The goal in League of Legends is very simple: Storm into the enemy’s base and destroy their nexus. Things start getting more complicated when players have to deal with wave management, map rotations, and vision control.
Placing wards is not just something you always have to consider if your lane is being camped by an enemy jungler. No, vision control is a necessary skill for every player on the map. And contrary to popular belief, this job is not just reserved for support players. Everyone, absolutely everyone, needs to place wards on the map.
Vision equals information, and having the right information could be the difference between winning a match and losing.
Let’s start with the basics.
A ward is a unit that removes fog of war and grants vision over a determined area. There are different types of wards, each one with its own reach and cost.
Grants vision over the surrounding 900 units. Totem wards are free and become invisible once placed. Champions received 10 gold and 37 XP from destroying totem wards.
Can be purchased from the store for 75 gold. Grants vision over the surrounding 900 units, reveals and disables other wards, and reveals enemy traps. Players can place one on the map at a time, and control wards are fully visible. Destroying a control war grants 30 gold and 40 XP.
Granted by support items, have a life span of 150 seconds and give vision over the surrounding 900 units. Destroying a stealth ward rewards champions with 30 gold and 40 XP.
Players can place these from a greater distance away. Farsight wards are free and grant sight over the surrounding 500 units. It’s fully visible, and the bounty for this ward is only 15 gold and 12 XP.
The placement of wards will depend on two factors: the lane and the state of the game.
The main spot where both players should have a ward is in the river bush. Regardless of the side of the map you’re playing, junglers are most likely to enter the lane through the river when they attempt to gank top.
Junglers are less likely to attack through the tribush, so warding there is a good option only if the enemy jungler is spending a lot of time there. If the jungler completely forgot about top lane, a very common scenario in solo queue, it’d be better to ward the river or even put vision deep into the enemy jungle.
The bushes in lane are good place to hide, but not a great place to ward. If the jungler is playing through top and ganks once, they might be hiding in these bushes waiting for a second chance to attack. In that case, it’s better to go for a safe teleport and ward one of these bushes, just in case.
Mid laners only have two possible bushes to ward. For this role, it’s all about placing wards inside the jungle and trying to scout the enemy jungler. The best spot to place a ward is right in the corner by the raptor camp. Here, vision might catch the jungler coming from raptors to gank, or moving down the river to go after the Rift Scuttler, which itself provides additional vision.
At around eight minutes, with the first Rift Herald spawn, mid laners might want to invest a ward in the river, just deep enough to catch any attempted plays for the Herald.
Bot lane offers multiple warding opportunities that will depend on the state of the lane. The basic spots are the river bush and the blue side tribush. These are defensive wards meant to prevent early ganks, and won’t reveal much about the enemy jungler’s pathing.
Blue side has an advantage when it comes to warding, because a player can walk up the river and place a ward near the blue buff. In Season 10, this bush can also be used as a spot to place defensive vision if the enemy team is keeping the bottom lane pushed out and opening up threats for counter-jungling or dives.
Unlike top laners, bottom laners cannot ignore the lane bushes. Support champions such as Taric, Rakan, and others with some sort of hard crowd control are likely to hide here when looking for an advantagenous trade or an outright kill.
In the early game, all wards should be place so that laners can prevent and defend against ganks. Once the outer turrets falls and the laning phase is over, the game plan changes. At this point, players must start placing their vision inside the jungle. The deeper the vision, the safer it is.
Think about it as a safety line that indicates how far into the jungle a player can walk. Going beyond this line without backup is usually a bad idea. Players can fall into a false sense of security if the enemy has a couple of turrets down and the map opens up further. Not taking the time to place wards could translate into free kills for the opposition, and that might snowball out of control.