Wards are one of the most important and underutilized tools in a League of Legends player’s arsenal. Being able to have vision of a part of the map that your team isn’t in can be an incredibly powerful gain in information for your team. Learning when and how best to set up vision can be difficult, but there are some useful rules of thumb that can help you get the most out of your trinkets and Control Wards. With preseason coming up, it’s as important as ever to optimize your vision choices.
Wards don’t generally get you a direct advantage in combat unless you’re using them to get vision inside of a brush to auto-attack or land abilities on an enemy. Most of the time, the best usage of wards is to track the enemy team’s movement throughout the map. This is especially true when using wards to spot the enemy jungler’s movement in the early and mid-game. Wards don’t have to see an enemy in order to be useful, sometimes the knowledge that a nearby area of the map is empty is just as valuable.
How to get better at warding away ganks
As a laner, the first clues on how to use your wards in a game will come early. Try to figure out if, and where, the enemy team leashed their jungler. Unless it’s an active jungler like Xin Zhao, you can assume that they will be clearing away from you and unlikely to gank. This is especially true for bot laners, since junglers will want to leverage early advantages. Look to place wards after scuttle crabs have spawned to track enemy movement, if the enemy jungler isn’t at one scuttle crab, you can bet they’ll be at the other.
In the mid-game, focusing on setting up vision in the enemy’s side of the jungle in the minute ahead of objectives is especially crucial. Being able to invade with your jungler or support in order to place down vision can make the mystery of how the enemy approaches an objective fight easy to solve. In general, don’t ward nearby brushes as you’re looking to recall in lane. Those wards can’t stop you from dying to the enemy jungler if you’re not in lane, and you’ll spend a good chunk of their lifetime just walking back from the base.
If you’re looking for specific guides for your lane, there’s guides aplenty. For top laners, ex-professional player Wickd has plenty of insightful resources for top laners in 2021. For other roles, high elo players have assembled plenty of other guides that are available on Youtube.
When do I ward?
Firstly, only place vision in places where you expect enemies to move, or need know if it’s empty in the next minute unless you’re setting up for an objective. Setting up wards towards the river in your lane to give extended vision and protection from ganks can work well, with the ward buying space for you to play towards the side you know is safe.
Look to be proactive in setting up vision for objectives. Place wards that force your opponents to show themselves if they plan to take or contest a neutral objective. For supports, managing vision control is an essential part of the role, and will often need help from their AD carry or jungler in order to set up vision ahead of dragon or baron fights. The truth is that warding is a skill that needs lots of repetition. The best way to improve is to focus on being conscious and thinking about the reasons for ward placement.