[Guide] Warding 101

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KrupsMcGee

Senior Member

08-31-2010

[Edit]: Here is a similar thread with much better visuals on precise ward placement. It illustrates the concept of getting the most information possible out of each ward. I suggest you check it out.

http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=237436


I've found that one of the easiest ways to improve your success as a team in LoL is to know where your opponents are at all times. You can play much more aggressively when you know you won't be ganked and can react much more efficiently if you see your opponents pushing a lane well before they get there.

You can deny jungle buffs and control key team objectives like baron, dragon and tower pushes by knowing how long you have to sustain the attack and when you will have to retreat or fight the enemy.

Wards are the best way to achieve a consistent view of your opponents activities, and if your opponent is using them effectively and you aren't there is almost no chance you will win the game.

I have generated a list with a corresponding map (stolen off a simple google image search, not sure of the source, but that's why there are dudes on the map) of where you should ward and when. I've got quite a bit of experience but I'm not pro, I'd like to hear others' comments on what a good warding strategy is early-mid-late game.

Warding is very team/game dependent and you can save money by studying your opponents throughout the game to look for patterns of when they hit the jungle, with how many people (do they roam as a team or try to solo buffs) and how aggressive they are at taking dragon/baron. Do they bait the bushes, do they wait and gank, etc.

That said, here is what I consider a general guide to warding (from blue's perspective...for purple team just consider the mirror image):

Early Game (game start->first bp):
Early game warding is generally focused on ganking. Ganks almost always come from the bushes next to your lane. Ward where the 1s are and you will be much harder to gank. This is much more important if they have a jungler or are ganking a lot. If the rarely go mia then you can probably just rely on call-outs, but if they are constantly mia you will either play too defensively and miss out on gold, exp, and an early tower or you will get ganked.

In mid try to cover all of the bushes and as much of the path between those bushes and your wraith camp as possible (i.e., the close end of the bushes). This will make you ungankable if you don't extend past the center line of your lane. If you extend past mid to push the tower take care, and if you see an enemy from the side brush run toward your tower to the opposite brush immediately.

In side lanes the bushes are a good place to ward, as you won't be ganked if you are at the midpoint if you are careful. If you want to play aggressively and push towers, you can ward near the dragon/baron entrance to try to cover the river entrance and the back end of the bushes, plus enough of the river that you will see them coming from the non-golem path (the path ashe is shown as taking in the attached pic). This may be riskier but covers more area and gives you more warning if an enemy is coming from behind.

If you want to play aggressively/gank their junglers, ward the buffs (marked as 4 on the map). This can be done early game if they have a strong and obvious jungler, in which case it might be smart for someone to take smite to steal the buff when they get low. So...ward, wait for them to start fighting, smite for the buff and then kill the enemy. Sometimes you can do this without the ward, but you might end up waiting for them to show up only to find they've started somewhere else in the jungle.

The buffs (4) are good areas to keep warded in general throughout the game. Ward in the bushes to prevent enemies from brush ganking you.

Mid-game (first bp->end of laning phase, ~6-15 min):
I would consider mid-game to end once the first tower falls, but if you want to play conservatively it could be until YOUR first tower falls, basically until you want to start pushing to their second tower.

Ganking is a big deal still; you want to also control the jungle buffs and of course dragon. Ward the 1 spots again if they are ganking/jungling or generally mia a lot. You can substitute the 1s by dragon for the ward marked 2. Make sure you can see dragon entrance but still cover your ass for someone coming along the river. Keep in mind if someone has a flash or something (ez/shaco) and could reach dragon without crossing your ward. Then maybe place the ward close to dragon to see when it has engaged.

mid-late game (after laning phase, 15 min->victory screen):
Once a couple of towers are gone the map really opens up. Towers lost reduce your safe zones significantly and towers you've downed make it more dangerous for your enemies, but only if you can monitor their movements. They can easily gank you at their second tower if you don't see them coming, and you're too far out to retreat and survive.

On the blue side, ward on every 3 that is beyond your furthest standing tower if you want to have any semblance of safety in that area. The idea is that the opponent has to either pass a ward or one of your towers to get to you, and if they try to gank you in an organized fashion you can see them coming and know where to run to avoid the gank. Bushes are generally good places to ward, and if you can place a ward to observe multiple paths then do it.

Keep the jungle buffs warded, keep dragon warded and start warding baron.

If you want to push, it's a good idea to ward the purple side of the map. If you are going for their second tower then warding the closest 3 and the golem/lizard intelligently should give you decent warning to gtfo. Or at least give your allies time to react and save your ass. If you are roaming as a team this isn't necessary but it will help, and you can react to an organized teamfight initiation attempt instead of getting bandage tossed, amumu ulted, tibbers pounded, etc. before you know what hit you.

If you are pushing their inhib towers then warding at the 3s by their base will allow you to see enemies try to flank you. With the golem/lizard wards up you should be able to see them unless they go all the way to the river and back up mid...even then there is a chance you will see them coming from your baron/dragon ward.

So here it's pretty dependent on which towers are still standing. Before going off on your own, ask yourself these questions:
How many enemies can I see?
How far am I from my teammates aid?
Where could my enemies come from without me seeing?
Do I have the escape abilities to get away?
Could I win a fight against the mia enemies?

Based on these questions you can decide if you really want to proceed, or throw down a few wards, or just go with your team.

Buying wards:
Wards are cheap but represent a significant investment if you intend to use them the entire game. Please! Spread the cost out across your team. If you have a multiple of 90g excess when you shop buy wards every time (but don't stock more than 3 at a time). They more than pay for themselves but if you put the burden completely on one ally they may end up gimped. It is still worth it, but much easier to cover the map if everyone chips in.

Sight wards are cheaper but you may want to invest in vision wards for key areas or if the enemy has a stealth champ (particularly if said champ is doing well). Sight wards are usually good enough warning for shaco. Areas where vision wards might be worthwhile: baron, dragon. Because if your opponent has vision wards and you don't, they will just kill your ward and lose you 90g. If you see this happen that is a good indication they have oracles or vision wards.

Placing wards:
Keep in mind that you don't get vision until after a ward is placed. So if running to ward brush, if you have a way to check the brush from a distance you reduce your chance of getting ganked. Set the ward from a distance if you are unsure, but even then it might be too late. Take care.

Study your opponents to see when/where to ward. Save your money if they aren't utilizing the jungles/river to gank. Still ward buff/dragon/baron.

Countering wards:
If you find yourself thinking WTF how did they know I was there!!!! Then they have **** warded. If you can pick up an oracle's and kill 5 wards they've lost more money than you've invested. Have your tank buy an oracle’s and roam a bit to find their wards, it really might be worth it. Oracle’s is NOT just a stealth champ counter.

Vision wards for baron and dragon, you see and kill their wards = worth the extra 60g.

If they've killed off your wards they may have an oracle's or vision wards. Kill their oracle's holder if possible. Kill their wards. If it gets to be too much trouble to keep it up, just make sure that their wards are dead too and it's even.

Teemo can provide good map control, and is not useless by any means. However without this perk he is pretty sad...oracle's against a teemo to deal with those mushrooms.

Countering the counters:
Clairvoyance on one teammate is never a bad idea. Then if you are about to go do something stupid, ask them to check the area for enemies first. Use this to scout dragon/baron if you haven’t seen the enemy for a while, or scout areas for the enemy while you are perusing said objectives.

TF ult is still one of the strongest abilities in the game, even if the champ himself is lackluster. Global vision for when 80-100% of the enemies are hidden is very helpful. Use before pursuing objectives (dragon/baron/tower push/etc.) or if you feel threatened.

I think this is all I have for now. Please comment, add, or challenge any of the information here. This is an area I think is very deficient for even decent players, and is pretty important.

Other ward "tricks":
Wards can be very helpful to certain champions to escape. Katarina and Jax for example can shunpo/jump to wards if they are in danger. Having wards placed in the jungle can increase the mobility of these champs if they need to make a quick escape.

Even carrying a ward with them is not a bad idea, as you can place the ward over a wall then target it to jump over, similarly to an ez, shaco, corki, trynd, etc. This little trick can be the difference between life and death.

Wards synergize with teleport very well. Since you can teleport to any placed ward, having a well warded map really enhances your mobility. If you are having trouble pushing towers but have someone who can backdoor like Yi, drop a ward by the tower (make sure it's not in tower range). Then you can port back at will to finish it off. (note with the ward timer and and teleport cd that you can get I think a max of 2 teleports in before that ward dies, maybe onlly 1)

If you and your allies all carry wards, you can easily turn the tides of a battle ala shen, tf or pantheon by having the ally in danger throw down the ward (in the nearest brush preferably) and then you port in for the save or countergank.


tl;dr

Wards win games. Wards are cheap. Ward where the map says. If you are out on your own, make sure you can see your opponent coming before you are gold in their pocket.

[Edit]: Added ward "tricks" section. Suggest more if you have some ideas!


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NickPham

Senior Member

08-31-2010

Personally i love droppin a ward on river bush just next to your two mid positions.


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Zupekadia

Senior Member

08-31-2010

Thanks for the guide, Krups. I buy wards, but some times, I feel I don't know where to put them during the course of the game and having a map of this is helpful.


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Goo

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Senior Member

08-31-2010

Great info. I'm pointing a few of my nub friends to this thread now.


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HawksGoCAW

Senior Member

08-31-2010

I think your 1's position isn't really all that great. If you're pushed a bit and their jungler comes along and pops ghost, you're probably not going to have time to get away. I think the "3" position is just better over all. You get a general idea of where the opponent is going and you have more of a head start if they do decide to come along.


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HoboMaster

Junior Member

08-31-2010

Nice tips! You may also want to point out some other tricks and specifics for wards and champions.

For example: Katarina can shunpo, garen can destroy, ezreal can destroy, they are immune to magic damage, etc.


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Leirkov

Senior Member

08-31-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goo View Post
Great info. I'm pointing a few of my nub friends to this thread now.
I can't wait until they see that you called them nub.


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imnotbono

Senior Member

08-31-2010

Chokepoints make great spots to drop wards. By chokepoint, I refer to spots one HAS to go through if you're going somewhere. For example, that little opening from river into any of the four jungles. That's the BEST place if you want to see if an opponent is going into your quadrant of jungle.


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KrupsMcGee

Senior Member

09-01-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by imnotbono View Post
Chokepoints make great spots to drop wards. By chokepoint, I refer to spots one HAS to go through if you're going somewhere. For example, that little opening from river into any of the four jungles. That's the BEST place if you want to see if an opponent is going into your quadrant of jungle.
Yup, that's the idea. Hit the chokepoints, brush, buffs...try to cover as much area with as few wards as possible, then you can cover more of the total map for the same amount of $.

That is what I was trying to convey on the map but I wasn't working with the best tools :-P so it may be a lil distorted. You can experiment to see what gives you the best coverage, and some points further into the jungle can actually cover multiple exits/entrances at once.


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KrupsMcGee

Senior Member

09-01-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by HawksGoCAW View Post
I think your 1's position isn't really all that great. If you're pushed a bit and their jungler comes along and pops ghost, you're probably not going to have time to get away. I think the "3" position is just better over all. You get a general idea of where the opponent is going and you have more of a head start if they do decide to come along.
You're right about that, but this was assuming somewhat defensive gameplay. If you are good at last hitting and lane control you can keep the creeps in the middle of the lane or even slightly pushed to your tower while you farm.

This positioning is good enough that you even have space to zone out your enemy if they push too far, while remaining relatively safe.

You could try placing the ward just under their golem camp to give vision of that path and the river if you're worried about jungle ganks, but you have to make yourself pretty vunerable for a few seconds so take care.


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