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Warding in League of Legends

Vision control is one of the most important aspects of League of Legends and that is what makes warding totems some of the most invaluable items in the game.

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Warding and vision control in League of Legends appears to be the most underrated aspect of the game. There is not as much emphasis put on warding in lower elos especially, but as you begin to ascend the ladder, you begin to notice how much importance is put on vision control in the higher elos.

If you want to climb solo queue and hit a higher rank than you currently are, then now is the time to perfect your warding skills and knowledge around vision control. Warding is one of the most passive aspects to your game and, once you get the hang of it, is really not complicated but something that is as easy to become complacent with.

The trick with warding is to remember to maximize your vision control output by always ensuring that you are placing wards on the map whenever you can. Not only do wards placed by you benefit you, but they will also benefit your teammates - particularly your jungler, who can utilize wards and vision control to their advantage when looking for ganks or for control of the jungle.

Wards only take a few mins (sometimes even less depending on your level) to refresh, so it is vital that you maximize your vision control output by placing and regaining as many wards as possible. Another habit you should aim to implement into your subconscious whilst playing is the purchasing of Control Wards whenever you recall to base.

Different types of Wards

There are a few different ways a player may obtain vision in what would otherwise be a dark area on the map, and these are all of those ways. Below is a list of every single type of Warding Totem and their function:

 

  • Totem Ward - The most basic ward type. When you have the Warding Totem trinket, you’ll gain a Totem Ward charge every 240-120 seconds. Each placed ward is stealthed, grants vision in the surrounding 900 units and lasts from 90-120 seconds or until destroyed. You can have up to three on the map at once per player.
  • Control Ward - These can be purchased for 75 gold in the item shop and last indefinitely or until destroyed. They also grant vision in the surrounding 900 units but also reveal stealthed objects, traps and champions. You can have one of these on the map per player.
  • Stealth Ward - Functions similarly to the Totem Ward. These are earned as charges on support-focused items. They are stealthed, last for 150 seconds and share the same placement limitations with Totem Wards.
  • Farsight Ward - You can place one of these with the Farsight Alteration trinket. It grants vision over the surrounding 500 units, lasts indefinitely but can be seen by your opponents. You or your allies cannot teleport to this ward.
  • Ghost Poro - A unique type of ward acquired through the Ghost Poro rune. Grants vision in the surrounding 450 units when placed in a bush. When an enemy enters that bush it is scared away and alerts your whole team with a ping on the map.
  • Zombie Ward - A unique type of ward acquired through the Zombie Ward rune. These wards pop up in place of an opponent’s ward when you destroy them, granting vision in the surrounding 1100 units while lasting indefinitely. They can be seen and destroyed by your opponents, and cannot be teleported onto.

Why is warding so important in League of Legends?

As we touched upon earlier, most of the map of Summoner’s Rift is dark in League of Legends and you will not be able to see where your opponents are, unless they are in one of the three lanes and you have an allied minion wave near a given enemy.

The rest of the map, which includes the majority of the jungle, will be completely in the shade and you will have no idea where the enemy jungler could be. But this is where warding and vision control comes into play; the difference between winning and losing a game in its dying embers is communication, most of the time.

Sometimes a simple ping which indicates the danger of the enemy’s presence to your teammates is all that is required to stop them facechecking a brush, and getting one-shot by the enemy team, forcing you into a 4 v 5 situation when the death timers are already working against you.

So, we have already established that communication is integral, but how will you be able to communicate the correct information if you do not have any in the first place? This is why you and your entire team must be actively placing your own wards and removing as many of the enemies’.

It is always useful for at least one of your team members to be in possession of a Farsight Alteration trinket, which enables you to scout an unknown area of the map whilst minimizing the risk of anyone dying on your team at the same time. This is possible because Farsight wards allow for you to place them from as much as 4000 units away, the highest in the game as far as wards are concerned. 

There are other items or abilities in the game that possess even longer distances that they can reach, such as Ashe’s E “Hawkshot”, which has a global range and can tag any enemies spotted along its course through the map. But this is about wards specifically, and as far as wards are concerned, a Farsight is your best bet especially if you are a squishy champion like an ADC or assassin.

In any case, just being about to track your enemy’s whereabouts and movements better adapts you and your team to a given situation and allows you to prepare for the worst, well in advance. This is one of the key ways that players in higher elo are able to execute team fights correctly and ultimately, that victory screen that we all love to see.

Where to ward in Top Lane

To keep things really simple, we’re going to tell you the best spots to ward in each lane. For the Top lane, the best places to place your wards are usually dependent on which side of the map you are playing on.

(Image Credit: Esports One)

To give you this indication, the side of the map where your Blue/Red buff is situated closer to the Top lane is generally referred to as which side you are playing on; if your Blue buff is at the Top side of the map, then you are on Blue side and vice-versa.

So, if you are playing on Blue side and want to ward in the Top lane, the most common place to ward is the brush closest to you in the river. It is helpful to ward here as early as possible to minimize the potential of early ganks from the enemy jungler. 

Ideally, you would like to place a Control Ward here too, but these may be destroyed depending on the state of the minion wave, so you may have to reward the brush multiple times during the game.

For the Red side of the map, the best place to ward is in the tri-brush, which is the route both junglers might use to enter Top lane, particularly the enemy if you pushed quite far down the lane. 

Again, it is always helpful to have a Control Ward here, but you can only have one active Control Ward at a time, so ensure you have placed the correct ward based on how you are conducting yourself in the game.

 

Where to ward in Mid Lane

The best places to ward are on either sides of the river, whether it be right or left. Depending on whether you have info on the enemy junglers whereabouts, sometimes you can place a warding totem on one side of the brushes and a Control on the other side.

It may also be worth placing some deep wards further into the river, such as any of the brushes near or around the area where the Scuttle Crab spawns. In any case, it is always useful to liaise with your jungler to control the vision around Mid lane, as Mid is unofficially known for being a 2 v 2 lane rather than a strict 1 v 1.

Where to ward as jungler

As a jungler, you have the most freedom on the map to ward wherever you want, but warding as a jungler is also the most risky as you can often venture a step too far which could result in your death.

But if you do manage to safely slip in and out of enemy territory, it is always useful to ward the opposing Blue/Red buffs, or any of their other camps, as their presence/absence can give you a likely indication of which side of the map they are located.

It is also worth placing wards in your own jungle and near your own buffs as this could prevent the enemy from stealing your camps and can give your laners enough notice to roam and stop the enemy from jungler from escaping, which can lead to an easy kill/assist for your team, plus putting the enemy behind. 

Outside of the areas or brushes near jungler camps, the most obvious places to ward are of course the neutral objectives, such as Dragons, Heralds and Baron Nashor. Control Wards are the best to be placed here as these will give you the most output of vision control and will be the most efficient in terms of cost.

Where to ward in Bot Lane

Bot lane is similar to top lane, in that it depends on which side of the map you are playing on. If you are on the Blue side, then the most common position to ward is in the tri-brush, and for the Red side, the most common place is the brush closest to the lane in the river.

In any case, it is always beneficial to place as many wards in the surrounding area to minimize the risk of ganks from the enemy jungler. Also, it allows for you to control the way you play in lane, as the correct information is necessary to maximize favorable outcomes from skirmishes in lane.

The Support should be the one who places the wards ideally, but as an ADC, you also have wards that you should aim to utilize! As a Support, it is also vital that you purchase an Oracle’s Lens or Sweeper to destroy enemy wards, as this allows for your jungler to safely pull off ganks and will increase the success rate of these ganks.

 

For overall tips and tricks for warding in League of Legends, it may also be worth checking out this post on Reddit from the user "SupportPersonality", who discusses some helpful pointers around the subject of warding.

https://www.reddit.com/r/supportlol/comments/en9675/vision_mechanics_you_might_not_know/

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