Warding in League of Legends is one of the most important mechanics in the entire game. Though it may be not as interesting and sometimes slightly dull to perform completely, it certainly can be the defining factor in your League matches.
If you’ve been an avid follower of the League of Legends eSports scene, you’ll notice that the commentators talk about Vision constantly and highlight the quality of the teams’ Warding. In professional and high-ranking League of Legends matches, Vision is not something that’s taken for granted. It is a vital strategic aspect that can steer the course of the game.
This guide will help you understand the Warding system, mechanics, and gameplay element better. It will also inform you on the importance of Warding and Vision in general and provide useful tips on where and when to use Wards and Vision Items.
Make sure you’ve got your Sweeping Lenses prepared as we dive into How to Get Better at Warding in League of Legends.
Also read: 10 Best Ward Skins in League of Legends
The Importance of Vision
As you may already know, the League of Legends map is covered in darkness. This darkness is better known as the “Fog of War.” The Fog serves as a gameplay element to prevent players from knowing, at all times, what the opposing team is doing. The Vision system is introduced to mitigate this rather detrimental aspect, as knowing where the enemy teams may prove crucial in most situations.
Vision is a key thing in League of Legends. Without it, your enemy can safely move around and prowl within the Fog. If they happen to decide to gank your Lane or the lanes of your allies, they can do so without the threat of you noticing them preemptively.
A jungler’s wet dream is to have an opponent that doesn’t ward, as it makes their job a whole lot easier. They can do objectives, even pull in other laners to help them out, and you won’t know a thing. You might throw assumptions and even use an Ultimate spell preventively on an Epic Monster such as the Dragon or Baron, only to find out the enemies were merely walking around the River. This would be a huge waste that your enemies could capitalize on in a fight or around the Lane.
You can clearly see that Vision is a must-have element in your game, as otherwise, you will just be at a disadvantage. This holds especially true if the enemy is doing their Vision properly and effectively, meaning they know where you are, yet your team has no idea what the enemy is up to. Players will often blame Supports for not doing the Vision properly. One of the main Support missions is providing good Vision, that much is true, but every player in a team must actively utilize this mechanic completely.
What are Wards?
Players knowledgeable about the game and its items should move on to other parts of this guide. But I advise you read through it anyway, as it may contain something you didn’t know prior.
Wards are Items in League of Legends that provide the players with Vision when placed. There are three Warding Items in the game. Only two of them are actual Wards. I will go over both of them in detail, how they function, and when each is best purchased and utilized. So, let’s begin.
The first Item we will talk about is the Stealth Ward. This Item is a trinket, meaning it can be obtained for free at the very start of the game. It is the most bought Item in League of Legends, period. Over 55% of players have bought this Item in their recent games. You can see how well established it is, but scarcely is it properly used. Players often treat this Item, and Vision in general, as an afterthought. I must admit that I, too, have made the mistake of misusing this Item, and other Vision Items as well.
This trinket refills on a cooldown, and you can hold up to 2 charges. Let me remind you that seeing you have 2 charges in your inventory indicates you haven’t been using it correctly. Or at all, for that matter. It is an item that scales up as the game progresses, i.e., it scales with the average level of all players on the map. Depending on the level as mentioned earlier, it lasts for 90 – 120 seconds and has a cooldown of 240 – 120 seconds, also tied with the level. In the late game, you can see that Vision just becomes more and more present on the map, and the game gives you all the tools you need to do it right.
Moving on to our next Item, which is not actually a Ward, is the Oracle Lens. This Item does not provide Vision but counters it. As was the case with our previous Item, Oracle Lens is a trinket. When activated, the Oracle Lens will scan the area in a 750-unit radius around you and reveal any Wards that may be hiding. Once revealed, the Wards can quickly be destroyed by either you or someone in your team. Destroying Wards will even grand a bit of gold, meaning constant de-Warding proves beneficial to your general economy.
The Oracle Lens also scales up with the average player level on the map. It has a duration of 10s that remains unchanged during the entire game, but its cooldown is between 90 – 60. This Item will not only reveal Wards, however. It is extremely useful to reveal traps like Teemo’s Shrooms, and it even grants obscured Vision on enemy Champions. Though very useful and important during earlier parts of the game, it tends to be obsoleted as time goes on by the Control Ward, which we will cover shortly.
Up next is the last trinket on this list – the Farsight Alteration. It can be purchased at level 9 and replaces the Stealth Ward trinket. Though limited in its use and how often it is purchased, it does find some utilization on select Champions. It is an item that grants Vision with an insane range, 4000 units to be exact. This means you can find out what’s going on far off in the distance with just a simple press of a button. The downside of this Item is that the Ward placed is completely visible and has a single HP, meaning that if the enemy sneezed towards its direction, it’d be destroyed.
You will seldom see this Item used or bought in League of Legends games, especially professional ones. One player I can think of that utilizes this Item regularly is Tobias Fate with his Gangplank gameplay. The cooldown of this Item is also pretty rigorous compared to the Stealth Ward. Despite its range, I think a cooldown of 198 – 99 seconds based on average player level is not something to brag about. It is a visible ward that can easily be removed, and though it can help a little bit, it doesn’t do much. The Stealth Ward trinket actually has charged, meaning you can use it in relatively quick succession, and it is hidden so that it won’t get destroyed that easily. If you wish to use this Item, you can. Keep in mind that the alternatives are much better used in serious gameplay, especially with Deep Warding.
Our last Ward Item on this list is the Control Ward, and it is arguably the best Warding Item to have on yourself at all times. This Item is not a trinket, unlike the rest of the items mentioned above. Instead, it is an actual item, purchasable in the shop for 75 gold. This price is a steal when the overall use of the Item is taken into consideration. The Control Ward can be thought of as an amalgam of all the three trinkets molded into one. It provides the Vision of a Stealth Ward, reveals hidden Wards and Traps around it, and is visible to all players.
The visibility to enemies is the only real detriment of this Item. Its use is infinite, and having two (as you can hold 2 maximum in your inventory) in your otherwise unoccupied slot can prove pivotal in controlling the course of the game on your part of the map. Junglers love this Item, and Supports do too. It can help them de-Ward everything the enemy places down in choke points that are important to keep dark to the enemy. It can also help provide crucial Vision around places in high traffic, helping keep track of all enemies moving through these spots. Later on, we will cover the best places to Ward in this article, so keep reading to see more.
Best Time to Ward
Warding can sometimes be convoluted. After reading a guide or two, you might be excited to use your Wards in the best way possible. Taking all that information you have, you prepare for your Warding game and – you forgot to see what time to do so. Well, Warding is a fairly straightforward thing, most of the time. The timings of your wards will depend largely on the timings of Buff spawns, Baron and Dragon timers, etc. These are very situational and are impossible to fit into a single, pre-defined guide. The following will help you to utilize the early game Warding to your advantage as much as possible.
Early on, especially before the 3-minute mark, you can use your Champion to provide Vision of the River. Face-checking bushes is not recommended, but before the laning phase begins walking around a bit, though not too deeply, is an approved way of taking a peek into a darkened area of the map. This usually occurs while your team waits for the jungler’s Buff to spawn, and knowledge of an incoming invade is crucial to coordinating a defense.
Moving on from just walking around and going a bit deeper into enemy lines, it is best to place Wards around Buffs and the areas where the enemy jungler might be walking around. This will provide you with vital information on the whereabouts of a dangerous enemy player, giving you a lot of time to retreat if the need be. It also helps your jungler communicate ganks and attempt to steal the enemy’s Buffs, objectives, and farm. Knowing where the enemy jungler is at all times is one of the most important knowledge factors in League of Legends in general.
Your early wards will likely be placed before 1:30 hits, around 1:25 to be precise. This gives you enough time to place the Ward and retreat to safety to either Lane or help out your jungler with his eventual Buff. This Ward will last around 90 seconds and expire around the very important 3-minute mark.
Around the 3-minute mark, the first Scuttler will spawn, meaning it’s an apt time for pushing the lane and warding chokepoints around the area where you think the enemy jungler might be. This will help you know where they are and secure a Scuttler kill, which in turn gives a good Vision of the River.
Other than these important warding times, which will help you secure some early game advantages, warding whenever you have a Ward available is recommended. To see where to place these wards, keep reading to find out.
Best Places to Ward
There are many places in the game that are good to Ward. Naturally, some are better than others, but I’d say that all places are good enough as long as they provide enough information. Placing a Ward only to end up equally blind is what I’d consider a bad Ward, and these kinds of Wards will rarely be placed as almost every single pixel of the map can utilize Vision in some capacity.
I will divide this section into three parts, focusing on each of the three sides/lanes. First, let’s start with the Top Lane.
Best Places To Ward in the Top Lane
You should always place a Control Ward on the left-hand side Bush near the Top Lane. This will help you eliminate the enemy’s Vision, keep them in the dark, have Vision yourself, and open up a pathway for your jungler to gank. If you’re on the Red Side, placing a Control Ward in the Top Lane tri-bush is a great defensive tool to ensure you don’t get ganked from behind, as well as secure your passage when roaming through the area. You will have to consider where you have Vision and your options of movement in those areas. If you’re running away from an enemy gank into a blind spot, there can be an enemy player just waiting for you to walk in, so keep that in mind. This applies to Warding in general, not just the Top Side, and is a huge component of your movement knowledge. Having good movement skills in the game can help you die less, stay safe during various phases, and have a better impact on the game.
Another great spot is the middle of the River in front of the Rift Herald. It allows you to see the enemy jungler walking out of the Blue Buff, as well as keeping an eye on the Herald himself. The Scuttler can do this well enough by himself, though he may not be available at all times. Placing a ward in the nearby Bush, that’s just next to the pit, is also amazing as it covers three entrances into the River, giving you knowledge on a high traffic area.
Moving on, we have the Mid Lane.
Also read: 10 Rarest Ward Skins in League of Legends
Best Places To Ward in the Mid Lane
It would be best if you warded both bushes right next to your Lane, as they are the two most used entrances to the Lane. Warding the two bushes next to the Baron and Dragon pits that I’ve mentioned above is highly recommended. It gives Vision on players trying to circumvent the big bushes and entrances into the Lane. If they do manage to go around these, warding Raptors or the Bush behind the Blue Buff will mitigate their attempts. This will protect you against a dive and a backdoor, especially against mobile junglers like Kha’Zix or Zac.
Warding the Bush behind the Red Buff pit on either your or the enemy side is also a good option. It will reveal the enemy jungler’s position and give you enough information to work out where he is headed or what objectives he is planning for. You can subsequently coordinate an interception with your jungler and score an easy kill or even an objective/buff steal.
Knowing the enemy’s movement through jungle paths is vital, so I recommend you place a Ward at the crossroads between Red Side’s Raptors, Red Buff, and Baron pit, at the very entrance to the River. This gives you a view of 4 exits, which provides extensive information on the traffic in the area. Combining this with some other jungle and river Wards we mentioned above will keep that entire part of the map lit up for your whole team to see.
Lastly, we have the Bot Side.
Best Places To Ward in the Bot Lane
The Bottom Lane Blue Side has one of the most important and dangerous areas in the entire game in general. The Red Side Tri-Bush just above the Dragon pit should be kept under Vision 24/7. Having a Control Ward in that Bush provides an option to push the Lane with more safety and less worry about a backdoor gank. It will also help your own jungler have a safe passage into the River to attempt ganks if your Lane happens to be shoved in.
The Blue Side is much more in danger from the River, so warding close to the Dragon pit wall provides excellent deep Vision into the River. However, if the enemy jungler happens to be around your own jungle, he can use the Blast Cone to circumvent this Ward, meaning that a second ward in the Bush against the wall is also very useful to have. You can use either/or, depending on the situation and what jungler you are up against. Though you have access to many Wards with a Support, so Warding both is what I’d recommend.
Depending on how pushed in the Lane is, warding the sides of the lanes is important. It would be best if you warded every exit and entrance in and out of the Lane, both in bushes and in general. Knowing these chokepoints and pathways is important to provide at least some safety in the late game, as you may need more farm or push the Lane back.
Also read: How Many Skins Are in League of Legends?
As we can see, the Warding system is difficult to fully grasp and very complex and extensive in every way possible. We didn’t cover all Warding positions and strategies in this guide because – How could we? It spans out for so long and has so many different elements contained within it that nothing but simply playing the game will help you too much. You have to play to understand how everything works. Climbing the ranks and reaching those near-professional Divisions is when you will truly see how it feels to play a game where everyone knows their Vision.
Knowing how Vision works in any sort of capacity, however great or small that capacity is, will always be beneficial. Vision is something that cannot negatively affect your games. It can only improve them and make them easier. Take your time to study through its rigorous nature, grind through the extensive knowledge required to utilize it to its full potential, and then you will see just how good it is.
As you know, we just love to hear your thoughts. And as I’ve spent a lot of time and effort on this guide, I’d really like to hear what you think of it, is it good, and did it help you achieve a better understanding of Warding in League of Legends. I sincerely hope it did, and I wish you all the best in your trifles around the Summoner’s Rift.