Most people who play games like to be some sort of DPS class. They want to hit hard and take all the credit for a win. Oddly enough, there are few people who want to play the support role and take care of their team. In many cases, the support role is the most important because they keep the team alive long enough to win.
While the Support class characters in Heroes of the Storm generally have some sort of healing ability, they’re far more versatile than support characters in some other games. Even the heroes who primarily focus on healing, such as Li Li, bring more to the table than just the ability to heal. It’s important to know how to play a Support class hero properly so you can help your team as much as possible.
Support heroes in Heroes of the Storm may be more versatile than support classes in other games, but that doesn’t change the fact they still need to heal their teams. Not all Support heroes have a direct healing ability, but they have something close to it. For example, Tassadar has the ability to give his teammates a shield. While this isn’t a direct heal, it serves a similar purpose by preventing damage.
Healing should always be your first priority, but you also want to focus on damage mitigation. If you’re playing as Uther, that means paying close attention to the opposing team so you can stun big attacks before they happen. If you’re Li Li, that means using Blinding Wind on opponents with high-damage basic attacks. You can’t just sit back and heal, you have to actively pay attention to which heroes are on the opposing team, where they’re at and what they’re doing.
Most Support heroes in Heroes of the Storm have the ability to buff their teammates in some way. Li Li can use Cloud Serpent to increase damage output, Uther can spec a Protective Shield for damage mitigation and Malfurion can replenish mana with Innervate, to name a few. How often you use these buffs will depend on your hero build, team configuration and what’s going on in the battle at the time, but you should always be ready to use them when it will benefit your team.
If you’re soaking experience in a lane, Cloud Serpent should be up to take down enemy minions as quickly as possible. If you’re in the middle of a team battle and your main Assassin has low mana, toss out an Innervate. If Holy Light is down and one of your teammates is on the verge of death and running for cover, give them a Protective Shield to help them stay alive.
Manage Your Mana
Mana management is an important part of almost every hero in Heroes of the Storm, but it’s brutally important for Support classes because if you run out of mana in the middle of a team battle, your team may not survive the fight. Always keep a close eye on your mana and head back to replenish it before major objectives begin.
If you’re playing on the Haunted Mines and know the mines will open in 30 seconds, you need to be aware of your mana situation. If you only have half of your mana remaining, you may want to head back to replenish it so you have full mana when the mines open. If an Assassin is out of mana you lose damage output, but if a Support hero runs out of mana, it could mean death for the team.
While it’s important to pay attention to your mana, it doesn’t matter if you have full mana when you’re dead. Positioning is important for many Support class heroes, but it’s equally important to know when to run away or head to the back lines so you can stay alive. This becomes even more difficult when you have enemy teams focusing on you. It’s common for a team to focus down the Support hero first because they generally have lower health, and with the Support hero down the opposing team can’t be healed.
You have to think ahead when it comes to team battles or even smaller skirmishes. If you’re in a 2v2 with an Assassin and no matter what you do they’re going to die, you need to call for a retreat and leave. You need to be able to judge every situation and determine when it’s best to stay and heal, and when it’s best to run so you can live to fight another day. It’s a big problem a lot of Heroes of the Storm players have. They stick around too long in a losing battle and end up dying, which is bad for the entire team, Support class or not.