How to Ward Properly in LOL?
What to ward
Places you want to ward are :
That pretty all for the start. However, you won't have many wards, so you must chose the right spot:
1.Normal setting, no advantage on the map, the battles are mainly located at mid-map.
2.The enemy has very high usage of their bushes and intel is more important than gank protection (if affordable go for 1+2 in these cases). Note that the enemy sould have a HIGH usage of bushes for themselves (not traps). Low usage of bushes and traps can be dealt with your CV!
3.When your tower is under siege, it's better to go forward 3, as you would see gankers from 1 early enough.
Remember, jungler often stops at bushes but not always. Once they are leaving the covers, it's too late. If their ganker is fast, forget the bushes and go up the river to ward. The better you know the enemy, the better you can ward appropriately.
After more practise, I found out that good use of a Vision ward can get a tremendous advantage for your team. To be able to use this tip correctly, you will need to know better than where to ward. You need to know where your enemies support wards!
If you don't have better use for it, it's time to put your CV in action. When the support leaves the lane for a short time, pop a CV to see what he's doing. Eventually you will see him ward somewhere. From there, you can assume he will try to do so repeatedly. Once done, get a pink and get his ward off. The best is to be able to combine warding and unwarding and with practise you will be able to put them in a good warding spot which still reveals the enemy ward. Remember, a good pink ward is 125 - 75 - 25 = only 25 more gold than a green one.
The following images show a usual spot where support tends to put wards these days. I am not fond of this spot because of two things:
it does not cover the bushes
it does not cover the river high enough
And I will prefer the yellow spot instead. The only interest I can credit that violet spot is for violet team which can cover river plus the forest in case of Jungler. But if you're pushing so much, you may afford toward the tribush instead and the river.
When facing invisible enemies, you may want to go pink as soon as they start being annoying by being hidden too much. The following two spot should cover the missing gap after your turret to the mid-map.
Remember, the support has to protect his carry! So if you're ganked by invisible laning enemy and can't ward the river, just forget it. Protect the local area from the laning enemies, don't push too much and use your CV. And if your carry is good enough, he might actually be able to get some kill that will surprise the stealth champion.
Mid and late game
The bigger map shows multiples points. Red one is for attack, blue for defence and yellow for special. Let's talk about yellow first.
You want to know when the other team goes for dragon and baron. You will place the ward near the entrance of the wells since it let you see the all thing in case someone jumps the trees. Soft yellow spot are to be placed whenever you attempt to kill the corresponding dragon so as to be able to back-off if enemy come (or get them before they can gather)
On attack, you have the advantage and you need directions intelligence. If you can predict where the defenders are going, you are able to track them.
Critical positions are red and blue bush. Defenders will try to get any advantage to counter the rushes you put on them. Denying red and blue is good for you.
Small bushes near the wraiths are also a good indicator to protect you from being flanked. Sometimes a ward in the enemy base is very practical to ensure they are still defending against super minions while you are killing the Baron.
On defence, you need to see the attackers as much as possible. So ward positions differ from the attacker's one. For our objective we do not want to control directions anymore, but positions. Note that the soft blue spot indicates places you can ward from defensive positions (over trees, or wall) if you can't afford putting a better ward.
When should you go to ward:
Any time you can afford to lose tempo
Every time I pushed my lane and know I won't be able to do heavy damage to the turret and the supported champion in not in immediate need of support, I go refresh some wards.
When ward has/will expired
It is critical to have a good sense of timing. If you can anticipate ward expiration, you would be able to refresh it at the best possible time.
When switching lane
When you switch lane for some reason, be nice: drop ward for your new lane friend(s).
By that time, you should be gathering with your team. Use any occasion when your are moving with your team to leave ward behind you. Do small detour when necessary, but not too much.
When not to ward:
I never go warding alone on late game unless I'm sure I'm not going to be cornered in the forest. The ward is not worth your death!
Avoid warding when you can be seen (it's always better to stay under the radar): delay, use confusion or change position if you can afford it.
When should I buy wards
If you are playing support, ward is your first and your last item, it appears in the tab menu and in the statistics. My build uses gold items, so I buy the first element for it and 3 wards at start. Then I always try to buy ward when at the base (at least 3 if I really need other item badly). Don't delay buying wards or you won't. When you run out of ward, notify it. Refill when you can: 5 wards are 375gp.
Vision ward and Clairvoyance
The last words I can drop here too are for vision wards and CV.
Vision ward are expensive, but they could be useful sometimes to uncover invisible heroes. My view on this is : every invisible heroes tends to hide in bushes before going stealth, at least in early games (to maximise stealth time), thus falling in our sight ward intel. Furthermore, stealth is detected by towers. I honestly rarely use those wards. And they are outmatched by a good oracle late game. But should I use them, the placement differs from normal sight wards. Objective here is to cover the largest valuable area. This can be problematic on top and bot lanes, as we would be interested in covering bushes but that renders half the ward area useless.
Clairvoyance summoner spell is very useful. Use it every time you can. With a 55 cooldown reduce at 50 by Mystical Vision mastery, you can literally spam it. On early game, a well placed CV (see picture) should be able to reveal all bushes.
If you do not need CV on your lane, use it on other lanes. Try to know if teamates could use it, especially junglers. If nobody needs it, check reds/blues for enemy jungler and dragons to be sure the enemy is not looking at them.
In solo queue games, at start, you may want to know how the enemy leaves the fountain to have insight on who you will see top/mid/bot and their starting item. This is rarely useful with teamates because:
laning postions are often easy to guess
you know which teamate goes to one lane
you will need it to try a counter jungling
If you are only protecting your jungle, use it to cover your jungler from being gank before start.
Warding without CV
If you don't have CV, you can't get insight of what the enemy support is doing, including where she is warding. Unwarding is then a mix of timing, knowledge and luck. Usually, you can get a good information by counting how long the enemy support is MIA. Short time means river bush, or that other point I don't really like. Long time means dragon.
Your best shot when unsure remains a vision ward in the river bush. With this you can get :
wards in bush
ward around the bush
ward of the dragon if the support has been too hasty and put it too low.
Warding is always a risky operation. You never know when another player/jungler will show up. Maybe someone is hiding in the bush.
Avoid at all cost dying while warding. You can stay alive with :
CV to light the area you're going to
Having a CC spell ready for escape
Having you flash up
Being with another champion.
There may be some case for which warding is more valuable than your life. In that case, be sure to put your ward!
When you're going for Baron, you need wards because:
Enemy will try to stop you
Enemy will try to steal Nashor
To avoid this, you need to be aware of enemies movements and impair their vision. You do so by
Warding your team color spots
Putting a vision ward at yellow point
Putting a ward at white spot: this allow you to control enemy over the border. If you see the enemy moving in order to flash in, use your CC ability to prevent this (Lulu's whimsy for example)
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