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LULU BUILD GUIDE: Support Lulu by astrolia

by astrolia (last updated over a year ago)

Featured1,145,895 Views 26 Comments
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist( +12.06 magic resist)
3
Greater Quintessence of Gold( +3 gold / 30 sec.)
9
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration(8.1 Armor Penetration and 5.58 Magic Penetration)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
0
13
17
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
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mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
0 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
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mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
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mastery 2 mastery 2 1/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
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mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
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mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
13 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
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mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
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mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
17 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Pix, Faerie Companion
QGlitterlance
WWhimsy
EHelp, Pix!
RWild Growth
View Skill Order Details

Runes

Masteries

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mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
0 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 2/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
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mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
13 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 2/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 2/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 4/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
17 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Pix, Faerie Companion
QGlitterlance
WWhimsy
EHelp, Pix!
RWild Growth

Champion Matchups

Introduction

Champions who are capable of being useful to their teams with their skill set and few items take up the role of the support. They let the carry get all the minions and offer their team vision by spending most of their gold on Sight Wards. They are usually a little under leveled since they leave lane to place Sight Wards while their carry farms. In team fights, they contribute with items like Locket of the Iron Solari and help protect their carry.

In this guide, I will discuss one support: Lulu. Lulu has tons of utility which allows her to poke and help peel enemies off her carry. She has particularly high synergy with other AD carries who can poke early game. In team comps, she has high synergy with strong initiators and disruptors, especially those who have displacement abilities. She's also fairly mobile and good at disengaging. Overall Lulu is pretty fun to play and it feels rewarding to ult your tank into a winning team fight or "accidentally" kill steal with the tip of your Glitterlance.

Summoner Spells

+ or

Flash works on Lulu as it does 90% of all other champions in the game. It gives her a gap closer and a way to go over terrain. Exhaust is strong in team fights to reduce damage from assassins. However, it can be Cleansed. Typically, weaker early game carries (e.g. Vayne) will take Cleanse. Heal is much better now that it heals everyone equally. It team fights, it's good versus AoE damage and you can even use it while crowd controlled. In lane, it's good versus burst damage, but weak versus strong carries who typically take Ignite or who have innate healing debuffs (e.g. Miss Fortune). No verdict on Clairvoyance yet. Its usefulness will depend on how the jungle plays out in season 3.

Runes

[http://puu.sh/26wH2]


Recommended
  • Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
  • Greater Seal of Armor
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
  • Greater Quintessence of Gold

Other Options
  • Greater Mark of Armor
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage
  • Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration

Explanation
As with all supports, Greater Quintessence of Gold gives you some income to buy items since you aren't farming. For marks, use Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration since Lulu's harass damage is a mixture of physical and magic. This will make your magic damage in team fights weaker, but you should be more concerned about protecting your carry anyway. Mathematical analysis can be found here. Greater Mark of Attack Damage are also viable because Lulu does a lot of autoattack harass. Greater Mark of Armor is a more defensive option.

For seals and glyphs, rune defensively since Lulu has low base defenses. Greater Seal of Armor reduces damage from the enemy AD carry, and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is useful when laning versus champions who do magic damage. Flat is stronger than scaling at level 1 (when laners with magic damage will try to poke you a lot) and level 6 (when people get their ultimates). If you don't need the magic resist, you can use Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration instead to help with your mana before you get Philosopher's Stone.

Hybrid Pen vs Full Mpen
DiffTheEnder made an excellent write up comparing the two at Reign of Gaming:
http://www.reignofgaming.net/blogs/a-different-view/diff-the-ender/23126-hybrid-penetration-marks-analysis-by-difftheender
Overall, hybrid pen marks are quite effective if you're autoattacking and doing magic damage, which Lulu will do a fair bit of because of her passive. Sona is similar again because of her passive.

Masteries

[http://puu.sh/1TUSX]


Defense
0/13/17 masteries are focused on reducing champion damage in lane when you autoattack harass and get Pickpocket gold. The points in Defense gives you some health, armor, and having Unyielding and Block will reduce how much damage enemy champions do to you. Perseverance , Relentless , Resistance and Hardiness can all be used as filler to unlock tier 4 of the Defense tree. For the rest of your Mastery points, Lulu benefits from going deep in Utility for the various supportive masteries. Summoner's Wrath is great for the Exhaust buff, but both Pickpocket and Block are quite valuable.

Utility
Start off the Utility tree by taking Meditation for more mana regen. In tier 2, taking Mastermind means you can make plays with your summoner spells more frequently. Artificer is pretty powerful for supports. They usually build a couple active items. You can put two points in each or whatever combo you prefer to unlock tier 3. Greed means more GP10, and Wealth lets you start with four Sight Wards. Biscuiteer is a bit weak, but it gives you another source of HP/MP regen and it opens up Explorer , both of which can be crucial in the first two minutes of the game. Pickpocket is nice to have on Lulu because a lot of her harass is also autoattack harass.

Summoner's Wrath vs Block/Pickpocket
Personally I prefer Block + Pickpocket. Block is fairly strong and reduces damage all game. Pickpocket is nice to have in lane, and as Lulu you ought to do a fair amount of autoattack harass due to your lower mana pool. Summoner's Wrath is quite strong early game when the enemy carry or support have such low armor and magic resist. However, if you know the AD carry is going to have Cleanse and just Cleanse away your Exhuast, this point in Summoner's Wrath suddenly becomes less valuable.

Items

Start With: // Then Buy:

Start off the game with a Faerie Charm, Sight Wards, and a mixture of potions. In more organized play or versus stealth champs, you can also buy a Vision Ward instead of a Faerie Charm. During early game, buy a Philosopher's Stone for the mana regen so you can poke/harass with your skills more often, Sightstone for the ward generation and flat HP (you're squishy), and Boots of Speed to defend against ganks and skill shots.


Optional early items:

Optionally, you can also buy Chalice of Harmony, especially if the enemy laners do a lot of magic damage, or Kage's Lucky Pick if you'd like to build anything it upgrades into, or Kindlegem which turns into 2 core items.


Core Items:

Next, build your core items. Ruby Sightstone is just the upgraded Sightstone. Shurelya's Reverie which has useful support stats and a powerful active for initiating, chasing, escaping, countering kiting, and helping out carries without mobility. Locket of the Iron Solari is a very cost effective defensive item that's cheaper than Aegis of the Legion, gives cooldown, and has a useful active for team fights.


Solo q boots: // Arranged team boots: // Other enchant:

For boots, Ionian Boots of Lucidity with Enchantment: Captain are fine in solo queue just for the stats and additional mobility. In a more organized team comp, Boots of Mobility with Enchantment: Alacrity compliments how Lulu is incredibly good at being slippery and disengaging by throwing a Glitterlance behind her. The other enchant recommendation is Enchantment: Homeguard to defend your base easier.


Choice items:

After the core items, we start moving into picking 5th/6th items which are more situational or preferential. Versus crowd control, Mikael's Crucible is a very powerful item to have for the active, though it has a ridiculously long cooldown. Having maxed Artificer helps. If you have a lot of AD champs on your team, buy Zeke's Herald. Morellonomicon's heal reduction passive is very easy to apply with Lulu. You can buy it versus teams with annoying healers or built-in sustain.

For more tankiness, you should build Aegis of the Legion. If the enemy team has a lot of AP, upgrade Aegis of the Legion into Runic Bulwark too. You can still buy it even if your jungler or top lane gets it since the aura stacks twice for both aura holders. Twin Shadows is an all around useful item - lower price tag, good stats, can be used to scout or initiate, and it also guarantees that someone will get slowed, but it doesn't fill a particular niche like the others do.


Consumables:

Lastly, consumables. Use Sight Wards in addition to your Ruby Sightstone when you need to heavily ward up an area such as Baron. Vision Wards are powerful early game versus stealth characters and to clear enemy wards, but buying too many Vision Wards can set you behind. Later, you can buy an Oracle's Elixir before going after objectives to clear out enemy vision. And when you know you're going to group up and try for an objective, there's always Elixir of Brilliance and Elixir of Fortitude to boost your stats.

Item Explanations / Commentary

When do you build Aegis and when do you build Locket?
This is fairly simple. Every team ideally wants at least one Aegis of the Legion and one Locket of the Iron Solari because the aura and the active are useful to have in team fights. If your jungler has built Locket of the Iron Solari, build Aegis of the Legion instead and vice versa. Unfortunately, Aegis of the Legion and Runic Bulwark are fairly costly. very costly.

Example: If the enemy team has double AP, and your jungler has already built Aegis of the Legion, you can still build Aegis of the Legion since the aura will stack twice for both aura holders. And since the enemy team in this situation is double AP, you will definitely want to turn it into Runic Bulwark later for the increased magic resist aura.

Why is Philo Stone core but Kages Pick optional? Its also a GP10
The problem with this question is that it assumes that Philosopher's Stone is built mostly for the GP10, which isn't really true. First off, Philosopher's Stone gives you regen which sustains your harass/poke in lane. Second off, it builds into a universally useful item ( Shurelya's Reverie). Thirdly, you can start the game with a Faerie Charm and Sight Wards which makes it a very easy build path.

Honestly, the fact that Kage's Lucky Pick gives GP10 can pretty much be ignored. While some believe that GP10 = "more gold", this isn't really true since you have to spend money to buy it. Only after it pays itself off will it actually be giving you "more gold".

Kage's Lucky Pick is quite different. AP is not particularly useful early game on most supports because they don't have incredible AP ratios. Defensively, it would make Lulu's Help, Pix! shield for 15 more HP, Sona's Aria of Perseverance heal for 6 more HP, and Nami's Ebb and Flow will heal for 7 more HP.

Offensively, the damage it adds is minimal because a lot of supports also rely on autoattack and non-AP harass. Pix, Faerie Companion and Power Chord's magic components scale on magic penetration and levels, not AP. Zyra is a much better Kage's Lucky Pick candidate with her multiple sources of AP damage. Plus she isn't as mana intensive, thus isn't as reliant on Philosopher's Stone.

That said, having the extra AP will definitely make your spells stronger / heal more. It's not like it "hurts" to have the extra AP, but it might not be the best or most effective purchase. E.g. Kindlegem is only 85 gold more than Kage's Lucky Pick.

You should also consider what it upgrades into. Kage's Lucky Pick turns into 4 different items, none of which compare to how Shurelya's Reverie can be useful in multiple situations. Unless you want one of those items for a specific reason (e.g. you want to build Morellonomicon versus Soraka/ Dr. Mundo), there isn't much reason to build Kage's Lucky Pick.

Why do you recommend Shadows or Morellonomicon but not WotA or Shard?
I recommend Twin Shadows because it has good stats (magic res + movespeed combo) and a nice active. It doesn't have a single particular use, it's just a multifunctional item. Morellonomicon can fill a certain niche though. The passive can be useful versus certain teams as a counter-item and the passive is also easy to apply with Lulu.

Will of the Ancients and Shard of True Ice aren't on the same level as either of those. Will of the Ancients is not a great item for a support to begin with. You aren't going to benefit heavily from the spell vamp, and it doesn't have HP/CDR like Zeke's Herald does that make you tankier for buying it despite the fact you don't benefit from the aura as much. Will of the Ancients has kinda gone off radar honestly. Ever since the price change, most people have been satisfied buying Hextech Revolver for sustain and upgrading it practically near the end of the game.

Shard of True Ice is just a crappy item. Ideally you would want to use an item like this on your initiatior, but you won't always be near your initiator, and most initiators should have their own Randuin's Omen anyway. The fact that it keeps its GP10 is a placebo. GP10 doesn't give you free gold until after it generates its entire item cost, and this item costs 1700 gold. At 24 gold per minute, it would like 70 minutes before you start getting "free gold" from it.

What about Ohmwrecker or Banner of Command?
Banner of Command compliments a fast push team, which Lulu can take part in because of her AoE with Glitterlance, but it'll be far past lane phase once she gets gold for Banner of Command. Outside of push comps, it can be powerful to have a promoted minion wailing away at bottom tower while you and the enemy team have a Mexican standoff at baron, but that's a very specific use.

Similarly, Ohmwrecker only has one specific use - to force an engage on enemy teams that are trying to turtle. This is usually achieved with a mid laner who can clear waves very quickly - Lux or Anivia, for example. Outside of that, it's not a particularly useful item, and it also shares a build path with a much better item (Shurelya's Reverie).

Skills

The main purpose of this section is to cover technical info that would be hard to address elsewhere. For examples of usage, including pictures, check out the other sections below.



Passive: Pix, Faerie Companion
Pix fires magical bolts of energy whenever his owner attacks another enemy unit. These bolts are homing, but can be intercepted by other units.

Explanation:
Lulu's passive is Pix, her faerie that accompanies her around. When she autoattacks, Pix will also attack and do additional magic damage. The hits can be blocked by other units if they get in the way, and Pix won't damage towers. You can attach Pix to allies using Help, Pix!, and he will attack whenever your ally attacks. He'll come back to Lulu after the ally or enemy with Pix moves 2000 units away from Lulu or after Help, Pix! wears off. As a note, Pix's damage counts as being damage done by whoever he's attached to, so no, you can't use Pix to kill steal.



Q: Glitterlance
Pix and Lulu each fire a bolt of magical energy that heavily slows all enemies it hits. An enemy can only be damaged by one bolt.

Explanation:
Both Lulu and Pix shoot out a thin, linear AoE magic bolt. The targeting is based on how you move your mouse. Basically, the two bolts will try to aim for where your mouse cursor is, and the bolts will change direction based on how you move your mouse around. Even if you hit a target with both magic bolts from Lulu and Pix, the target will only be damaged once. The slow can affect the target both times though. The slow will be applied when they're hit by the first bolt, then it'll be re-applied when they're hit by the second bolt.




W: Whimsy
If cast on an ally, grants them movement speed and ability power for a short time. If cast on an enemy, turns them into an adorable critter that can't attack or cast spells.

Explanation:
Whimsy is one of Lulu's two skills that has different effects on allies and enemies. For allies, it's a buff. On enemies, it's a polymorph. The polymorph can be used to lock an enemy down, prevent them from using a skill you know they're going to use, or interrupt them while they channel abilities. For a list of channeled abilities you could stop with Whimsy, check the LoLWiki (http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Channel#Champion_abilities). With the exception of Duskbringer, Heartseeker Strike and a zombie Requiem, the majority of those skills are fairly easy to interrupt. Dash skills where the champion physically moves on the map can also be interrupted with Whimsy. They don't have a casting time, but the animation can be interrupted.




E: Help, Pix!
If cast on an ally, commands Pix to jump to an ally and shield them. He then follows them and aids their attacks. If cast on an enemy, commands Pix to jump to an enemy and damage them. He then follows them and grants you vision of that enemy.

Explanation:
Help, Pix! is Lulu's other ability that yields different results on enemies and allies. You can use it on enemy minions, not just champions. It moves Pix to whoever you cast it on which also changes his Glitterlance range. Comboing them together can give Glitterlance a range of 1500+. On an ally, Pix will stay with them for six seconds, even after the shield wears off. On an enemy, Pix will stay around the enemy for six seconds, revealing their location with the eyes icon above their head.



Because Help, Pix! grants vision on an enemy, it can also allow you to see enemy wards if your target with Pix walks by one. This video shows you a demonstration. This also works with the vision provided by Nidalee's Bushwhack / Pounce.




R: Wild Growth
Lulu enlarges an ally, knocking enemies away from them and granting them a large amount of bonus health. For the next few seconds, that ally gains an aura that slows nearby enemies.

Explanation:
Wild Growth is a great initiation or counter-initiation skill. The knockup plus the seven second long slowing aura helps keep enemies in place when initiating, or slows enemies from pursuing when counter-initiating. It synergizes with other AoE displacement skills. The knockup also acts as an interrupt like Whimsy and you can use it to interrupt the same things.




Skill Order

> > >


Take a point of Glitterlance at level one. The sound effect can be used to check bushes. The AoE also makes it useful for helping the jungler or doing double golems. Take Help, Pix! at level 2 for the utility, then skill Whimsy at level 3 or 4.

Your first priority is to level Wild Growth. Your second priority is to max Glitterlance for poking. The increased slow duration also makes it good for fending off ganks. In a 2v1, the AoE damage helps you push the minions faster. After Glitterlance, max Whimsy. The combination of its reduced cooldown and increased duration per level makes it better for small engagements and mid game team fights.

Max Help, Pix! last. It has the same cooldown and utility at all levels. If you're being poked very hard, your AD carry just plain sucks, or you're having a hard time trading damage with the enemy AD carry, you can level Help, Pix! first instead. If you suck at timing Whimsy, you could max it 2nd instead too.

Laning & Harassing

During the early game lane phase, Lulu's job is to ward around bottom lane and poke enemy laners while her carry farms. There are certain carries she does well with, others she does not so well with. Even though you might lack particular synergy with your carry, you might have synergy elsewhere on your team with other members, especially initiators.

(Synergy)
Lulu's good at poking and crowd control but she has no sustain. She isn't the best support for carries who only want to farm. She excels with other carries who can also poke and harass early game like Ezreal. Because of Glitterlance's AoE, she also does well alongside champions who can push and clear waves easily like Caitlyn.

(Strengths)
In lane, Lulu can stop aggressive champions like Leona or Alistar in their tracks and Whimsy before either is able to land their combo. The vision on Help, Pix! also makes Lulu good against champions that can stealth. Having vision is very helpful against Vayne because of Final Hour's stealth component.

[http://i.imgur.com/qTNCD.jpg]


(Weaknesses)
Lulu is not incredibly tanky. If she gets caught, she can get bursted by supports like Leona and her accompanying carry. Blitzcrank can be tough to lane against since his Rocket Grab range is the same as Lulu's Glitterlance. Soraka is incredibly annoying to lane against because her Consecration will reduce poke damage, and her heal allows her to heal away what damage you do. Sivir is also very annoying because of her Spell Shield. Your best bet is to break her shield with Help, Pix!. Pix will still attach to Sivir, but not grant vision. This way, you'll at least be able to slow her.

[http://i.imgur.com/VKxeD.jpg]


[http://i.imgur.com/BEltI.jpg]


(Receiving Ganks)
Lulu's skill set is great for helping setup ganks. She can even try to bait enemies with Wild Growth's added health. However, if the enemy laners are much stronger, trying to bait them can also be suicide. Remember to use Exhaust on a target to slow them and help autoattack whoever the gank target is. Your damage with Pix, Faerie Companion will add up. You should also use Help, Pix! on enemies before they run into bushes so you can keep track of them and get off an easy Glitterlance.

(Getting Ganked)
Sometimes, you will be able to tell you're getting ganked based on how the enemies act. Taric randomly Flashing and stunning your carry is usually pretty telling that a gank is going down. Wild Growth can help slow attackers, as can Glitterlance. Wild Growth should also be used on whoever is the focus of the gank. Whimsy also helps. When an enemy like Alistar is running toward you and you just know he wants to Pulverize and Headbutt you, use Whimsy before he manages to get off his combo. Alternatively, you could use the speed buff to get away.

[http://i.imgur.com/4n0I5.jpg]


Lulu has two forms of harass: Her long ranged poke spell Glitterlance and her autoattacks with Pix, Faerie Companion. Because Lulu has a low mana pool, early on your main form of harass will be autoattacks and damage with your passive. Eventually, you can combo both your autoattacks and skills together by slowing first with Glitterlance then getting off a few autoattacks for additional damage. Autoattacking will also grant you Pickpocket gold.

[http://i.imgur.com/rxHqH.jpg]


(Q+E on Champs)
Because of how thin Glitterlance's AoE is, it can be tricky to aim. Luckily, it has an interaction with Lulu's other skill, Help, Pix!. By attaching Pix to someone else, you can change where Pix fires off Glitterlance from. You can use this to harass from even further away by first attaching Help, Pix! to a target then aiming Glitterlance in the direction they're walking. Since Pix is attached to them, it's harder for an enemy to dodge Glitterlance.

[http://i.imgur.com/PHvTh.jpg]


(Q+E on Minions)
If a champion is hiding behind their minion wave, you can still harass them by casting Help, Pix! on a minion then aiming Glitterlance toward the champion. The downside to this is that you might push the lane with Glitterlance's AoE damage if you do it too much. When you really need to slow someone for a gank, spend the extra mana to cast Help, Pix! on a minion or an enemy champion, combo the skills together, and you'll have a better chance of landing the slow.

[http://i.imgur.com/pNzsn.jpg]


(Remember, it's AoE)
Since you're maxing Glitterlance first and it's an AoE spell, it's more optimal to hit both the enemy AD carry and enemy support with Glitterlance and harass both at the same time. And, since Pix is already attached to an enemy, if you manage to get off a couple autoattacks after, there's a smaller chance that Pix's autoattack damage will be blocked by minions.

[http://i.imgur.com/yRwPs.jpg]


(Mana Management)
As mentioned before, Lulu has a low base mana pool. You might feel like you have mana problems from using Glitterlance. The simple solution is to not use it 100% of the time. Look for openings to use it rather than constantly trying to aim it in bushes or at people. Remember that you can autoattack harass too. Your mana regen gets better once you pick up a Philosopher's Stone or Chalice of Harmony. By the time you get to mid/late game, Lulu's mana issues more or less disappear.

[http://i.imgur.com/KSifv.jpg]


(Whimsy)
Another way to harass is with Whimsy. This is less optimal because of the longer cooldown and higher mana cost, but you can do it occasionally. Using Whimsy on an enemy champion when they go in for a last hit can deny them the last hit. Additionally, when you are pushed to the enemy's tower, you can use Whimsy to continue harassing enemy laners. Here, Lulu harasses Jarvan IV under the tower by using Whimsy on him. Whimsy doesn't draw tower aggro, so Lulu can prevent him from last hitting under the tower for 1-2 seconds. Trying this versus support Blitzcrank can of course be pretty dangerous.

(Help, Pix)
When enemy laners damage you back, you can self-cast Help, Pix! to soak damage.

(Engagements)
Sometimes your harassment turns into an all out 2v2 engagement. A large part of harassing is also being able to read what's going on, and knowing your enemies. Always try to be aware and know how to pick your fights. If your carry is low health, forcing them to get into a fight could mean getting them killed. On the other hand, if you know the enemy carry or support doesn't have Flash, it could very well be a free kill.

When you engage, pick your focus target wisely. Like if the enemy support is Taric and he blows all of his cooldowns to stun and damage your carry, then he's done until his cooldowns come back up, and meanwhile, his carry could very well be wailing away on your carry. Unless Taric has literally 2 HP left, your time would be better spent using Whimsy on his carry, not him.

Early Game

Early game is also called "laning phase" because you go into a lane and farm minions. But as a support, your job is not to farm minions. You "support" your ranged carry while they farm minions through warding and harassing the enemy laners.

Behavior
So if you aren't farming minions, what do you do anyway? It depends on the support you're playing. Some are playmakers. They have crowd control and look for openings to use their crowd control (usually a stun or snare) to setup a kill for their AD carries. Others have poke damage. They keep range and do harass/poke damage over time to whittle down the enemy laners, *or* they have buffs that allow their carry to poke better. Others are sustainers/healers. Their job is to keep their carry alive. For gameplay on specific supports, you should consult a guide for that support. This text dump is for basic generic support-ish things only.

Vision
One of your duties as the support is to ward around bottom lane. Vision will help you spot ganks from the river or the lane bushes. Having wards in lane bushes will also allow you to see the enemy support using skills.

[http://i.minus.com/iGIqruJLYHUEW.jpg]


How do these warding spots help?
  • Purple bush: Control bush, spot bush ganks
  • Blue bush: Control bush, spot bush ganks
  • River bush: Spot jungler, pink to counter ward #5
  • Tribush: Spot ganks, highly contested bush, pink to counter ward
  • Lower river: Spot ganks, see blue buff and dragon area traffic, “budget” ward to cover some vision around 6/4/3 with only 1 ward
  • Dragon: Spot general traffic, spot dragon attempts
  • Inside dragon: Stick a ward in the pit behind the fence to avoid it being seen by a pink ward outside of the pit
  • Mid-bot river bush: Spot enemy jungler ganking mid, spot blue’s jungler stealing purple’s blue buff
  • Bush near red buff: Spot enemy jungler going mid/bot, enemy mid going bot/doing wraiths, pink to counter ward the ramp
  • Buffs: For counter jungling and invading with a coordinated team


Explorer
Explorer might not seem like much, but it's quite useful. It gives you a mini- Sight Ward, and usage of this mini-ward can act like a substitute for Clairvoyance within the first couple minutes of the game. Say the enemy support is Blitzcrank. Leave the fountain immediately and pop your Explorer's Ward in a bush near your buff to look out for his team invading. Or, if your team invades the enemy blue buff, you can leave your Explorer's Ward at your own blue buff to spot to see if the enemy team had the same idea as you.

In lane, you can use it to bait out Vision Wards from supports who start with them. They will often drop Vision Wards asap to try and control bushes, but if they use it to destroy your lesser Explorer's Ward, then you know they used their Vision Ward, you know when and where they used it, and you still have your regular full duration Sight Wards.

Awareness
Take note of when enemy champions use summoner spells like Flash, and take note when you see them place wards. Enemy wards will temporarily show as little red dots on the map, wards make noises when they're planted, and minions will also attack you in bushes if the bush is warded. Observing these things will make your life easier, and also your jungler's. When your jungler ganks, you can let them know what area is warded so they know not to go that route, and they'll also know to focus the person who's Flash is down.

Mid Game

After laning phase, both teams have farmed a little and the champions are all stronger. During mid, the game becomes more about objectives (buffs, dragon, towers, baron) and fighting for control of them.

Vision
Mid game wards vary depending on if you're pushing into the enemy's 2nd turret, or if the enemy team is pushing into your 2nd turret.

[http://i.minus.com/ijyFEfgjHBMCK.jpg]


How do these warding spots help?
  • Dragon: Spot general traffic, spot dragon attempts
  • Inside dragon: Stick a ward in the pit behind the fence to avoid it being seen by a pink ward outside of the pit
  • Blue: Are you pushing into blue’s 2nd turret? Ward around these areas to spot incoming ganks and secure an escape path
  • Purple: jungle Are you pushing into purple’s 2nd turret? Ward around these areas to spot incoming ganks and secure an escape path
  • Mid-bot river bush: Spot enemy jungler ganking mid, spot blue’s jungler stealing purple’s blue buff
  • Bush near red buff: Spot enemy jungler going mid/bot, enemy mid going bot/doing wraiths, pink to counter ward the ramp
  • Bush near baron ramp: Pink to counter wards on the ramp, spot traffic in the upper jungle
  • Baron: Spot general traffic, spot baron attempts
  • Inside baron: Stick a ward in the pit behind the fence to avoid it being seen by a pink ward outside of the pit
  • Mid-top river bush: Spot people coming to baron and going towards blue buff

Buffs
Blue buff is a highly contested buff because mana-based mid laners rely on it during early and mid game. As purple side bot lane, you can help protect and secure your blue buff for your mid lane. As blue side bot lane, you can help steal the enemy blue buff and deny it from their mid lane. Vision Wards help for both protecting and stealing.

Babysitting
As the support, you should continue to watch your carry during mid game even after towers go down. If you've taken the enemy's outer turret and your carry is stronger and has frozen the minion wave to deny the enemy carry, you can typically leave them alone for a few minutes while you ward important objectives or help other lanes. If your carry is weaker and has frozen the minion wave at the inner turret for safety reasons, you should stay near them and ward up to spot incoming ganks and tower dives.

Dragon
Your job is control dragon through ward coverage. Junglers will (should) help you with it too. Vision Wards help with dragon coverage since you'll be too weak and too poor for an Oracle's Elixir.

Late Game

During late game, towers are gone, and the game becomes more about objectives (killing the nexus, baron) and closing out the game.

Vision
Well, the image kind of speaks for itself.

[http://i.minus.com/i0ON6gpdxgRa7.jpg]


Baron
Your job is control baron through ward coverage. Hopefully you'll be able to afford an Oracle's Elixir before you leave base. If you have Twin Shadows and you don't have the baron area warded, remember to use it to check the bushes for you, or you might walk into the enemy team.

Buddy System
When I say buddy system, I mean general "strength in numbers". Getting caught alone is bad for your team. Even if you're only worth 15g, your team is missing your ult/auras if you die before a possible team fight. Be careful when you ward, as you could get caught out. It's very typical late game to ward up, catch someone out of position, kill them, then go push a tower or get baron because the other team is now down a member.

Team Fights

Team fighting can be chalked up as "using a bunch of your skills." Since two of Lulu's skills can be used on an ally or enemy, you'll need to make some quick decisions during fights about what's more beneficial.

[http://i.imgur.com/TgzGT.jpg]


(Team Synergy) Wild Growth allows Lulu to have high synergy with other champions that have AoE displacement abilities - Unstoppable Force, Moonfall, Pulverize, Dragon's Descent, Command: Shockwave. There's also general synergy between her and other champions with AoE skills. Just having the knockup and slow is a huge benefit for skills like Soul Shackles and Absolute Zero.

(Initiation) Some fights will start with your team initiating on the enemy team. Lulu can help her team engage by popping Shurelya's Reverie to catch the enemy team, and using Wild Growth on her main tank/initiator (usually a jungler or a top laner) when enemies are around them. Having Help, Pix! on one of your frontliners also allows you to Glitterlance from far away and slow down an enemy champion so your frontliner can catch up to them.

Some team fights might start with your team being initiated on. This is obviously less favorable, but you can recover from this. Wild Growth the person on your team being focused. If an enemy assassin jumps on your carry, Exhaust the assassin to reduce their damage or Glitterlance to stop their pursuit.

(Interrupts) A large part of Lulu's team fighting presence is her ability to disrupt with Whimsy. It can be used to prevent initiation or buy your carry some time to get away from an assassin. One of its strongest uses is interrupting channeled skills. ( Wild Growth's knockup will also interrupt channels, but on a much longer cooldown.) Try to have a sense of priority for your Whimsy. E.g. if there's a fed Katarina, wait for her to start using Death Lotus before you Whimsy her to stop her channel. You'll greatly reduce her damage and possibly prevent her from getting resets on her abilities.

(Fighting) Since your AD carry is a glass DPS cannon, they will be trying to pick off whoever they can. By the team fighting phase, they will likely have more attack speed. You can put Help, Pix! on your carry so they can do more damage. You should also help your damage dealers out by autoattacking enemies near you. You can do some additional damage with Glitterlance, but remember to watch your mana. If you aren't using Whimsy for it's crowd control, you should definitely use it on your AP carry. If your AD carry is good at kiting, it could be used to help them instead. The combo of AP and movespeed also makes it hilarious on Singed.

(Chasing) Using Help, Pix! to keep vision on an enemy then following up with Glitterlance is a useful combo for chasing enemies after team fights. Stick Sight Wards in bushes along the way if you can. Having vision is very beneficial for characters with gap closers. If you didn't use Shurelya's Reverie to initiate, use it to chase stragglers.

Warding Tips

  • Set wards in ways that maximize your vision on an area. http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/9762/wards.jpg - This image made by AwwGasm, though old, shows you how much vision you gain through certain ward placements.
  • When enemy wards are placed, you see the ward for a couple seconds before it vanishes. If you are playing a character with an autoattack reset (e.g. Leona's Shield of Daybreak), you can do 3 autoattacks and kill the ward in this time period.
  • The ramps near dragon and baron have been changed in season 3. There's no small wall/ledge obscuring your ward vision anymore. Setting a Vision Ward in the bush near the ramps will allow you to counter ward people who are used to warding the ramp specifically. (http://i7.minus.com/iKsXRuibs7bDN.jpg)
  • Warding behind the rocks in the entrance to baron or dragon will avoid your wards from being seen by Vision Wards that are positioned in front. (http://i2.minus.com/ikN6DXK4RyHzo.jpg)
  • Targeting a ward will give you a white health bar which represents how much longer a ward will stay up.
  • Try to ward in an not-so-obvious manner so the enemy doesn't have a clue about you warding. This is important when you're babysitting on bot lane. I always make it a point to check enemy items when they come back and see if they have wards. If those wards magically disappear after they go out to the river, you should let your jungler know.
  • http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/6602/wardguide.jpg - This visual placement guide for by weenerlikewoah gives some good general placement advice, but some stuff I disagree with. In example, there's nothing wrong with warding inside dragon or baron.

Respawn Timers

[http://i.minus.com/ibagXdpYvM2w43.jpg]


When you play support, note what time dragon and baron die so that you know when they'll be respawning. There are various programs you can use for timing - overlays, computer apps, even smart phone apps. You can also turn on chat timestamps and note when baron/dragon dies in chat. Having the time lets your team setup for dragon/baron beforehand. Instead of, "Oh hey, dragon is up, let's go kill it", it's "Oh hey, dragon will be up in a minute, we should start heading down there".

GP10?

The "Free" Gold Myth
The point of building GP10 items is not to "get free gold". You don't "get free gold" until after the item pays for itself. Meaning a Philosopher's Stone, which costs 700 gold and generates 5 gold every 10 seconds, will not pay for itself until it has generated 700 gold. This takes 23 minutes and 20 seconds. But after it has generated 700 gold, it will actually start giving you "free" gold.

Why was GP10 built in season 1/season 2? Why is it different in season 3?
In season 1 and the beginning of season 2, the meta game revolved around the AD carry literally farming for 40 minutes before team fights and such. With such a long period of farming, the support had plenty of time to pay off the cost of their GP10. Supports like Janna and Soraka were considered the strongest supports because of their safety. They are now considered weak because of their passive laning. For AD carries, Kog'Maw was considered strong because of his late game and Ezreal was considered weak also because of his late game.

But as season 2 evolved, Exhaust became the new summoner spell for supports, bot lane became focused on hard engages ("dunking") and dominating your lane with early game strength instead of passively farming to be strong later. Ezreal became a top AD carry for his early game strength while Kog'Maw became a liability for his early game weakness and lack of escapes. This has carried over to season 3.

Basically, the situation has changed. Supports are no longer in lane for 40 minutes while their AD carry passively farms, and as such, itemization has changed as well.

So why would you build GP10 now?
Basically, if you want an item that a GP10 upgrades to, you would definitely want to buy the GP10. This way, you refund a bit of the item cost before you upgrade it. If your Philosopher's Stone generates 400 gold before you upgrade it to Shurelya's Reverie, then it technically cost you 400 gold less.

Also take into account the stats. If you are playing a poke support like Sona or Lulu, having the mana regen from Philosopher's Stone is quite handy for laning. If you are playing Zyra, who doesn't have many mana regen issues, Kage's Lucky Pick would add to your early game damage. In the past, kill lane supports would build Heart of Gold to be tankier for engages. This has kind of been replaced by Sightstone. Similarly, a squishy support could buy Ruby Crystal and turn it into Sightstone later if they need to be tankier versus burst damage.

As a rule of thumb, if you don't want anything that Philosopher's Stone or Kage's Lucky Pick upgrades into, I would recommend against buying them. Work on getting other items instead. Making items like Locket of the Iron Solari has a more immediate effect on your team compared to aimlessly buying both Philosopher's Stone and Kage's Lucky Pick.

Then there's the option of building them if you expect a long, drawn out game. This is fairly self-explanatory and you can also associate this as to why pros sometimes build double GP10 in tournament level games.

Sightstone

Sightstone
Sightstone has a 950 gold price tag, and it gives health worth 475 gold. Of that remaining 475 gold, Sightstone will "break even" with buying regular Sight Wards after you've placed 6 wards with it. Assuming you are using your wards to their full duration, this will take 9 minutes since you can only set down 2 wards from Sightstone at a time.

Ruby Sightstone
Ruby Sightstone can be viewed similarly. It costs 1550 gold, and has around 946 gold in health. Of that remaining 604 gold, Ruby Sightstone will "break even" with buying regular Sight Wards after you've placed 8 wards with it. But unlike Sightstone, you can place up to 3 wards a time from a pool of 5 (technically 2.5 wards per 3 minutes). You would need to use up all 5, then return to base and use up another 3. After that, you are getting "free" wards from your Ruby Sightstone.

Vs GP10
Alternatively, you could look at the items as GP10 items. Sightstone generates 4 wards per town trip and allows 2 out at a time. Money-wise, that's 150 gold (2 sight wards) per 3 minutes, which is 50 gold per minute. Ruby Sightstone generates 5 wards per town trip and allows 3 out at a time. For simplicity's sake, this can be 2.5 wards per 3 minutes, which is 188 gold per 3 minutes, or 63 gold per minute. For comparison, Philosopher's Stone gives 30 gold per minute, and Kage's Lucky Pick gives 24 gold per minute.

How does Sightstone fit into a support's build?
This will vary from person to person. Treat Sightstone like it's Heart of Gold from season 2 - kind of a GP10, and also a flat HP item. What flat HP does for a support is help them trade damage in lane, or survive burst.

In organized arranged games where it's vital that you have as much survivability and vision as possible, you might want to go Sightstone into Ruby Sightstone ASAP before even buying any other items. But in less organized games, your item order can be more flexible. In example, if you're playing Sona, who uses a lot of mana to poke, you could go Philosopher's Stone or Chalice of Harmony first for poking in lane. But if you're getting bursted down easily and not able to do much, it would be smarter to go for the flat HP boost from Sightstone before Philosopher's Stone.

When you equate Sightstone to Heart of Gold, you can also understand why it might look silly for you to buy Sightstone in addition to Philosopher's Stone and Kage's Lucky Pick - that's like 3 GP10 items. In season 2, supports would only buy 2, then start working on bigger items for team fights.

Sightstone doesn't cure cancer
In some games, just the wards from the Sightstone and a few Vision Wards might be enough to ward the map because you're incredibly dominant. Who knows. But in general, just because you have a Sightstone doesn't mean you should quit buying regular wards all together. In example, when you need to ward baron, you should definitely use some extra Sight Wards to secure the area. Always remember that it's an HP item that also gives you wards, not a replacement for Sight Wards.

The End

That concludes the guide. Thanks to my friends and guinea pigs for their assistance in taking screenshots and such.

Check out my other guide:
  • Support Sona: http://www.solomid.net/guides.php?g=4295-astrolia-sona-build-guide

Comments

February 26, 2013 - 11:45 PM #1

Omg noooooooooooooooooooooo :[

February 25, 2013 - 06:36 PM #2

Well, it's more like, "I don't like to buy this item at all because double GP10 is stupid now that the meta isn't a 40 minute farm fest and you shouldn't buy it either". I briefly discussed that in the GP10? chapter and mention a few times not to bother unless you want an upgrade, but sure I can be more blunt/explicit about that.

February 23, 2013 - 11:17 PM #3

Yes. You didn't mention the item itself. It's a GP10, so it'd be useful to know when you should build it in lane. It isn't like a needlessly large rod on an AP carry, you build it at some point, keep it for a while, then upgrade it.



I am unsure as to whether you like to buy this item in lane phase for the GP10 and upgrade it later, or whether you just grab the full twin shadow if you want it.

February 23, 2013 - 07:31 AM #4

?



Kage's Lucky Pick is mentioned in the Items chapter, and there are 2 upgrades (Shadows and Shard) listed in the Item Build at the top. Did you mean add Kage's to the Item Build?

February 23, 2013 - 01:15 AM #5

I really think you should mention Kage's lucky pick. I personally really like this item. However, even if you don't like it, it should be in your guide. If there are common support items that you don't like, add them and then say WHY you don't like them.



I am shocked that your guide has so many likes without a single dislike lol. I can't believe no one has disliked it for the sake of disliking it xD



I'll admit, I was halfway tempted to >.<

February 22, 2013 - 10:36 AM #6

Mmm... I feel like there's an association between "Featured" and "the author plays this champion a lot in ranked", which isn't really true for me since I kinda quit playing support. ^^; I'll think about it though.

February 22, 2013 - 06:19 AM #7

If you hit diamond you could always PM Messiah and ask that your guide be featured, it's definitely good enough.

February 19, 2013 - 02:49 AM #8

@Reverie: Lol, thanks. I got to Diamond myself recently spamming Miss Fortune, but I really don't play support much anymore. D: Maybe I'll join you in division 1 someday.



@Replay: IMO it's very worth it. Lulu is great at autoattack harass early game. But versus the Exhaust mastery, it's pretty much preference. 10 armor/magic resist can be big early game, definitely, but if you're playing draft/ranked and you see the enemy carry is like, Ashe, and you think she'll take Cleanse anyway and be able to Cleanse your Exhaust, wouldn't you rather have Pickpocket instead?

February 19, 2013 - 01:42 AM #9

One of my favorite guides and I'm even Diamond 1, lol. Hope you keep that likes ratio as long as possible :P upvoted.

February 1, 2013 - 12:42 AM #10

astrolia, I'm wondering about Pickpocket and whether or not it's worth getting. Instead, what about replacing it with Summoner's Wrath for the -10 MR on Armor with Exhaust?

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