secret)
It’s not uncommon for the Positions 4 and 5 on a team to switch places from game to game, depending on which heroes are chosen.
(I have it on my Kindle, and it’s definitely worth a read.)
Position 5 – The Hard Support
Think Io. Position 5 heroes often fall on their sword for their carries. Io literally bails out a teammate just to be sent back to the waiting enemy heroes. Same with Vengeful Spirit, she’s a pretty popular position 5 pick (although Vici Gaming was using her as a carry earlier this year).
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The Hard Support is responsible for buying wards, dust, and the courier. They also get the least amount of farm and are generally gold-poor the whole game. This position is critical, though, as the Hard Support is often the one saving the precious carry. Or, if you’re PieLieDie, you are the champion of the tactical feed – feeding so clever that it creates acres of space. Position 5 supports include Crystal Maiden, possibly Lion (although he needs his Lv. 6 ultimate to be super useful), Io, Shadow Shaman, and Witch Doctor.
It’s usually not hard to tell. PPD might as well stand for Persistent Poverty Dagger.
Notable Pro Position 5s:
PPD (OpTic Gaming, TI5 Champion)