The ever-changing meta of DOTA 2 keeps the game exciting and enjoyable for players.
A shift in the meta not only affects heroes and items but can also alter the layout of the in-game map. Considering these factors, it is important for players to know which aspects of the game are in a buffed position through the duration of every patch.
With that in mind, let's talk about the roaming support role in DOTA 2. Supports have always been underrated in DOTA 2 despite their massive impact on every game. Roaming supports specifically are seldom given their due recognition.
Having said that, roaming supports are the ideal playmakers in a game of DOTA 2. While the hard support's job is to ensure that their entire team is well oriented, the roaming support is tasked with the role of gathering information and setting up possible ganks on the enemy team.
Additionally, some roaming supports are also equipped with abilities that can save their core heroes when trapped in an unfavorable situation. On top of all this, players in this role are also expected to protect their team's core heroes by breaking the enemy's smoke ganks and counter-initiating on the out-of-position enemy.
With that out of the way, let's dive in and take a look at some of the best roaming supports in the current DOTA 2 meta.
Top 5 Roaming Supports in DOTA 2
#5 - Lion
Traditionally played as hard support, Lion has found himself being played as roaming support in patch 7.30c. Although the hero lack mobility unlike other roaming supports, Lion makes up for it with his extremely versatile arsenal of abilities.
Lion features two disable in the form of Earth Spike and Hex which can be used effectively to change the outcome of an entire team fight. Additionally, his Mana Drain ability allows Lion to steal his enemy's mana for himself as well as destroy illusions instantly.
Lion's ultimate ability, Finger of Death can be used to deal a massive burst of damage to a single enemy. Lion's arsenal of abilities allows the hero to accumulate enough kills and assists to build a Blink Dagger. Additionally, players can also combine the hero with an Aghanim's Shard or Aghanim's Sceptre to massively enhance Lion's Mana Drain and Finger of Death abilities.
#4 - Phoenix
Phoenix is one of the most versatile supports in DOTA 2. Players can opt to play the hero as hard support, focusing solely on the hero's ultimate ability. However, Phoenix is at its most powerful when played as a roaming support.
Phoenix's Icarus Dive ability grants the hero long-range mobility to enter and escape from fights. Additionally, its Fire Spirits ability deals massive over-time damage to enemies while also dealing a huge attack speed-slow. However, Phoenix's Sun Ray ability is one of the strongest damage dealers in DOTA 2 as it burns a percentage of the enemy's maximum health every second.
Supernova is undoubtedly one of the strongest team fight abilities in DOTA 2. On top of turning into a burning egg that deals damage in a massive radius, the eff erupts after a short duration, stunning all enemies caught in the vicinity. Phoenix is also reborn when the egg erupts with full HP and Mana while also refreshing the hero's other three abilities.
#3 - Earth Spirit
One of the most difficult heroes to master in DOTA 2, Earth Spirit's arsenal of abilities allows the hero to have an impact in every situation. Even if Earth Spirit fails to gather a decent amount of farm for items, his abilities have a massive impact on the game irrespective of anything. His Rolling Boulder ability allows Earth Spirit to be one of the most mobile heroes in DOTA 2.
Boulder Smash can be used to smash either a unit or a stone remnant. If the unit being smashed is an enemy, they take a decent amount of magic damage while also getting slowed for a short duration. Geomagnetic Grip allows Earth Spirit to drag in a stone remnant towards the hero. Any enemy caught in the path of the stone remnant that is affected by Geomagnetic Grip will get silenced for a long duration while also taking damage.
Earth Spirit can use his ultimate ability, Magnetize to apply a debuff on enemy heroes in a small radius near Earth Spirit. Every time Earth Spirit casts Geomagnetic Grip or Boulder Smash near the affected enemy, the duration of the debuff is refreshed. Additionally, the debuff is also refreshed if an affected enemy is within 600 units of a Stone Remnant.
#2 - Tusk
Tusk is a highly impactful roaming support in DOTA 2 whose abilities allow the hero to be active on the map from the get-go. Tusk is also an exceptional initiator, capable of solo killing squishy enemy heroes during the early to mid-game stages.
Tusk's Ice Shards ability not only allows him to block the path of an escaping enemy hero but can also be used as an escape tool by blocking off the chasing enemy's path. Additionally, Tusk's Snowball ability is one of the best initiating abilities in DOTA 2. On top of that, Tag Team allows Tusk and all his nearby allies to deal massive bonus damage on an enemy.
The hero's ultimate ability, "Walrus Punch!" allows Tusk to deal a massive amount of critical damage to enemies while also disrupting them for a short duration. Tusk's ultimate ability can also be cast on Magic Immune enemies to disrupt them.
#1 - Winter Wyvern
Winter Wyvern is one of the best team fight supports in DOTA 2. Despite lacking abilities that grant mobility, Winter Wyvern as roaming support can be outright devastating in patch 7.29d. However, the hero does require a few items to enhance their impact on the game.
The hero's Arctic Burn ability grants bonus night vision while also allowing Winter Wyvern to deal over-time damage as well as inflict a movement slow on enemies with their basic attack. The Splinter Blast ability allows Winter Wyvern to effectively push lanes and gather gold to purchase items. Cold Embrace is one of the strongest saves in DOTA 2 that negates all physical damage on an ally while also healing them for the entire duration.
Winter Wyvern's ultimate ability, Winter's Curse applies a debuff on an enemy that causes all other enemies in a specific radius to attack the cursed enemy. Winter's Curse is an extremely effective team fight ability that can change the entire course of a game in DOTA 2.
General Tips for Roaming Supports
The general role of roaming supports is to set up kills on enemy heroes while also ensuring that their core heroes are not getting ambushed by the enemy. However, roaming support's role is not limited to that. With that in mind, here are a few tips that roaming supports should remember in DOTA 2,
- Gain vision of the enemy territory to set up for possible ganks.
- Ensure that the off-lane is going smoothly for the core hero
- Make necessary rotations across the map to help out their team
- Stay in close range of the team to counter-initiate or prevent enemy ganks
- Pick off squishy heroes before the team fight to gain an advantage for your team.