League of Legends Guide
Wardingwritten by Kommerzgandalf
Table of Contents
|Repitition: Map Awareness||3|
|How to ward properly||4|
|General Ward Spots||5|
|Ward Spots: Early Game||6|
|Ward Spots: Mid Game||7|
|Ward Spots: Late Game||8|
|Ward Spots: Situational||9|
|The Scout Mastery||12|
|Tips for better Warding||13|
|Last but not least: Final Thoughts||15|
Hello and welcome to my comprehensive warding guide. As everyone knows, warding is a very unpopular aspect of the game for most people. Countless games are played where nobody ever buys a ward. Countless games are played where the support is the only one buying wards while getting yelled at that he doesn't ward enough or wrong places. People know that warding is important but consider it annoying. But why is that so? One approach could be that most people just don't know anything about warding besides those things some players place at random places. To give those people an insight what warding actually is and how it is executed properly, I wrote this guide. I hope you enjoy it.
If you want to discuss, miss something or want to revise my English, just leave a comment.
Why would I want to ward?
The answer to this question is very easy: Warding wins games!
To know where the enemies are at any given moment is a very important matter throughout all stages of the game. Wards provide the additional map awareness to get that information constantly. Where is the jungler trying to gank? Where are the missing enemies heading to? Having or not having information about the whereabouts of your enemies makes a huge difference. It allows you to tell when to go back, when overextending isn't that risky, when you are getting counter-jungled, when you can gank, if buffs/dragon/baron are still there to name a few. Without wards, you would just play a guessing game which is not only inaccurate most of the time but also very risky for your sole goal in this game: Winning.
TL;DR: Warding -> Increasing Map Awareness -> Obtaining Map Control -> Win
Repitition: Map Awareness
For people who never knew or just forgot what map awareness is:
How to ward properly
The key to ward properly is to place the wards at critical spots while using as most of its potential sight range as possible. A ward that does not meet these two requirements is either a bad placed ward or a very situational one.
As a rule of thumb, bad wards are...
...providing no additional sight.
...at places where are no branches.
...only monitoring parts of entries.
...right besides bushes.
...besides an edge instead at the cone end of it.
...at places that provide little or no information at all.
An example for bad warding:
This ward covers no important spot (No, Golems are not that important!), it doesn't give you any sight of jungle entries or branches within the jungle. Plus, you only used about a third of the wards sight potential. You get the idea.
An example for good warding:
This one is a prime example for a good ward. It covers 5-6 branches of the blue jungle, has the blue buff in sight and covers a bush, too. This ward can give you plenty of information. You see when someone is lurking around in the jungle to farm creeps, to go ganking, to try getting blue buff or whatever. With that information you are able to react to the enemies' actions. Go steal blue, try to gank the lurker, back off to your tower or just do nothing. The advantage is on your side, because you are the one to decide what will happen next. Not the opponent catching you off guard. You know what's going on and you react properly. You have the opportunity to disrupt the enemies' game flow!
General Ward Spots
Here an overview over common ward spots:
These are not all potential ward spots, but the most important ones. Keep them in mind.
Ward Spots: Early Game
The next sections are full of screenshots of ward spots of the purple side of Summoner's Rift including the river. You can simply mirror the ward spots for the blue side as the map itself is mirrored.
Because the important ward spots change over the course of the game, the spots will be sorted in that way instead of going along a special route. But remember that for example early game wards can still be important later into the game. So the sections will more likely show you when to start warding which spots. Depending on the situation, even late game ward spots can be important early game. It's all up to your strategy or what you're or the enemies are planning to do (like counterjungle early).
The most important areas in the early game are the usual gank routes of junglers and the dragon spawn point. This includes the complete bottom river and the top end of the river. The potential warding spots here are:
Doesn't give any sight of the bushes but covers both top lane entrances for the jungler of the blue team. If he takes the route behind Baron he not only wastes time, also odds are against him getting a good gank if the purple top laner wasn't pushing his lane.
Alternative spot for the blue top laner. Doesn't cover the river entrance, though.
These are the most common ward spots for bot lane. The provide sight to all ways the enemy jungler may come from including vision of dragon. (Make sure you have sight of the whole blue buff entry.) Additionally, the dragon ward also covers most of the mid gank route for the purple jungler, but don't rely on it too much.
If you really want to make sure there are no incoming ganks unnoticed from bot river, you will have to ward here:
Here you have the all entrances of the upper bot river covered. This is especially good to prevent said mid ganks and counter jungling as the blue team's red jungle will almost always entered here. (Same goes for the top river.) This is usually a blue ward spot, as for the purple team the mirrored spot in the top river is more important and one side covered is enough if the mid laner is playing appropriately.
The last spot that is rarely used but some kind of viable if you're out of money or dragon is down:
Unfortunately, incoming ganks from the tribush are seen very late. At the moment dragon respawns, this ward becomes a somewhat bad ward.
Note that all early game wards are in or very close to the river as all turrets are still standing and most of the action goes along the river line itself. In mid game, the actual warding zone is expanding.
Ward Spots: Mid Game
By mid game the important areas start moving, hence other ward spots are going to be used to keep up with the knowledge you want to have. Typical causes for this area shift are turrets going down, teams getting the upper hand and teams pushing or roaming to name a few. Additionally, other objectives get more important like blue and red buff and, of course, Baron.
Note that this ward has to be in the lower half of the bush to cover blue buff. People tend to place some wards in the upper half to see more in the direction to mid lane, but they sacrifice their sight of the blue buff and most of the way to dragon/Baron. This may seem legit if blue buff is down and you want to know the mid laner's moves right away, but in that case you would want to ward another spot instead of forcing this one into a role it doesn't fit in.
These are the common red buff wards with the former being much more common for teams as the player warding doesn't have to go that far into the jungle. However I think the latter is much better as it covers more branches of the red jungle overall. You have to facecheck the red bush though if the enemy is pulling the lizard in there. So which of these spots to use is up to preference.
Similiar to the dragon ward, this spot provides not only view of Baron itself but the blue jungle entry and the whole river before him as well. Remember that this ward is only to make sure nobody does interact with Baron. If your team wants to kill him, other spots have to be covered to ensure safety. More on that on the ward combo section.
Covers the whole backside of blue buff. Most of the times, mid laners planning to gank bot or to get blue buff will be seen here as well as junglers on their way to a gank or to the enemy jungle.
If you want to see the moves to top lane, from top lane and from the red jungle, place one of these wards to get early information about it. The latter is some kind of unusual though.
Whether you ward those spots in your own jungle or rather in the enemies' is up to you and the situation you are currently in. Ask yourself some questions: "Do we have the upper hand? Who is ganking which lane frequently? Is there counter jungling going on?" Don't place your precious gold random on the map. Ward only the important spots.
Ward Spots: Late Game
In late game, warding gets more and more situational. According to this, the spots are more special than the earlier ones as the game is now mostly about team fights and catching people offguard or just kill most enemies as possible.
Base wards from blue jungle:
Want to know whats going on right in front of the big base wall? A nice ward here will provide all you want to know.
These are the usual spots if you want to know what is going on inside the base, especially right before a team fight. Not only you get sight when the enemies try to initiate or poke on your team, you also get the opportunity yourself. Remember that the enemies can try to destroy the wards right after you set them up and it's possible to set the ward too close to the tower that has true sight and reveals all wards nearby.
Base wards from red jungle:
Not much to say here, as these spots are just the same as the latter three. Just make sure you place the one outside the base at the right edge of the bush. Else you won't be getting the sight of the whole base wall.
Ward Spots: Situational
Here some other wards that are very situational and are only of use in special circumstances.
Examples for special circumstances:
- A team fight is going to start around here.
- There is no time to get to the recommended ward spot.
- It is too dangerous to get to the recommended ward spot.
- The enemy team has gankers with low cooldown blinks (such as Kassadin and Tryndamere).
- You assume or know someone is hiding in there.
A good spot itself but doesn't stand up against the wards above and beneath it. Moreover it's used much more on the mirrored place for Baron warding (more about this later).
Ward sometimes used against ganks from hard gankers like Sion, Kassadin or something like that. Other wards can cover the paths to this place while providing more sight of more useful places though.
Defensive ward against gankers with low cooldown blinks (Kassadin, Tryndamere, Shaco,...) as they are able to blink down from tribush to be unseen by the usual wards. Key is to figure out if the ganker knows about this ward avoiding trick. If he doesn't you can simply stop warding here.
Mid bush wards are common among many people and have their use especially when it's risky and a team fight is coming up in this area. They are also okay against blink gankers.
Double golem ward. Covers most of the top lane here, too. Not that useful though.
Typical pushing ward for midlane right before team fights. In most games you can assume that an enemy ward is exactly here when such situation comes up.
Usual laning wards against supporters like Taric or Alistar. They don't have the same purpose of normal wards. Their only function is to tell you when a stun is going to come out of the bush. Very useful but only in certain situations.
As you know most warding spots now, it's time to introduce to you some warding combos that cover all entrances to a specific area. They are very useful for pushing, defending or giving sight of certain areas.
I already told you about this combo in the early game section but just to remind you: These two wards cover your bot lane. Place them.
Aggressive blue team/defensive purple team:
Here you got a four ward combo that provides aggressive or defensive sight on the jungle the wards are placed in. If someone wants to go anywhere without using the lanes, he definitely gets seen. Hence you can prepare for ganks, set them up yourself or just know where the enemy team is heading to.
These are the pushing wards for the side lanes if you are pushing or just dominate your lane (what causes you to be laning farther in enemy territory). Warding for mid lane is not that easy. I recommend the usual aggressive warding for pushing the mid lane as you need too much wards to cover all entrances and you're almost never split push mid anyways.
The yellow spots are for the blue team when engaging Baron, the light blue ones are for the purple team. This helps to prevent team fights where not only the enemy team fights you but Baron himself also. Additionally you don't have to guess when the enemies are arriving at your place and try to steal it or fight you. Especially for the blue team, warding Baron before attempting to kill him is essential as the walls hide potential stealers.
As your team will most likely not be the only ones placing wards, warding itself becomes a competition of information. Cutting off information leaves them more vulnerable overall to ganks, counter jungling and buff stealing.
Counter warding itself has two kinds in LoL. Clearing by walking around using oracle or actual counter warding by placing pink wards at spots where you don't want to have enemy wards. This section will only cover the latter, as clearing with oracle is pretty easy if you can manage to not get caught and know the most common ward spots.
There are only three real spots where you want to get rid of enemy wards that much that it's actually worth it to buy counter wards: Baron, dragon and the bot lane tribush.
You don't want to get ganked, but you want your jungler or mid laner to be able to gank. Hence you got to get rid of the enemy wards. This spot is pretty basic as there is not much space inside this bush. The only thing worth mentioning is: Don't place it right away. Place it about half a minute before the enemy ward runs out (to make sure you get a fifth of the pink ward price back) or right before an allied gank is coming in. You want to use it efficiently as it costs 50 Gold more than a normal ward. So the longer you wait before placing it, the longer you are able to deny this ward spot itself without buying another pink ward again.
The dragon ward is on a not so obvious spot. It is not at the same place as the normal dragon ward as you don't know exactly where the enemy ward is. So you only sacrifice some sight at the top end of the bottom river (you still see dragon (not yet spawned here) and the blue buff entrance) to see all enemy wards in the dragon area (including the last spot in the early game section).
The reason for placing the ward at this exact spot makes the purpose of counter warding clearer. You're not counter warding for actual sight, it's just a bonus. You are counter warding to clear a apecific area of wards. This ward not only sees all wards inside Baron's cage itself, it also covers the whole area before the entry to him itself. If you place the pink ward here, you just made sure the enemy has no sight over Baron at all.
Sure there are other potential ward spots as you want to get rid of every single enemy ward on the map. But it won't get you anywhere if you just place pink wards everywhere instead of normal wards. Want to clear the whole map of enemy wards? Get an oracle.
The Scout Mastery
Maybe some of you want to know if the scout mastery is worth it. See for yourself:
Look closely at the stones in the river and decide if you want to spend one point for this extended sight or not. One is clear: It is not mandatory. So feel free to skip Scout if you need the point elsewhere.
Tips for better Warding
Here some general tips for warding, especially when you're playing premades:
Remember the ward spots
It is very important to know when and above all why to ward which spot. It is not only important to know when you are playing support. Every player should know where the spots are in order to avoid them, counter ward or playing mind games with the enemies. They are not that hard to remember.
There are good wards and bad wards, even at the same ward spots
It's not enough to just know in which bush that ward has to be placed. You have to place it in the right spot in the spot itself.
Example: Good ward. Bad ward.
In contrast to the former ward, the latter doesn't give much sight to the left. The difference in placing is marginal, the difference in sight is significant. But don't freak out, I failed several times while i made the screenshots, too. And only the spots with edges are that troublesome. Most fails at such edges will happen at red buff, I tell you.
To help yourself with wards that are in the open like the dragon ward, remember between which stones you placed the ward or something similiar. It will help you out.
Wards can't talk with you. They can't ping the map if they see seomone passing by. But you can. Even if the ward doesn't help you directly, ping the map or tell your people via TS/Skype/Vent/whatever what you saw. Nobody has his eyes on the minimap all the time.
Spare Gold + Free Item Slot = Wards
Don't be a cheap fool and save that 75 gold for your Infinity Edge or your Rabadon's. Not only you only need 3 last hits to get the money back. If you get killed because you didn't buy the ward you will lose even more gold than just 75. So use your spare gold that you couldn't use for real items and buy up to 3 wards. Wards don't go bad, even if you place them 10 minutes later.
If you have LOL Recorder you can just search for my name in the client. I currently have only one game as support uploaded but I will upload more as I get to play support (where you can see me placing the most wards). Just search for my name and pick a game where a support champion shows up.
Last but not least: Final Thoughts
Warding is not just an annoying thing you have to do in order to not lose. It's another aspect of the game where you can outplay your enemies and have fun (especially counterwarding at bot lane). Getting a gank off, escaping ganks or stealing Baron are just a few of the satisfactions good warding can give you if executed properly.
And remember: Warding is not the support's job alone. Everyone can and should ward the spots he has to care about. It is not the support's job to go all the way to top lane and place a ward for the top laner. It does not have to be his job to counter ward dragon, the jungle player can do that too. Everyone can afford wards that are worth 3 or 5 last hits.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and learned something about ward spots and warding itself. Please upvote this guide if you think that more players should read it to increase their warding skills and leave a comment if you disliked it and why. Hopefully, the bunch of pictures wasn't too much. I just didn't want you too look at 3-4 SR maps with numbers on it.