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The 10 Worst Ward Mistakes to Avoid in Season 14

Hello, Librarian Husky is here! Warding and vision control may not be the most exciting of topics, but it’s by far the easiest skill to learn while also giving you a massive boost to your win rate. In this guide, you’ll be learning about all the warding tricks Challenger players use to get an edge on their opponent, common vision mistakes you’re making that’s literally causing you to lose games, and even a simple solution to avoid dying every time. My promise to you is that by the end of the guide, you’ll be able to see huge rank gains just by fixing a few simple warding mistakes you likely don’t even know you’re making.

Warding and Vision Control Overview

For example, did you know that when a trinket ward is cleared, vision actually lasts for an entire 3 seconds after? So, after you clear the ward, you can pretend you’re going one way while the enemies still see you; in reality, you then go the complete opposite way, faking the opponent for easy takedowns. This is a mechanic known as residual vision and is step three in our brand-new vision course for season 14. You’ll not only learn game-changing tips like these but also discover the best ward setups for season 14. That means the new best wards for mid lane, top lane, and bot lane, but also the new best ward setups for taking dragon and baron, both for the blue team and red team.

Mastering Objective Vision

So to start us off, one of the most valuable ward spots when taking objectives in season 14 is this brush right here. It lets you spot if the enemy is coming to contest the objective or not incredibly early and prevents enemies from hanging out behind the pit to try and smite steal. The problem is, everyone dies when trying to get that all-important vision behind the pit. Attempting to attain vision in this brush in particular is usually where players get picked off the most.

So, at Skill Capped, we have a trick for you that allows you to place this ward safely within the pit itself, like so: click this bit of the moss at the back of the wall, then bring up your cast indicator and aim at the bottom rightmost part of the brush. The second your cursor turns green, you want to left-click. If you move your cursor too far to the left, it won’t work, so make sure it’s right when it turns green. You can use the same trick to avoid dying warding the same brush for the baron pit: first, right-click this crack in the wall, then bring up your ward indicator and aim at the leftmost part of the brush until your cursor turns green and left click.

Common Vision Mistakes and Fixes

Speaking of objectives, there’s a very simple mistake we see all the time from players that you need to fix immediately. When going for an objective, it’s very easy to autopilot and place a control ward slightly in the pit like this. This is not good. You will not spot enemy vision placed in the back of the pit if you place your ward this way, leading to your objectives getting stolen.

In fact, if you bring up your control ward indicator, you can actually see how easy it is to create gaps in your vision where enemies can sneak wards. It actually gets even worse if you place your ward too deep: when the objective spawns, it’s going to knock it away, or if you try to place the ward too close to the objective when it’s alive, again, it gets knocked away and often causes gaps for the enemy to sneak vision in.

Easy Fix For Any Mistakes in LoL

Here’s how you fix this:

  • For the dragon pit, there are inner ring markings on the ground;
  • Just place it in front of the dragon on the second ring, and it will always cover everything without ever being knocked back.
  • For Baron, you can see a purple circle around it;
  • Just place your control board slightly outside of it like this, and it will be in the perfect spot.

River Brush Importance in Season 14

Now, in season 14, Riot removed the island brush locations in the river and replaced them with these new brushes. Having vision in these brushes is now absolutely key if you’re thinking about taking objectives. The Blue Team then eventually completely loses vision of what’s happening in that brush or behind the wall, and that sets up an amazing engage for Graves, nearly one-shotting their entire team into the dragon steal.

So, whether you’re the one taking the objective or contesting it, your first priority needs to be getting vision control of these new river brushes. Now, this next ward you’re going to learn about is an absolute game changer in season 14.

Revolutionary Warding Tactics for Season 14

A new route has emerged this season where junglers will start on one side of the map, clear all the camps there, and then just immediately gank the same side they started on, even tower diving. This is for both side lanes, by the way. Junglers will even just do red, hit level two, then immediately level two gank. The reason this catches everyone off guard is usually when the enemy jungler starts on the same side as you, it means they’re pathing away from you, so you should be safe for a while.

Well, that’s no longer the case this season. But there is a simple fix: you actually want to ward the enemy tri-bush before minions spawn, the absolute earliest is 1 minute and 5 seconds. This completely denies the route from the enemy jungler as you’ll spot them early enough to shut it down.

Enemy Jungled Dodge in LoL

Now, you typically only do this when you’re on the same side as the enemy jungler and they’re starting red buff, since these types of early ganks often only occur when the enemy jungler can pick up his red for the slow and damage increase when he ganks. And by the way, an easy way to know where the enemy jungler is starting: just pay attention to who arrives in lane latest; that side lane gave a leash to them.

So moving forward:

  • If you’re a top laner on the blue team and you know the enemy jungler is starting at his red, just ward that tri-bush.
  • If you’re a bot laner on the red team and you know the enemy jungler is starting at his red, then you ward the tri-bush.

I know you might be worried about putting your ward on cooldown so early, but here’s the thing: if the enemy jungler doesn’t gank you, well, that means he’s pathing away from you as normal, so you don’t have to worry about being ganked until he’s finished his full clear, recalls, and comes back, at which point your next trinket ward charge will actually be off cooldown, so it’s all good.

The Raptor Ward: A Game-Changing Strategy

If that got you hyped to be shutting down pesky junglers, well, you’ll love this next ward. The Raptor Ward is arguably the most powerful ward in the early game when it comes to spotting the enemy jungler. Every mid-laner should be looking to place a ward on the Raptor Camp around 1 minute and 20 seconds in-game. This is because, regardless of where the enemy jungler starts, that ward will spot them 99% of the time and tell your team his exact route, where he’s headed to after Raptors, and the timing of his clear.

The world-famous pro player Faker literally uses this ward at the start of every one of his solo queue games. In this game, the enemy Lon does red, Krugs, into Raptors, and just like we taught you, it stays alive long enough to catch the Lon not only do Raptors but also try a gank on midlane.

Faker Kill in LoL

In this game, this Lon clear thinks he’ll be adding a Faker kill to his highlight reel; in reality, he just activated Faker’s trap card, setting up an incredibly easy counter-gank for his own jungler. And just like that, with one simple ward, he shuts down the enemy jungler in the first 3 minutes of the game. In fact, if you have lane control and are pushing as mid, your priority should be maintaining a trinket ward on this Raptor Camp throughout the entire early game, as it’s the most high-traffic area for the enemy jungler and will spot him the most.

Vision Lines and Their Strategic Importance

Here’s what’s really crazy: an entire meta has developed around this one ward, with crazy counter-tactics. At the start of the game, the jungler can actually use a trinket ward on an enemy camp; they do this before the 1-minute mark, then recall and swap to a sweeping lens, and head to their starting buff. Then by the time they hit level three and are looking to gank, their sweeping lens will be off cooldown.

Understanding Vision Lines and Control

If you try to go past this Vision Line and place a ward in the enemy’s tribe Rush, it’s incredibly easy for the enemy to clear it whenever they want to, assuming they had a sweeper or control ward. And the opposite is true: it’s incredibly hard for the enemy to maintain vision in your tri-bush. However, in the middle of that line is the new season 14 island brush. If both lanes are even, there will be a lot of fighting for control over this brush in particular.

So, in lane, there’s often an ebb and flow to the vision line. If your bot lane, for example, is being pushed in and has lost control of your lane, you’re forced to maintain vision of your tri-bush. At the same time, the enemy is going to look to push their vision further into the island brush.

Easy Vision Line Controll in LoL

From this point, the following events will occur: the bot lane with lane control will look to maintain their island brush control ward while placing a trinket ward in the enemy’s tri-bush and clearing the enemy’s control ward there. The bot lane without lane control will look to place a trinket ward in the island brush, clearing the enemy’s control ward there, and defend and maintain the control ward in their own tri-bush.

If, for example, the losing bot lane is successful in retaking control of their lane, then they’ll look to reposition their wards so they get a control ward in the island brush and a forward trinket ward in the enemy’s tri-bush. Additionally, from a larger macro level, you can see how when the enemy has their outer towers alive, it’s very hard to push this Vision Line past those towers.

Vision Line Deep Details in League of Legends

However, once they fall, often the Vision Line gets pushed all the way to their second-tier towers. Players often make the mistake of not respecting these Vision lines when it comes to placing vision. If you’re behind and your outer towers are down, draw a line between the ones alive. This is where you need to gain vision first. You can’t just run into fog of war looking to try and gain vision of the river; you’ll likely be running over enemy wards along the way and make for an easy pick.

At the same time, even if you survive placing those wards in the river, well, they may spot them, but if they simply cross them to head into your jungle, well, they’re back into hiding in the fog of war. So good luck trying to go anywhere near there. This is why it’s often better to take vision step by step: identify your vision line, establish vision on it before you try to push for deeper vision.

The Midlane Ward: A Game Changer

This ward is literally the most important ward you can use in League of Legends, so listen up. After you have taken the mid-lane outer tower, then you always want to make it a habit to place this ward yourself or telling someone else on your team to. The benefits behind it are insane. First, it’s a very high traffic area; sideliners and junglers are constantly transitioning through this spot to get to different areas of the map, such as to the top and bot lane to catch minion waves.

Not only that, but a ton of fights occur around mid lane. You can often see if enemies are lying in wait behind the opponents if you try to engage on someone farming in mid. On top of that, it even gives good information on how to get flank plays off on the players farming there. Being able to accurately see the opponent’s movements and properly flank them can lead to game-winning plays later on into the game. Regardless of what you’re doing, no other ward will ever give you as much value as this midlane ward, so make sure to place it whenever possible.

Warding Strategy in Mid to Late Game

And speaking of mid lane, here’s another game-losing mistake players always make in the mid to late game. Players will often head off to ward somewhere only to get picked off in the process. This can feel like an impossible problem. If I don’t go to ward, well, that’s free objectives for the enemy. But then, if I try to ward, I just end up dying due to the fact that I don’t have wards to see the enemies making a pick on me. Well, there’s a simple fix to this, and it all has to do with pushing mid.

You see, you want to be pushing waves mid to pin at least one enemy down. Since you know where one enemy is, this often frees you up to rotate off the push with a guaranteed number advantage. So, you then want to use that number advantage to place vision of your own while clearing the enemies. This is the trick to warding; you want to time it off your mid pushes.

Next Steps for Warding in League of Legends

At the same time, if you’re the team that’s behind, you want to time it with when the next wave arrives as you’ll spot someone on the enemy team back in mid lane pushing that wave, guaranteeing that if the enemy is in your jungle, well, you have the number advantage. So, that would be your timing to regain vision control of your vision line, usually in this case, it will be one of your jungle quadrants. This helps relieve a lot of pressure and create picks of your own since you can now move through your jungle with safety despite being behind.

Effective Use of Blue Wards

For our final mistake, it has to do with blue wards. I almost never see players using them properly, and this makes perfect sense towards the end of last season. Riot made a ton of changes that most players aren’t even aware of. The big ones are that it now grants vision over terrain and through brushes and that upon detecting an enemy champion, it will actually destroy itself after 3 seconds. These changes are massive. Firstly, it means if you’re using your trinket to spot an enemy hiding in fog of war, it’s better to place it in between two brushes so you can reveal them both instead of just one.

Remember, last season this wouldn’t work as it wouldn’t reveal inside of brushes unless you actually placed it inside of them. Additionally, last season, a popular and effective tactic would be to place these blue wards in the enemy jungle inside brushes they often wouldn’t check. This would give your team deep vision and spot the enemy run past the brush while the ward would never die since the enemy wouldn’t check the brush to clear it. That’s no longer a good idea anymore as once the blue ward spots enemies, they just automatically destroy itself in 3 seconds.

Blue Wards 2 Cases Explanation in LoL

This means there’s really two main usage cases: first is simply saving your blue trinket to use when you need to move into fog of war or check if an enemy is doing an objective. Second is placing it in more defensive locations on your side of the map as a preventative measure as spotting someone heading into your jungle could mean they’re overextended and could be collapsed on as well as pretty much guaranteeing you prevented something bad from happening like them stealing camps, etc.

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