Season 14 Support Changes with DIG Isles

New year, new you! It’s time to start supporting the right way with DIG Isles.

Another year, another major facelift to Summoner’s Rift. As we all know, League of Legends makes major changes between the annual seasons. The 2024 Season is no different, with many changes that have come into effect that will leave unknowing players loading on the Rift thinking someone hacked Riot!

Not a bother. It’s simply the new way of the game. Some roles were impacted more than others. Support may not be the most impacted, but it’s definitely changed significantly from a plethora of item and map changes.

So, how can Support players get started on the right foot (or left if you prefer it that way… I’m kidding). We brought in the man, the myth, the legend - Dignitas’ very own LCS Support, Jonah ‘Isles’ Rosario to help us out.

Summoner’s Rift

The map has seen quite the change, and we’ll go through each piece of it. Starting off with the changes to the terrain around the Rift.

From a Support’s perspective, the most apparent is to the bot side river and immediate jungle paths. The river bush is now one lone ‘pixel’ bush in the middle of the river with entrances to both blue and red side jungles through a ‘tri-bush’ immediately below the Dragon pit or opposite respectively. This opens up the wall that used to exist from the bot lane, pretty much all the way to the entrance by the red side blue buff. Additionally, the red side tri-brush (that existed before), now opens up directly to the bot lane first turret for easy access to dive the enemy.

Isles: I think the most impactful change is the stuff that has changed in the bot river. It actually is a big dynamic shift from how it was before. More specifically, how the new dot brush in the middle of the river, as well as how the tribush is now more accessible for the blue team, completely changes how easy it is for the blue team to invade the different locations. Now, you can pretty much walk into their jungle without having to walk around this gigantic wall. There's also this little alcove part next to the tower, that you can sort of accomplish two goals at once if you have a little bit of vision. You can poke from the left side of the tower where there was previously terrain, which allows you to get closer to your enemies without taking tower shots. It also serves the purpose of reaching the enemy jungle more quickly.

With these drastic changes, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and start to feel that the blue side is just overpowered compared to the red side… and you might be right! But remember, these map changes were implemented to make the map more symmetrical overall. Consider last season, how much easier it was to get ganks off on the enemy bot lane when on the red side. If they were pushing you up, your jungler could easily come from behind using the tri-brush for a lane gank, they could take the blast cone over the wall to be in the river bush in the blink of an eye, or they could wrap around and come through the enemy tri-brush!

On the other hand, ganking red side essentially required you to lane gank when the blue side was pushing the red side in so that the jungler could advance unnoticed, or to run in through the river. That’s pretty much it, and much more challenging to get the right angle unless you had a jungle advantage or really good timing. Due to these changes, it’s more similar than it was. No one really complained in the bot lane about how easy it was to avoid ganks on the red side, and so no one should really complain now that it’s more level.

Another massive change on the Rift that drastically changes the game for Support players is around the first mid lane turrets where a new opening exists from the jungle. From the perspective of Supports, the most notable is the opening on the red side blue bluff quadrant. As the red side Support, you have fast access to your first mid lane turret through your jungle where you are not forced to walk out into the neutral river and are also not forced to walk all the way around both blue buff and the wolf camp. Now, there’s a happy medium. While this doesn’t feel that valuable, it does mean you can quickly rotate with your bot laner in a timely manner that’s risk averse. Not only is this great for after the laning phase when you’re more likely to start covering the mid lane, but also for early roaming access to the top side of the map for the new contested jungle camp, the Voidgrubs.

On the contrary, what this means for the blue side Support, is that the red side mid laner is a lot easier to tower dive! Yes, tower diving, roaming Supports, rejoice! Blue side is where it’s at! Blue side Supports can quickly cross the river and in less than a second, can start interacting with the boring enemy mid laner trying to last hit under tower undisturbed. No more needing to Flash over walls or walk ALL the way around the enemy jungle and potentially getting caught out with unlucky timings!

Now that these map changes are out of the way and you have a few preliminary ideas on how to use these changes to your benefit, let’s look at the important monster changes coming out of the Baron Pit. Starting with the Voidgrubs.

Voidgrubs

Spawning at 5 minutes into the game, and with a four minute respawn timer that’s replaced by the Rift Herald at 14 minutes, a maximum of six (6) Voidgrubs can spawn in a game. For each Voidgrub slain, your entire team is granted a permanent stack of Hunger of the Void. This buff grants bonus damage over time to structures. Additionally, if your team is able to claim five or six (all) of the Voidgrubs that can spawn in a single game, your team will periodically summon Voidmites that will attack enemy structures (think like Bel’Veth’s passive voidlings). The main question players are asking themselves about this new feature on Summoner’s Rift is "How good is it?" Adding this new variable to the game means players now need to determine the value of this objective and when it’s worth going for, and when it’s not.

Isles: To me the Voidgrubs feel quite underwhelming. It sometimes feels like such an investment in terms of early game time. If the jungler has to spend 20 seconds killing the Voidgrubs in the early game, like at level four or five-ish. At these sort of critical points in the game, you can honestly end up losing a lot more than you gain. Especially because the Voidgrubs effectively only grant you value when you are hitting towers. Which oftentimes will be when you're already winning the game, not when you're losing it. So, by using this time and this tempo, which, in the early game can be very critical, oftentimes it feels like it's a waste of time completely because you're giving up the opportunity for the enemy jungler to potentially invade you, to potentially take a dragon, or potentially pressure a different side of the map.

So from what Isles is saying, the Voidgrubs are a way to quickly snowball games where you already have a significant early game advantage where that extra bit of pushing and turret-killing power can snowball your lead even faster. This means the objective’s value depends highly on the individual game. As the Support player, because this objective is only available in the early game, you need to consider whether the objective is worth the commitment for you.

Does roaming to the top side of the map spending a minute or more in the early game and missing that many waves get you that much value? Probably only if you’ve already got a good idea of how the next 10-15 minutes are going to play out. Look at both team compositions and determine who needs the Voidgrubs more. Then look at the objective as either securing it for your team (if you need the extra early game pressure against a heavy scaling team), or denying it from your opponent (if you’re the heavy scaling team).

Rift Herald

Rift Herald has also experienced several changes heading into this season. Although they are not massive changes, they are certainly noticeable - and a lot more fun! The Rift Herald deals less damage, but also takes a bit longer to kill. It does synergize with the addition of the Voidgrubs, and the main feature is that you can now ride it after you summon it (almost looks like a Sion ultimate)! Are these changes good? Let’s see what Isles thinks:

Isles: Honestly, I think the Rift Herald is not that dissimilar from how it was before. It does significantly less damage and it takes a little bit longer to hit but when used in tandem with Voidgrubs, it can feel quite strong but it's just since you can't access it before. Plates have gone down in gold value and Herald has gone down, but I think that in competitive matches the objective is still worthwhile since it usually impacts the dragon fights.

Remember, sometimes objectives like Herald aren’t meant to just secure the last few plates of a tower for the gold. Sometimes, it’s simply best to use it to draw attention to one of the lanes and away from another objective! Especially in lower ELO games, the Herald gets a lot of attention so use it in mid lane or even top lane and use that tempo advantage to take the Dragon and continue pushing for Dragon Soul! Or, save the Rift Herald for after a fight when there are no enemies left to defend the tower and you might be able to push much further down the lane than you might have been able to otherwise. Especially when paired with the Voidgrubs.

Baron Nashor

There are now three different types of Barons that can spawn. The Hunting Baron, The Territorial Baron, and the All-Seeing Baron. Each of these Baron Nashor’s come with a different pit that will result in slight map changes. The Hunting Baron is what we’ve had for the last 14 years (easy enough). The Territorial Baron pit opens a bit wider at the mouth and has a small piece of terrain in the middle of the opening to make two smaller entrances. The All-Seeing Baron keeps the same Hunting Baron pit, but instead creates a giant opening above and below that allow for three different ways to walk into and out of the pit. In short, the Hunting Baron has one walking entrance, the Territorial Baron has two walking entrances, and the All-Seeing Baron has three walking entrances.

World Atlas

Isles: I think that obviously, on 14.1, it's blatantly overpowered. It's being addressed in 14.2 and Riot understands that certain items as well as the World Atlas double Support item pairings were not intended. I will say that the items, for how easy they are to attain for Supports naturally, the amount of benefit and gain the item creates is disproportionate. The items are very powerful. They generate gold and give you extremely valuable benefits that can be quite overpowered and overbearing. For example, Bloodsong on Champion’s like Senna and Lucian, you don’t even get punished for missing creeps. You basically get value for poking enemies and end up dealing more damage and getting more gold.

On that note, more specifically, since the way the item progression works for Supports is now standardized, where the Relic Shield and Spellthief’s of old have been combined. It makes most Supports reach it at roughly the same time regardless of how they do in lane. This means that this dynamic some Champions used to have an advantage in, like Zyra, who could stack Spellthief’s quickly, is now gone because every Support can gain them in different ways.”

Isles brings up a great point about the ease of access to the Support item upgrades with the implementation of World Atlas. Overall, we should see the wider array of Supports reach their upgrade thresholds at the same time. This increases the diversity of the Support pool, and makes the role slightly stronger overall because of how consistent it is.

Other Season 14 Support Changes

Moving onto some of the other Season 14 changes that more directly impact Supports, let’s take a look at the other item changes. The majority of items carrying over from last year have widely remained unchanged. However, there are a few key exceptions such as Ardent Censer, Staff of Flowing Water, and Shurelya’s Battlesong.

Ardent Censer’s total cost increased by 200 gold and has added bonus mana regeneration, ability power, movement speed, and effects on the Sanctify passive. Overall, the benefits added to this item in relation to the 200 gold difference is quite small, making for an overall buff to the item.

Staff of Flowing Water, like Ardent Censer has seen a 200 gold increase and the removal of the movement speed bonus in exchange for more mana regeneration, ability power, and ability haste. The main change however, is to the passive, Rapids which now grants the user and allies temporary bonus movement speed for healing or shielding them instead of ability haste.

Finally, Shurelya’s Battlesong has seen a few notable changes. The item no longer grants ally movement speed when shielding or healing them and movement speed is only granted on activation of the item. Additionally, the item no longer builds out of Kindlegem, so the builder will lack the access to bonus health in the recipe. Overall, these item changes have started to change the item into a more utility-focused mage item, perhaps best built on mid laners and gold-efficient ability powered junglers and top laners.

Season 14 Tips from Isles

Isles: When I previously coached people, some of the things that I would point out most often is that Supports need to be in the right place at the right time. This doesn't mean that you can take this out of context and just say, ‘Oh! I'm going to roam permanently and just be at every fight, that way I can always provide value.’ What it means is that it's up to you, in each individual game, to assess the situation and understand how your champion works, how the other champions in the game work, and how you can be most effective given these variables.

For example, if you play an Enchanter Support, naturally you're going to want to leave lane less, because you're most powerful when you're augmenting your teammates. So, it's going to make less sense to roam for a fight.

It's really hard, and that's sort of the beauty of League of Legends in general, but the tip I would give is that free time management is the most natural way to come to good conclusions.”

To round out this Season 14 guide to Support changes, we’ll end off with a key insight from a professional player and former coach. Support players, take note of Isles comments here and seriously consider them if you wish to reach your goals this season.

Isles: Review games, and every time you base, pause the game and look at the map and think: ‘In 30 seconds, I will run to this position. What can I accomplish? What's important on the map right now?’ And if you do the same thing, when you die or you recall every single game, I'm sure the majority of support players would instantly find improvement.

We’d like to thank Isles for taking the time to sit down with us for this interview! If you’ve still got any more burning questions about being a Support player in Season 14, check out Isles' socials and ask him for more of his thoughts!

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