This guide offers some tips on how to counter the game's #1 duelist, Warden.
Guide to Counter Warden
Warden at the moment is the game's top duelist hero so that being said it makes sense why many find him a pain to play against. Make no mistake though as there are quite a few things you can do to improve your chances of beating him.
Tip #1: The Shoulder Bash Mixup
So needless to say, the reason Warden is so good is not his top heavies. This move is the singular best offensive move in For Honor, and really the main thing that makes Warden such a powerhouse. Unlike many other moves, there is no way to entirely negate this attack, so when you see it, you're forced to play his game. However, simply knowing what counters what in this mixup can really help out:
- When you see orange, that means he's started the move up, dodging soon after this on level 1 bash timing will counter both the level 1 bash, level 2 bash (which doesn't actually do anything different to the level 1 bash, they even have the same dodge timing), and late GB feints.
- Waiting to dodge until later will allow you to dodge the level 3 bash and also counter early GB feints.
- Obviously not dodging at all beats out any and all GB feints.
- You can also go for interrupts but be careful as these are very risky as they won't be able to stop the level 1 bash on reaction, and unless you have a 400ms attack from neutral (so like PK, LB, and Shaolin who can all ignore this next part) you will trade with the level 3 bash. Interrupts can both counter all GB feints and a level 2 bash if the Warden does that for whatever reason.
- Remember that dodge attacks exist. When you successfully dodge the bash, you get a GB guaranteed, so that is the max punish for that, however there are advantages to utilizing dodge attacks to counter the mixup.
- If you use a dodge attack that isn't Tiandi or JJs heavy dodges, you will counter any GB feints provided you do not delay it into the dodge at all, this is a much safer way of countering GBs than interrupts.
- Delaying dodge attacks however can be useful on some heroes who can delay them ridiculously far into dodges like Orochi, Kensei, Shaman, and sort of Zerk, delaying them on these heroes and others like them will allow you to both dodge level 1, level 2, and level 3 bashes while also negating late GB feints, be careful though as an early GB feint will grab you out of your dodge and a feint into nothing will allow the Warden to parry you.
- I feel the need to mention Conqueror's dodge bash, which can actually be used to negate all bash options so long as you don't delay it except a prediction feint into nothing which will allow the Warden to punish you, so of you are playing Conqueror, remember this.
- Rolling can be used to counter some things, however I would advise against doing this, as the Warden can easily feint GB mid attack to catch you, or feint then do a Valiant Breakthrough to track your roll, so you can use it on occasion, but try not to do it much.
Tip #2: The Shoulder Bash as a Defensive Tool
Not only is this move a top tier offensive move, it is also an excellent defensive tool as well. Knowing what a Warden can do with it can often make you think twice about the move you were about to do:
- His bash functions as a dodge attack, so remember that.
- This move can be done from a backdodge, this is very significant as it can allow the Warden to both space you out and go for very high punishes off of moves with high recoveries. Tl;Dr avoid high recovery moves vs Warden.
- You can however try to bait it out by making it look like you're going for a stupid move, but then feinting and countering his bash accordingly.
Example: You are Shugoki and start up a charged heavy, thinking the Warden may try a backdodge bash, you feint into GB asap and grab him out of it.
Tip #3: Crushing CounterStrike
So this move currently reins as the highest damage defensive punish in the game, and it can be countered entirely by doing one simple thing:
- Do. Not. Do. Blockable. Top. Attacks. Versus. Warden. Ever.
Tip #4: Warden Ganks and Ganking Warden
So like many heroes there are things that decent Wardens will try on you when ganking, luckily Warden isn't a god tier ganker, so it isn't too hard to deal with:
- Don't get anywhere near him. A Warden will typically only gank with Shoulderbashes, and keeping distance will negate his ability to GB you when you dodge.
- Wardens will typically go for only charged bashes instead of uncharged ones, as if they start spamming level 1 bashes, you're going to get revenge very quickly, and with the charged ones it opens you up for big punishes from the Warden's team.
- He will catch you if you try to roll with his Valiant Breakthrough, so when a Warden is present in a gank, avoid rolling as much as possible.
- Avoid getting knocked over as Warden can deal a lot of damage very quickly by doing top heavies in teammates punishes.
Just as Warden isn't a top tier ganker, he's also not a top tier anti-ganker, in fact he's actually quite bad at it and can be exploited easily:
- Warden, with the exception of his zone, can really only target one person at a time, this means that a Warden when being ganked will do one of two things:
- Hard focus one guy and ignore the rest.
- Target swap like a psycho.
- If he does the first option, just bean him with top heavies and he'll die pretty quick, if he does the second (smarter) option, you can expect ht will do this, do regardless of who he's looking at, still make a read on his moves and counter accordingly, it may save your life.
- If he does attempt to use his zone to hit multiple targets, dodge it then GB him as this has an ungodly 1000ms recovery on it that can only be cancelled by a heavy that still has GB vulnerability.
- Don't roll him. I can't stress this enough, even if you're at low HP and afraid of dying, don't roll as that just gives him the free opportunity to use Valiant Breakthrough and kill you right then and there, giving him a huge advantage in whatever situation he's in.
Good And Bad Picks Versus Warden
So like all heroes, there are good and bad picks when you fight him, I'll list some below:
- Warden - Who's a better counter to the best duelist, but the best duelist?
- Conqueror - His dodge bash makes it very difficult for a Warden to land damage.
- Kensei - His delayable dodge attack is quite strong versus Shoulder Bash.
- Shaman - See above.
- Jiang Jun - His heavy dodge attack can be used to dodge all bash outcomes except for GB feints.
- Shinobi - Double dodging is a quite strong tool versus a Warden, and baiting Valiant Breakthroughs with him can mean the Warden eats 50 damage.
- Zerk - Big brain idea, if you never stop attacking then the Warden can't bash you.
- Centurion - If you camp a wall then 2 correct reads can mean a win, however if the Warden understands that he can just wait out the time limit then this will not work.
- Tiandi - For the same reason as JJ, except he's just a weak hero overall.
- Orochi - He's Orochi.
- Gladiator - Due to your limited options versus his main mixup, it leaves you very vulnerable.
- All heroes who lack dodge attacks - See Tip #1.