[Guide] Map Control and Awareness
Table of Contents:
II) Importance of Map Control and Map Awareness
III) Tips & Tricks
IV) Ward Locations
VI) Placing Wards
VII) Dragon and Baron Control
VIII) Buying Wards
IX) Vision Wards vs Oracle's Elixir
X) Jungle Wards
XI) Brush Checkers
| Introduction |
Hello, My name is OddSquad and I am a wardaholic. When I started the game my friends where all lvl 25+ and I had to learn how to play at high lvls before getting there. I learned support and ranged characters because I could sit outside of the enemies range and kill them and stay alive. Now as I played more, I started watching High Tier games, and I became obsessed with ward control. From there I found that knowing where the enemy was at all times really changes the outcome of the game from the first minute. Anytime I see something about wards or ward control I try to learn it and compare it to what I have already seen. Currently I'm trying to take what I have learned and relay it to all of you who overlook the single most important mechanic in the game. This guide will focus on using wards and clairvoyance to give you the best possible advantage in game.
| Importance of Map Control and Map Awareness |
Map Control = OP
Map Awareness = OP
Map Control + Map Awareness = Extremely OP
If you don't believe me take a look at the Quadrakill videos. At 10 minutes, you could tell who was going to win just by looking at who had the wards and who didn't.
If you start to say "That's high ELO that doesn't affect me" then you are a complete idiot. It does affect you, because wards are a very simple skill that any champion can take advantage of. Map Control and Map Awareness are also one of the few things that are completely up to the summoner's skill. And yes it does make you a better player if you use wards.
"You get wards because they grant you map control, which gives you control over the opponent's movement, which in turn gives you control over the game." by NadeDawg
(Note: Someone PM'd me this which I am sorry for quoting without permission but I think sums up everything I wanted to say about how important map control and awareness is.
| Tips & Tricks |
-If the enemy has a jungler. Use Clairvoyance to find him and follow him in the jungle. This requires you to learn the jungling routes.
In a game the other day, I shut down Warwick because I knew where he started, followed him with Clairvoyance and my team would gank him at buffs and steal from him. By 20 minutes two of their players raged pretty hard at WW on all chat and left the game because he couldn't "protect his jungle" from 3 man ganks.
-Placing a ward when you are about either lvl 3 or 4 will help you avoid being ganked. And it will allow you to set up counter ganks. Generally if you are side line at level 3 or 4 mid lane will be 6.
-If you are mid and can only afford 1 ward. Place it on one side and hug that side. This will limit the direction you can be ganked from.
-Warding Dragon and Baron is a must. Do it. You never know when it will pay off.
-Always have room for a ward in your inventory. Unless you are the tank or carry.
-Wards can be placed to take blows for the player: Dropping a ward to prevent Morgana's Dark Binding or Stop Rammus' Roll.
-Grab Oracle's Elixir or Vision wards and use them to kill off the other teams wards.
-How to check if bushes are warded in your lane without Oracle's. Get minion aggro then walk into the bush. if its warded then they will continue to follow you. If it's not than aggro will drop. I try to do this on every minion wave with at least one of the bushes.
-Tele gank: One member will place a ward in a bush. The remaining members will teleport to the ward and from there the team will gank the opponents. A modified verison of this can be done at lvl1 for first blood with Teleport, Ghost, Boots of Speed and a minimal base movement speed of 318. Video of lvl1 Tele Gank
-Katarina, Lee Sin and Jax can place wards then use abilities to jump to wards, this allows them to jump over walls. Likewise, some champions (Akali) can drop wards over walls and use a move to jump to a nuetral/enemy monster/minion.
-If you are playing against Nocturne, it is better to put your wards farther out to watch the paths from the jungle to the river. This will put his ult within range of your sight.
| Ward Locations |
From Blues perspective
Most import to least important
3) Top/Bottom River Bush, Mid bushes
4) Buffs with priority on enemy buffs
G) Gank Brushes: You are most likely to get ganked from one of the brushes marked G. All lanes have two of these gank spots so buy some wards and place them in these spots. So you can safely push.
i) Invisibles: If they have a stealth champion on their team drop a Vision Ward at these locations.
L) Luxury Spots: honestly probably the worst place to use a ward. Use a Brush Checker to see what is in the brush.
O) Offensive: Use only when pushing their Inhibitor turrets
D) Defensive: Know where they are attacking from before they get to you
B) Baron: If your team is about to Baron, you should probably ward therse spots.
Map of Where to Place Wards
Question: At mid lane what is better placing a ward at the small bush or at the bush closest to you?
For me after taking a look at these spots. I believe the small bush is more important. I say this because it also reveals 2 pathways and covers the entry to the bush closest to mid lane. If you know some one moves into that bush you can set up a gank, drop a ward in it or use a brush checker move to see if someone is in it.
Alternative Ward Locations: Picture
This is a quick run through of alternative places to place wards.
A, B and C (A and C are popular ward spots so when the opposing team is hunting wards, B is often ignored)
E, D, and F (Getting a ward in the bush is tough sometimes. E and F are good spots to drop a ward from a protected place)
G,H and P. (H and P are quick drops without having to travel to deep into the enemy jungle.
I and J (depends on the situation of where you want the ward)
L and K (L is a quick drop)
M, N and O (depends on the situation of where you want the ward)
| Clairvoyance |
From Blues perspective
Most import to least important
1) Finding their Jungler the 3 spots in their jungle give you the best chance of finding thier junglers location. Chances are you can find him in first 2 minutes of the game.
2) Baron and Dragon
3) Gank Spots these should already be warded so you don't have to worry to much about these
4) Side Bushes Great for opening a gank by revealing the enemies in bush at the start of the fight. Also good for preventing loss of sight as an enemy flees.
O) Offensive spots for watching the backside of turrets. This allows you to use skill shots from odd places with a high chance to hit.
D) Defensive spots for watching your back as you take out turrets.
Map of Where to Use Clairvoyance
Area of CV is slightly off.
-Try to place clairvoyance so that the enemy cannot see it's location. They can still hear the sound, but they won't be able to see where it is.
oEasiest place to do this is outside the map on the Side lane bushes
oAnother trick is to learn the range of Clairvoyance and so your targets are just inside the range, so it is harder to spot unless the enemy scrolls the map.
oNote: It is harder to notice CV if you are playing on the Autumn version of Summoners Rift.
-Use clairvoyance to land long range ults(ashe, ezreal, and lux). This is useful for finishing an escaped champ or stealing neutral monsters like Baron or blue buff.
-Clairvoyance can be used to scare enemys from finishing a neutral monster.
-Clairvoyance can win team fights in the jungle because it reveals whats in bushes. This allows your team to use bushes to your advantage while the enemy can't.
-At about 8~15 secs in to the game use Clairvoyance on the enemy's base to reveal your enemy's lane setup and starting items. Best Spot to use just off of the shop pad so you can see everything.
| Placing Wards |
Stand Still (or Laning Phase): Picture
When Wording lane there will be a total of 5 to 8 wards out almost all of the time at this point of the game. The main 5 areas wards should be at this time are Dragon and all the Brushes marked 3 in the picture. Isn't it great that there are 5 people on the team so each person can buy 1 ward and take care of a spot. At 15 minutes Top lane or the jungler need to place a ward at Baron. Placing wards on the enemy buffs is important but can be and is often over looked. Warding buffs is very important if the enemy has a jungler. Prioritize the Blue Buff during early game.
With a Jungler:
Top Lane (solo) is responsible for only their gank bush. (G)
Bottom is responsible for their gank bush, and Dragon. (B, A)
Mid Lane is responsible for the their own wards. They can ask the jungler for help if needed. (D, E)
Junglers are responsible for enemy buffs, first ward on Baron (later wards are whoever is closest), and helping mid lane (the carry) with wards. (H, C, F and helps on D, E)
If there is no Jungler:
Top Lane is responsible for their gank bush, Baron, and the buff on that side. (G, F, H)
Mid Lane is responsible for their two bushes. (D, E)
Bot Lane is responsible for their gank bush, Dragon, and the enemy buff on that side. (B, A, C)
When pushing lanes the most important part is to know where the opponent will be attacking from. By warding certain spots and keeping an eye on the minimap you can always have an escape route. The goal here is to do as much damage to the tower as you can and then make a clean getaway. To a more favorable area for fighting (aka not under their tower).
Pushing Top: Picture
The 3 big spots to ward are A, B and D. These spots will allow you to see what direction the gank is coming from. Note: If they pass through D and not A than they are coming down the lane. To check the brush on the edge of the lane you a Brush Checking ability.
You might wonder why you don't ward C. That is because you are already watching the entrances to that area through A and B. Spot C can be warded but the goal here is to conserve you wards and and only use whats needed.
Pushing Bot: Picture
The big spots here are C and A. C will tell you if they come top and A tells from the side. B is a backup ward in this case Although not as important as C or A it plays a large role in the escape. If you see them at C and start to run up the lane. B will give you the option of ambushing them in the bush, rather than being ambushed by them. You can place a ward at D to see if anyone is coming as you attack the tower from the side.
Pushing Mid: Picture
Mid is and always will be the most dangerous spot to push. It is the easiest to get to and just as easy to gank. To prevent this we need to see the enemy long before they get a chance to gank you. The big spots here are A and C. These are the most likely spots you will be ganked from. The optional wards at B and D will give you extra knowledge on where they are coming from. As always ward Baron and Dragon.
When defending you want to know that the enemy is not still by the tower. Our goal here is to wards in easy to get to places that the enemy may be at. Since you are defending approach bushes that may be dangerous with a Brush Checking move first. Your goal is to place the wards quick and get back to the defense.
I do not recommend chasing in any sense. That is why I will overlook placing wards that will show where they run to (use Clairvoyance for that). To me, chasing is another word for voluntary kiting. If they run that's good. That means your tower is safe and your job there is done.
Defending Bot: Picture
The big spots here are B, C and D. B and C will show you where the enemy is at. D will tell you if they dropped back to take Baron/Dragon. To check the brush on the edge of the lane you a Brush Checking ability.
A is not Warded because if you chased them that far and no one is dead then A is 100% a trap. Do not go for it you will die. If you want to check it use an ability that gives sight to check the bush.
Defending Top: Picture
D and A are your defensive ward spots. They allow you to see if the enemy tries to attack from the side. C will allow you to see if they back out to go after Baron/Dragon. A ward can be placed at B but like I said before if they go to B it is 100% a trap. Use an ability that gives sight to check the bush.
Defending Mid: Picture
This is tricky because there are so many spots you can be attacked from. If you are defending your inhibitor tower the major spots are C and B. With a huge need to get a ward at Baron if you don't have one there.
If you are defending your second turret A, B, C, and D are the big spots. The most important spot is going to depend on where they are attacking from. If they favor attacks from the blind spots get the wards at B and C. If they favor ganks from the brush put wards at A and D. And as always ward Baron and Dragon.
| Dragon and Baron Control |
Gives 190 gold to all players upon death. Why is this so important if it only gives 8 minions worth of gold? It's because it respawns in 6 minutes. That means getting Dragon at everytime it respawns will skyrocket your teams gold.
As a support player anytime we take Dragon I use that as an oppertunity to get a "free" Vision ward and all those non support players should use it too get a Sight Ward or two. I mean Whats Wrong with spending 75 out of 190 gold on something that wins games and saves lives?
Spot 1: This spot is on the backside of dragon. Good for scaring people out of dragon and at the right angle a tree will actually cover this ward up.
Spot 2: River/Entrance I place this a bit further out because some teams will pull dragon into the river. The ideal location for this ward is that you can see about half of the dragon with your Ward.
Upon Death Gives your team the Exalted with Baron Nashor Buff. This 8 minute BUff gives your team:
40 Ability Power
3% of your Max Health in Health Regeneration
1% of your Max Mana in Mana Regeneration
900 Experience Points
Due to the overwealming advatage this buff gives, a losing team can often turn the tides of a match with a single Baron kill/steal.
The most important thing here to notice is that Baron gives such a large advantage in the game that letting the other team take it uncontested is a crime. Genereally the teams are about lvl 13 when they go for Baron. If you can afford a Vision Ward this is a place to use it. If you can't afford Vision Wards, get a Sight Ward. Just be sure it is always lit up.
NOTE:With patch V126.96.36.199 no one can solo baron at 15 minutes. There are some characters that can get close but they need a team there to do it. Check in on Baron at 15 min and get it warded as soon as you can. An early baron can often result in a huge push which can win you the game.
Great Question: How important is it to see the enemy at Baron/Dragon?
Answer: Extremely. Think about it this way you saw the enemy team go towards Baron and disappear. You walk over there to check baron. They just finished it and you are about to give them a free kill. Or let's say that you tell your team they are at Baron. Your team goes and checks baron only to see that no one is there. The other team has Baron warded and was at blue buff. They can see you at Baron. They gank your team in the river. They take Baron and they win. False Alarms kill teams. Just pay the 3 minions worth of gold to get a ward at Baron and Dragon so you can be sure they are getting Baron/Dragon. And if they are you can steal it.
There are 3 Spots to Ward Baron:
Spot 1: In the river/entrance to Baron: This is the most used spot for baron because it gives sight of the river as well as Baron. (This Should be Closer to between the posts than I did in the screenshot)
Spot 2: This Ward is around the corner from the river and Is able to "hide" from vision wards placed farther into the river. It gives a full view of baron and is less likely to be seen.
Spot 3: Dropping a ward from the back side allows you to scare people out of baron as well as provide the benifits of
2 wards in one spot??? Well thats dumb. Or is it? Take another look at the the screen Shot of Baron Warded. Look at the Position of wards 1 and 3. If an enemy drops a vision ward at the entrance to baron they can see ward 1 but not ward 3. So they go and kill ward 1 but you can still see if they go for baron with ward 3. The Idea of Double Warding is a decoy(river) ward another ward that watched Baron. This is sometimes used at dragon but I would only use it at Baron. Note: My screen shot of Dragon Warded is a good example of Double Warding.
| Buying Wards |
What is a ward:
Duration: 180 sec (3 min)
HP: 3 hits
Note: Wriggles Lantern active is a Sight Ward
Duration: 180 sec (3 min)
HP: 3 hits
Do You Buy Enough Wards? Take this short quiz to find out!
Do you use wards?
If No: Then START USING THEM (Goto A)
If Yes: On average how many do you use a game?
If A: BUY MORE WARDS. 1 every 5 minutes or so
If B: This is fine if you are the carry or tank.
If C: Good you are using wards. Try not to use more than 15 ever unless you are the jungler or support. (If you are support, start using clairvoyance)
Order of who should buy wards:
1) Jungler: They move around so much that they have the freedom to place wards. During laning phase there is no excuse for the jungle to not use wards. Also Wriggles Lantern is a great jungle item and comes with a free ward. It is a great item for junglers to use.
2) Support: Wards are a huge support item in the game so of course the support player will need to stock up on wards.
3) Off-Tank: As a back up to the tank the Off-tank has more room to buy and place wards.
4) Tank: needs to get build to protect the team.
5) Carry: Needs to get built to get DPS going.
Please note that as teams start to team up, a champions role will decide who is responsible for wards. (the main champion here would be the support)
As Support you need to get at least one gold per 5 item in order to keep up with the demand. I usually get at least one as a support. Typically, I rush a Philosopher's Stone and sometimes a Heart of Gold. You could also use the Mastery Greed. I would also consider looking into the Gold Quints (mainly if you are roaming).
Now that you know you need to buy some wards how do you create good habits of purchasing and using wards.
To start off: a good plan to buy more wards is start off by buying a sight ward everytime you recall. After a while this will put you in the habit of adding the cost of a ward to whatever item you are looking to buy.
If you are the Carry or the tank than you are not exempt from buying wards. In the laning phase you will still have to purchase and watch out for those ganks. At mid to late game you will stop using wards due to the fact that you are finishing up your build. Until then get wards and help your team control the map.
Here are a few quick questions to ask yourself when buying wards?
For Laning Phase:
Does the jungler have a ward/can he place one by you? If no then buy a ward.
Does anyone in your lane have a ward? If not buy one or two.
Does anyone have a ward at all? If not buy a few and spread the love.
Does the enemy team have a jungler or an invisi? If yes, get a ward (Vision ward if invisi) and place it at 3 (or i) as soon as possible.
Does the enemy have a jungler? If yes, grab a ward and ward the other teams buffs.
For Mid/Late Game:
Is Dragon/Baron Warded? If not buy a ward and place it there ASAP.
Are the Gank bushes warded? If not buy some wards and place them when you go to push a lane.
Are the buffs warded? If not, ward them when you get a chance.
Does anyone have a ward at all? If not buy a few and spread the love.
From Elementz's site Reign of Elementz-
Question from OddSquad - “What is an effective way to buy wards that will allow anyone on the team to purchase them without slowing down their build?”
Answer: If everyone on the team buys 1 ward when they go back to base and places it randomly on the map then you should usually have 5 wards up at all times which is a **** load of vision to have everywhere. 75 Gold every time you go back to base really isn’t much at all. If you get into the habit of doing it you won’t even notice it eventually. This is the best way to have full map awareness while not fully stopping one player’s farm who “has to buy all the wards!!”
(Once again many hands, make light work)
| Vision Wards vs Oracle's Elixir |
Primarily, used early game to protect yourself from being ganked by invisible champions. Later game they are used to protect Baron and Dragon by allowing you to see the the enemies wards.
Used as a mobile Vision Ward. An early game Oracle's on a support character can lead to denying the other team any sort of map control. Often the preferred over Vision Wards in mid to late game due to it's mobility and overall cost effectiveness.
| Jungle Wards |
Lately, I've been seeing a huge amount of people trying to gank the jungler. From a defensive point there is not much you can do other than call mia's and ward the river (like you should in the laning phase). Because there is little defense against this it is a great option for the attacking team to do. But how do you know where the jungler is and when to gank him? This is the question I've been working on for a while and I have come to the conclusion wards/CV and early. All jungling paths are based around a rotation. Most rotations start at Blue buff, golems or wraiths. Normally, junglers are at their lowest HP on their first run through and at the buffs. So those are the best time to strike. An early ward at blue buff (B/C) or wraiths (A) can allow for an early first blood with minimal effort. Along with this an early ward at Red buff (D) is a bit more dangerous and I wouldn't recommend it.
I am trying to get in touch with Stonewall008 to help me out with this section.
| Brush Checkers |
This is a list of Champions that have moves that can check to see if a champion is in the bush or not. It is split into multiple categories.
Caitlyn- Yordle Snap Trap*
Corki- Phosphorus Bomb
Hiemerdinger- H-28G Evolution Turret: Can be used as Ward; CH-1 Concussion Grenade: gives sight at location
Jarvan IV- Demacian Standard
Karthus- Lay Waste; Wall of Pain
Kog'Maw- Living Artillery Gives sight upon hit
Lux- Lucent Singularity
Malzahar- Call of the Void: use perpendicular to bush
Maokai- Sappling Toss
Nasus- Spirit Fire
Nidalee- Bushwhack: gives sight when placed and again when activated; will reveal Wards and other cloaked skills
Shaco- Jack in the Box: Can be used as a ward.
Teemo- Noxious Trap (Shrooms): Can be used as a ward. You know them and hate them (will explode when placed on wards and it will not reveal them)*
Trundle- Pillar of Filth: Can be used to push enemies out of bush, best used on small bushes, also gives sight
Urgot- Noxian Corrosive Charge gives visions and reveals allows you to lock onto stealthed units
Viegar- Dark Matter (brief sight before hit)
Disappear On Hit:
Ashe- Volley: Arrow will disappear if enemy is hit
Corki- Missile Barrage: hard to hit but will explode if it hits something
Ezreal- Mystic Shot
LaBlanc- Ethereal Chains: Latches on contact
Morgana- Dark Binding
Nidalee- Javelin Toss
Rumble- Electro Harpoon
Vladimir- Tides of Blood: will hit invisible champions, wards and people in brushes; watch for the animation going into the bush
Sound On Hit:
Dr. Mundo- Cleaver: sound
Ezreal- Essence Flux; Trueshot Barrage
Kennen- Thundering Shuriken; Electrical Surge: if they have a charge on them
Nidalee- Javelin Toss
Sivir- Boomerang Blade
Urgot- Acid Hunter
Champions With Abilities that Cause Buffs:
Cassiopia- Noxious Blast
Ezreal- Mystic Shot; Essence Flux; Trueshot Barrage
Fiddlesticks- Dread: This will show up on you if Fiddlesticks is around
Irelia- Ionian Fervor
Champions with moves that knock the Enemy out of the Brush:
Blitzcrank- Rocket Grab
Gragas- Explosive Cast
Trundle- Pillar of Filth (small brush)
(Not recommended if the enemy is using Vision Wards and/or Oracle’s Elixir)
Akali- Twilight Shroud
Evelynn- Shadow Walk
Moves that Are to Close for Comfort:
Hiemerdinger- H-28G Evolution Turret: when placing it
Mordekaiser: Siphon of Destruction: Gives Shield
Shaco- Jack in the Box
Teemo- Noxious Trap (Shrooms): when placing it
Vladimir- Sanguine Pool: Not reccomended to use
Champions That have Abilities that Light Up around Enemy Champions:
(not recommended to use)
Evelynn: Hate Spike (also lights up around minions)
Irelia- Ionian Fervor
Katarina- Death Lotus
Morgana- Soul Shackles
Soraka- Starcall (also lights up around minions)
Tryndamere- Mocking Shout
Champions that have a Controllable Pet to Check the Brush With:
(Do not summon pet just to do this)
LaBlanc- Mirror Image
Mordekaiser- Children of the Grave
Everyone can do this. Tanks do it the best. I only recommend that Tanks even attempt this.
Amumu- Bandage Toss
Cho'Gath- Rupture; Feral Scream
Galio- Idol of Durand
Malphite- Unstoppable Force
Udyr- Bear Form
Champions that can Reduce sight:
Nocturne- Paranoia (DARKNESS)
Lee Sin- Sonic Wave and Tempest will reveal enemies in stealth.
| Acknowledgement |
Feligues, dddavidp, fluke1993, Scooterpie, Ediwir, Saraku, Prometheius, TrustiestKarma, CroakerX, Dock Lee, and DKwan on Brush Checkers
Elementz on Buying Wards
Arcanas213, Dock Lee, and Escadin on Clairvoyance
Hado on Vision Wards vs Oracle's Elixir
Rakoth's Motto: Map Awareness = OP
thuu on placing wards
Abhimanu on soloing baron.
Mr Threepwood and ChaoticOrder for the excellent questions.
NadeDawg for the greatest quote ever.
League of Legends Wikia for stats on Baron and Dragon.
I also want to give a shout-out to Leaguecraft Who helped me start this and has taught me more about this game than anyone.
Remember: Map Control + Map Awareness is insanely OP.
nice advice, i've tried to tall my friends the same you're explaining here, simply put wards on strategic places so we can't be ganked and stick together ready to gank when ppl is alone near of one of those wards.
Updated Information. In various sections
Reworking Ward purchasing and placing sections update should be done either today or tomorrow
I'm assuming nobody posted here since there was nothing to add. However, it must be read, so I'm commenting.
oh my well done
this is really nice. a thing to add with ezreal is your passives buff will stack/refresh if you hit, this is what i look for checking as ez instead of sound.
Thank you for reading and commenting. To tell the truth, I am far from done. I still am working on Baron/ Dragon, I am looking into lane dominance strategies and I will be trying to make a guide around the Idea of using only using as little wards as possible. For those that want a "cheap" version of ward control.
@Forty Bass: read the *** it says that ability will trigger a buff ; Cass also has on that works that way.
not 100% on this, havent played him in a while, but im pretty sure vladimir's E skill, (tides of blood) will hit enemies you cant see in brush/etc, providing you are in range.
edit: just tested this, and it does hit enemies in fog/brush that you cant see.
great guide btw.
One tip vs Fiddles for Map Awareness. His debuff is the same range as his ult. If you see it pop up, it means he's getting ready to ult in for a kill.
Certain skills also let you "scout" into a bush because they only activate when an enemy champ is nearby. Examples of these are Kat and Morg's Ult, as well as Eve's Hate Spike. Even if the enemy is stealthed or in the bush, the icon will still activate if you can't see them.
Very nice guide. But you forgot one thing... Veigar's meteor has sight with it when you use it in brush :-D
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